Iceland holds one of the most interesting national finals, and out of these national finals comes out Eurovision successes, well, for the most part. Recently though, Iceland has been going through a bit of a slump. Since 2015, Iceland have failed to qualify to the final, despite sending songs we’ve loved, or at least found worthy enough to qualify. For this week’s National Final Throwback, we’re taking it back to the 2016 national final, which as you would most likely already know, was won by Greta Salóme. With an incredible stage show and performance of Greta’s song Hear Them Calling at Eurovision, it was a surprise to see Iceland not qualify to the final, so we wanted to know which song was second place to Greta in the national final – to not only recognise the merits of the song alone, but also to determine whether it could have been a better choice in 2016.
Iceland’s national final follows the semi-final to final format, much like Eurovision itself, but in addition to that, in the final, there’s an additional round called the Superfinal, which is the final round of voting between the top two acts. The competition was between Greta Salóme and Alda Dís Arnardóttir, the latter with the song titled Now – the subject of today’s National Final Throwback!
Before this post, I will admit I hadn’t heard this song, so straight up, first impressions, it’s a nice song. It has an indie feel like many of the songs we’ve heard from Icelandic hopefuls in the last few years, which to some extent is appealing, but like everything, too much of a good thing isn’t good anymore. With Maria Olafs the previous year with a song with a similar vibe, I think if that didn’t qualify, and Greta didn’t qualify with a more developed stage show, Alda unfortunately wouldn’t have seen the final either. Like I said, it’s a nice song, but it just isn’t intense enough, it doesn’t move us over the three minutes. The fairy vibe she has going on stage is nice too, but again, it just wasn’t enough.
With Alda and Greta the top 2 in the national final, I think Iceland were destined for a non-qualification. There were some really great songs in Eurovision 2016, and I don’t think either of them had the depth (although Greta had the stage show perfect for Eurovision) to be able to reach the final. Overall, it’s a nice song, but at times underwhelming. It’s a 6/10 for me.
Artist: Alda Dís Arnardóttir