The Nordic nation has failed to make the grand final of Eurovision for three years running. But there’s still plenty of love for Iceland, the little country that many Eurofans are longing to see win the contest.
So back in August we asked our readers to vote for their favourite of Iceland’s three non-qualifiers since 2015 — Maria Olafs, Greta Salóme and Svala. The results are in and verified. After counting 2,102 votes, we can reveal that Greta has won the day with her song “Hear Them Calling”.
Iceland’s best non-qualifier since 2015
Greta, who made the Eurovision final with Jonsi in 2012, forged her comeback with “Hear Them Calling” — a solid pop song that built on Nordic melancholia.
Before the national final in Iceland even finished Greta emerged as a fan favourite and hopes were high she could top her earlier result. Amongst our own Wiwi Jury, Greta placed fourth. As one juror wrote:
“Rooted in Icelandic folk, ‘Hear Them Calling’ is less pop music and more three-minute art piece. The clever lyrics set up an ambiguity that never resolves: The voices call, whisper and howl, but we don’t know if they are a source of comfort or torment, and at times their pledge to come home sounds like a threat. The music builds on that tension, with the thumping timpani — reminiscent of a heartbeat — and metallic clangs creating a sense of urgency and drive. Despite tapping into something tribal and ancient, the song swells with modern instrumentation and production. It’s mystical, other-worldly and gripping.”
But performances don’t always translate from national final stage to Eurovision stage, and broader European tastes frequently differ from the fandom’s. Iceland ended up in 14th place in the first semi final with only 51 points.
As soon as the contest came to an end, Iceland’s many fans searched for reasons — “stolen” graphics, a dark stage, even the outfit (which was eventually auctioned on eBay).
Others swallowed their pride and accepted that Iceland just didn’t have a winning formula.
What do you make of the results and who did you vote for? Who would have done the best in the grand final if she had made it? Let us know in the comments box below.