Svala Björgvinsdóttir wiwi jury
Svala Björgvinsdóttir wiwi jury

Over the past few weeks, the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has been rating all of the songs participating in Söngvakeppnin 2017, which begins tomorrow. Some jurors were seriously wowed by Iceland’s offering, while others were less than impressed. Things got heated, and many disagreements were had. It was intense.

In the end, a clear favourite arose from the ashes of our shattered friendships. She is Svala Björgvinsdóttir and she is ready to get Iceland back to the final of Eurovision.

You can read snippets of our reviews below. If you want to read the Wiwi Jury’s full reviews, just click on the song’s title. There is so much shade.

Wiwi Jury: Our Top 12 for Iceland

1. SVALA BJÖRGVINSDÓTTIR – “PAPER” – (7.89/10)

The good: “I am prepared to buy myself a hat and eat it if Svala doesn’t represent us in Kyiv. “Paper” is THE song to beat this year. Strong, catchy and modern without being cliché, it’s fab and Svala herself is the epitome of cool.” (Kristin, 9/10)

The bad: “This sheet of paper has got the vocals going on, but it is filled with blanks and doesn’t meet my expectations. It is quite forgettable and doesn’t have the right elements to make it a worthy Icelandic entry.” (Matt, 4/10)

2. ERNA MIST PÉTURSDÓTTIR – “I’LL BE GONE” – (6.67/10)

The good: ““I’ll Be Gone” is a gorgeously delicate ballad, and Erna’s voice is both pure and powerful. The momentous key change stops it from becoming boring, and I think this would go down well in Kyiv.” (Jason, 8.5/10)

The bad: “I appreciate a slow build-up, but this is so slow that Erna risks losing all of her listeners in the process. This is somewhat derivative and predictable.” (William, 5/10)

3. ARON HANNES – “TONIGHT” – (6.47/10)

The good: “I am loving how “Tonight” diversifies the Icelandic national selection. And, I have to admit, it’s not just a pop song…it’s a pop song of a great quality! Bow down to Aron for bringing modern tunes to Söngvakeppnin.” (Dayana, 7.5/10)

The bad: “Modern pop that isn’t well seasoned or particularly well thought-out lacks drive and excitement. Aron Hannes could be anybody, and that’s part of the problem. In an industry where there is a limitless headcount, “anybody” often translates as “nobody”.” (Deban, 5/10)

4. JÚLÍ HEIÐAR HALLDÓRSSON & ÞÓRDÍS BIRNA BORGARSDÓTTIR – “GET BACK HOME” – (6.39/10)*

The good: “The lyrics are full of your standard love song clichés, but Þórdís and Júlí make it convincing. There’s a story here and I really look forward to see how they bring it to life on stage.” (Forrest, 7/10)

The bad:  “Get Back Home” is not one of my favourites in Iceland’s selection this year. For me, although pleasant, I find it totally dull. Right now, it needs something to elevate it.” (Jason, 5/10)

5. RÚNAR EFF – “MAKE YOUR WAY BACK HOME” – (6.39/10)

The good: “What a sexy voice! I also like the mystical atmosphere and it’s even stronger in the Icelandic version. The last thirty seconds are very important for the song, as they really elevate it.” (Sami, 8/10)

The bad “I don’t mind this dreamy rock style of music when it’s done well (for example, Coldplay), but “Make Your Way Back Home” bores me. I need music to have a hook to grab my attention and unfortunately this falls short.” (Josh, 5/10)

6. LINDA HARTMANNS – “OBVIOUS LOVE” – (6.31/10)

The good: “This is such a nice song to listen to and Linda’s voice gives it just the right amount of feeling, without overdoing it. For a ballad maniac like myself, this ticks all the boxes. Beautiful, just beautiful.” (Kristin, 8/10)

The bad: “Linda does just enough to get me to around 90 seconds in and then I’m ready to check out. The final chorus finally changes things up, but by then it’s practically just damage limitation.” (Chris, 4.5/10)

7. HILDUR – “BAMMBARAMM” – (6.03/10)

The good: “It has a slow build, but the first chorus brings that EDM beat through and I really like it. Hildur has a uniquely charming voice that suits that electronic Scandinavian sound so well. One of my favourites this year.” (Josh, 7/10)

The bad: “There’s only so much “Bammbaramm” that I can hear before I want that heartbeat to end. There’s repetition in a song and then there’s overkill. This falls definitely in to the latter category.” (Chris, 4.5/10)

8. ARON BRINK – “HYPNOTISED” – (5.97/10)

The good: “The moment I heard that bell sequence I started dancing unconsciously. It is pure joy. I like Aron’s voice, it is so sweet. Give me a coconut and I will go dancing on the beach!” (Mikhail, 9/10)

The bad: ““Hypnotised” is a bit like those people who take selfies in front of a poster of a Caribbean beach and pretend they are on vacation. It’s “Love love peace peace” meets “Haba haba”. That means cheap, cliché and even laughable.” (Luis, 3/10)

9. ARNAR JÓNSSON AND RAKEL PÁLSDÓTTIR – “AGAIN” – (5.86/10)

The good: “This song was made for a big arena. I see this song creating a mood, both in the national selection and Eurovision — and we all know what happens when a song creates a mood — hello Jamala.” (Bernardo, 7.5/10)

The bad: ““Again” is very very simple and my main concern is that it is forgettable. It is nice, but nice is not enough to make thousands of people vote.” (Patrick, 3/10)

10. SÓLVEIG ÁSGEIRSDÓTTIR – “TRUST IN ME” – (5.25/10)

The good: “Solveig has come up with a stunner of a song. With this mid-tempo number she has won me over and I am putting my trust in her to win the Icelandic ticket to Kyiv. I was mesmerised from the word go!” (Matt, 9.5/10)

The bad: ““Trust in Me” is so sweet and cheerful, but it ends up feeling quite unsubstantial. It’s not a bad song, but it’s just not especially enjoyable to listen to.” (Robyn, 4/10)

11. PÁLL RÓSINKRANZ & KRISTINA BÆRENDSEN – “YOU AND I” – (4.11/10)

The good: ““You And I” brings some true American country melancholy to Iceland. I did not expect to enjoy this, but I really did.  This is definitely my favourite duet of Söngvakeppnin 2017.” (Jason, 8/10)

The bad: “Gosh, what a snoozefest. It’s like a romantic comedy for turtles. Seriously, have they even thought what they are singing? Do they really want to present the world with such a dull, boring, plain, old-fashioned song?” (Luis, 0/10)

12. DAÐI FREYR PÉTURSSON – “IS THIS LOVE?” –  (3.17/10)

The good: “This just isn’t working. Daði has light folky vocals, an odd mix with the intense house beats of the song. The song is very repetitive and soon becomes boring to listen to.” (Robyn, 3/10)

The bad: “While some of the electronic beats of “Is This Love?” are quite infectious, they drown out the vocals. This is not a match between singer and song — the song overpowers him and his vocals sound like a last minute addition.” (Antranig, 1/10)

Do you agree with the Wiwi Jury? Which act would you like to see win Söngvakeppnin 2017? Sound off below!

READ MORE ICELAND EUROVISION NEWS

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Voxtaylor
Guest

Wow, uh… I don’t think I’ve ever disagreed with the Wiwi jury more than I do here. I’m aghast. O.o

Paper is one of the worst ones, and all my favorites are towards the bottom…

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest

Svala’s song is good, but my favorite is Arnar and Rakel. They will probably not even make the final though. 🙁

mocosuburbian
Guest

have to agree with the people below me
iceland really is the latvia of the nordics with all this experimentation

OCheng
Guest

100% agree, Paper is the best! Love it!

Colin
Guest

@Ruskiy.paren’ – ”Most of the songs are the kind of music that one would include in his/her playlist and listen to regularly. These are not songs that have been composed with cliches and formulas in mind. They are not constructed specially fro ESC. ”

I wholeheartedly agree. Songvakeppnin, Eesti Laul and UMK clearly don’t use only songs ‘designed’ for Eurovision and that’s why it works. Icelandic line-up is great. Svala is indeed amazing, although my favorite is Aron Brink.

Rich
Guest

There is only one winner here…….and that is SVALA with “Paper” one of my most played songs on my playlist. The Kylie like vocals of Iceland. I love It!!!

Svala for the win!

Purple Mask
Guest

Song 12. “The good: This just isn’t working…”
Hmmm. Signs of a cut-and-paste article before proof-reading?
It’s still hilarious though. 😀 And I actually agree with Robyn’s opinion there.
Overall, I don’t think Iceland will qualify this year, not even with recycled “paper.” Sorry Iceland. 🙁

Ari
Guest

“The good: This just isn’t working.”

How fun when the fact the” it just isn’t working” is the most positive thing that can be said about an entry… I don’t disagree, but how is this good, exactly? Is it because it is the least harsh comment to be found and that makes it good? 😛

Russkiy.paren'
Guest
Most of the songs are the kind of music that one would include in his/her playlist and listen to regularly. These are not songs that have been composed with cliches and formulas in mind. They are not constructed specially fro ESC. And that’s why I like them. Totally agree with @Leaf. I hate Swedish pop-music factory either. But look at Loreen’s song. What a peace of art! This year is not as bad, as some people think. Stereotypes are being broken. Who would’ve expected a folk song in Belorussian language from Belarus? And a jazz/soul singer from Armenia? Italy is… Read more »
Zolipop
Guest

I just noticed; what is that ‘*’ next to ‘Get Back Home’s points?

Leaf
Guest

Gosh

Iceland is truly becoming the more soulful and less generic Sweden of Eurovison.

I am in love with their selection this year, there are like 3 songs out of 12 they should avoid.
The rest is brilliant and diverse.

Take me to Reykjavik NOW.

Zolipop
Guest

I like Paper, but Bammbaramm is my favorite 🙂