Iceland emerged as a real contender to win Eurovision back in 2020 before the pandemic put paid to that contest. A top 5 result in 2021, and the success of the Eurovision movie which centred on Iceland, suggested this most northerly outpost of the contest was finally getting close to achieving a first win. Yet, I’m afraid that Diljá, the Icelandic representative this year, gets the wooden spoon for the Nordic countries in my own countdown, but how will she do in the actual contest.
Iceland selected via their long-established national selection, Söngvakeppnin, with a final with just 5 songs, but many hours of duration… Diljá was with the winner with her own co-written song “Power”. Although only 21, she did compete in an Icelandic TV talent show, Ísland Got Talent, as early as 2015. The producer of the song, Pálmi Ragnar Ásgeirsson, is also one of the song’s co-writers, and was also responsible for Iceland’s 2015 entry, “Unbroken”. That song only came 15th in its semi-final so I imagine they will be hoping for a better result this time…
“Power” is very much in that group of songs here in the lower reaches of my rankings that I actually don’t have much of an opinion about or indeed reaction to. That is one of the reasons why these sorts of songs are low. The song has an drum and bass beat underpinning it, which does put me off (as well dating it) – we had so many songs 20 years ago that did this, but I don’t hanker for a return. Her vocal is good, but it’s not enough to lift this song into something that interests me I’m afraid.
Diljá may have got lucky though with being in the more open semi-final and getting one of the better first half running order slots. In terms of televoting history of the countries in their semi-final, Iceland will expect to pick up some points at least from Denmark, while less obviously, Poland and San Marino have both been reliable points givers to Iceland. Betting odds have Iceland not qualifying, while the Eurovision scoreboard app has them going through.
I think this is very much touch and go in terms of qualifying – I can see at least eight or nine songs more likely to qualify than this, so it’s going to be battling at least three other songs for that final qualifying spot. Staging, presence and who ends up voting on the night will be key to see if Iceland can make it four grand finals in a row.
Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1986
Appearances (excluding this year): 34
Best result: 2nd in 1999 and 2009
Last year’s result: 23rd