Two of the island nations made their choices this Saturday, and came up with solid entries that recall classic Eurovision styles. Iceland did NOT choose favorite Birgitta Haukdal, but opted for the simple, anthemic “Ég á líf”, well-sung by blond Viking rock vocalist Eyþór. Though no decision has been announced whether he will sing in Icelandic or switch to an English translation for Malmö, many observers noted that Estonia’s success last year with “Kuula” makes it more likely that the song can stay in its original language for the ESC stage.
Malta also relegated its presumptive winner to the sidelines Saturday, as former Swedish Idol Kevin Borg saw his bombastic ballad “Needing You” place second to Gianluca Bezzina’s happy singalong “Tomorrow”, a song that could have fit quite nicely into any Eurovision final of the 60s or 70s:
Choosing simple, scaled down entries that recall the glory days of past Eurovisions may well suit the new, small is beautiful approach ESC is taking this year. Though neither Iceland nor Malta stands out as winner material yet, both should do well enough to pass the semifinal hurdle.