“I sang my arse off for Iceland”

María Ólafsdóttir performing 'Unbroken'.

María Ólafsdóttir performing 'Unbroken'. Photo: Andres Putting

The collective ‘NEI!’ emitted by the Icelandic people yesterday evening as Israel was announced as the tenth and final qualifier for the Grand Final of the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest could probably have been heard from space.

It was accompanied with gasps of disbelief, some characteristically Icelandic bad language, and immediate accusations of neighbourly/political/diaspora voting (of which, of course, Scandinavians are entirely innocent).

Iceland’s Eurovision entry, Unbroken, was performed by María Ólafsdóttir in front of an enthusiastic Vienna crowd and against a stirring backdrop of Northern Lights. The package was sadly, however, not enough to seduce the professional juries and home televoters.

With one final qualifier to be announced and one of the hot favourites, Israel, yet to be named, Icelandic viewers somehow knew that Iceland’s journey was over for this year.

“Tonight I took to the big stage in front of millions and sang my arse off for Iceland,” writes Ólafsdóttir on her Facebook page. “Could I have sung better? Of course – it is also possible to do better!”

The Icelandic performance was competent and prettily staged, but probably fell foul of being drawn in the stronger of the two semi-finals. The ten qualifiers last night were: Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden.

You can view Iceland’s performance here:

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