Oh Iceland, what are we going to do with you? Easily the country I most with would win the contest – but a lot of the time they refuse to sell out, and Icelandic entries are typically eccentric, or simply too amazing to be appreciated by the whole of Europe (poor Euroband).
Not to say they haven’t come close – in 1999 and 2009 they finished in 2nd place, and with the current pro-Nordic trend of wins (hell, even Finland won) I have to hope it’s only a matter of time before this remote island nation welcomes Eurovision to its shores. And it would be amazing too, Iceland is one of my favourite places in Europe.
Last year I didn’t expect qualification, but old Eyþór still pulled it off, with an adorably Icelandic song celebrating life. A mid-table finish was the result, as it becoming increasingly common for Iceland, but they seem a decent bet to qualify. Two-thirds of the 9 entries that needed qualification made it to the final, with all of the last six entries making it through.
Enter Pollapönk – voted in via Iceland’s national final Söngvakeppnin, it’s a colourful and fun song about respecting others, no matter what their race, gender, size, orientation etc. Sure, it’s a bit of a blunt instrument, and this might come at the cost of some of the more conservative Eastern Europeans (e.g. the ones who suggested Austria’s Conchita is turning ESC into a hotbed of sodomy). But it’s of course a great message to share with Europe, and done without any feeling that it’s simply trading on the message.
As if Iceland would do that, God love them! Supported by a indie-pop sound, not unlike Franz Ferdinand, the song is fronted by a cheery band of Nordic bears spread their message with the air of colourful track suits and disco interludes. I quite like the directness about it – having fun with it, but still ultimately saying “This is a dumb problem, just sort it out”. Good stuff, and fingers crossed for an easy qualification this year, despite a tricky draw in Semi 1.
Good luck boys!
For reviews of ALL the competing entries in the 2014 contest, as well as coverage of all the national finals and all sorts of other news, please visit my Copenhagen 2014 Hub by clicking the link, or the “Copenhagen 2014” menu on the top banner, or the “#Joinus” crystal on the left-hand bar.