Are you ready for Eurovision 2021?
Glitter? Check. Wind machines? Check. Key changes? Check.
Eurovision 2020: cancelled
The COVID-19 pandemic saw the 2020 event in Rotterdam cancelled, and Icelanders were a little sad about this. The 2020 Icelandic entry from Daði Freyr and his band was one of the favorites to win the contest.
Daði og Gagnamagnið’s song 'Think About Things' instead went viral, with loads of fans recreating and reinterpreting the video’s sweet dance moves all over social media. It’s now at 26 million YouTube views and counting, and has been streamed over 75 million times on Spotify. It even cracked the official Top 40 charts in a number of countries, including the UK, Sweden and Ireland.
Eurovision: the movie
For Eurovision-starved fans, there was a bright spot in 2020 when Netflix released a movie about Eurovision and Iceland to keep our spirits up. Did you see Will Ferrell’s film, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga? A large portion of it was filmed in north Iceland, and one of its songs, Husavik - My Hometown, is nominated for an Academy Award.
Iceland at Eurovision 2021
The Icelandic Eurovision authorities made a smart move in deciding to send Daði og Gagnamagnið to Eurovision 2021, which will take place in Rotterdam from May 18-22. Under normal circumstances the Icelandic public vote for their favorite song to represent the country in a contest called Söngvakeppnin, but no national selection was needed this year.
Daði og Gagnamagnið’s new song for 2021 is called '10 Years'. We think it’s got the potential to win big. Please admire the ingenuity of the accompanying video clip, with a dueling monster and robot, plus Trapped actor Ólafur Darri Ólafsson playing the 'mayor of Iceland'.
Fun facts: Daði Freyr
- Want to know more about Daði? RÚV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, has made a two-part documentary (with English subtitles) about him and his music.
- Daði spoke with us last year before the Live from Reykjavík event - see that short interview where he answers 'How does Iceland sound?'
- Last year, one of Reykjavík's city buses was painted to honor Daði og Gagnamagnið's Eurovision quest.
Fun facts: Iceland and Eurovision
- Iceland has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 32 times since its debut in 1986, missing only two contests since then, in 1998 and 2002.
- The country's best result is two second-place finishes, thanks to Selma's 'All out of luck' in 1999 and Yohanna's 'Is it true' in 2009.
- Want a rundown of all the Icelandic entries over the years? This post from Guide to Iceland is an absolute treasure trove of the good, the bad and the ugly.
- Icelanders are obsessed with Eurovision, and viewing figures estimate that over 95% of the population watches it. The dates are marked in people's diaries and there are parties around it. Why the obsession? We'll leave it to the head of Iceland’s Eurovision delegation to explain in this interview with the Reykjavik Grapevine.
- There are plans for a Eurovision Museum to be established in Húsavík, north Iceland.
Banner image of Daði og Gagnamagnið courtesy EBC / Birta Rán