Iceland at Eurovision

Paper by Svala

There’s a fiendishly difficult Eurovision pub-quiz question that you can leave your contributions to in the comments below: name all the family connections that have performed in the Contest. We’ve had some very famous married couples, some sibling pairs – including sets of twins – and at least a couple of parents and their children on stage at the same time. Iceland this year adds to the list in the sub category of performers whose children later went on to compete, as Svala is the daughter of 1995 entrant Björgvin (Bo) Halldórsson.

She won what I thought was a great national final this year beating a number of excellent songs, several of which were unfortunately better. Each participant had to submit recordings in both Icelandic and English, singing in national language in the semi-final with a free choice should they advance through. I like the concept, as it allows you to contrast and see which would work better internationally, whilst playing to the domestic audience, and ensuring your artist is suitably connected to the country enough to at least have a working grasp of the language.

Svala benefits from her English version, and has an electronica sound that’s perfectly passable as an entry, but is never exactly exciting. A fashionista with an interesting collection of tattoos, Svala has, it would suggest, the opportunity to be styled anywhere on a scale from cutting edge to Barbara Dex. It’s something I fancy could be key to how well she sells her performance, as this could easily be a third year stuck in the semis if she looks too naff.

My marks – 5 points