Iceland and Eurovision: Error of Taste (KH)


katharinahauptmann02_dlOn February 2, the people of Iceland voted. They did not vote for a president, a political party, not for or against their country’s EU membership but for something just as important to them—the Icelandic entry for the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC).

Icelanders love the Eurovision Song Contest and take it very seriously.

When that time of the year has come, many ESC parties are held all over Iceland, people meet up to watch the show and so on. This hype is amazing. It’s like Iceland was in the finals of the European Championship in football (being German I know how that feels).

When I was a little kid, I loved to watch the song contest, back then it was still called Grandprix Eurovision de la Chanson. But that was in the 80s and that’s basically an excuse for everything.

Today it seems almost ridiculous how serious people take this competition since the music is so, well, terrible.

So far Iceland’s best position at the ESC was second place, twice achieved in 1999 and 2009. 1989 marked the year when Iceland’s Eurovision career hit rock bottom with last place and zero points, and in 2001 when the country’s entry scored a sad three points.

Dark times for Iceland.

But still, Icelanders won’t give up their dream of winning the competition of all competitions.

In 2013, they are seeking to reach their goal by enchanting the international audience with ‘Ég á líf’ sung by a blond adonis with an angel’s voice: Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson.


Honestly, I do not understand the fascination with the ESC at all. Not the least bit. The whole competition is fake and banal and the music is at best horrendous.

No offense, but so far all the songs representing Iceland at the Eurovision Song Contest were simply embarrassing, like Hera Björk’s ‘Je ne sais quoi’, an insult to my ears.

Judging by 90 percent of the songs competing in the contest, one shouldn’t compete at all. But since Icelanders won’t give up home and will continue trying to win the competition, I have a proposition:

Iceland is full of so many fantastic, brilliant and talented musicians—why not let the world hear and be amazed by Iceland’s true music talent? Come on, Icelanders, your country is famous for having such a unique and brilliant music scene and I know that you are proud of this. Rightly so, you should be. Then don’t turn your backs on good music.

Long story short: Can Iceland win this year’s Eurovision? No.

Hell no. It should not. Not with another shallow, sappy and at most mediocre pop song.

Iceland can do so much better.

I believe in you!

Katharina Hauptmann –

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.