As expected by us and apparently no one else, Iceland voted to send Sjónni’s Friends to the Eurovision Song Contest with “Aftur Heim.” Sigurjón Brink was originally to perform the song, but he passed away suddenly on January 17 at the age of 36.
Most people posting to Twitter and Eurovision discussion boards seemed to be shocked that Yohanna, who brought Iceland a 2nd place finish in 2009, did not win the Iceland selection. In fact, she didn’t even finish in the top two, being edged out Magni Ásgeirsson.
I got the impression that a lot of people didn’t know the story behind Sjónni’s Friends, although even those who did seemed to have tapped Yohanna for the win. While it’s true that Iceland is not going to win Eurovision this year with “Aftur Heim,” I would argue that this is hardly the point. Sjónni’s Friends was the sentimental choice, and Iceland is paying tribute to an artist who passed away too soon.
For my part, I support any entry that sends Sjónni’s friend Matti Matt, although obviously I would have preferred “Eldgos,” the greatest song about a volcano ever. Although, if I were actually voting, Jógvan Hansen’s “Ég lofa” would have had my vote: