COUNTDOWN TO (CANCELLED) EUROVISION: #1 IS HERE…AND IT’S ICELAND!!!!

#1 – Iceland
Think About Things
Dadi Og Gagnamagnid
Songwriters: Dadi Freyr Petursson

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica has begun its Countdown To the now-cancelled Eurovision Song Contest 2020! Over 41 days I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary. As of the official announcement on March 20 2020, ALL of this year’s songs are now officially “lost”; Eurovision’s executive committee has stated that all songs in the ESC 2021 contest MUST be new, so there will never be an “Official” winner of ESC 2020 thanks to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak causing the contest’s first-ever cancellation. So this is my only chance to rank them. The songs will all be spotlighted on a special called Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light, which will air LIVE on May 16, when the Grand Final should have been held, so that’s at least SOMETHING…

IT’S TIME FOR NUMBER ONNNNNNEEE1 THIS IS IT, HERE COMES, NUMBER ONE! (apologies to Dr Demento, heh heh)

Taking the top of the countdown at #1 this year is the official entry from Iceland, “Think About Things” by Dadi Og Gagnamagnid. It is performed in English, and was scheduled to be performed 5th at the second semifinal on May 14. The song won Iceland’s national final, Söngvakeppnin 2020, in late February, becoming this year’s entry. Iceland has not yet announced its plans for ESC 2021.

Although a native of Iceland, Dadi Freyr currently lives in Berlin, Germany. His band Gagnamagnid is a band that is more performance art than anything else – front man and musician Freyr plays almost all the instruments in his productions as well as doing lead vocals, his sister Sigrun Birna Pétursdóttir and close family friend Hulda Kristín Kolbrúnardóttir are his backup singers, while Dadi’s wife Árný Fjóla Ásmundsdóttir, and friends Stefán Hannesson and Jóhann Sigurður Jóhannsson do the dancing and “playing” sci fi instruments on stage. Like I said, performance art. Not bad for Freyr, who  in 2012, at just nineteen years of age and then leading the band RetRoBot, was voted electric musician of the year after winning the annual Músíktilraunir music festival.

What I’m thinking about this song…What can I say? They had me FOR GOOD from the wind machine…LOL! My first thought upon seeing the video was “Man, I didn’t know Jason Mewes was singing in Iceland!”  There has NEVER been this PERFECT of a representation of a typical, classic Eurovision entry anytime I can think of. It oozes total goofiness with deadpan humor, sweet and irresistible charm, unbelievable happy and sweet lyrics (written by Freyr, addressing his newborn baby daughter, born last year), some of the most fun and funniest choreography in history, and always in perfect “8-bit” sync, too (which the fans are picking up, of course), and most – and BEST- of all, represents something very simple – a musician and his friends just HAVING FUN ON STAGE!  “Think About Things” is one of the sweetest songs I’ve ever heard here, and one I didn’t think possible from Iceland, who the past two years have just had a CRAPFEST – first there was bland, snoozy, “Kum-Ba-Ya”-like plea for tolerance in Ari Olafsson‘s “Our Choice” in 2018, and then an inexplicable and utter 180 degree swing to the other end, with steampunk eurodance band Hatari‘s (absolutely and in no uncertain terms inappropriate for Eurovision) 2019 entry “Hatrio mun sigra” (English translation “Hatred will prevail”). Both songs were just not good choices for Eurovision. And to see the country bounce back with this utter gem…well, I couldn’t be happier…except that the country has been ROBBED of what looked like a surefire winner, if you judge from the number of unofficial polls conducted by various organizations over the last week or so – it has topped 7 of 9 of these polls (all fan-voted) so far, and is leading in at least 5/6th of the ones going on right now. The song has gone completely viral; you have Hollywood stars tweeting and Facebooking the song now. And the fan support has been ramping up across the boards for the past month – when I first started this countdown nearly six weeks ago, the song was averaging in the mid-20s on the ESCFan YouTube countdowns that pop up every year. And then, I started seeing more, both new ones, ones that were revised…and the song was climbing FAST, ending up in the top 10 on about 80% of these YouTube countdowns. It has scored the highest score (so far) from the “jury” team at ESCUnited (“Your FAVORITE EuroVision Channel”..and mine too…heh heh). topping a number of the other rabid favorites (including “Tears Getting Sober” and “Respondez-Moi“) on their annual poll. You have to know the song’s good when I actually woke up the morning after I first heard it and the song INSTANTLY came roaring back into my head – WOW, that’s NEVER happened before – EVER! And we already KNOW Dadi and company deliver the goods live – it’s the Iceland national finals performance that is getting viewed more than the music video, which is also hilarious, of course. Let’s face it – this WOULD HAVE BEEN Iceland’s year at ESC…and now we don’t get to watch Dadi’s hair blowing in the wind machine in Rotterdam….DAMN YOU CORONAVIRUS!!!!

Iceland debuted in Eurovision in 1986, 2020 marked their 37th year of participation, and so far had 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 seven times.

Here’s the official music video  – check it out…

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica over the next two weeks as I bring you some great countdowns of various Eurovision stuff!

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