In little over six weeks, he’ll be performing for his country at Eurovision 2018. But at the moment Iceland’s Ari Ólafsson has been looking back to Eurovision 2017.
He recently performed an English-language cover of Salvador Sobral’s winning song “Amar pelos dois”. Ari shared the cover with fans on his Facebook page.
How do you like my cover of Amar Pelos Dois?
Posted by Ari Ólafsson on Thursday, March 22, 2018
The performance takes place in a music studio. Ari stands wearing a white shirt, surrounded by musical instruments. He delivers a delicate yet powerful vocal performance of Luisa Sobral’s composition.
While most of the lyrics of Ari’s version are in English, the final verse is in Portuguese, which shows off Ari’s multilingual ability.
The English lyrics were written by Eurovision 2009 winner and 2018 act Alexander Rybak, who also covered the song last year, soon after Salvador’s win.
The performance highlights Ari’s vocal talent and demonstrates why he was Iceland’s favourite at Söngvakeppnin 2018.
And the video was a hit with viewers. Fan Ólafur exclaimed, “Beautiful!!!! Abrigado!”, while another fan, Kroyz, reckoned “omg this is perfect”.
The positive reaction follows the backlash Ari received after shedding tears of emotion after his Söngvakeppnin performance. After being criticised in local media, soon support grew in defence of his emotional display. A video campaign, featuring the hashtag #WeAllCry, was launched in support of Ari.
While there’s no doubt that Ari is one of the strongest vocalists at Eurovision 2018, there’s less support for Iceland’s entry. Iceland is still the bookies’ least favourite country to win in Lisbon.
But, as we’ve seen in previous years, at this stage, nothing is certain. There’s still pre-party season and the possibility that Iceland may bring some magical staging to Lisbon that will win over sceptics.
What do you think of Ari’s cover of “Amar pelos dois”? Do you like it more than “Our Choice”? Share your thoughts below!