If there was one entry from 2020 that you could say had broken through from the bubble of the Eurovision fandom, it would be Daði og Gagnamagnið’s “Think About Things” (in UK and western European countries at least). It reached the UK Top 40 – no mean feat for a Eurovision song. It was picked up by celebrities and other media personalities, including even political journalists, and also my own colleagues at work. The song even went as far as being featured on the BBC’s super popular Strictly Come Dancing, used within the show and also in a promo for the show. Iceland usually have a national final but, uniquely among the Nordic countries, reselected Daði Freyr for 2021.
The 2021 entry, “Ten Years” follows in the footsteps of “Think About Things” in that while last year the song was about Daði’s infant daughter, 2021’s entry is dedicated to his wife, and the 10 years of being together. It retains that distinctive 1970s disco/1980s electropop theme of last year, and of course includes another Tik-Tokable dance routine; the pixel art and tracksuits, and a cool quirkiness and kitchiness. “Think About Things” was third in my 2020 countdown and while this doesn’t quite hit the same heights, it’s still a song I enjoy very much indeed.
Daði has been something of a Eurovision lockdown legend too, giving online shows from his home studios in Iceland last year, and again this year from his Berlin (studio) flat. They’ve seen him apply his own unique style to other Eurovision songs. He’s also got the fandom involved in his song this year – asking them to contribute to an 1000 person choir, and is used towards the end of the song (and makes use of the backing track change for 2021).
When this came out, there was a somewhat muted reaction from the fandom, but perhaps given the enormous popularity of “Think About Things”, it was always going to be hard to follow up. I think the fandom have warmed up to this though as time has gone on, and it’s risen in the betting odds (where it is well in the top 10). Many people were convinced that their entry last year would have won the contest, though I am not sure it was as certain as people seem to think. This year, I think people may have written off their chances of winning too hastily – while their 2020 song was hugely popular, it will still be the case that this is fresh for most people and most televoters won’t be comparing it to last year. It’s got potential to do well with both juries and public vote, so don’t rule out a debut win for Iceland just yet…
Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1986
Appearances (excluding 2020 this year): 32
Best result: 2nd in 1999 and 2009
2019’s result: 10th