Eurovision 2001: Iceland’s Two Tricky in focus

Did Two Tricky try too hard, did the dancers distract or was the song just not good enough? In 2001, Iceland failed to live up to expectations and received only three points for their ‘Angel’ entry. 20 years later, we still find fans who can’t explain the poor result.

An Icelandic national final, Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins 2001, was held on the 17th of February 2001. Eight acts competed in the final where the winner was chosen 100% by televoting. Among the participants, we also find Birgitta Haukdal, who would two years later move on to represent Iceland at the Eurovision Song Contest. But in 2001, her time was yet to come. Instead, the duo Two Tricky was chosen. In the national final, the song was performed in Icelandic under the title Birta. For Eurovision, the English version was used, and as such Iceland was represented by the song Angel.

With only three points; two from Denmark and one from Norway, Two Tricky didn’t do well at the Eurovision Song Contest. They unfortunately finished in a joint last place with Norway.

Angel – opinions from fans

In order to find out what Eurovision fans today think of this Icelandic entry from 2001, we asked our Eurovision Fan Panel. It includes team members as well as fans from all over the world.

🇬🇧 Steve P. – Sometimes, be it because of nerves or excitement, a singer tries a bit too hard to sell the song, and that’s what happened here. The song is (just about) strong enough not to need a distracting performance. I don’t find anything remarkable in it, neither is there something to make me want to search for it on any playlist. That said, I wouldn’t turn it off or fast-forward if it happened to come on in the car. I might even succumb to its cheerfulness and sing along with it.

🇩🇰 Charlotte J. – 22nd with only three points?? How did that happen? I can’t explain it… OK, performance wasn’t the best and the studio version is better than the live one, but really… it should have placed much higher. 20 years later, I still very much enjoy this one ♥️

🇨🇿 Josef S. – This song perfectly fits to the early 2000’s and I like it because it represents the time when it was done. It is a regular and radio-friendly song which is quite easy to listen and also a little bit catchy. Nothing special but a pleasant performance. I wouldn’t mind listening to it more frequently.

🇵🇱 🇯🇪 Pawel J. – I would definitely put it on the list called “How to score last place in Eurovision”. To be honest I’m surprised it got any points at all. It doesn’t happen very often that I skip a song while re-watching previous contests but Angel by Two Tricky is one of them. Wrong on so many levels – the song just got lost on the night. Iceland obviously didn’t want to do well that year.

🇮🇪 John D. – This was just the typical ‘also ran’ entry that was never going to attract many votes. The two dancers were ridiculous and surplus to requirements. The singer seemed to be trying too hard. His performance and the song itself wouldn’t be out of place in an ad for some Icelandic yoghurt. A bland jingle rather than a memorable song I’m afraid.

🇩🇰 Liza P. – Iceland 2001 is one of the years, where I apparently didn’t agree with the rest of Europe. This song was my favourite from the first time I heard it. This was also the song that got me hooked on the Egg chair and Kristján Gíslason (see the preview video).
Was the song a winner? No, absolutely not. But it didn’t deserve to finish last either. Maybe somewhere in the middle. It is a harmless pop tune. Probably nothing special to most people, but for me it’s still a favourite, and the reason I’ve been friends with Kristján for 20 years now.

🇬🇧 Michael O. – This is not too bad to listen to, but on the Eurovision stage totally unmemorable especially when all the better songs seemed to have been drawn towards the end in 2001. Good enough chorus and a nice summery song.

🇳🇴 Robert I. – Although this song is really nothing but quite OK, the artists’ performance and energy lift this is entry one level up. So from being really a forgettable entry, it is unforgettable after all.

🇨🇴 🇫🇮 Alvaro S. – I feel sorry to say but there is something comical about the lead singer’s facial expressions through the whole performance. Like if he was over excited about performing for Iceland, and that it made it look a little bit fake. It did not deserve a last place though if this was already back in 2001 a song that was not too good neither not to be bad, just forgettable.

🇹🇷 Gunec G. – The costumes, the dances are so early 2000s. A nice positive song performed well, but not a shaker.

Enjoy Two Tricky’s performance from the 2001 Eurovision Song Contest in the embedded video. Below the video, you can read more about them.

Two Tricky – a mini biography

This duo consisted of Kristján Gíslason and Gunnar Ólason. They have each had their career on Iceland, and been involved in the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2001, they together represented Iceland with the song Angel. Unfortunately, they only received three points in total, and finished in a shared last place.

Kristján Gíslason has taken part in the Icelandic national final several times, and he is an often used backing vocalist. He provided backing at Eurovision for Hera Björk in 2010, for Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson in 2013 and again in 2016 for Greta Salóme.

Gunnar Ólason formed the band Skítamórall in 1999. He is still active with them to date. His two Eurovision participations has however both been in different constellations. After Two Tricky with Kristján in 2001, he returned 10 years later as part of Sjonni’s Friends and the song Coming Home in 2011.

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