2012 was an interesting year for the Nordic countries. While Sweden were grabbing the headlines, Denmark crashed well down the finishing table after two consecutive top five positions; Norway recovered from their semi final exit in 2011 to finish dead last (again) and Finland kept up their act of sending dull songs to Eurovision to no acclaim, despite having a very strong music industry. Then, there was Iceland - and bizarrely, 20th place is increasingly "the same" in terms of Iceland's results.

Ever since Yohanna's 2nd place in Moscow, the country have been tipped to perform well at the contest for one reason or another. Hera Bjork was by far and away one of the fan favourites in Oslo, but only achieved a paltry 19th. Je Ne Sais Quoi is now remembered mostly for the hilariously terrible attempts made of it by Azerbaijani prospects. Sjonni's Friends, while not particularly a popular choice in terms of the song, at least had a feeling that the sheer sympathy vote could propel them to a position much higher than their ultimate 20th place. Greta and Jonsi were immediately dubbed contenders by many when they first performed Mundu eftir mer, but the song lost impact (and Jonsi apparently lost confidence in his vocals) by the time Never Forget also trundled to 20th poisition. In other words - a whole lot of potential, a whole lot of disappointment.

All things considered, it's a surprisingly quiet Söngvakeppnin this year then; reduced from its usual three semi finals to just two, and taking place over the course of eight days. On one hand, you can either see it as Iceland finally feeling the pinch several years on from their economic collapse, or the country might just be waning in passion for the contest on the back of their results. Maybe they just couldn't get enough people interested enough to take part.

That being said, they have found themselves a particularly strong line-up in terms of sheer name value in the Eurovision community. Enter the aforementioned Yohanna, along with the 2003 representative Birgitta. Yohanna's entry this year is the unfortunately spelt Þú, though I can say for certain that it isn't exactly pronounced like that, you people with the filthy minds. It's also nothing like any other entry Yohanna has had, being something akin to a mid-tempo country-rock song. It's perfectly pleasant and it's nice to see Yohanna branching out a bit, but you can't help but feel like you wish she performed with something a little bit more...Yohanna-y. Her vocals don't get a chance to shine until too late in to the song and it also feels a little dated; if she was going for Taylor Swift, then she's a little too late. Saying that, it's not as dated as Birgitta's entry; again, Meðal andanna is a perfectly nice song, but it sounds like a song she might have rejected in 2003. It's not modern and it's not suitable for Eurovision 2013.

But if the Icelandic people have shown us anything in the past, it's that they don't exactly fawn over their past entrants. Yohanna's Nott in 2011 finished third in the voting, behind not only Sjonni's Friends but also the next entrant I'm looking at: Magni. Magni certainly has his fans, with those who didn't like Mundu eftir mer preferring his entry Hugarro from the prospective 2012 entries. Unfortunately, Ekki lita undan is his entry this year and it's just not as good. Having said that, it's certainly better than the two ladies and given that all three of them have been drawn in to Semi Final One (Friday the 25th), I wouldn't be surprised to see this qualifying easily. Indeed, all three of the "big" names will probably make it out, even if Yohanna and Birgitta split the votes. Yohanna's chances are risky though, as she's opening the contest while Birgitta closes the semi final, which could sway some voters. None of their other rivals really stand out as a big threat.

Which means it's only right for somebody in Semi Final Two to step it up. Look no further than the woman closing it: Erna Hronn was one of Yohanna's backing singers in Moscow, so has some Eurovision experience. She also participated in Songvakeppnin 2011, reaching the final with a fairly underwhelming ballad. This time, she's entering with the atmospheric Augnablik and has mobilised a fair portion of the internet behind her. To be fair, I'm firmly in Camp Hronn when it comes to my position. Augnablik's opening in particular is Zeljko-esque and Erna's vocals are strong; it's the type of song that with the right staging, could go down very well at Eurovision. Is it a winner? No. Would it have a chance of breaking the countries run of results? I'd hedge my bets on it. With the Swedes in charge of the running order and the likelihood of the show not being ballad-heavy to start, this could make a big impact later on.

Follow Chris on Twitter - @katsjonouchi