NF Season: This week’s national final previews (February 10th-16th)

So after the mammoth national final in Malta on Saturday, it’s fair to say we’re still a little wrecked from the three-hour, fifteen minute long show. But we’re rested enough to have a look at the week’s upcoming national finals! So who will be deciding who to pick for Eurovision 2014?

This week's deciding national broadcaster: RÚV.
This week’s deciding national broadcaster: RÚV.

It’s almost unnecessary now to explain the method in which we tackle these articles, but just in case you’ve forgotten: every week, we have a look at all the upcoming national finals in the week and in these national finals, we give you our personal opinions on the songs, giving our predictions for who will win in the show and then, we finally have a look at the context of the NF and afterwards, when the artist and song have been picked, we shall do a review article for you to either bask in the glory of or refuse to even look at the night’s actions! Make sure you guys tell us what you think, as we love to hear your opinions!

This week’s calendar:

15th February 2014: Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins (Icelandic National Final)

  • Iceland
Iceland will pick its entry on February 15th
Iceland will pick its entry on February 15th

Oh Iceland – the land of Björk, my love. At Eurovision, they haven’t been the absolute best since Yohanna represented them in Moscow five years ago and came in a (not so) shock position of 2nd place. In recent years, they’ve been going for the emotional ballad – something that hasn’t exactly gone their way (20th in 2012 and 17th in 2013), so can Iceland break the rut they’re stuck in and send something more upbeat, like the absolute choons of Hera Björk in 2010 and Eurobandið in 2008?

This year, RÚV have kept to the same national final procedure as in recent years – Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins. In the final, there are six songs that have already qualified (wow, where have I heard that before? ESC CLICHÉ MOMENT!!) due to the semi-finals that took place during the last two weeks, while we were covering other shows. If you want to hear the songs that both qualified for the final and didn’t qualify, some lovely people on Youtube have created a playlist to help us find the songs easier, so just click on this fabulous link to go to it!  If you only want to hear the songs that qualified, only watch videos 1,2,4,6,7 and 10.

Reviews and Predictions:

Rory – Iceland.. my dearest love… how you have such a hard choice for Eurovision? Man, if I was in Iceland, I’d have a really hard choice in front of me! We’ve got six songs in the final this year and definitely, from what I hear it’s going to be hard.

From hearing the songs, I can definitely say that Ásdís María Viðarsdóttir and F.U.N.K. are my favourites for sure! First of all, because I know a little bit of Icelandic, I’m able to catch a bit of what the people are saying and although F.U.N.K’s song literally translates to “Until I Die” , the fact that it’s a good disco song (compared to that absolute crap song from Malta) actually proves to work in their favour and I actually end up bobbing my head along to the song! ‘Amor’ on the other hand..well it’s the fanwank of Söngvakeppni isn’t it? But you can tell why; its very much Adele-ish and it is incredibly catchy! I wouldn’t at all be surprised, or disappointed, if this went to Eurovision as well.

Well, in terms of who I don’t like…well, to be honest, I like nearly all of them! I’m not a huge fan of Pollapönk, because it does remind me of Ravaillacz singing a song like “Baby Doll” by The Top Cats (If you watched MelFest in the last two years, you’ll know what I mean). And maybe with Sigríður Friðriksdóttir, it does sound a little like she’s the Overly Attached Girlfriend in the ‘la la la la’ bits…but maybe that’s just me.

As for who I think will win in the National Final, I would probably say that Ásdís would take the title. The song is very jazzy and to be honest, in amongst the rest of the songs that have been picked, it would be a serious stand out song. So to me, I think she’s going to do very well, but if she doesn’t do it, I’d love to see F.U.N.K. go to Eurovision too, they’re all so individual…man, it’s so hard!!

Oh, and I’m very disappointed RÚV didn’t ever bother to ask Björk to consider entering Söngvakeppni…SHE DESERVES TO GO!! But good luck to Iceland all the same, can’t wait to find out who the winner will be!

James – The first song I listened to, waaaay back in January when the first semi-final previews were released, was Greta Mjöll’s “Eftir Eitt Lag”.. I adored it from the moment I pressed play, and since then, none of the other entries have really been able to match up to that standard for me.

Looking back at the last few years of Söngvakeppnin, there has always been that one song in this kinda genre, usually overlooked, but generally always my personal favourite – “Hjartad Brennur” in 2012, and “Eg Syng!” in 2013 for example. I am hoping against hope that this year’s happy-go-lucky Lena-pop guitar number will have enough steam to emerge victorious on Saturday night… and given Greta’s former role as footballing national treasure, I’m thinking the odds of her doing well with televoters should be pretty high… *crosses fingers*

Aside from that, to be honest, there’s only really one song I don’t like from the six – the hideously dull “Von”, which is LITERALLY “Egg-And-Leaf” part 2.. The other four would all make really credible and interesting contributions in Copenhagen, and for Iceland, I think it’s really important that they carry on with their recent trend of varying the genre year on year. I know “Amor” is a big fan favourite, and it’s my personal #2, I think Ásdís  has a really unique performance style, it’s dark and at times so insular she brings back memories of Vania Fernandes and her emotionally-charged “Senhora Do Mar” from Belgrade. As a piece of music, it really can’t be compared to anything we’ve seen at the contest in recent years, and – were Iceland brave enough to pick “Amor” – I think it would be nigh on impossible to predict where it would end up. Could flounder in the semis, or could challenge for top 5. No way to tell; but definitely worth the risk!

Context:

Along with Malta, Iceland has very a small population to pick a singer from (but it’s been doing so since 1986, so I guess there hasn’t been a problem as of yet), with most of the people looking to pursue a more hopeful career in singing. All of the finalists have fantastic voices and hopefully after the NF, they’ll have successful careers! Sadly, none of our recommendations in Iceland were called upon to take part in Söngvakeppnin *sigh* but from the six contenders that we have in the final, I’m sure that whoever succeeds Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson will definitely have a lot of hopes on their shoulders!

At Eurovision, a song that’s in a pretty wide-ranged national final going into a pretty diverse international song contest…it will definitely have to stand out! If Iceland actually does well at Eurovision in 2014, there may be an actual chance that Eurovision will be visiting Reykjavík for the first time in…well, ever. Plus, with Iceland getting relatively good results in the Contest, a placing on the left-hand side of the scoreboard would bring a much needed boost to the Icelandic hopes at Eurovision..maybe Iceland will be the underdog of 2014? We’ll have to see, but in the meantime – Áfram Ísland!

Your views:

What do you think of Iceland's potential songs?
What do you think of Iceland’s potential songs?

Svetlana Andriyenko from Ukraine: I love the song “Amor”, for me this can be the best song Iceland ever sends to Eurovision! Also I like “Lifid Kviknar A Ný”, I hope they choose one of these two songs

Svana Lístí Agnarsdóttir from Iceland: I really want Sigríður Friðriksdóttir to represent my country. I know it seems a little weird, but I really enjoy the song and to be honest, it stands out from the crowd. I also wouldn’t mind Ásdis winning either..my country actually has a strong bunch this year!

Ilias Kozantinos from Cyprus: ASDIS FOR ICELAND! She has to win, and if she doesn’t there is some serious rigging going on..

Ásdís is the apparent favourite among fans in Iceland so it seems and who can blame them; ‘Amor’ is a very catchy song, but who knows where it will end up? Maybe it’ll win or maybe it’ll come sixth – we’ll just have to see, come Saturday! So what do you think? Who’s your favourite in Iceland and who do you think will be the winner? Feel free to tell us what you think by commenting below!

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