Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
The Eurovision audience and juries dislike aggressive or provocative performances.
Iceland have gone and selected the anti-capitalist, BDSM-Techno/Punk band, Hatari, to represent the nation in Tel Aviv. No doubt they’ll be cashing in on their anti-capitalist stance in the run-up to Eurovision.
It’s difficult to know how to view Hatari: will viewers take them seriously or will they be thinking “what the actual f*ck is this?” Either way, Hatari will be the talking point on Europe’s sofas in May.
The negative points are the obvious sexual/BDSM overtones. The Nordic and western European nations might be, for the most part, sexually liberal-minded, yet parts of eastern and southern Europe along with the Balkans can be quite orthodox in their views. Something flirtatious and playful is fine, but down right seedy and a bit grubby is a totally different attack on the senses.
The other conflict is between the highly infectious rhythm of the song, which has to be applauded, and the growled lyrics. I haven’t known anything this growly do well since 2006 and besides, Lordi had a touch of fun and novelty about them. Other growly examples come from Max Jason Mai and Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät – both entries finished last in their respective semi-finals. The only recent rock-y song to do well was maNga back in 2010 for Turkey – they finished 2nd overall. Hungary 2018 and Ukraine 2017 were also quite aggressive in tone and both finished in the bottom-5. Notice that the most pop-focussed song finished higher?
Before the Musical pedants explode with rage and submit a whole dissertation to the comments section… Hatrið mun sigra is nothing like those songs above. HOWEVER, they prove that the Eurovision audience and juries dislike aggressive or provocative performances. Eurovision is ultimately a family entertainment show and two guys strutting around in rubber BDSM gear isn’t what people typically tune in to watch at 8pm in the evening. The same goes for gimps and writhing black-eyed woman in chicken-wire cages.
To their credit, Hatari provide a fantastic 3-minutes of visual art, but it’s feels too polarising to do well outside of the typically hungry-for-anything-different fan community, even in a supposedly lower quality year. Even so, I concede that this will easily qualify from a largely uneventful semi-final 1 and will probably finish somewhere on the right-hand-side of the scoreboard.
Ending on the negative note, their on-camera personas can be rather nauseating and vote-depressing. There’s a rather conceited arrogance to them that just doesn’t appeal. Then there’s the reported anti-Israel sentiments and that they plan to protest against Israel on stage in Tel Aviv. Hopefully these naive, idealistic guys learn something during their visit in May and respect the host nation.