Eurovision 2013

Eurovision’s Yet-To-Be Winners: #ICELAND

Reykjav’k, Iceland


Let’s face it, everyone loves a winner. But for all the winners of our illustrious contest, around half of the countries taking part in Eurovision have never taken home the trophy. This is despite the fact that after 60 contests with 50 nations taking part, it was theoretically possible for everyone to have won at least once by now.

In this series of articles, I’ll be looking at some of the contest’s longest serving competitors that have yet to take home the gold. As well as pin-pointing where their strengths lie, I’ll also talk about what may be stopping them from winning Europe’s most popular music competition. Last time we had a look Croatia, now it’s time to say Gott kvöld Reykjavík as we head to Iceland!


Debut: 1986

Best Result – 2nd (1999 and 2009)

Top 10 Finishes – 5 in 28 entries

Top 5 Finishes – 3 in 28 entries

This Writer’s Winner – “Never Forget” (2012)


The last of the Scandinavian countries to join the contest, Iceland is also the only one of them never to have won Eurovision. They’ve come close twice, but in the end were beaten by their more experienced Nordic cousins – Sweden in 1999 and Norway in 2009.

As Iceland benefits from being part of the Scandinavia voting bloc, once they clear the hurdle of qualifying they are usually guaranteed a handful of points from at least 4 countries. In addition, they have also traditionally received good scores from the United Kingdom. This may well account for why Iceland has only ever suffered the dreaded ‘nul points’ once back in 1989. As Norway has walked away with nothing 4 times, Finland 3 and Sweden once (only Denmark has never ended a Eurovision with less than 2 points), this theoretically ranks Iceland as one of Scandinavia’s more successful nations. So why no win?


Given that Iceland has come close to the gold twice, I think it’s reasonable to suggest we will see Eurovision head further north than ever before in the future. How soon though, is anyone’s guess. 2019 may be a good prediction, as 1999 and 2009 saw Iceland’s best ever placings. Or maybe they have to come 2nd to Denmark and Finland before we finally get to go to Reykjavík! This being said, as soon as Greta Salóme Stefánsdóttir was selected to return to Eurovision, fans started speculating that Iceland could be getting their first win in 2016! Greta has the experience, the song is catchy and the staging has a big WOW factor… I don’t think it’s impossible we’ll be in Reykjavik for 2017!


I usually try to remain level-headed when writing, but if ever there was a song that was ROBBED at Eurovision, then it’s definitely “Never Forget” from 2012.  Of course, nothing was going to stop “Euphoria” from storming its way into 1st place, but Iceland’s song was amazing and beautifully staged – it deserved so much more than 20th!! I still believe to this day that had it been performed in Icelandic as it was originally going to be, it would have finished in the Top 5 easily.

This is where I should recommend you listen to Yohanna’s entry from 2009, as it was the first Icelandic entry to score over 200 points… but as I’m the one writing this article you know what you’re going to get instead… after 3… 1… 2… 3… NEVER FORGET, WHAT I DID, WHAT I SAID, WHEN I GAVE YOU ALL, MY HEART AND SOOOUULL!!


Oh alright, here’s Yohanna too! Don’t say we don’t spoil you here at Eurovision Ireland!


What do you think? Will Greta qualify in Stockholm? Will it be long before Iceland joins the ranks Eurovision Song Contest winners? What is your favourite Icelandic Eurovision entry?

Let us know what you think!

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Author: James Scanlan

Source: Eurovision Ireland

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