It’s the time of year when the Post-Eurovision depression is in full swing, but there’s no better cure than to reminisce! Together with ESCDaily Editor, Dennis Van Eersel, we will be discussing each of this year’s competing nations – from their results to how we think they could improve in the future!
Predictions, Personal Scores and Results
Prediction: Top 10
Prediction: Top 10
Results: 4th place, Final
Did Iceland live up to expectations?
A: Iceland certainly lived up to expectations this year, despite the setbacks they faced leading into the live shows. It was absolutely devastating to see that they would have to use their rehearsal back-up tapes due to a positive COVID test in the Icelandic team, however viewers and juries still backed them. The nation finished in 5th place with both televotes and juries, which goes to show that the song and act still had massive appeal. It’s a difficult situation knowing that Iceland was one of the hot favourites last year, and I think because of that, the bar was set so high and a lot of fans within the Eurovision bubble were disappointed in their entry this year. I was not one of them. I really did believe this had a shot of winning, and realistically, a Top 5 entry was totally deserved, even with the rehearsal footage.
D: Apart from the fact that Iceland was the unluckiest nation at Eurovision 2021, not being able to actually perform during the shows, they pretty much did what was expected of them. One of the contenders for victory in 2020, but just below that prediction one year later, their 4th place finish was very suitable for what we expected before the contest took place.
How do you personally feel about the song for Iceland at Eurovision 2021?
A: I really did like this song just as much, if not more than their 2020 entry. It’s a tough call though, with both songs so incredibly strong. The group brought a new level of wholesomeness to the competition, and although it may have seemed gimmicky, at the core of the performance was an incredibly catchy song. Daði is an incredible performer and an incredible songwriter. I would have loved to have seen this win, but a Top 5 result is still very strong. This will be a song I remember for years to come.
D: It’s always difficult to follow up a successful entry. Despite the contest being cancelled in 2020, within the fan community a lot of people saw ‘Think About Things’ as the winner of that year. Usually, the following song by the winning artist is somewhat weaker, but I must say that Daði’ and his team did a good job in maintaining the appeal of their first song in this 2021 entry. The act and presentation was already known to many within the community, outside people still picked it up as being genuine enough to get a really high placing.
Could Iceland have done anything different?
A: It was unfortunate that the group didn’t get to live out their Eurovision dreams by performing live on stage. There were certain things that still needed tweaking before the live shows, camera work and so on – but it was a rehearsal, designed to be for practice. Speaking of the performance in general, I think there could have been a better concept with the lighting and design. I would have not used the disco style lights and colours, and would have played on the green and video game style they used for some of the performance. I guess regardless of what I think, it still did well enough to finish in 4th.
D: I think that after such a long year and being received so well on your first original attempt, it is a tough job to stay sincere and genuine after that. Trying not to make a copy of your own success. There were some small details in the performance that I think the group would not have included in their performance one year ago, like the trick with the fake keyboard-circle. However, these are such minor details within the fan community, which have had zero influence on their actual result. Daði is a charismatic performer and artist and has a true connection with his team/family. This always gets picked up by all viewers, jury and televote.
A: I think that’s a very notable point, that the connection with the group was very visible. This wasn’t a case of a lead singer with a backing singer/dancer team. This was a group of friends and family. It was totally genuine. And to add to that, with the song about his wife, who was also on stage, and pregnant, it really couldn’t get more wholesome. There was just so much to love about this song and performance.
D: If only they found a way to include all the madness from their awesome video clip haha. I’m sure you still have something to say about that as well?
A: I’m just amazed at the concepts they come up with. Even after the contest, Daði’s video clip for his follow up single was totally bonkers. He is a creative soul, but I’m glad there wasn’t too much of that on the Eurovision stage. The balance was just right.
What can Iceland do to ensure success in future years?
A: It’s likely that Iceland will return to their national final format. Their national final has achieved mixed results over the years, and it’s one of those things where it’s totally dependent on the songs submitted. I think we might see a strong national final for 2022 just due to the strong results of this year, and perhaps a renewed interest in the contest. The nation seems hungry for a win, but they need to find the right package.
D: For such a small nation, Iceland has been a steady factor at Eurovision for many years. Despite a big dip in their results in the late 10’s. I have the feeling that, after first picking Hatari and now Daði, they have found a way to look for more stand-out performances again. Which is serving them well thus far. I would suggest Iceland keeps that going.
Which was better, the live-on-tape performance or the actual performance?
D: There was not much difference sadly, because in the end their ‘actual’ performance was still a back-up tape, albeit in Rotterdam. It was clear that Daði didn’t grab all the camera’s how he wanted yet and Iceland was still a work in progress, but I am glad it didn’t hurt their final result. Overall, the performance in Ahoy was already one step further than the one in their back-up tape. It’s too bad we’ll never get to see what it would have been like the moment when all the shots were optimal after that second round of rehearsals and adaptations.
A: In comparison to their previously recorded back-up tape, it was clear that the Ahoy stage provided them with better infrastructure. The concept was there, but the LED screens helped bring the performance to life. I think their charm would have still put them in a good position, even with that original tape. But certainly, it’s a shame we didn’t see their full potential. I guess at least they had footage from Ahoy, even if it wasn’t perfect. It was more of a seamless transition from song to song.