Artist: Ari Olafsson
Song: Our Choice
Betting Odds: 501/1
Despite very strong offerings in the past three years (Svala, Greta Salome and Maria Olafsdottir) Iceland have failed to consolidate this to Eurovision success, missing out on the final on each occasion. Perhaps taking this as a signal from the rest of Europe, they have changed tact for 2018 and moved from lively female representatives to a younger male singing a ballad.
Ari Olafsson seems like a nice young fella with a decent voice and a positive outlook on life. Unfortunately however, that is the only favourable notes I have on this year’s Icelandic Eurovision representative. His song presentation is very staid, unadventurous, unstimulating and soulless. Although Ari is the tender age of 19, this doesn’t shine through in his dated song presentation which feels like it could be from an era before Ari was even born.
Ari’s song ‘Our Choice’ is the epitome of cliché. The lyrics aren’t just tired, they’re exhausted. Ari sings of a world without pain where people help others instead of hurting them. This is a nice idea, but it’s presented in terms that are too vague, abstract and generic to be effective. Compare this song to another in this year’s field ‘Mercy’ by French duo Madame Monsieur. In the song they give the specific example of a Syrian refugee child called Mercy. Their use of a specific example enables them to better convey emotion and makes for a more effective song.
The music video which accompanies the song also lacks any real character. It sees Ari use the magnificent backdrop of the iconic Icelandic church Hallgrímskirkja, as he walks down Laugavegur, Reykjavik’s main thoroughfare singing as he goes. Just like the song, the video is generic, it doesn’t tell a story and although features a great Icelandic landmark, it doesn’t do it justice.
If you would like to know more about Ari, here is 10 Things About…Ari Olafsson!
The full lyrics to the song are here and check out the video below!