Iceland – is that it?

Daði og Gagnamagnið, Iceland, First Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 10 May 2021 — EBU / Andres Putting
Daði og Gagnamagnið, Iceland, First Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 10 May 2021

I’m feeling the peer pressure here. It’s like when you are 14 at school and you are dared to nick a copy of Razzle from the newsagents whilst no one is looking (other peer induced things are available). People left and right and centre are telling me that the two rehearsals they just saw were the best thing since the nativity. and that Dadi is the chosen one and we should all kneel in his very tall presence.

I just look at it and go ” Is that it?”. Sure, it has the required elements: flashy neon inspired background (AGAIN), a semi decent hook, a disengaged/engaging stage act with the circular Ovi-inspired piano, only this time divided into three, so his backing singers can have a go at getting in on the act as well. It even has words on the background (something not seen for a good few songs), and they walk and sing on the satellite stage. People can, should they so choose, dance along and, apparently, it puts a smile on peoples’ dials – which, I guess, is what Europe needs right now.

People can tell me till they are blue in the face that this is meant to win, that the performance was perfect and that this will win the Televote. They told me that about Iceland in Tel Aviv; many with the same conviction. Televoters are going to not know what on earth he did last year when he could have legitimately won, and won’t have followed his well constructed PR journey. They’ll see a tall man in a double-knit sweater and five nerdy clones looking disinterested singing an 80’s throwback. They won’t know his backstory or how much time fans have invested in him and they won’t care.

This will do well, as it’s actually performed well, but it ain’t winning.