Tonight six acts will compete in the grand final of Iceland’s national final Söngvakeppnin 2018. From two semi-finals, 12 competing acts have been reduced to just six who will battle it out to follow Svala and Greta Salóme to Eurovision. The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has been reviewing all the finalists, and we have a winner: Aron Hannes with “Gold Digger”.
Aron Hannes was a clear favourite of the Wiwi Jury. His fun tune “Gold Digger” earned 7.25/10 from the jury. In second place was the group Fókus Hópurinn and their song “Battleline”. They eaned 6.62/10 from the jury. Third place went to the domestic goddesses of Heimilistónar. They earned 5.88/10 for their song “Kúst Og Fæjó” — one of only two Icelandic-language songs in the grand final.
The best: Oh look! A Söngvakeppnin entry that is lively and actually feels current-ish! I can’t help wonder how much “gold” a young guy like Aron has to be dug. But perhaps it’s just a metaphor for the huge burden of having a girlfriend who expects him to pay for her McDonald’s. This song isn’t perfect, but it’s the best of the 2018 lineup. There’s potential for a fun national final performance, which should add even more. (Robyn, 10/10)
The worst: I can see why this would appeal to some people and why it would be a popular choice for Iceland. Personally, I find the entire thing a tad annoying. The rap section lacks the finesse and execution I’d want to see from a Eurovision rap. The lyrics are really unappealing too. I feel like he’s a poor man’s Mikolas Josef — and if Iceland chooses this, he’s competing in the same half of the same semi-final as the Czech Republic. It’s not going to end well. (Antranig, 4/10)
The best: The song builds up to a great and really strong chorus. I really love the sound of the singers’ voices in the verses and when they start singing together it gets even better. I can imagine a really strong performance and I keep my fingers crossed that this will make it to the final and maybe even to Lisbon. Somehow, I’m a little bit scared that it will sound like a mess when they come to the chorus. (Aline, 9/10)
The worst: Look, if Spain got anything right this year was leaving “Camina” last on their national selection. Iceland should do the same. Has anyone ever listen to songs by groups of artists (not bands) at will? “Battleline” is bound to become a trainwreck on stage, with so many people singing so loudly. I’d be happy if it’s not, but even though they get their vocals right, this shouldn’t, by any means, be Iceland’s entry. (Luis, 4.5/10)
The best: These girls seek to prove that the Icelandic language can be bouncy, and they’ve definitely convinced me. I just imagine the Vikings bopping around to this little ditty. I know that this isn’t exactly award-winning music, but surely no one can deny the pleasance in it – it’s pure innocent happiness. That harmonica too is seriously a great touch. I know Iceland can do much better, but I’m so glad to have these ladies in Söngvakeppnin. (Natalie, 7/10)
The worst: This is at least bringing something a bit different to the selection and has a nice retro feel. Unfortunately, it’s a bit too laid back to keep you engaged throughout, and the second half of the song doesn’t really add anything to it that you haven’t heard already. While it doesn’t quite have the same appeal as Nina’s “Caroban”, it could at least be an interesting one to watch staging wise at the national selection. (Jonathan, 4/10)
Söngvakeppnin 2018: Reviews and ratings
- Aron Hannes – “Gold Digger” (7.25)
- Fókus Hópurinn – “Battleline” (6.62)
- Heimilistónar – “Kúst Og Fæjó” (5.88)
- Dagur Sigurðarson – “Í stormi” (5.5)
- Áttan – “Here For You” (5.31)
- Ari Ólafsson – “Our Choice” (4.19)