Get your devil horns out and warm up the treadmill — the Nordic countries are once again bringing that je ne sais quoi to Eurovision in 2018. From the vikings of Denmark to a returning Eurovision winner from Norway, the North is coming with a vengeance.
The Nordics have a rich history at Eurovision. Seven of the last 20 winners have hailed from the Nordics — three from Sweden, two from Denmark and one each from Norway and Finland. Even Iceland has come close, with two second place finishes over that period. In fact, at least one Nordic country has placed in the Top 5 in all of the last 10 editions of the contest.
All five Nordic countries held national finals to determine their Eurovision 2018 entry. The field in Norway consisted of several Eurovision veterans, while Sweden tested out plenty of new blood as they chase a record-equalling seventh win. In Finland, Saara Aalto was internally selected, with a national final held only to determine the song. And as ever Denmark and Iceland staged finals that drew large domestic audiences.
Listen to each of the entries below and then vote in the poll. You can vote for as many songs as you like but you can only vote once so make your vote count!
Denmark : Rasmussen — “Higher Ground”
Following their victory in 2013 with Emmelie de Forest’s “Only Teardrops”, Denmark have endured a rough spell. Basim’s credible Top 10 finish on home soil was followed by two non-qualifications. Anja Nissen took the Danes back to the final in 2017 but finished 20th.
Denmark has emerged as a fan favourite with Rasmussen with “High Ground”. The song and staging have a rich viking influence, celebrating Nordic culture and history. This entry has Nordic written all over it but will its appeal extend further south?
Finland: Saara Aalto — “Monsters”
Finland has experienced tough times at Eurovision too, having failed to qualify in the last three contests. Their only win came in 2006 when Lordi prevailed with the iconic “Hard Rock Hallelujah“. This year, they are sending creatures of another sort with fan favourite Saara Aalto and her song “Monsters”.
The only female artist from the Nordic countries this year, Saara was also the only internally selected artist. She performed three songs at UMK and “Monsters” prevailed. “Monsters” was voted the best song in Finland but is it also the best song from the Nordics?
Iceland: Ari Ólafsson — “Our Choice”
Much like Finland, Iceland has endured three successive non-qualifications since Pollapönk qualified in 2014. All three of those artists were female soloists who failed to get Iceland through. This year, Iceland have turned to a young man to turn those fortunes around in the form of Ari Ólafsson. Ari’s national final victory caused a stir but his vocals are on-point and he’s incredibly telegenic.
Ari will face an uphill battle in 2018, with Finland being their only Nordic ally in the first semi-final. But Ari has a powerful weapon with that voice. Will it be enough to turn things around for the island nation?
Norway: Alexander Rybak — “That’s How You Write a Song”
He held the record for the greatest point total prior to the revamp of the scoring system in 2016. And many would argue that Alexander Rybak is the most iconic Eurovision winner of modern times. Well now he’s hoping to do it all over again.
“That’s How You Write a Song” may be divisive but it plays to Alexander’s strengths. We know he is going to put on an incredible performance…but will his fairytale continue with a second triumph?
Sweden: Benjamin Ingrosso — “Dance You Off”
Sweden have won twice this decade. They have finished in the Top 5 every year since 2014 and are one win shy of equalling Ireland’s record of seven Eurovision wins.
Benjamin Ingrosso brought slick choreography and sharp staging to win Melodifestivalen 2018. Will he be able to replicate that in Lisbon and take the trophy back to Sweden?
In my opinion, the ranking goes like this: 1.Denmark. I loved it from the start. Love it a bit less now, but I still like it. Great voice. 2. Sweden. As a Swede, I honestly disliked the song and stage show from the start. Still professional, and he does his job well. I just don’t like the song itself. Still good, I suppose. 3. Finland. I honestly expected better. She still can do well at the competition – it all depends on the stage show, though. 4. Norway. Lousy song, in my opinion. Won’t surprise me if it qualifies, but… Read more »
I think Finland is good. Sweden sounds as the song last year even the head moves is the same. I think Denmark is so catchy hope it will qualify
What about Estonia and the other Baltics that’s Nordic countries too?
Baltics are not Nordic countries.
Voted for Finland and Denmark
Only Finland, other songs are not interesting.
1. Norway: Alexander Rybak – “That’s How You Write a Song”
2. Iceland: Ari Ólafsson – “Our Choice”
3. Sweden: Benjamin Ingrosso – “Dance You Off”
======most trying to be something=======
4. Denmark: Rasmussen – “Higher Ground”
5. Finland: Saara Aalto – “Monsters”
My ranking: 1. Sweden is a modern pop song with influences from the 80s, and Benjamin is a good singer, and very charismatic. The staging is also phenomenal, so no doubt it will do well with the juries and the general voting public. Can be considered generic. 2. Finlands song is actually very good this year, but the performance in the NF was rather lackluster and a bit of a mess. If they do a different staging and put her in a different outfit, aswell as a LOT of PR during the contest, they might get a good result. 3.… Read more »
I love these polls every year!
I don’t like Denmark and Iceland. I like the rest of the songs. I think I would be between Finland and Sweden.
I’ll say this, EU membership seems to be a coincidentally important factor here for me at least; Finland, Sweden and Denmark seem to be much better than Norway and Iceland.
We might be witnessing the end of the Nordic era of domination at Eurovision, especially when you consider how countries like France and Belgium have gotten serious about winning.
I’ll never get, why Þórunn Erna Clausen gave Ari such a cheesy and average at best song. He deserves better. I’m already preparing for something like 17th or 18th in the Semi for Iceland. My unconditional love for Iceland’s entries is fading away more and more… makes me really sad to be honest, when even their selection is downright mediocre or even worse… :/
I think Iceland 2018 can be Austria 2017 (many points from juries and not from televote , in total enouhg points to go to final).
i bet you won t do a poll about eastern countries because for you western countries is evreything
Exactly. More pandering by the Wiwi team.
I think Ári looks like a very young Johnny Logan.
This has sorted out exactly as my Top 5 from them is.
Norway and Denmark are both memorable, quality entries for me. Finland and Sweden have decent performers but not the best songs. Iceland is…err…I guess not as bad as some people think?
I think Norway places highest in the final but we should have 3-4 qualifiers from the Nordics.
If Finland dont change the costume and the staging and if Sara sings like she did on the election night , its hard to see Finland Q from that strong semi , and the semi is not strong cuz of Finland.
Saara has said in many interviews, that the shiw will be different in Lisbon.
1 Finland, 2 Denmark, 3 Norway, 4 Sweden, 5 Iceland
Are these illegal downloads? Why steal from the artists?
Voted for Saara and Finland. The only song i would like to see in the final.
Nordics have some of the worst songs this year. Iceland, Norway, and Denmark are all in my bottom 5, while Finland is average.
And Sweden is also average at best.
Your bottom five sounds pretty good to me! Who are the other two?
Saara is the best.
In my opinion, not a good year for the nordics in terms of quality. I’ve voted for Denmark, the only one who brings something different to the table. Sweden has a cool staging, Finland a good performer, Norway a charismatic figure and Iceland a lovely singer, but their songs aren’t that good.
I think 2018 is a very weak year for the Nordics.
Sweden is a sure qualifier and will probably make the top 1o in the final, but more thanks to the impressive neon performance then the song itself. Norway and Denmark are lucky to be in the easy Semi, Iceland has no chance of qualifying IMO and Finland could very well be the yearly flop by either not qualifying at all or finishing in the bottom 5 of the final.
Having said that, Sweden is the best of the bunch.
Please, just please, if you like Saara’s song then vote for it in the semi! It is not magically going to qualify if everyone just thinks that it “will” qualify.
Just like last year, the Nordics in general have great entries. Only Iceland took a (huge) step down in quality. Sweden, Norway and Denmark are all in my top 10. Finland is somewhere around my top 15 and Iceland is my 42nd only above Lithuania. I think in total the region will have 4 out of 5 in the final.
Not a very strong year for the Nordics in my books. For me, Monsters is the best song out of these, but Dance You Off is a million times better as a performance. Apparently they’ve revamped the Monsters performance, but I’m not very optimistic after the UMK trainwreck.
I like Rybak’s energy but the song feels like a joke that doesn’t make me laugh. Denmark’s entry isn’t my cup of tea to begin with, and the rhyming of “air” and “there” in the chorus drives me absolutely nuts for some reason. Iceland is sweet but forgettable.
Denmark and Sweden are the best Nordics this year. I don’t get the hype around Finland.
I also don’t get it. She’s a good performer but average singer with irritating voice. I don’t like the song very much and I think the hype is because it’s so GLBT friendly.
My Top 5
1. Denmark – 10/10
2. Iceland – 9.5/10
3. Finland – 9.5/10
4. Norway – 6/10
5. Sweden – 5.5/10
My top 5 from The Netherlands
1 – Finland 9/10
2 – Sweden 8/10
3 – Denmark 6/10
4 – Norway 5/10
5 – Iceland 4/10
Lovely moment on Skavlan (Scandinavian talk show) last night, where Alexander Rybak and Benjamin Ingrosso combined both of their songs:
They both seem like really lovely guys!
Thanks for sharing it!
Denmark and Finland are my top 2…the rest can just go home. Honestly, though, this isn’t the strongest year for the Nordics. Kinda like, 2016. None will win the trophy!?
Sweden and Norway are steps ahead of the other two
This year, Nordic entries are not terrible. Big 5 ones are almost better in overall.. 1. Sweden: A sensual delivery, a catchy music and voice, with interresting visual effects. But it’s not a very original song. 2. Finland: I agree with some people who say that «Monsters» sounds like a old Lady Gaga song. But it’s very danceable and I’m sure that Saara will be able to improve her live vocals. 3. Island: Extra cheese on too much cheese. 4. Danemark: Not a conventional entry. Meanwhile, if you take your entry seriously, do your stuff seriously. I mean, the live… Read more »
The Nordic countries are – in my opinion – unbelievably weak this year. Norway, Sweden and Denmark will pass from semi 2, but I’m really not fond of any of them. They all know how to do a proper elevating staging though… Iceland has no real chance, I dislike the lyrics a lot, they are so generic. Finland with a well produced catchy fast food entry – at least in the studio version – would be my #1 out of those 5, but ironically, it will be much more difficult for Saara to qualify for the final because she’s in… Read more »
I agree about Saara. Even if Aisel’s song is weaker than Sarah’s, don’t forget that Azerbaïdjan had always got through the semi-final, whatever the entry sent to Eurovision.
up!, your comment is really on point!
The ESC 2018 album is out on April 20th: https://www.amazon.de/Eurovision-Song-Contest-Lisbon-2018-Various/dp/B079VD4L4B/ The DVD should come on June 23th: https://www.amazon.de/Eurovision-Song-Contest-Lisbon-2018-DVDs/dp/B079Y48Z81
I voted for Norway and Finland. Norway is playing unfair sending Rybak again: excluding the fact that I would vote for him even if he sings Friday by Rebecca Black, the song is really catchy, inspiring and danceable, but I can understand why a lot of people dislike this due to the lyrics (which are not that bad for me). Finland has a great song, in a genre I am usually not interested to, with great vocals and an interesting staging, I hope this country will be in the Top10 in the final. Talking about the other songs: -Denmark is… Read more »
Finland and Denmark for me I love Saara and love watching her on UK X Factor and love her song this year, love the viking vibes that Denmark is giving it’s a dark horse this year
I think Nordic entries are really strong this year! Everyone except Iceland has a chance of qualifying and doing well! Regardless of whether you like it or not, Sweden is the country with the biggest chance of doing well. It will be a candidate for the win and will reach top 5, top 3 even. I think it’s biggest chance that Sweden has of winning since Måns Zelmerlöw. And it is a really good song! I like Norway too actually. The more I listen to it the more I like it. And with Rybak’s stage presence and charisma it could… Read more »
I think you’re getting the Spanish fever.
I’m addicted to the Israeli song. Please HELP ME!!
After last year with Italy, nothing is sure. but I still think its very unique song
Sweden is the best here, we can be nasty or condescending about the song or the singer but everybody knows this is top 5 material.. Personally I love it!
1. Denmark – THIS is Scandinavia, I love it. The story, the climat, the voice. One of my favourites this year! 2. Norway – okay, who can resist Alexander Rybak and his charisma? The song itself isn’t as good as Fairytale, but on stage it looks fantastic – thanks to him. 3. Finland – in the opposition to Norway, Monsters aren’t enjoyable as a show (at least now), but they are OK as a radio song you can listen to. 4. Sweden – very generic, plus I don’t like the singer (Bieber-style), plus he won with many better artists in… Read more »
THIS is scandinavia….in english. kek
Well Vikings isn’t the only thing that reflects Scandinavia, I love how multicultural it is with influences from all around the world! THAT is Scandinavia for me
Vikings hasn’t represented or reflected Scandinavia since the 12th century! It’s 2018 now! Lukas D has a better picture of Scandinavia.which I agree on. That and long dark winters..
Well, of course it’s a reference to the history, but I value that much more than usual pop songs. Every country’s culture has some influences from the outside, but that what makes it unique is interesting for me. And when it comes to the language – I agree, I would prefer the song to be in Danish, or 50/50.
I totally agree with you about each country!
I would agree except I don’t think Iceland is as bad as people are saying. Won’t go to the finals, but it isn’t listenable as a couple of songs outside of Scandinavia are.
Denmark’s Rasmussen is my overall winner, so of course he’s my favourite! But I also voted for Alexander Rybak – his song is ok, but he has amazing stage presence that elevates the song. As for the songs I didn’t vote for: Monsters is pretty average – it was only after I saw the performance in Lithuania’s nf I started to kinda like it again. Still I remember the mess that was in Finland’s own nf performance and am sceptical because of it. Dance you off is too uninteresting for me and Our choise bores me to tears even despite… Read more »
Benjamin’s voice sounds like a girl, it’s either your’re on drugs or singing voices for girls in your country are weird as
Finland, Denmark and Sweden for the win!
This year it’s really strange. All the songs by the Nordic countries are good, even though I don’t like any of them. That said, Finland, Norway and Sweden are at least listeneable, Iceland is very sweet (and Ari is as well), while Denmark is trying so hard to stay in the semi.