Aftermath 2018 (9): Can Iceland recover at Eurovision?

For seven years in a row, Iceland was a guaranteed guest at the final of the Eurovision Song Contest. But now, the island has not made it to a final for four years in a row. What went wrong and will things get better?

Truth needs to be told in this ninth episode of the Aftermath: Ari Ólafsson never truly had chance this year. Iceland took part in the very strong first semi final, the EBU even stated it was stronger than some actual finals. The country was in the tough second starting position. And the song “Our Choice” was not suitable for Eurovision anno 2018. The Icelandic non-qualification was not as much of a shock as it was with Greta Salóme in 2016.

Ari Ólafsson has no regrets

“As I said, this race was incredible, but I could not do better on stage,” Ari Ólafsson looks back at his participation. “I’m just thrilled to have participated in this competition. I really mean it when I say I enjoyed myself very well. And I was not kidding when I said I was right to start,” he says.

Currently Iceland is going crazy for football more than for Eurovision. After the European Championship in 2016, they will also take part in the World Cup for the very first time. But still, if the successes come back, Eurovision will be as popular as ever on the island in the ocean. Let’s hope Iceland will stay in the contest, despite early petitions about boycotting a contest in Israel, even published on the website of the broadcaster RÚV.


  1. LOL with thehighest viewing rates of all countries I don;t think Iceland is to withdraw in the future, not even because of Israel. They are playing in Russia as well and gave Israel points.

    Anyway all last non-qualifications can be explained. The only shock-exit was Greta’s, but her act was too dark, and too visually noisy. So even with decent vocals and a good song you can ruine your chances in Eurovision.

    lesson learned they will try again next years. There’s plenty of musicality in this little nation so expect them in the final next year , and if not the years after.

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