William: Iceland’s María Ólafs isn’t just representing Iceland at Eurovision — she’s bringing us its beautiful vistas on her LED screen. At various moments you see the Northern Lights and Icelandic mountains, but the focus is definitely María. She’s ditched her dancers from the national selection and fills the massive stage with her voice — and some simple yet sassy turns and arm-ography. The aerial shots work well: We see her creating ripples with her toes and stepping on cracks on the lava. At one point she makes an arm movement and the camera spits out gold dust. It’s a little cheesy, but fits with her sparkly tutu gown and the general theme of stepping “out of the darkness and into the light forever”.

Iceland’s first rehearsal at Eurovision 2015

Chris: I’m torn. I definitely still like this and there’s new elements to the performance that I enjoy – the floor screen in particular has some lovely effects. But at the same time, removing the dancers altogether (and not just changing the routine) was always a risky option in my mind, which is now playing out on stage. She seems too alone at times and the other ways they’ve tried to make up for it, like her throwing gold dust at the screen, don’t feel like they’re working.

Padraig: Iceland’s staging is wonderfully simple, yet at the same time really, really, really sophisticated. As the song opens, we see Maria step across cracked magma. The Northern Lights shimmer in the background, and slowly intensify as the floor transforms to a glimmering pool, which shimmers as Maria steps across it. By the end the cracks are gone, and we’re treated to an unbroken golden floor. Vocals were shaky for the first run through, but there were no issues thereafter. The camera work also seems a little out of place. At points she looks skyward, and where you’d imagine there should be a nice aerial shot the camera zooms out. Still, these are only little niggles about an excellent performance.

María Ólafs: Reviews and Reactions

Iceland’s Maria had such beautiful staging! #eurovision #esc2015

A video posted by wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) on

Iceland Meet and Greet at Eurovision 2015

YOU CAN READ OUR REVIEWS OF ALL OF THE REHEARSALS BY CLICKING HERE.

Photo: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

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Graph
Graph
7 years ago

@Darren I’m a 23 year old man, and, on one hand, this is not my style of music, but I’ve ranked it 10th and I would not mind at all if it actually won. It’s one of those songs that doesn’t do anything really original, but it shows what the genre all by itself is capable of. When the song was first announced, I thought pundits would slam it as an average pop song. But to my surprise, the song has polled well, got high marks on Wiwibloggs, and is the bookies’ 10th favorite to win! Given that this song… Read more »

paco
7 years ago

Me gusta,I like

PP
PP
7 years ago

My prediction TOP 10 for Iceland in final, maybe 7 or 8 place in final, like Iceland 2003

PP
PP
7 years ago

After first and second semifinal 1 rehearsal, Iceland is for me dark horse for win the contest, not Belgium, Slovenia, Azerbaijan

SpirK
SpirK
7 years ago

Never have I connected to this song. And I can say that many songs that I don’t like and appeal to others will definitely sail through (Hungary, Georgia, Russia), but I don’t think the same about Iceland. I think it will get lost between stronger and less repetitive acts.

Darren
Darren
7 years ago

I just cannot connect with this song at all. Maybe because I’m a 22 year old man and not a 12 year old girl. I think Iceland have sent better in the past. It will qualify though , it has Sweden and Norway in its semi plus Im sure all the frozen fans and little girls across Europe will vote for it. Impressive staging though, credit where its due, the scenic background looks stunning.

Oostenrijk
Oostenrijk
7 years ago

I already like this year’s stage more than last year’s. The LED is much better and powerful, but it also looks amazing when performers opt for the heptic eye, which gives me Oslo vibes.

Last year’s cube looked like a cool idea, but for Conchita it did nothing, as her fiery phoenix looked like trapped in a cage.

I also think that this year’s stage looks bigger.

Mario My Vision of Gay Love
Mario My Vision of Gay Love
7 years ago

@ Fatima
Well i guess that their 2nd rehearsals will be much stronger…Plus the rehearsals of the big7 will be better when they are planned 4 later..

davve
davve
7 years ago

Hahha Måns Zelmerlöw gets 30 minutes longer practice time because of problems with the projector.

PP
PP
7 years ago

Do you made interviews with all singers from first semifinal. On Wiwiblogs You tube channel I don t see interviews with singers from Serbia…

Fatima
Fatima
7 years ago

We’re halfway through the day and not one “slayed” so far, not even an “on point”.

ct
ct
7 years ago

I love the backgrounds that they are using, the northern lights and everything. Quite clever that it alludes to the country performing.

Other than that, this is the second “Glee” kind of song in this semi after San Marino. I don’t particularly like it but I think she is doing a decent job and at least the tutu is not totally wrong here like it is for Aminata.

Deniz@TurkNL
7 years ago

Vocals were not awesome, but the staging is good.

Afrivision
Afrivision
7 years ago

This is very cute! I like it alot! 🙂

davve
davve
7 years ago

the problem is that maria is not a singer with the stage experience or charisma enough to fill the entire stage..

Otna
Otna
7 years ago

This needs something to bring it to life – backing dancers. Oh wait, they decided to ditch them for a random mob of people standing off to the side irrelevantly…

It would be a genuine contender but it’s missing those dancers desperately TBH.

Adam
Adam
7 years ago

Such a formulaic song thats standard for eurovision. Nothing wrong with her vocals, but theres really nothing special about her performance/whats shes wearing/the actual song.

Mario My Vision of Gay Love
Mario My Vision of Gay Love
7 years ago

Guys right now at the moment our Hero Mans Zemerlow is on stage of Viener Stadhalle 4 his own rehearsal! <3 😀

Mario My Vision of Gay Love
Mario My Vision of Gay Love
7 years ago

The Emmelie De Forrest Of Vienna’s Vision! 😛 <3
Maria Olafsson really reminds me of Em! 🙂

Iceland is qualifier 4 me…Except if it gets all out of luck 4 Maria & she gets eliminated unfortunately on this scenario..
I have Iceland inside my top10 on the 2nd SF as my 8th most liked out of the 17 overall..

Leo
Leo
7 years ago

William:- Oh yes William now your reviews are getting better.. ha ha (I’am kiddin’) !

We have a new Emmelie de Forest on stage ””

Laila
Laila
7 years ago

Very good!
my third after georgia and belgium

korjun
korjun
7 years ago

Ugly dress

1. LATVIA
2. RUSSIA
3. BELGIUM

Louis
Louis
7 years ago

Well talking about an ugly dress, this dress is awful!! Trijntje’s dress is beautiful compared with this… thing…

speechless
speechless
7 years ago

I prefer Latvia & Belgium, more outstanding

Tonia the Greek
Tonia the Greek
7 years ago

Bad, the best performances are Belgium and Russia so far.

Leaf
Leaf
7 years ago

Now ask Trijntje about her dress !!!!!!! Such a wrong choice for a 23 year old woman It is insane.
Are her feet painted gold ?
OMG this day was supposed to be excited since plenty of favorites perform but what is happening ???
Latvia slayed the pack

Steve Gray
Steve Gray
7 years ago

Love it

Maltish
Maltish
7 years ago

Her vocals from the clip on the.Eurovision YouTube site could be better. Overall it’s not bad at all.