EuroVision ’18 Song By Song: “Our Choice” by Ari Olafsson, Iceland
Over the coming weeks, sometimes more than once a day, we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually in random order, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.
Next up on our Song-By-Song preview is the official entry from Iceland, “Our Choice” by Ari Olafsson, written by Þórunn Erna Clausen. 19 year old Olafsson is the youngest solo competitor in this year’s contest. The song is performed in English. The song will be performed 2nd in the competition order on the first semi-final on May 8.
One of the few overtly political songs in this year’s contest – the lyrics address the European immigration crisis – the sentiment is nice, but almost naive in its message and presentation; no matter how hard you try, this kind of issue CANNOT be fixed easily, and this song would have you believe that a smile or a kind word would change the world overnight. Doesn’t work that way, sorry. It doesn’t help that the song is so…so…earnest…Olafsson is so…so…well, ok, i’m gonna try and put this into words…it’s almost like he’s saying “Golly gee, if we all just get together in a great big circle and hold hands and smile and sing ‘Kumbaya’, everything will be just peachy keen, don’tcha think?” Erggg… Don’t get me wrong, Olafsson is an excellent singer, but you couple the simplistic video of him walking around a city (assumably Reykjavik?) singing these lyrics with a smile on his face, his Donny Osmond-esque looks, and oozing naive charm…it just doesn’t work. On ANY level. And the song’s a MAJOR snore to boot. Hell, “The World Is A Circle” from the gawd-awful 1973 musical version of “Lost Horizon” has the same sentiment and does it way better than this song does, with way more pep and charm. Chart chances in the US – pretty much nil…radio stations that play pop music don’t play activist songs much…and don’t want to put their audience to sleep…
Iceland debuted in Eurovision in 1986, and has participated 36 times. They have never managed a Grand Final championship, but they’ve come close twice, earning runner-up status with “All Out Of Luck” by Selma in 1999 and “Is It True?” by Yohanna in 2009. Since the introduction of semi-finals in 2004, the country has not qualified for the final six times, including last year.
Here’s the official music video – check it out…
Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! The daily artist and song profiles will appear on each site, with some past winners and historical info coming to TKR and PlanetBM in the next week or so as I complete my research!
We’re featuring FOUR songs today and on Monday and Tuesday as well to finish up our Song By Song profiles! After that, it will be time for yours truly to start unleashing some historical favorites and such…
If you’re reading our posts on our Medium site, you may want to switch to one of the main sites – we’re having issues over there due to the multple blogs we’re posting on. If you don’t want to miss anything, check out eCO, TKR, or PlanetBM!
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Also published on Medium.