So this weekend, Songvakeppnin will have what seems like the most pointless semi-final of all semi-finals. With only ten songs in its entire competition, RUV could have put them all together into a single show. Instead, we get two semis and four competitors and maybe a wildcard and an excuse to bring Eleni’s Fuego to the frozen ground of Iceland.
So, given that, what do we have on tap:
Hatari – Hatrið mun sigra
THIS HAD BETTER WIN.
I don’t know what else to say. Iceland has had the sense to send good things through before, so hopefully they will remain smart with this one.
Þórdís Imsland – Nú og hér
Ooh, a song co-written by Svala! Sung by a former Iceland Voice contestant! And…well, it’s not bad. While it doesn’t reach the heights of a banger, it does cause me to tap my toes. It feels very retro 1990s, something that a member of Wilson Philipps would have used as their first release after breaking free from the band. I think a lot of this is going to depend on the performance, and whether or not Þórdís can replicate the studio vocals.
Kristina Skoubo – Ég á mig sjálf
Kristina mixes Bond-theme vocals with a big Phil Spector Wall of Sound mix, leading to a very retro feel. There’s a nice third act twist with some vocal gymnastics and a chance to pose. It’s a fun song, but its success will depend on whether she can pull off staging that reflects the fact that the song is a bit of a hybrid between a power ballad and a retro bop. I won’t be sad if this goes to the finals, because Kristina has a really distinctive voice.
Friðrik Ómar – Hvað ef ég get ekki elskað?
No. No no no no no no. First of all, any song from Iceland that uses a gospel choir gets an automatic no from me.
Secondly, I must be the only Eurofan who doesn’t appreciate this song. I get what Friðrik Ómar is going for. It’s a very Michael Bolton-ish vibe. But this dragggggggggs. When your big third act reveal is getting a choir to add volume and interest to your vocals, and you actually only manage to sustain that big reveal for 30 seconds, your song has some major structural issues.
Also, in my pursuit of an all-banger Eurovision, I don’t want to have a song that sounds like something high schoolers would awkwardly slow dance to a prom.
Daníel Óliver – Samt ekki
This year’s teen idol slot (which in the past few years has been filled by a young man named Aron) goes to Daníel Óliver, who has come with the lackluster banger Samt Ekki.
In listening to this song, my immediate reaction was that I was listening to a Eric Saade B-track from his Eurovision heyday of a decade ago. Sure, it’s a bop, but it’s just completely predictable. If this goes to Eurovision, it’ll be lucky to qualify for the finals.
Also, I know that in the semis, we’re getting all the songs in Icelandic, but the English language lyrics of this song should be disqualifying. Daníel, you don’t get to call a woman’s actions empowering while you also imply that you want to lick her like an ice cream cone. It’s very ‘you go’ and ‘me too’ all at once.
So, in my dreams, I hope it will be Hatari and Kristina (or basically Hatari and anyone but Daniel) but in reality, I think it’s going to be Hatari and Fridrik.
And if it’s not Hatari, you will see me writing a strongly worded complaint letter to RUV.