#BIRTHDAY: Maria Olafs from Iceland is 28 today
We all know those semi-finals can be bloodbaths. Yes, each song may have a better than average chance of qualifying but it can still be brutal, knowing your quest for glory could end rather ignominiously on a Tuesday evening.
It could be due to the different audiences watching the shows. Would your casual viewer tune in to a lesser TV channel on a Tuesday/Thursday night? Maybe not. So your song really does need to hit home instantly. And if it doesn’t, years of progress can go at a stroke. In 2015, Iceland sent today’s birthday girl María Ólafs(dóttir) with high hopes. They’d had seven consecutive qualifications from semi-finals, including winning a semi-final in 2009. Maria had a torrid time in Vienna, being one of the unlucky ones in her semi-final. She scored from six countries. But for all we know, she could have been the eleventh favourite with the others.
Authors: Riigi Ametnik, John Stanton