Eurovision 2020 didn’t happen. But Netflix is delivering us another Eurovision of sorts. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga hits the streaming service on June 26th. In it we’ll see the duo Fire Saga — that’s Lars Erickssong (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit Ericksdottir (Rachel McAdams) — fighting to “prove that any dream worth having is a dream worth fighting for.”

And apparently part of that involves singing the song “Volcano Man” — the very first single from the film to hit our computers. So, as we wait for the fictional song contest to get rolling, we thought we’d re-convene the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — to see what they think.

And before any of you get carried away with those Netflix conspiracy theories, rest assured that our jurors maintained complete editorial freedom. The range of scores and opinions should make that much clear.

Fire Saga – “Volcano Man” (Will Ferrell & Rachel McAdams)

“Volcano Man” reviews

Robyn: A lot of Eurovision influences can be felt in “Volcano Man”. There’s the epic Icelandic power duet of Greta Salóme and Jónsi’s “Never Forget”, the Nordic dance-pop of KEiiNO’s “Spirit in the Sky” and a hint of the good-natured parody of “Love Love Peace Peace”. The minimalist, dramatic introduction to the song soon erupts into a bright dancefloor hit, which is sure to be a Euroclub staple in years to come. “Volcano Man” blends the folk with the modern, the masculine with the feminine, the fire with the ice. While the music video ramps up the cheese a little too much, the Nordic fantasy elements show great potential for the song to come alive on the Eurovision stage.

Score: 7.5/10

Suzanne: Iceland certainly knows how to bring different genres. “Volcano Man” is another love song (insert eye roll), albeit with a new storyline. Beautiful Sigrit saves Lars from a fate of loving only the land he protects. Sigrit is led to Lars via lucid dreaming — without knowing, Lars was calling her. The video opens in a spiritual, new age way with Lars chanting and breathing. He and Sigrit’s voices are connected as though they give one another the power to speak their truth, which is LOVE. Lars’ first glance into the camera is innocent and childlike. This romance builds from this sweet foundation: cat walking across the Highlands, energetically skipping in front of a waterfall, making snow angels. Vocals are saved by Sigrit’s sweet, raspy voice whereas Lars could use voice lessons and perhaps a rest from inhaling volcanic ash. The sweet innocence of their love and the staging makes this song for me.

Score: 8/10

Deban: When listening to “Volcano Man”, it is impossible to deny its strongest quality: this 90-second tune is catchy AF! The disco beats and Will Ferrell’s heavy panting compliment My Marianne’s (okay, Molly Sandén‘s) flawless vocals. This song does what it needs to do in half the time. Weirdly, its biggest flaw could also be its biggest draw — this song is a travesty! I’ve spent years celebrating and sometimes criticising entries. Not every song needs to have a message. However, this is nothing but shameless parroting, and Europe’s most-watched TV special deserves more.

Score: 5.5/10

Oranie: Good job Nextflix, Lars, Sigrit, or whoever: you’ve brought all of the biggest Eurovision clichés together in one song. I’m not amused. The Eurovision Song Contest was created after the Second World War to bring once antagonistic nations closer. While wacky performances and songs are an integral part of Eurovision folklore, replicating these performances without being insulting or looking ludicrous requires that you master your art first. I only see and hear sneering from across the Atlantic. There were so many smarter ways to get closer to the reality of Eurovision. You get one point from me — for the landscape in the video clip.

Score: 1/10

William: “Volcano Man” is a call to follow your heart — even if that means listening to strange voices, climbing a mountain and letting a man with a rather large codpiece scream his name at you. Building from a folkloric opening and progressing to a disco finish, Lars and Sigrit cast a mythical spell as they create one of the most memorable Eurovision music videos ever. Whether forming snow angels, beating on keyboards or serving sensuous looks over the shoulder, they’re taking the piss while remaining fully committed. This is a parody song that is actually quite good! Special shout out to Rachel: Her lip-sync is among the tightest we’ve seen all season.

Score: 7.5/10

Edd: Lars opens the number imitating a volcanic plume, producing heavy panting noises and showcasing a vocal control that would put Frank Sinatra to shame. Sigrit’s ethereal presence proceeds to lift you to Iceland’s snow-capped fjords, as she chants lyrics with a meaning deeper than the mid-Atlantic ridge. The contemporary chorus is an eruption of songwriting mastery — although it’s undeniable that a trick was missed by not including a post-chorus Nordic flute solo. Regardless of this minor flaw, the song is overflowing with passion, talent, spirituality, and staging potential, and may just be the best Eurovision entry of all time.

Score: 9.5/10

Esma: The Eurovision Song Contest deserves a film, not an American mockumentary. This typically cliché American view of our beloved Eurovision is truly insulting.  But the worst part about “Volcano Man” is that despite the hideous song title and Will Ferrell’s dreadful vocals, it’s actually catchy.

Score: 4/10

Renske: “Volcano Man” was the Icelandic entry that we never thought was coming, but we nevertheless all were confronted with. A sibling combination has fared poorly in the past in the contest, but Fire Saga still has that little bit of quirkiness we can all relate too. Whether you think “Volcano Man” is the next “Spirit in the Sky” depends on your love for the supernatural.

Score: 5.5/10

Josh: Hearing the one-minute snippet of Fire Saga’s “Volcano Man”, I am struck by how cohesive they sound, despite being completely different as soloists. Lars Erickssong’s exhale-joiking seems  to pay homage to Fred from KEiiNO. At times it feels a little bit crazy, but also comfortably familiar. You sense that even though Fire Saga are a new group on the scene, that Lars is a veteran of performing, and given the chance to perform on the Eurovision stage, he will be a rock, almost as sturdy and solid as the material his “Volcano Man” superhero look is made out of. (Inquiring minds NEED to know what that material is!). However, do NOT discount Miss Sigrit Ericksdottir – she may be expected to take second billing from Lars, but she stands out wonderfully, connecting the words of the song and the setting of the video with real emotions that make everything feel cool, crisp, and beautiful (just like an Icelandic winter), but also giving them FIRE (Eleni Foureira would be PROUD)! The digital sounds and instrumentation compliment her voice beautifully. Make no mistake: Sigrit is the REAL star that could power them to a surprisingly strong finish on the Eurovision stage!

Score: 8/10

Katie: Lars and Sigrit have done their research, and perfected the Eurovision winning formula. There’s a an exciting build-up to an uplifting dance chorus, and we won’t be forgetting their iconic music video in a hurry. Sigrit’s vocals are undeniably good and I really enjoy the nods to Eurovision classics, like Paula and Ovi’s two-sided piano. Though it would have been great to hear Lars sing a little more. In recent years, Iceland have produced a string of unforgettable Eurovision entries, from Hatari to Daði & Gagnamagnið, could this be the year that Iceland snatches the Eurovision trophy, and brings it back to the Icelandic fjords? I sure hope so!

Score: 8/10

We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 1 and a high of 9.5.

The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 6.75 / 10

What do you think of the “Volcano Man” video? Do you think this would have made the grand final of Eurovision 2020? Where would you place this in your Top 42? Let us know in the comments down below!

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Colin
Colin
2 months ago

ICELAND (Lars & Sigrit: Volcano Man) – To make a proper quality parody is somewhat of a difficult task because it asks of one two conflicting goals. Parodies have to be kinda ”bad” in order to work, but also to have a truly appealing quality that any song should. I think Robyn nailed it when describing it as a mix of Never Forget, Spirit in the Sky and Love Love Peace Peace. As s huge fan of Never Forget (My personal 2012 winner), I can see the nod with the male / female Icelandic duo singing among ice glaciers. Also,… Read more »

First row at ESC and JESC
First row at ESC and JESC
2 months ago

Guys, I can understand all the pro and contra arguments that you bring up here. I like the teaser song and will wait with my judgment until I have seen the comlete movie on Netflix. Some of you point out, that the soundtrack of a movie makes a good music comedy film. I don’t know if you know the Musical commedy movie with Johnny Depp “Cry-Baby” from 1990. That is how a good film should be. The soundtrack was a hit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB1bLlguZVY

Peter Bach
Peter Bach
2 months ago

Imagine if this had actually been done really well. If the song had been really good in that esc way we all love and at the same time had been really funny in that wonderful way where we could actually recognize ourselves and the funny colorful sides of the esc. Like Love, Love, Peace, Peace but even better and 20% more believable. It would have been huge and SO successful. But this… Nah. Not even lukewarm.

Erik
Erik
2 months ago

Because quality in a comedy song could get you to the top of the charts. Comedy does not mean “I don’t care”. It’s not a comedy about crocodiles and this just happens to be a part of the movie. This mockumentary will focus on a music event called ESC. So music would be essential. Look at other movies like The hobbit 2, a star is born etc. A good soundtrack can make a movie. Good songs promote a crappy movie. People will see it even just for the song. That is victory. Who goes to see a movie based on… Read more »

Lily
Lily
2 months ago

It’s so accurate and I like the song lol

ESCJudge
ESCJudge
2 months ago

I came back for a sec to see what is my ex favourite site about ESC doing now… and I got diabetics.

Do you people all had too much sugar that you comment almost everything like it’s great, good, fantastic, smashing, catchy, lovely, beauty, interesting…

World is not like that. You could make a proffessional comment on that by saying what you really think. Even if it’s bad opinion. That would be at least objective.

Milla
Milla
2 months ago

Well it’s supposed to be a comedy, right? The song sucks, but they have managed to create something that still feels like a Eurovision- song and a video to go with it. There has been a lot of songs and videos in ESC over the years that has made me laugh anyway and also is supposed to be silly to begin with. Like Russia this year…

Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago

NO, WE ARE NOT! #capisciquestionmark

Odysseas
Odysseas
2 months ago

Deban and I are proud to announce that for once this year, we agree on something!!! Eurovision doesn’t deserve a song like that. HUGE letdown. I’m afraid that this movie will soon end up being a parody to this beloved contest…

Score: 3/10

Hermès
Hermès
2 months ago

« Volcano Man » is everything someone that doesn’t get Eurovision will create, imagining they just did a « Love love peace peace ». Both are aiming to be catchy songs that joke sweetly on the campiness of this contest, but one brings references and fun to the table, when the other just brings… what exactly? Tacky and kitch. And frankly it looks very lazy, mostly because it doesn’t look believable. Such an entry COULD be at Eurovision (we’ve seen worse) but if your movie is about making this win, the entry better be good. This isn’t.
3/10

Annelie
Annelie
2 months ago
Reply to  Hermès

AMEN Ana!

Hermès
Hermès
2 months ago
Reply to  Hermès

Thanks for saying I have anything to do with it, but I’m afraid I don’t have that kind of responsibility. Secondly, unlike you apparently who wanna blame viewers I have no problem with the cheesiness of the contest’s songs, as I simply compared two parodies – Love Love Peace Peace and Volcano Man, both joking about that same topic, and going over the top. Only one landed the jokes though in my opinion, when the other one just looks like blatant mockery. I don’t like this song. Good for you if you did. That’s it. Please refrain from stating what… Read more »

Hermès
Hermès
2 months ago
Reply to  Hermès

You’re saying urself this song is targeted to a non Eurovision audience yet referencing the silliness of the contest (meaningless or grotesque lyrics). I agree with you that love love peace peace was somehow an insiders joke but it would be entertaining for clueless audience alike. This will not make anyone laugh hard (It’s difficult to make oblivious ppl laugh about a topic they know nothing about) and will disappoint fans (I mean it brings nothing to the table) I’m not saying what they should do or not do. I was comparing two « parody » songs that were making fun at… Read more »

Erik
Erik
2 months ago
Reply to  Hermès

Yes, Love, love, peace, gives us good lyrics. But the song itself would be nothing without the music. Volcano man is mainly a good opening leading up to Farrell “singing” nonsense words. And then the song is out without any more effort to it. Yes, Farrell is a comedian and they have used an actual singer but the music, lyrics etc. is way less than Love, love, peace. If you wanted to tease fans you’d promote the movie with an entry that does not win the contest in the mockumentary. Yes, the song is something. But good comedy has a… Read more »

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
2 months ago

I don’t think it’s a good song but I’m pretty sure that’s the point, right?
More interested in how the film turns out. Will Ferrell stuff is pretty hit and miss. It can be funny but also painfully unfunny.

Colin
Colin
2 months ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

Exactly… we may get the new Anchorman or the new Holmes & Watson. Of course that I hope for the best and the quirky, yet well produced video is the first shining light that this might be a good comedy.

balint345
balint345
2 months ago

The song is literally Higher Grounds meets Spirit In The Sky, any Nordic country would send it to ESC, and you would love it, it’s just as cheesy as those two.

Kredential
Kredential
2 months ago

As someone who lives in a country where nobody knows that ESC exists, I was really hoping this would start conversations with my friends about ESC.

Now all this movie will do is start conversations for all the wrong reasons. Ugh.

FanESC
FanESC
2 months ago

I just listened to the song. I’m disappointed because the first verse really wasn’t bad at all, I thought, very eurovision-friendly. But then the chorus came… it’s awful !

Thanos
Thanos
2 months ago
Reply to  FanESC

Yeah I agree with you the chorus just doesn’t work. The verses though have a Eurovision style

John
John
2 months ago

Loved your reaction video. I can’t believe your guys kept a straight face all the way through.

Jo.
Jo.
2 months ago

NQed

balint345
balint345
2 months ago

Come on people, EBU wouldn’t have let them use the Eurovision brand if it was trash…

viridESCent
viridESCent
2 months ago
Reply to  balint345

but they did, and it is

balint456
balint456
2 months ago
Reply to  balint345

Let alone advertise it.

Héctor
Héctor
2 months ago

Thanks Oranie and Esma. Totally agree.

Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago

I must fully agree with Oranie and Esma. #1pointforthelandscape

Bob
Bob
2 months ago

I think it’s fun, and I am looking forward to the movie 🙂 But I do understand those who think it’s a mockery. It’s a legit concern. After all, we don’t need more of the “Eurovision is a joke contest” philosophy spreading, it does not look good for the real artists. On the other hand, we should be able to parody and laugh at the crazy acts we have seen over the years – however, the ESC makes a pretty good job parodying itself every year, which is why they will have a hard time pulling of this as a… Read more »

Una
Una
2 months ago

I don’t like the song 🙁 Nor the aesthetic. Does the whole movie have the same aesthetic? Because of it does it’d seem a bit of a joke tbh. Comedy or not. There are ways to do comedy. There are ways to do mockery. And then we wonder why people mock Eurovision. What I liked: the Icelandic scenary, of course. Rachel – one of my favourite actors. A bit of a nod in the video to sort of iconic moment of duos on the Eurovision stage – Inge and Waylon (the camera goind round a bit) and Paula and Ovi… Read more »

Mascha
Mascha
2 months ago

Not gonna watch it. They did a better job at capturing Eurovision than I expected – but my expectations were very low, so… what really bugs me is that even when casting Europeans from different countries, Hollywood (or Netflix, whatever) resorts to casting the same, boring white American actors that aren’t even from those countries. This is obviously worse when casting non-white/non-European actors but it’s annoying regardless. I also kind of agree with Oranie, now that I’m reading their rating, haha.

Ohi
Ohi
2 months ago

Ferrell may well love Eurovision. It doesn’t mean he fully gets it. IMO It’s a Eurovision song made for Americans if that makes sense.

Kosey
Kosey
2 months ago

Totally hilarious! I love this. It absolutely strikes the right balance between a seriously produced Eurovision pop song and gently poking fun at the competition’s more ridiculous elements. This song is warm and comes from a place of love for ESC. If it is a signal if what is going to come in the movie, I think I am going to really enjoy it!

viridESCent
viridESCent
2 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

I just think Eurovision as a whole has come so far from the abscesses of the 2000s that it’s lowkey offending. Cos when someone mentions Eurovision they think of Dustin the Turkey or Jemini or Silvia Night and there’s nobody who recognises it for the actually quality song contest it has become. So this movie doesn’t seem like it will help that, and the people who watch it will most likely get put off Eurovision because of the clichéd and outdated way in which Will Ferrell presents it.

Kim
Kim
2 months ago
Reply to  viridESCent

When Russia enter a song that repeatedly counts to 4 and omitting number 3 in Spanish I don’t think we can actually say it’s a ‘quality song contest.’

viridESCent
viridESCent
2 months ago
Reply to  Kim

Interesting how you didn’t mention any of the other 40 quality songs in 2020, as well as 41 in 2019 and 42 in 2018 and then all the songs of 2017, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, and then an entire decade before that, and even more, and only used one song to prove that Eurovision is apparently not ‘quality’. And quite honestly, if you don’t like the contest, just leave.

Kosey
Kosey
2 months ago
Reply to  viridESCent

A little judgmental there. ESC should be, and is, for everyone.

viridESCent
viridESCent
2 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

Judgmental because I don’t think ESC is for people who consistently hate on it.

Kim
Kim
2 months ago
Reply to  viridESCent

Just because someone believes a song is trashy and has very questionable quality doesn’t necessarily mean people hate the contest. Take a look at all the comments from ESC fans on here and every thread has a comment about a song that they don’t like. One of the reasons Eurovision is so popular is because the songs are so ‘bad’ and for the majority of the audience, hearing them once is enough.

Kosey
Kosey
2 months ago
Reply to  viridESCent

Hate is a strong word.

I mean, we are talking about a song contest, it is not the most serious thing in the world.

viridESCent
viridESCent
2 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

If it’s not serious to you then why did you bother commenting?

Annelie
Annelie
2 months ago
Reply to  viridESCent

Everyone has their right to their opinion!
I agree that the trailer is fantastic and the song is actually much better than majority of the songs entered during the years of ESC…I guess that is why it strikes a nerve in ESC fans here, that the song actually would do quite well in the real competition and the fact that it is a part of a parody movie about the contest they love so much…

viridESCent
viridESCent
2 months ago
Reply to  Annelie

I mean it’s really not better than any eurovision song except maybe euro neuro, but go off

Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago
Reply to  Kim

I think it’s cute, skipping the 3. It’s supposed to be a funny song.

Andi
Andi
2 months ago

I’m sorry for loving that song. It’s just the guys teeth that freak me out lol

Jana
Jana
2 months ago
Reply to  Andi

The teeth are the only thing I remember from the clip. terrifying 😉

Malo
Malo
2 months ago

As a big ESC fan myself, and very aware of the progress the contest has made in the last decade regarding quality, I understand others’ concerns about its portrayal in this movie. But please remember that it’s a comedy, and it needed to focus on the ridiculous aspects of ESC in order to work. Us fans make fun of it all the time. And from what I’ve seen Will Ferrell is quite respectful towards the contest.

Ermin
Ermin
2 months ago

Is like LLPP, I liked both in the beginning, but now I don’t anymore. A mockery has a short life.

Malo
Malo
2 months ago
Reply to  Ermin

LLPP is not a mockery, it’s a love letter to ESC.

viridESCent
viridESCent
2 months ago

It just feels like a mockery. A shame, I love Rachel McAdams as an actress.

ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
2 months ago

I haven’t heard the song (and I won’t) but I’m sure it’s terrible. Also let’s face it, nobody would be paying attention to this if Eurovision hadn’t been cancelled.

Mascha
Mascha
2 months ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

It’s a conspiracy!

Darren
Darren
2 months ago

It’s actually a pretty accurate attempt at a joke entry. For once the USA actually knows how make an accurate joke about ESC.

Fake ESC entries needs to be a thing, where every country gets one and we pick a winner.
So far we have :

Volcano Man – Iceland
My Lovely Horse – Ireland

Is there any others?

Joe
Joe
2 months ago
Reply to  Darren

Stephen Colbert’s The Living Life

Mascha
Mascha
2 months ago
Reply to  Joe

I love Stephen Colbert, but damn that segment about Eurovision was not one of his high points imo 😐