To everyone’s surprise, fan favourite Iceland failed to advance from the First Semi-final last night, despite an almost flawless performance of “Hear Them Calling” by singer-songwriter Greta Salóme. Right after the results were announced, social media was flooded with shocked reactions from the Eurovision fans, who had seen Iceland as a sure qualifier. One voice stood out from the crowd and that was Greta’s, who expressed her surprise with her non-qualification, but also her gratitude to her countless supporters.

Greta wrote this message on Facebook, shortly afer the semi-final ended:

What a night! It´s a unique feeling knowing you had the performance of your life and a whole stadium shouting out for your country when they were announcing the finalists and still not make it into the finals. I can honestly say that I feel like a winner after tonight´s show and there is nothing I could have done better. And of course my team has been the best I could ever have had. I´ve seen the twitter and Facebook discussions and I am beyond grateful for the support I´ve been getting. I´m just as surprised as you all are, but maybe just not as disappointed, simply for the fact that I am so happy with the performance. I am also so grateful for the great comments we got from the commentators and all of you out there. The message about the song has been spreading like fire for the last few days and we will take that message and make it ours. I am not sad tonight…..surprised yes but overall grateful especially for all of those messages I´ve been getting from you across Europe and most but not least the people in Iceland.

The singer of “Hear Them Calling” also told Iceland’s National Broadcaster RÚV that she was pleased with yesterday’s performance, despite the result. “The only thing one can do is to give it your all. And I think we did that tonight,” she said.

We were also surprised with the fact that Iceland failed to advance, despite the great performance and high odds of qualification. Watch Team Wiwi reeling right after the First Semi-final:

We are very much looking forward to seeing Greta at the #wiwijam tonight, where she is one of our guests.

There are a number of explanations for Iceland’s failure to connect with the European audiences and juries. What do you think brought Iceland down? And what do you make of Greta’s reaction?

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Photo: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

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Ljupco MACEDONIA
Guest
Ljupco MACEDONIA

Okay, seriously, people finding satisfaction in one country failing to qualify instead of another actually qualifying are not and never will be true Eurovision fans. Every single artist out there on the stage gives their all to have their country in the final, and saying such bad words about Greta or other non-qualifiers is wrong, childish and stupid. However, I have to be honest and say that indeed Iceland should have qualified instead of Azerbaijan, which gave us one of the poorest vocal performances in history of Eurovision. Samra better improve vocally in the final, or else I would be… Read more »

Ljupco MACEDONIA
Guest
Ljupco MACEDONIA

Okay, seriously, people finding satisfaction in one country failing to qualify instead of another actually qualifying are not and never will be true Eurovision fans. Every single artist out there on the stage gives their all to have their country in the final, and saying such bad words about Greta or other non-qualifiers is wrong, childish and stupid. However, I have to be honest and say that indeed Iceland should have qualified instead of Azerbaijan, which gave us one of the poorest vocal performances in history of Eurovision. Samra better improve vocally in the final, or else I would be… Read more »

Alex
Guest
Alex

Whatever the reason may be, Europe got this one wrong. This was the best performance in either semifinal.

Racal
Guest
Racal

Iceland was a fan favorite nowhere except on this blog. You are extrapolating your own opinions to a whole group of people. She was also doing very badly with the bookies.

I said it once, I’ll say it again: I’ve always found that song absolutely dreadful and I’m not surprised at all. They tried to copy-paste 3 former Eurovision songs and 2 stagings, mixed everything together, and hoped that it would work. It didn’t, the end result was tasteless. Sorry Iceland, I usually like your entries but you messed it up this year.

Zelenovi
Guest
Zelenovi

The only explanation I have is that maybe her late place in the running order was actually a disadvantage for once – maybe after all of the endless projections, light shows, strobes etc, viewers were just kind of saturated with all the special effects and didn’t really care any more. Ah well.

Fair play to Gréta for accepting it like a champ. I thought she was brilliant and I’m sure the Icelanders are all extremely proud of her, as they should be! 🙂

Tobias Andersen
Guest
Tobias Andersen

If anyone did like me we are to blame. I wanted to have Austria and Iceland pass but the price of voting in Estonia is 1€ and I thought Iceland is 100% sure in final I will vote for Austria to support them as they are borderline qualifiers.

Criticca
Guest
Criticca

The shadow staging was great it was too trendy as well. Another stronger country like Russia was able to easily imitate it to their advantage. I know Iceland was the first country to send their song & come up with the shadow performance so its very sad 🙁 maybe Icelandic juries will give Russia null points now…

Key
Guest
Key

What the hell is she surprised about? Her song was okay, it wasn’t great, and the staging was not only a rip off from last years winner but also unconvincing.

Most contest viewers only see the performance for the 1st time on the night of the actual show. You like the song because you’ve listened to it for months but at the end her performance was just average.

JonathanUK
Guest
JonathanUK

The running order had a major impact. She performed after Russia, who had everything incorporated into the LED screen!
While Greta’s was beautiful it wasn’t as over the top as Sergey making him more memorable.
She shouldn’t have changed the song into the English version too, it would have made her stand out in the RECAPS a lot more if she’d sang in Icelandic.
I can’t see this being anywhere other than eleventh place. It’s just too good!

mohi
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mohi

She is surprised? HAHAHA
Her performance was aweful

Yohanna
Guest
Yohanna

Iceland was great. There was absolutely no reason for the country to not qualify. It was simply unlucky to have been in the first semi final. In my opinion, if it has been in the second semi final, it would have qualified…easy. There were just too many a good song in the first one, that’s all. We all knew that at least two great songs would be left out since only ten qualify.

Vladimir P.
Guest
Vladimir P.

Being mean to someone who was expected to succeed, but didn’t doesn’t make anyone cool or smart. It’s like deliberately stomping on someone who fell on the ground. It’s disgusting.

Seattlesque
Guest
Seattlesque

It felt as if there was a disconnect between the dark staging/eerie lyrics and Greta *smiling* all the time. (And the smiles seemed forced, verging on terrified.) I wonder whether she’d have done better if she’d played it straight.

Donna
Guest
Donna

The staging was good, Greta’s vocals were good – over all it was good enough to go to finals but I think what may have dragged it down were the backing vocals being a bit off at the beginning. I’ve noticed that good entries that do not make it to the finals are usually dragged down because of the quality of the vocals. Two SF performances come to mind with this: -Iceland 2014: The song was good, the staging was fine but something was off with Maria Olafs’ vocals. Not hating Maria or anything but last year’s vocal problems for… Read more »

Tony KuKo
Guest

It’s been mentioned many times. She just couldn’t handle the big stage. You can see in the videos, that she perfectly fit in smaller stages and she was right in the middle so she could work really well with the screen effects.

I still thought she was going to qualify and her performance was much better than Azerbaijan’s or Malta’s

AberSam
Guest
AberSam

I watched the semi last night with two good friends, and they didn’t get an impression from the song at all. They preferred Moldova to Greta, it just didn’t really connect on the bigger stage, at least that’s my theory behind it.

Pastora Soler haha!
Guest
Pastora Soler haha!

Dear CopyGreta,

Your Loreen/zelmerlow wanna be staging was the reason

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

As much as I am disappointed right now. This might be for the best. The fact that she did not qualify was so ridiculous that people will be talking about this for years to come and listening to the song again (a la Mei Finegold) whereas if it had qualified and came 20th- in the grand final, maybe not.

Greta of course, was as classy as ever. She deserves thanks for producing such an excellent performance that warranted better.

MikeY
Guest
MikeY

Oh come on Greta! A bit of self-criticism is not bad. Both songs you’ve competed with are far too dramatic for this, and they are simply not good songs. Listen to IS IT TRUE by Yohanna, now that’s an amazing song for Eurovision. Hear them calling? I mean.. come on! The title itself is absurd. I very much doubt the icelandic audience will ever choose her again to represent them so I hope she gets to live on music in the icelandic music industry.

Ggmlr
Guest
Ggmlr

I knew she wouldn’t reach to the final since the very beginning because of the song. The song itself is good, but not too interesting. I don’t understand why this song was so hype among the fans. But nevertheless Greta is a great performer.

NL
Guest
NL

There always be 1 entry i really like that won’t reach the final… this time its Iceland. But on the other side i’m so happy for Croatia, The Netherlands and Chez republic on making it to the finals! I knew a shocker was comming, however i didn’t expected it to be Iceland honestly, i thought the other 3 i just called had a bigger chanche of getting left behind. As for the second semi final i think one of my favorites Switzerland won’t make it to the finals, so it won’t be a shock when that happends. (I love the… Read more »

Antonio
Guest
Antonio

@Huh Greta is very talented!
@Leaf Yes! Of Course! Do you see the Russian Jury? Please… I’m sure that most of them don’t know how to write music. If only composers decide, Czech Republic (100% NQF).

Antonio
Guest
Antonio

@Huh Greta is very talented!
@Leaf Yes! Of Course! Do you see the Russian Jury? Please… I’m sure that most of them don’t know how to write music. If only composers decide, Czech Republic (100% NQF). Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like this

Huh
Guest
Huh

@Oxana: Not if any acts perform first before Russia. It just so happened that the draw in this semi final favored Russia so much than Iceland. So it was either saved or goodbye for the talented Greta.

El Rosario de Raquel
Guest

Totalmente injusta su no clasificacion, mucha J LO y mucha copia de HERUES y para una cancion, con personalidad buena voz y mejor puesta en escena y van y premian a la JENIFER LOPEZ de Azerbaiyan…pues con la de Armenia ya era mas que sufuciente…Islandia el año que viene se retira de ESC …lo mismo que Suzy.

Oxana
Guest
Oxana

somehow I had a feeling she’ll fail to qualify. her visual effects put direct link to Russian song (and they won’t bother for a replica of cheap song) . She had to screw song visuals to avoid this fate (or at least get rid of black smoke that resembles Lazarev’s wings).
note for future artists: If you have something similar to Russian entry, get rid of it right away. Russians stole it somewhere, and you’ll look like aged second hand deal and will fail to outshadow Russians in boasting, cheating and money spending.

Kreuzbergfan
Guest
Kreuzbergfan

I just don’t get it. She was awsome and amazing… sad but I hope she does well in her career.

Eduardo
Guest
Eduardo

I will never understand.

Leaf
Guest
Leaf

And in all sincerity even tho I felt bad she didn’t get through ….. The result of this semi final was the most objective result since this system has been introduced.
For Greece and Bosnia not to qualify and Czech Republic to make it through means someone actually took the time to listen to the songs and be objective.
I am very contempt.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@A: Aye. I was as shocked last year when Ireland (my #10 last year) got the boot last year. This one, I think, was an even bigger shock, as Greta was my #5 going in, and I scored her #3 for last night’s round. She had problems following the cues with the SVT graphics, and went back to the more familiar Söngvakeppnin setup. Was it so obvious to everyone (after watching the music video), that it became stale enough to the people and jurors that she was basically forgotten? Everyone who made it, deserved to make it, with one exception:… Read more »

Antonio
Guest
Antonio

I have to admit that the staging dissapointed me

Thiefo
Guest

Trying to be as objetive as I can; her performance was good, the concept wasn’t that original (but what is original these days?) but all in all everything was on point. So yeah, I thought it would qualify and am kinda shocked it didn’t.

I never liked the song, so I’m not precisely sad 😛 I’m in fact pretty happy with the results, but again, trying to be objetive, this one deserved to qualify.

Good for Greta for taking things with calm though.

Antonio
Guest
Antonio

Now I understand why she didn’t make the final while I’m reading the comments. Greta, Eurovision is not for you… But not because of you.

Antonio
Guest
Antonio

Is this entry overrated?? I have no comments. Please, make me a favour! Keep your lips sealed. Did you listen a song like this before? Do you prefer a generic ballade like “I Stand” over this? I’ve listened this kind of songs million times before. If you have a stencil, it’s easier to draw… That’s why “Hear Them Calling” is a very good song. Well… And the instrumental is also very good. Music is not utterly subjective. ICELAND and ESTONIA over CZECH REPUBLIC and AUSTRIA

Maya
Guest
Maya

She deserved to be in the final

John Fow-tan
Guest
John Fow-tan

No Greta, your song was crap. Next time come with a fresh song. This slap on your face was just a reminder to not copy a previous contender performance. People might getting annoyed and not voting for you, because they don’t want to watch same performance twice in a row. Bon voyage! Music first, not the gimmicks.

Jay
Guest
Jay

I’m so sorry for her. She was one of my favourites behind Armenia and Austria.

ESCArgy
Guest
ESCArgy

I am not surprised, I loved the song but it’s not a shock. Many Eurovision fans like me may have liked it very much, but most people who vote are non-Eurovision fans and I have a feeling that the latter ones just didn’t get it. It was not accessible and even though I loved it, I could not connect to it in any way. After the song finishes, nothing is left. It tried to impress and deliver a message but it just didn’t feel right, something was missing. Sometimes less is more. For example, some relatives of mine watched the… Read more »

sonic0201
Guest
sonic0201

Ha, I almost forgot that Greta Salome is one of wiwi’s fave. It’s funny how they can’t expain what happened with their 8.37 darling.

mad-professor
Guest
mad-professor

If Azerbaijan was higher than 10th, then we know they were cheating. When someone who’s so bad that the volume of the backing vocalists has to be louder than them, qualifies over someone who can actually sing, you know something’s wrong.

Rafa
Guest
Rafa

I do not understand anything.
This is just a CONTEST!!
Why people are angry ?
Who cares ? I see insults from all sides of one and the other .
Enjoy the songs , every day I like less ESC , so policy and neighborhood

DenizNL
Guest
DenizNL

I am very glad Greta talks about this in a positive way. The semifinal was hard and she definitely undrstood that.

Mei international
Guest
Mei international

Azerbuyjan advances with a Mel-fest try hard song and this amazing performance gets the axe. Smh

MAE2016
Guest
MAE2016

Personally I don’t like Iceland’s song.. It is too repetitive for me, I never really connected with it to be honest.. Also the staging looked weird, it was too dark and you couldn’t see clearly the figures on the screen…. On the other hand in the Islandic National Final her staging was much better. Personally if I could change one qualifier it would be Azerbaijan and I would choose Estonia instead!

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

Greta with the very definition of class. It had to have been hard for her with half the stadium chanting “ICELAND!” only to see the words “MALTA” appear on the screen. Not that Ira didn’t deserve to go through (she did), but when you have bad results earlier in the reveal (coughHungarycough), it means someone’s getting screwed.

sonic0201
Guest
sonic0201

Average song, unoriginal, and Russia killed it too. Also it was probably difficult to understand it in 3 minutes.

gunner2358
Guest

she shouldn’t be surprised at all….the song was very old fashioned, turkey, it didn’t deserve to be in a final…..

gunner2358
Guest

She is surprised? the song was very old-fashioned, turkey……it didn’t deserve to be in a final

Chickachicka
Guest
Chickachicka

She was surprised? So she was expecting to make the final huh? Lol, over confidence gets you no where hunny :). Glad she flopped, the song was overrated to begin with. Hot mess imo! 😀

Swe
Guest
Swe

And I would like to swap Malta for Estonia. I have never liked Molly PH and her songs. In Sweden, she is not as hyped as she is on wiwi. Estonia had much higher quality in every way