Iceland - Nikke Allen

Songvakeppnin 2017 Semi 2

Last Saturday, Iceland held their second semi where the final 6 of the 12 competing acts presented their songs to the public. The top 3 entries decided solely by televoting would advance to the final on March 11th.   I followed the broadcast on the web, and this is what I thought of the 6 songs:

1.  Linda Hartmanns - "Ástfangin"

Linda in a long flowing red dress, is seated at the piano to begin her song.   It's all very subdued and classical and rather ponderous.  Then we get two dancers on stage to twirl around in the background in the gloom, whilst the Miracle Of The Still Playing Piano occurs as Linda gets up from it and moves to the front of the stage to sing.   Sorry, but this always irritates me - either you remain at the piano or you do the whole song standing at the mike!  The song throbs up into a crescendo and then ends rather suddenly with more of a whimper than a bang.

2.   Daði Freyr Pétursson- "Hvað með það?"

Quirky electronic start with light up guitars on the gloomy stageas Daði stands alone at a mike, dressed very casually in a green jumper. As the chorus kicks in, he and his 3 backing singers with the guitars do a side to side dance which I find frankly silly.  Daði seems lacking in charisma and the song is just a dull throbbing continual dirge to my ears, but the audience seem to like it.   Is this one to watch?

3.  Svala Björgvinsdóttir - "Ég veit það"

Dressed in a white trouser suit and with her blonde hair scraped severely back into a ponytail, Svala stands alone in a single beam of light.   The verse is pretty bland but then the chorus creeps up on you, and has a good hook.   A bit of stage mist adds atmosphere, and Svala's vocals are great.   The backing during the verse in particular reminds me of the backing for the Animata song a couple of years ago in ESC.  Nice blue lazer show during the brief bridge!  Her shoes are absolutely ridiculous though.

4.  Páll Rósinkranz & Kristina Bærendsen - "Þú og ég"

A very elegant presentation, the song a light laid-back country-style ditty.   With twangy guitars gently echoing in the background , Kristina, in a long black dress, and Páll in a dark suit, harmonize and interact well with each other.  The song has little impact, but it's very enjoyable.

5.  Sólveig Ásgeirsdóttir - "Treystu á mig"

Oh, this is sweet, and you know it's kinda going to be sweet before she starts singing.  Sólveig stands alone on the stage in a long blue dress as the gentle piano chords and violin open the song, then the song picks up pace and evolves into a very pretty lilting tune.  She is just as sweet as the song and has nice vocals throughout.

6. Aron Brink- "Þú hefur dáleitt mig"

A very young-looking Aron has 4 backing singers/dancers with him on the stage, they are all dressed in white which contrasts nicely with the dark stage.   Aron has rather a small voice, but the great beat on this song makes up for it, and he and his singers move around well on stage to the song.   This is a much-needed uptempo - fresh, happy and feel-good.  The chorus is very catchy, and towards the end of the song the stage bursts into golden colours which is refreshing to the eye.  I could see this at ESC.

After some interviews with the singers in the Blue/Silver Room, and a little interval act where the woman who played Silvia Night sings "Save Your Kisses For Me", the 3 qualifying songs to the final are announced in no particular order:

Aron Brink- "Þú hefur dáleitt mig"
Daði Freyr Pétursson- "Hvað með það?"
Svala Björgvinsdóttir - "Ég veit það"

Then there is the announcement of a "wildcard" entry, and that wildcard qualifying is from the first semi-final - Hildur with "Bammbaramm".

So who will win Songvakeppnin this year and go on to represent Iceland in Kyiv?   All will be revealed on Saturday evening!