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Saturday, 15 February 2014 19:49

Iceland: Söngvakeppnin 2014 - LIVE

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Gott Kvöld! We're all set in Malta, to see who Iceland will be selecting as their next representative in the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark. In the beginning, RUV received round about 300 submissions, the largest amount to date with ten (10) acts competing in two (2) semi-finals. From each semi-final, two (2) acts had to qualify with the professional jury at liberty to select up to two (2) wildcards, one from each respective semi-final, something which they also did, thus bringing up the total number of acts for this evening to six (6).

WebTV, a feature initiated by eurovision.tv will be offering a live stream of the broadcast, directly from RUV, kicking off in a couple of minutes time. In recent years, Iceland has always been part of the final at the Eurovision Song Contest and therefore, they hope that their selection this evening will entail them to make it through to the final stage of the competition once more. Ragnhildur Steinunn Jónsdóttir & Guðrún Dís will be responsible for hosting the show. In the first round of voting, the jury has been allocated 50% with the general public also allocated 50%, but then in the second round of voting, with the top two (2) songs in tow, the general public ONLY will determine the winner.

The Show (Part 1)

Well, our hosts for the evening, are seemingly chatting to everyone they find on the streets and showing them photographs of artists who have been to the Eurovision Song Contest, and who are representative of the Icelandic music scene. The funny thing is that the public is seemingly not recognising their faces and for example referred to Eythor as Jesus. It has been a pretty weird opening thus far, but nevertheless, the audience is ready, set in their seats for the selection!

Running Order

F.U.N.K. - Þangað til ég dey (Ottósson, Finnbogason and Arnarsson)

Interestingly enough, I quite like this track and that is probably because it had a bit of a retro feel, one which I am very much inclined to enjoy. The lead vocalist is wearing the most bizarre blazer, one which would still suit my wardrobe. His vocals are spot on but his overconfidence on stage makes him look super weird and I do not even want to comment on the weird movement by the rest of the group on stage. The audience has gone mad for an electronic piano solo. This is just all over the place, and I honestly cannot believe that I am watching the Icelandic final. Horrible start!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGaxWfE5iug

Ásdís María Viðarsdóttir - Amor (Johnson)

A fan-favourite which only got through thanks to the wildcards awarded by the professional members of the jury. One has got to love the beginning, both in terms of composition and staging, noting that the stage has gone all dark albeit some dry ice. Ásdís is wearing a black gown and some make-up gone wrong, or tribal, whatever you decide! The vocals are sultry, and lead you to something bigger, and better but I believe that the presentation should be done differently. The audience enjoyed that and this could very much be our winner!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vetmZ4n_3Rw

Sigga Eyrún - Lífið kviknar á ný (Olgeirsson & Eyrún)

Well, it seems that one of the songs intentionally planned for the hit musical Chicago has found itself competing to represent in the Eurovision Song Contest. They decided to also make use of the costumes; feather boas, curtains and all. It is a sweet little number, but I just cannot see this being performed on the international stage because it lacks the punch to make it a big track. Throw in a long note in the middle of the song to give it some character .. NO! It does not work that way but who am I to criticise, apart from being a potential voter in a couple of months. This is also all over the place and I am extremely disappoint.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyZbZ2GIIis

Gissur Páll Gissurarson - Von (Helgason)

It has become customary to include a opera performer in the selection process and Iceland has decided in favour of this as well. Technically speaking, it is one of the better songs in the selection this evening and I would definitely not be surprised should the juries go for it. Gissur is wearing a tuxedo, minus the bow-tie to have a taf of an edge and he is joined by a pianist and an acoustic guitar player. The vocals are strong but I feel like this song is a bit too dated to compete at the Eurovision Song Contest, unless the arrangement is picked up and re-done in a manner where it could be made a hit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04yBm3pkRDU

Gréta Mjöll Samúelsdóttir - Eftir eitt lag (Björgvinsdóttir / Sævarsdóttir)

Our lead vocalist has taken to the left part of the stage, playing Gianluca's ukelele and then, as the music picks up, she takes to the middle of the stage, joined by two (2) female backing vocalists playing the guitar and the accordion and another female playing the cahones. The music is fun, and it definitely stands out from the rest of the line-up this evening. It would very much be a travesty to see this song go to waste, noting that it is my pick to represent Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest. The bridge is infectious and I could see the tiny nation being noticed, in a similar manner Malta was in 2013. Good Luck Greta!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Wbfg-eYae4

Pollapönk - Enga fordóma (Kristjánsson and Gíslason)

Well, the sixth and final song this evening is being presented by a bunch of middle-aged man who had nothing else to do on a Saturday night but embarass themselves live on stage. There is nothing good with this song, starting off with the choice of clothing, exercise gymsuits, or with the presentation, noting the backing vocalists who look like statues, or the beards which definitely are unsuited. The choreography is stupid and silly. Why are they shouting? The audience are enjoying this. I am definitely NOT because I tend to go for quality.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0l-gqXO3x1U

The Show (Part 2)

Our backstage hosts are currently chatting away to the participants this evening whilst we head onto the main stage in order to watch a recap of the competing entries, as the tele-voting continues. Once more though, our backstage hosts are back on screen in order to chat to the artists who are hoping to represent Iceland in just a coupe of months. Well, we've got a feature with the Olsen Brothers currently and they look amazing. They chat to the backstage hosts about their winning entry Fly On The Wings of Love. Another recap, probably the third of the evening. We get to see Eythor's journey at the Eurovision Song Contest, followed by a super cute children's version of Eg a Lif.

Super-Final

Pollapönk - Enga fordóma (Kristjánsson and Gíslason)

I have lost all my faith in Iceland, and if they pick this song, I will surely put this down as one of the worst songs ever to be played at the Eurovision Song Contest. They had a below average selection and ended up picking this piece of trash in favour of of either Von or Eftir eitt lag. Iceland restore some dignity to yourselves and pick the first song.

Sigga Eyrún - Lífið kviknar á ný (Olgeirsson & Eyrún)

Well, the only difference in the performance this time round is that the song is being performed in English but it still sounds like a discarded cabaret number taken from Chicago or possibly Nine, but that would be too classy. The vocals are strong but the song needs a brand new production, for sure. Nevertheless, this is surely the option for Iceland should they wish to possibly not be ridiculed at the Eurovision Song Contest in the same manner that Silvia Night was a couple of years back.

Winner

Pollapönk - Enga fordóma (Kristjánsson and Gíslason)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0l-gqXO3x1U

Last modified on Saturday, 15 February 2014 22:26
Marc Calleja Bayliss

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