You have to feel some sympathy with Iceland at the contest – the last Nordic country to join the contest (in 1986), they are the only one of that group not to have won the contest, have not even come close to qualifying for the grand final for the past four years, and their last top 10 result was a decade ago. Can something out of the ordinary help Iceland improve their fortunes in 2019? Enter Hatari…
Winning the Icelandic national final pretty comfortably, Hatari are a techno and punk band and will bring their song “Hatred will prevail” to the contest. Not the usual Eurovision fare you might say. They also do a bit of a sideline of BDSM in their performance and are outwardly anti-capitalist and anti-many things. Look at things a little closer though and you’ll see that it’s all part of (a very fine) performance.
Out of character, the members of the band seem to be absolutely lovely (and indeed even in character they have been putting across positive messages such as showing support for Russia’s LGBT community) and they have proved something of a phenomenon amongst Iceland’s children.
Their song is a mix of electropop with techno and punk, and both its sound and the official music video are reminiscent of Depeche Mode to my mind. It also does actually conform to some classic Eurovision tropes – there is a hugely telegraphed big key change and like many Eurovision performances, they are experts in delivering lively performances in eye-catching costumes.
Will this turn’s Iceland’s fortunes round? Well, there is a chance this might flop but I think this is one of a couple of major wildcards in the contest. It’s hard to know how this will go with the juries, but I think this has the potential to pick up a lot of televotes – it could prove to be another Lordi. One to watch for sure and I think will deliver Iceland their best result since 2009.
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Official music video:
National final performance:
My preview video:
Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1986
Appearances (excluding this year): 31
Best result: 2nd in 1999 and 2009
Last year’s result: 19th (and last) in semi-final (did not qualify)