The Xtra Files: We Review Iceland’s ‘Paper’ by Svala!

Welcome to The Xtra Files, our new series which will give you an insight into what the team at escXtra think of your favourite entries into this year’s contest! Today, we review Iceland.

Now that all the songs have been released, we are able to review each and every one of them. Our honest and brutal reviews will keep you entertained until the rehearsals start in May! We will also each give a score out of 10 for every entry, and create an escXtra leaderboard of the entries! You can see our preview reviews here.
Today, it is the turn of the Icelandic entry, ‘Paper’ by Svala, to be reviewed by Hlynur, Luke, Nick, Ryan, Wivian, and Yassia. Let’s get started!

The Reviews


I really, really like this song! Might have overplayed it a bit too much. Probably my favorite Icelandic entry ever. Svala is a great singer and performer. I genuinely think she will make it to the final and do well there as well.


Paper was 7th for me out of all the songs in this year’s Söngvakeppnin. This doesn’t feel like anything we haven’t heard before. The song doesn’t seem to have any personality, and is like a blank piece of paper, so the title is extremely appropriate. I get pretty bored part way through; the song doesn’t go anywhere.


At the start of the season, this was the one to look out for. And then other countries happened and this just lost all of its momentum. Svala delivers with all of her experience and Iceland have made the right choice, but I’m not quite sure what this will do in Kyiv. I still really like the song. Not the performance, as that is a terrible mess.


I appreciate the alternative vibe of the Icelandic entry with its 80s influenced sounds mixed with a modern feel. Svala’s artistry must be applauded although I do fear whether Paper has the ability to connect to a Eurovision audience, particularly with its avant-garde staging. Nevertheless, this has continued Iceland’s fantastic run of songs over the past three years for me.


I love Paper. I’m so happy Iceland didn’t go with the kiddie vote this year. Instead they decided to send a song that has the Icelandic sound, mixed with the best of 80s electro pop. Svala’s performance might be a bit on the quirky side, but I love it. And for once I think singing in English is a wise choice. I honestly thought this would be my favorite in Kyiv, but to my surprise it’s not. More on that in a few days…


A bit boring for me. Sorry for that, Iceland. Svala is a good singer, but her song is not one which sticks in your mind and makes you sing it all day and all night. I should recognize that it sounds original though.


Dimitris 9.5 Rodrigo 7
Hlynur 9.5 Ryan 8
Katarina 9 Sagheer 5
Luke 3 Simon 6
Matteo 10 Sophie 5
Nathan 7.5 Wivian 9.5
Nick 8.5 Yassia 5

When we remove the top score of 10 and the lowest score of 3, the average score for Iceland is 7.46.
(Removing the top score and the lowest score helps to make the average score more reliable and less affected by outliers.)


Iceland reaches 4th place in our leaderboard with a score of 7.46.

  1. France – 9.04
  2. Sweden – 7.77
  3. Belarus – 7.75
  4. Iceland – 7.46
  5. Australia – 7.25
  6. Israel – 7.21
  7. Serbia – 7.08
  8. Estonia – 7.07
  9. Switzerland – 6.96
  10. Denmark – 6.83
  11. Armenia – 6.80
  12. Portugal – 6.79
  13. Hungary – 6.79
  14. Germany – 6.59
  15. Austria – 6.58
  16. Moldova – 6.58
  17. Greece – 6.54
  18. Norway – 6.33
  19. Latvia – 6.25
  20. Czech Republic – 6.25
  21. United Kingdom – 6.00
  22. The Netherlands – 5.33
  23. Albania – 5.21
  24. Ukraine – 5.13
  25. Malta – 4.25
  26. San Marino – 3.92
  27. Georgia – 3.91
  28. Montenegro – 3.33
  29. Slovenia – 2.13

Tomorrow, we will review Croatia.
Do you agree with our reviews of the Iceland? What are your thoughts on Svala’s ‘Paper’? Let us know in the comments!

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