Iceland’s second semi-final takes place on Saturday, with the final five entries presented to the Icelandic public and jury. Just two will go through to the final on March 2nd, but who should it be? James and Sean peruse the final five entries to be performed…

Elli Grill, Skadi, Glymur – Jeijo, keyrum alla leid

James – 0 – “ESCUnited editor Matt Friedrichs has already pointed out the Gollum-esque vocals, and there’s nothing you can add to that spot-on description. If you want to listen to Gollum on top of an Ibiza club banger that trashy English lager louts would jump up and down to in the early 2000s, go ahead and give this a spin. But it is f&%$%g terrible, and though we’ve got a few more selections to go, I am confident to say this is the worst Eurovision entry of 2019. This makes Daz Sampson’s failed entry for Belarus sound like a masterpiece.”

Sean – 1 – “Okay, so I gather this is some kind of novelty song this year hoping to bring a bit of party to proceedings. But honestly – and I reserve this for special cases – this is just crap. Nobody outside of Iceland is likely to understand this, the vocals are annoying and it’s a pure mess of a track. No thanks.”

Total – 1

Ívar Daníels – Make Me Whole

James – 5 – “A pleasant acoustic guitar driven romantic ballad. Personally, I’d suggest he keeps his lyrics in Icelandic as the English version is a serious of clichés he cut out of a romance novel, taped to a wall, and threw darts at. Also, Daniels does have a lovely voice, and maybe I heard a rougher cut on Google Play, but Daniels’ voice is buried in the mix. Stick with the Icelandic and dial down the dominant acoustic guitar in the mix, and Iceland could have a qualifier here.”

Sean – 4 – “This would be the first country-fied entey since Sjonni’s Friends in 2011, which we all agree is a special case. This just isn’t strong enough of an entry to comvince Icelanders to go for the unexpected country sound again. It’s a pleasant three minutes but a duration that doesn’t take the listener anywhere.”

Total – 9

Heiðrún Anna Björnsdóttir – Sunday Boy

James – 6 – “Vocally, she does not sound like an artist whose last Songvakeppnin go round was in 1991, but her song does sound like the indie electro-pop was en vogue in the early to mid-1990s, particularly the United Kingdom. This song does not have much of a hook, and the melody is quite fleeting. I do like that national selections do give us a variety of ages to choose from these days, especially with situations where the oldest can sound like the youngest, or vice versa. And because that indie electro-pop sound never really went away, her sound does not feel dated.”

Sean – 8 – “Probably the strongest song in this selection behind the excellent Hatari. This is a twee, fun pop song about the folly of boys that already has a very pink and airy staging in my mind. It’s catchy, happy and lyrically is surprisingly good for a song like this. Well done!”

Total – 14

Tara Mobee – Fighting For Love

James – 5 – “Her “Nothing to Say” from 2017 is far better. “Fighting for Love” is an over produced and over processed mess, and Mobee gets drowned out in the chorus. Mobee should have been paired with something more whimsical than this generic banger. Have a listen to “Nothing to Say” and ask if “Fighting for Love” is the right song for Mobee. Iceland have missed an opportunity with perhaps the only singer on the island who can deliver fun and whimsy without being a deliberate oddball. If this is how Iceland fights for love, then hate will indeed prevail.”

Sean – 6 – “I think this song has an identity crisis. It’s part uptempo, part mid, part dance track, part ballad, and it’s not cohesive enough for me to grab my interest. Certainly, it’s not bland, but it’s hard to put my finger on what this one exactly is.”

Total – 11

Friðrik Ómar – What If I Can’t Have Love?

James – 6 – ““What if I Can’t Have Love?” asks Omar, who was one half of Euroband who finished 14th at Eurovision 2008. Omar’s coming back with an adult contemporary ballad like Michael Bolton pinched off in the ‘90s, complete with gospel backing singers. This pales in comparison to Michael Rice’s “Bigger Than Us” (and yes, the British are being absolute d*^&holes in trashing Rice). That will probably indicate the prospects this one has at Songvakeppnin let alone the main event in Tel Aviv itself.”

Sean – 7 – Considering Friðrik was one half of the duo that brought us the most iconic banger in Eurovision history, a midtempo ballad is a dissapointing choice for this selection. Nevertheless, “What If I Can’t Have Love?” is a well sung emotive song that will surely allow Ómar his chance to work the cameras and shine once again on stage.”

Total – 13

So how did we compare in our evaluation of the songs? Let’s take a look…

  1. Heiðrún Anna Björnsdóttir – Sunday Boy – 14
  2. Friðrik Ómar – What If I Can’t Have Love? – 13
  3. Tara Mobee – Fighting For Love – 11
  4. Ívar Daníels – Make Me Whole – 9
  5. Elli Grill, Skadi, Glymur – Jeijo, keyrum alla leid – 1

Based on our combined scores, we feel that Heiðrún Anna Björnsdóttir and Friðrik Ómar should be joining Hatari and Hera Björk in the final on March 2nd.

But do #YOU agree? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below and on social media!

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