Second Runner-Up: Iceland’s Maria Olafs

Earlier this week the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — headed to Iceland where we prayed Eyjafjallajökull would not erupt while we stripped in the Blue Lagoon. After we had indulged in a bit of skin therapy, we gathered round some smoked fish to review Maria Ólafs’ Eurovision 2015 song “Unbroken”. Is her song still intact after our review? Or does she need to break it up and rebuild? Read on to find out…

Iceland’s Eurovision 2015 song

Reviews: Maria Ólafs with “Unbroken”

Robyn: I wasn’t a fan of this song in the Icelandic national final, but it’s really grown on me. It has a really good contemporary pop sound with a great escalating melody and an especially strong chorus. But I’m really hoping that María ditches the low-budget Emmelie de Forest look and goes for something a bit hipper. There’s nothing about the song that requires it to be sung by someone looking like they’ve just got out of bed.

Score: 7/10

Iceland, Maria Olafs, 3

Padraig: When Frozen’s “Let It Go” was first released, no one ever predicted that it would become such a global hit. “Unbroken” shares a lot of characteristics with the Disney song, and there’s every chance that it could become a phenomenon in its own right. Likeable, catchy, memorable – this has all the ingredients for a top ten finish, and deserves to give Iceland its best result since 2009.

Score: 8.5/10

Angus: Out of the darkness and into the light, Iceland means business and in Maria they have struck gold. ‘Unbroken’ is a flawless ballad, ably blending shimmering harps, hypnotising percussion and Maria’s stunning vocal into the strongest ballad of 2015. There’s no way Iceland are finishing anywhere other than the Top 2 of the Grand Final.

Score: 9.5/10

Max: Firstly can I just say that this girl deserves to be ENTM. She is gorgeous and has the total look of a star. Now, as for the song, it brings back memories of Yohanna in 2009. It’s a sweet little number with a lovely instrumental and her voice just blends with it so well. The meaning of the song, like many others, is about love, but its in such a refreshing way. Plus Hera Bjork will be backing so that’s a big plus in my book! If this girl can pull it off on the night then she could be bringing some serious publicity to Iceland that doesn’t include an erupting volcano.

Score: 9/10

Bogdan: I seriously don’t get the hype. “Unbroken” sounds to me like a forgotten Taylor Swift filler from five years ago. (No shade: I love me some TayTay!). Contrary to Taylor Swift, however, Maria lacks the vocals and the stage presence. Gurl, you are pretty, but why walk around barefoot when you are already short, unless you want to look like a toddler without a tiara? (By the way, ditch that cutesy princess dress, too). Anyhow, as far as the song goes, y’all can write me off as broken, because I am never, ever, ever going back to 2010. Like, ever.

Score: 3/10

Iceland, Maria Olafs, 2

Patrick: Iceland is back with a stunning song and I’m really happy about that! Maria was the best in the NF and it’s nearly a miracle that she won. She is really young and looks so innocent but that strong voice is so unbelieveable, the little fairy from cold Iceland with the big voice! I listen to the song often enough to be able to say that she really needs to qualify and do well in the final itself! Goo Iceland – woop woop!!!

Score: 8.5/10

William: When she says “I’m letting go” I want to hold on forever! Sweet, endearing and empowering, the song is easily one of my favourites. The video gives this a sanitized feeling which I don’t like, but thankfully it comes to life live. Note to Maria: You look a tad unwashed in the video. You need to play to your strengths as a fresh Cover Girl and ditch the nightgown for Vienna.

Score: 8/10

Chris: This is the dark horse of the year. Maria is a hugely engaging performer and she has an incredibly accessible song. Ditching the dancers was definitely the right decision, as was the switch to English (which I initially hated). With the team she has behind her in Vienna, this could be spectacular.

Score: 9/10

Mike: This is Eurovision at its best: a lovely girl with an innocent look singing lyrics appropriate for any number of situations. Everyone can relate to the idea of taking ”one step at a time”. Whether it’s about love, conflict or something else, life is about making decisions and putting one foot in front of the other. This is also the first time in many years where I prefer the English version over the Icelandic one. One of my personal favorites this year.

Score: 10/10

Deban: Maria’s pipes work a treat on this radio-crafted pop number. “Unbroken” is one of 2015’s stronger entries. It has power, range and a universal message. Maria remains endearing, likeable and professional. Maria: Sack your stylist in time and you could land in the Top 5. Easily!

Score: 8/10

Twenty-nine jurors review each song, but we only have space for ten written reviews. The remaining 19 scores are listed below.

Anthony: 8.5/10

Denise: 8.5/10

Francheska: 4.5/10

Josh: 8/10

Judit: 4/10

Kristín: 9/10

Liam: 9/10

Luis: 8/10

Marek: 9/10

Mario: 7/10

Mikhail: 8.5/10

Ramadan: 10/10

Renske: 6.5/10

Rezo: 9.5/10

Sami: 9/10

Sinan: 7/10

Sopon: 9/10

William C: 7.5/10

Zach: 8.5/10

To reduce potential bias, the lowest and highest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average. We have removed a low of 3 and a high of 10.

WIWI JURY AVERAGE: 8.09/10

SEE OUR CURRENT EUROVISION 2015 REVIEWS AND RANKINGS

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Denise
Guest
Denise

I don„t even see this song in the final and it gets 8.15…That`s wrong..This is bullshit guys…a very stupid song!

Leon
Guest
Leon

Apart from the distracting irrelevant dancers, this is a winner. Simple lyrics that project hope and a vocally demanding song that is well delivered. 9/10.

MoMo
Guest
MoMo

I can’t believe it’s been a year already! This is my first review so here we go.
I agree with Bogdan; it does sound like old Taylor Swift or the formulaic soundtrack of a teen RomCom/ coming-of-age story. However I’ll be very surprised if this doesn’t make top 10; bad styling or not

Chris
Guest

Iceland
How very dare you?
My love for you has been continued over the years but now this?
How very dare you

TeleRoger
Guest
TeleRoger

Well done Maria
Well done Iceland
My attention was Unbroken from start to finish
If this doesn’t make the final it will be very sad and feel the left hand side of scare board will have Iceland on it

Francisco
Guest
Francisco

I agree with previous commentators, she has a beautiful voice, but the song in itself is too cutesy and the lyrics are run-of-the-mill-Disney-channel nonsense.

ESC 4ever
Guest
ESC 4ever

One of my favorites!! Some people says its overrated and annoying?! I give Iceland a 9/10! Its a great choice from Iceland !! Go Maria!!

Graph
Guest

I’ll give it 8/10. It is a very cute, charming, and fun song that, one hand, has the “let it go and break through” theme dominating Eurovision this year, but on the other hand, is lively and up-tempo which will make it stand out. I’m not sure if this entry can win, only because it might be too girly for some people. But that innocent, youthful vibe is part of what gives the song it’s character. If they tried to go for a more edgy presentation, that would be disastrous because the music would clash with it. Also, I’m not… Read more »

Anaconda
Guest
Anaconda

I am totally with Bogdan on this one. Cutesy song, sooo nothing special, doubt it clears the semi.

CCC
Guest
CCC

Big dislike for me. I’m onboard with Bogdan, this song sounds cheap and childish.

Mar
Guest
Mar

I was never really sold on this song when it won it’s NF, and now I’m liking it less and less every day. It’s way too Disney Channel for me, in the NF she looked like a Tinkerbell cosplayer, in the video she looks about ready to fly to Neverland with Peter Pan, she’s 22 (I think?) for God’s sake. I feel like I’ve heard this melody a million times before, and it’s extremely repetitive. Probably nobody will get this refrence, but “Unbroken” reminds me of the theme song of some teenage novela, and that’s not exactly a good thing.… Read more »

Amerivision
Guest
Amerivision

I don’t think it’ll win but at least a top 10 finish. It’s a sweet song and find Maria’s voice adorable.

Antranig Shokayan
Editor

Cheap Emmelie de Forest is a great description. This song is way too repetitive and extremely average. It’s not bad at all, but it is the definition of average.

Maya G
Guest
Maya G

This is really bland, and in Eurovision I’d rather have horrible than bland.
Too bad Iceland, I usually love your songs.

Easpag
Guest
Easpag

Nicky, please stop obsessing over Malta’s mess of a song. It’s really quite boring seeing you go on and on about it every time you post.

Also, judging a song based on looks? How very shallow.

Nicky1991
Guest
Nicky1991

Iceland is just so lame and annoying

Nicky1991
Guest
Nicky1991

and no competition for Malta.

Nicky1991
Guest
Nicky1991

really my points:

1/10 for looks, she’s disgusting

3/10 for singing, lacks good vocals

1/10 for Original, sort of let it go remake.

don’t vote for her people.

Iceland Zero Points

Nicky1991
Guest
Nicky1991

really 2/10 for me overrated

Christoph
Guest
Christoph

oooo, No , this song is OVERRATED! Sorry!

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

I am certainly not with the jury on this one but based on the other comments, it seems quite a few people like it.

My take:
I have this ranked as the worst song in this year’s Eurovision. It is horrendous and sounds like something that you would hear on the Disney Channel. The song is obnoxious and the vocal is very weak. It should not get out of the semi-final.
0.5/10

WorkB
Guest
WorkB

nice and ok but nothing special
2,5/10

WTF
Guest
WTF

8.15 but Romania doesn’t even get a 7? Are you fucking kidding me?

mark lebron
Guest
mark lebron

This song is so overrated. I can’t stand her voice, the song’s predictability and how annoying she looks performing it. 4/10

Maltish
Guest
Maltish

I like this song, I really do. It’s one of the eleven songs in my Eurovision 2015 playlist but an 8.15/10 really WIWI. It’s a 7/10 at best, too middle of the road. It’s only being hyped since the singer is a cutie same as emmelie de forest though in a sense Maria is much cuter and therefore the effect is stronger or at least strong enough to bring this song up from a 15th place finishing to maybe hitting 9th place.

2015
Guest
2015

I just don’t get it… Much better songs got lower scores. Iceland is ok this year, but it’s in the middle of the road. That’s not enough for something significant. She will probably qualify, but I cannot see this song even close to top 10.

Yaz
Guest
Yaz

8.15? Wow, a very good average score. Only 2 jury members giving less than 5 points. I’m positively surprised. My #1 this year. It has to be in the top 10 für sure.

John
Guest
John

Thank god the juries actually gave this a deserving ranking and put it at #1, was starting to lose faith. Will be Iceland’s best result since 2009 and they may even win it (completes the Scandinavian winners since 2007). 10/10, my #3.

Drakula
Guest
Drakula

Don’t get the hype around this song. :S

EF0912
Guest
EF0912

I actually think this song is underrated. It may be a bit repetitive like Trijntje Oosterhuis but I think its better than walk along. The song is stuck in my head but I agree that she needs to stop the whole Emmelie de Forrest look.

8/10

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

8.15/10 ??
This song is okay but not more.

Eugene ESC UK
Guest
Eugene ESC UK

Blimey……………..I actually agree with bavarson again!! Angus really? 9’s AND 10’s?? Jury back to normal!! So you guys think this has a chance of winning then? I really can’t see it. This song actually lost every round to Friðrik Dór in the national final except the last “sing off” Superfinal, so what does that say?…………It should have come second in any normal final!! Yes the staging is all wrong. Can she handle that pressure? I don’t think the song is strong or special enough to do really well, bit wishy washy. Iceland have a good Qualification record 8/11 (73%,) and… Read more »

Britney
Guest
Britney

I find this song annoying and it sounds like all those disney singers like Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Bridgit Mendler etc. and I don’t like them all.

Andro
Guest
Andro

My first! When she reached the high note, her voice sounds like Demi Lovato. I love the song but not original. I’m afraid this song will flop.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

I like this. An 8/10 is a very reasonable score.

Deniz@TurkNL
Guest

9,5/10

My second! Very pretty girl, nice performance. The thing is that I preferred Litil skref and the dancers. The song has a lot of power too.

Liam
Guest
Liam

Angus I’m sorry but I’m most definite that Iceland won’t place top 2 :p Maybe top 10..

Leo
Guest
Leo

Nothing original about it, just like something we have heard loads of times before. Borderline qualifier in my opinion, placing between Azerbaijan and Sweden might help

Mitchelvaneijk
Guest

Also a bad song
4/10

Darren
Guest
Darren

Seriously!! What is happening to the wiwi jury??? Your results are all over the place!! Iceland is so overrated, you guys even said it yourself that its a cheap Emmelie De Forest/Disney princess rip-off yet you still give it a high score?
Even the annoying Lithuania should have scored higher than this and Ireland too.
IMO it will not be the next Yohanna and it will struggle to break top 10. It will qualify to the final purely because of its voting neighbours, but its nothing special….in fact, its quite ridiculous.

Jerome
Guest
Jerome

8.5/10
In my opinion, so much better than what they sent last year (no hate). I love the uplifting dynamic and lyrics that make this song. I do agree that it does get repetitive after a while but it’s still bearable. Iceland has been doing better every year recently and this song should be able to keep that trend going.

bavarson
Guest
bavarson

One of the most overrated entries this year. She is not new Yohanna.

Jamaraqueer
Guest
Jamaraqueer

<3 this!

Alex
Guest
Alex

Am I the only person who thinks that this song is way too repetitive? The chorus is nice, yeah, but what else is there really in the song?

Easpag
Guest
Easpag

Lol did Angus really just call this a ballad?

I’m not so in love with it as everybody else is. It feels very… manufactured, and there’s no really charm to the song. Nevertheless, it’s still enjoyable, to some extent. 6.5/10