Halló! The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has landed in Reykjavík. We are ready to go for a soak in the Blue Lagoon, but first we just have to listen to “Paper” — Iceland’s Eurovision 2017 song from Svala. Is it as good as it sounds on paper or is it destined for the recycling bin?

Svala – “Paper”

About Svala

Forty-year-old Svala Björgvinsdóttir is a successful singer and songwriter, who has won fans at home and in the United States, where, along with her band Steed Lord, she’s had music featured on shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Svala won Iceland’s national final Söngvakeppnin 2017 in a landslide. “Paper” was the unanimous favourite with both the show’s jury and the Icelandic public.

“Paper” reviews

Steinunn: By far the best entry Iceland has sent in years, “Paper” lives up to the hype that has surrounded it at home for months. Svala is a solid performer with the experience — and the artistic leanings — to make this work on the big stage in Kyiv. Even though her performance at Söngvakeppnin lacked a bit of oomph, I truly believe that Svala will blow us all away in a grander setting. Iceland is back in the grand final, people.

Score: 8.5/10

Deban: Iceland’s “Paper” cuts right through me stirring a wave of emotions in its wake. Svala’s powerful delivery glides through the Nordic beats, making this one of Iceland’s finest offerings to date. This “Paper” has weight, and should cut through to the final with ease.

Score: 7/10

*Buy the Svala Eurovision phone case

*Buy the Svala Eurovision t-shirt

Robyn: After a couple of not-quite-right entries, Iceland is back on track and all going well, Svala will get her country back in the grand final. But what fills me with unease is the staging. The Söngvakeppnin show — with Svala dressed like an ’80s businesswoman, lurking in the dark and mostly ignoring the cameras — is not good enough for Eurovision and will hurt the song. In a year full of good quality electropop, Iceland needs to make more of an effort with the staging. Until that happens, I cannot give this a higher score.

Score: 7/10

Bogdan: The first name that comes to mind is Robyn, the Swedish superstar. Not only does Svala have a similar voice, but the song is reminiscent of Robyn, circa 2010 — which makes “Paper” just a bit dated. However, the fact that Svala sounds almost better live than on the studio version is its saving grace. The Icelandic version would have been a better choice though. At least then most of us didn’t understand the clumsy paper metaphor in the lyrics.

Score: 8.5/10

Chris: Anyone willing to film their video in a fish factory gets props. “Paper” may play on the arts-and-crafts theme a little too much in its lyrics, but it’s not really that detrimental. Even if it is, Svala makes it all work. She’s the star here and everything about the song and performance makes that clear. Iceland is back in the game with this one.

Score: 8.5/10

William: If Björk had a daughter with Jay Z and invited Gwen Stefani over to dress her, the tot might grow into Svala. She’s at once other-worldly and electro with the faintest hint of hip-hop in her soulful vocals (and her decidedly urban styling). She’s great. But the live performance was bland and monotonous. Like paper, the song is flat and one-dimensional. But thankfully it can also be folded and recast, giving me hope this stunning ice queen will salvage it by the time Kyiv rolls around.

Score: 4.5/10

Edd: Svala is beautiful, as is her voice, and “Paper” is not a bad song. For me the production is a bit too monotonous, and the song fails to progress. I adore it when the 80s synths kick in, but why not add some more elements throughout the song to give it more personality and make it a bit less heavy. The performance is going to have to be very retro and very colourful if this is going to stand out.

Score: 7/10

Kristin: Way to go, Iceland! This is by far the best Icelandic entry in years. Svala is both appealing and edgy, combining the fire and ice elements like never before. “Paper” is a song that would definitely make it worldwide, given the chance. And the girl knows her stuff. She will bring Iceland to the finals again, and regardless of results from there on, Svala is a major force to be reckoned with.

Score: 9/10

In our Wiwi Jury, we have 38 jurors but only room for eight reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Anastas: 5/10

Andy: 9/10

Angus: 4.5/10

Anthony: 8/10

Antony: 6/10

Antranig: 9/10

Bernardo: 6.5/10

Dayana: 7.5/10

Erdi: 4/10

Forrest: 5/10

George: 5.5/10

Jacob: 3/10

Jason: 10/10

Jordi: 7.5/10

Josh: 5/10

Jovana: 7/10

Luis: 8.5/10

Marek: 7.5/10

Matt: 7/10

Mikhail: 3.5/10

Natalie: 4.5/10

Padraig: 5/10

Patrick: 8/10

Renske: 6/10

Rezo: 5/10

Sami: 9/10

Sinan: 6/10

Stanislav: 8.5/10

Tobias: 3/10

Zakaria: 7.5/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 3 and a high of 10.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 6.63/10

What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!

See our current Eurovision 2017 reviews and rankings

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Digital Style
Guest
Digital Style

This is actually one of my favourites this year. I love how the song is minimalistic yet beautiful – there’s nothing particularly extreme or shocking about the song, yet it still digs really deep. Her live performance at the NF was really well executed, and unlike a certain Polish singer, she didn’t feel the need to be overdramatic or bend the song beyond what it needed to be.

CharlieChan
Guest
CharlieChan

Same with line, this song goes nowhere. Svala needs to improve here live perfonmance. Her song has power (not much but) and Svala has to use it on stage! All I could see was her doing strange moves in a executive suit for 3 minutes! I’m sorry, but the reason way Dady almost won was beacause he had energy on stage, wich Svala lacked of.
7/10

Tom V
Guest
Tom V

Haters gonna’ hate.. but I LOVE Svala and Paper <3 My #2 this year, I really love it. The reaction to this song worries me slightly.. I think a lot of people like it, a lot of people loathe it. I'm scared that Paper could end up with a similar result to Agnete's Icebreaker last year as it's proving so decisive, but we'll see.
I'll be rockin' the Icelandic flag at Semi 1 in support of Iceland, and Svala who is amazing and so lovely and generous to her fans 🙂

Grete Paia
Guest
Grete Paia

NOONE wants to see your stupid top 42s. Put it on social media and spam your friends until both of them tell you to shut up

Grete Paia
Guest
Grete Paia

JUSTICE for Maria Olafsdottir

Wyatt
Guest
Wyatt

I think this is one of the most overrated entries this year. I’m quite surprised that so many people love it while bashing the likes of Malta and Czech Republic, but to each his own, I suppose.

Pablo
Guest
Pablo

I’m kinda worried about this entry. It’s by no means a bad entry, one of the better efforts of Iceland in recent years. Svala is the epitome of cool, and the song is layered and a great piece of ice-cold Scandipop, full of artistry and creativity. Issue is, this would be an easy qualifier and top 10 in any other year, but this year? In the semi it is? It’s gonna be a challenge. I’m hopeful for the objective quality is there, but if it doesn’t step up, it’s going to be overshadowed by other entries with more memorable presence… Read more »

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Almost forgot: Svala is #8 on my card for the first semi; #20 overall.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Very problematic for Svala to qualify. Greta was my #5 before last year’s Eurovision, and she was sent packing that same Tuesday night. After my first evaluation of the entries, Svala sits at #20 on my card.

Mario C
Guest
Mario C

It’s a good song but I think this will struggle to qualify in this competitive semi final.
Mario’s Eurovision 2017
https://eurovision2017blog.wordpress.com/

irada
Guest
irada

Song is ok but performance is boring. I think Iceland won`t qualify to grand final.

Lukewarm
Guest
Lukewarm

Song is decent for the most part. Unfortunately Svala is less so. 5.5/10 (20/43)

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

Giving credits to Svala’s voice as I did before, I still would prefer ‘Is This Love?’ in any version, no matter what results, reactions and predictions would be. And while this song is going, I’m getting bored, especially when nothing changes in last minute. The video, style and arrangement of the song are on point, though.
Prediction: rather not qualifying in that semi, and I believe, my favourite song would make it even without gimmick dances.

Mar
Guest
Mar

This is just a rehash of the Greta Salome recipe for failure. It’s not a bad song by any means, but it won’t qualify.

Lolek
Guest
Lolek

I actually quite like it! My only concern is that it might get lost among all the other pop/catchy tunes as well as those unique genres and not make it to the final. Defs not a bad song imo.

Alex
Guest
Alex

I think this is among the least interesting songs this year, sorry. I agree with the commenter who said it starts interesting but falls off after the first verse. The use of paper as a metaphor is not as profound as the songwriters want it to be, and that chorus is pretty generic musically.

Kristin Kristjans
Editor

Correction: The video was not shot in an abandoned fish factory, it was actually shot in a full functioning coffee factory. Information that unfortunately got lost when the post was written 🙂 We apologize.

aurora
Guest
aurora

Many said that Iceland had a strong national final, all the songs are great, blah blah blah, but look now, it does not matter how strong the national final is, now Iceland has even worse song than Moldova that had the most disastrous national final. Give me a break about how good the national final is, the purpose is to have one single right song.

Eve
Guest
Eve

Don’t like this at all, I think it will not qualify..

Ed Jones
Guest
Ed Jones

I usually love Iceland’s entries, but the appeal of this one I do not understand. it just sounds so bland to me…. personally, I really wanted to see Daði win

Griffin
Guest
Griffin

It will not qualify, mark my words

Pant7
Guest
Pant7

I don’t like this song at all. In mi opinion, is not going to the final…

DaNiel
Guest
DaNiel

1) UK (14th)
2) Germany (15th)
3) Iceland (20th) <— I like it. It's a little generic, but I like it's message about anxiety. Still wish 'Is This Love?' won though.
4) Latvia (24th)
5) Netherlands (27th)
6) Denmark (29th)
7) Israel (31st)
8) Montenegro (41st)

mad-professor
Guest
mad-professor

Hate this song

Darren
Guest
Darren

Well after the heartbreak that was their non-qualification last year with a good song, Iceland have returned!! I really love this from Iceland. I love the 80s style synth beats and her voice is a amazing! She reminds me of something from Robyn!
Iceland need to qualify with this, because if they don’t, they never will again! Such a great tune! Looking forward to seeing this being staged in Kyiv. 7/10 and currently number 4 in my top 10. I wouldn’t mind Reykjavik 2018 people, just saying.

(#Is It True?)
Guest
(#Is It True?)

I actually like Iceland’s song. Very catchy pop tune. Its nearly in my top10.But i seriously doubt if Iceland will manage to qualify to the Final though. IF Greta didn’t manage to qualify last year then Svala will face hard time of qualifying too. My Score on Iceland’s song – 7,5/10 5) ISR [8] – 6) LAT [8] – 9) UK [7,5] 12) * ICE * [7,5] – 16) DEN [7] 19) NETH [7] – 28) MON [6] – 33) GER [5,5] ——— 5) Isr [8] – 6) Lat [8] – 9) Uk [7,5] 12) * ICE* [7,5] – 16)… Read more »

Slaytina
Guest
Slaytina

It has an AMAZING first minute but after that ‘rapesque’ everything starts to fall. Paper is such a noisy word to repeat insanely time after time. She acts like a weirdo even emulating a robot (WTF!). I think it will be one of those not too bad song with a non brilliant performance and sadly will not qualify.

Colin
Guest
Colin

@Robyn – Thanks for clarifying.

@Kris – Thanks for enjoying my ratings. I will put the songs in order after the number. For example – 7-DEN, NET, ICE, means I like Denmark a bit more than Netherlands and so on. 🙂

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Actually, here’s a solution. If anyone wants to post a long top 43 list, you can do it over on the jury overview page. That’s where the Wiwi Jury’s top 43 will be as well!

http://wiwibloggs.com/2017/04/03/eurovision-2017-reviews-and-rankings-by-the-wiwi-jury/184871/

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Just to clarify: long comments are totally ok. No problem there. It’s just long lists we want to avoid. 🙂

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

i aint taking that sorry hurry: “You are so rude and harsh! Stop attacking people for what they wrote! That was so unrational saying him/her to do it on Tumblr. You don’t own this website as you don’t own him freedom of forming a view.” Hello there! Perhaps you’re new to wiwibloggs. My name is Robyn and I’m an editor here. What I am trying to avoid is what we saw last year when people start posting their “top 43” lists and the comments end up choked with long lists of country names. But there are others ways of presenting… Read more »

fikri
Guest
fikri

i kinda wish the final chorus has some more bang because i was bored by the song 2-minutes in. it’s a good song tho. hope it qualifies.

Kris
Guest
Kris

There will be no Mess…….don’t ruin wiwibloggs for me…… 🙁

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Terrible song. Iceland have failed to qualify with much better. This was the wrong choice in their national final. There is nothing original about this and so many other countries are bringing a better version of this same song!
Flat as a pancake, lifeless, DOA….moving on….

Kris
Guest
Kris

No that is no good Colin!!
I can’t tell which of the 7’s you like more. 😐

-
Guest
-

OR (maybe) anyone should post his top list like this:

5th) Israel 8 – 6th) Latvia 8 – 9th) UK 7,5
12th) Iceland 7,5 – 16th) Denmark 7 – 19th) Netherlands 7
28th) Montenegro 6 – 33th) Germany 5,5

Well Robyn has a right though. If all of us started posting too long texts
due to our top42 rankings, then there would be a mess here.

Kris
Guest
Kris

But I like reading Purple’s over the top comments and Colin’s ratings!! 🙁

What’d be the difference with Wiwibloggs and other Eurovision sites if people can’t comment freely??

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Colin: That shorter list that you suggested would work really well – good idea! 😀 We’re just trying to avoid having a really long, thin list of text.

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

Personally, I like the song. It’s not one of my favorites, but it’s good.
However, I’ve had a bad feeling ever since it won the Icelandic NF – I feel like this is not going to the final. In fact, I’d be surprised if it did.

(Testing)
Guest
(Testing)

( Testing so to see if my comment will get posted directly.
Whenever i post from this http address i face this issue of the pre-moderation.
If this comment will gonna get posted then please remove it. )

M_K
Guest
M_K

Personal rating:

I generally like this entry, even if it’s a little too obviously “designed to be remarkable”. I also find the central “paper” simile in the lyrics a little silly.

6.5/10

Prediction:

I really want Iceland back in the final, but I fear that “Paper” is not going to do the trick, especially if the stage show is similar to the Icelandic national final.

What I expect: Bottom 5 in the semi final (sorry).

Timselvision
Guest
Timselvision

TBH, I love Iceland (they were my winner last year!) and if they had a tough time last year I think it’s gonna be VERY hard for Iceland to qualify for the final this year, especially in *that* semi. I wish them luck but I can’t see it qualifying. I think “Is this Love?” from their NF would’ve stand out way more (and personally I prefered it to Svala).

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Back in the grand final? I think this song *definitely* will not qualify because it’s way too bland, and it got the most appalling performance I’ve ever seen at the Icelandic national final. “Flat and one-dimensional” are the perfect adjectives for this: it does not stand out in any positive way.

Mei International
Guest
Mei International

How you ranked this below Triana Park’s garbage is a legit mystery and disservice to Svala

escESCesc
Guest
escESCesc

out of subject, just to say to wiwibloggs OGAE luxembourg and OGAE slovenia have already voted for the ogae poll 2017, interesting results ???? greetings

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Robyn: Is it because of a technical issue with the blog (e.g. that it can’t accept a large amount of line breaks)? Because Colin does have a point – my reviews tend to be quite long; sometimes longer than lists are. It would perhaps be more prudent to issue a specific limit in number of characters, if limits are being applied for technical reasons. Thanks, and happy moderating. 🙂

Shona
Guest
Shona

Meh. Bring back Aaron brink.

i aint taking that sorry hurry
Guest
i aint taking that sorry hurry

@Robyn Gallagher O M G I mean OH EM GHEE. You are so rude and harsh! Stop attacking people for what they wrote! That was so unrational saying him/her to do it on Tumblr. You don’t own this website as you don’t own him freedom of forming a view. There is nothing wrong or disturbing with that comment. Everybody can make their own lists and share it on wiwibloggs. Or excuse me, is there something i miss? Was there a rule saying ‘ nobody can share their top 43s’ or what? Colin go on making your lists i am being… Read more »

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest
(J)ESC Fanatic

This is very good, but I don’t think it will stand out. I’m afraid Iceland will stay in the Semi-Final once again. 🙁

7.5/10

Colin
Guest
Colin

@Robyn

Would it be better if I put it like this?

9 – UK
8 – LAT
7 – DEN, NET, ICE
5 – ISR
4 – GER
2 – MON