With an icy blast of weather due to hit the UK, it’s time to head to the far north-west of Europe. Iceland is the only Nordic country not to have won Eurovision, though they have come as runners up twice since they first entered in 1986. Not a bad record though, considering Iceland has a smaller population than any of the countries who currently enter Eurovision, save San Marino. So, who makes the top 5?
Only one of the two runners up have made the top 5 which might prove the biggest surprise. None of the below sung in Icelandic I’m afraid – all in English (and a bit of French).
5. Euroband “This Is My Life” (2008, 14th place, 64 points)
This song returned Iceland to the final after 3 years of semi-final disappointments. Eurodance sums this song up!
4. Pollapönk “No Prejudice” (2014, 15th place, 58 points)
I was so pleased when this made the final in Copenhagen -a song with a wonderful message, needed now more than ever I think. Sung by an unusual band, Pollapönk, are a punk-inflected children’s music band whose members included an Icelandic MP!
3. Birgitta “Open Your Heart” (2003, 8th place, 81 points)
One of Iceland’s best ever results, this a great pop song – something the Nordic nations prove to be good at time and again!
2. Hera Björk “Je ne sais quoi” (2010, 19th place, 41 points)
A truly delightful lady (she performed at a Eurofest night at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, and stayed for ages after her show, signing autographs and CDs, chatting to everyone there), this was a hugely popular song among Eurovision fans. Didn’t connect quite as well with the wider voting audience but was in the grand final, the most important thing to have achieved. We love you Hera!
1. Yohanna “Is It True?” (2009, 2nd place, 218 points)
Iceland’s best ever result at Eurovision also tops the chart of my personal top 5. It’s a beautiful song, and I do wonder if the Alexander Rybak juggernaut hadn’t been around that year, whether this could have given Iceland its first win? Interesting fact: 2 of the 3 backing singers are also in this top 5 (Hera and the guy from Euroband)!
Did you agree with my top 5? Did you miss Selma (runner up in 1999)? Let me know who you’d have put in this top 5 and in what order!