You want Jaja Ding Dong? Relax. Like the good citizens of Húsavík – the Icelandic hometown of Lars Ericksson (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit Ericksdóttir (Rachel McAdams) in the 2020 Netflix musical comedy Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga – I would be happy to skip straight to Jaja Ding Dong. Nonetheless, good form dictates that we set aside the movie’s ridiculously catchy running-gag song for the moment. We need to first consider the musical highlight of the film, Húsavík (My Hometown).
The YouTube comments are illuminating. Cthulhu Theory writes “It’s really stupid that a song with Will Ferrell singing in it can actually move me to tears. My god what a powerful vocal performance”. Chris L Hommedieu says “This song absolutely deserved the Oscar. Anyone remember the song that actually won? Nope. This was the most deserving song I’ve ever seen”. The Beautiful Now states: “I’ve never been so proud to be Icelandic. And I’m not even Icelandic!”
It might come as no surprise that Rachel McAdams barely sings in Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. It is Molly Sandén, a Swede, who sings for her. Appropriately, Sandén grew up aspiring to perform at Eurovision. She represented Sweden four times on Junior Eurovision without success. In pursuit of her Eurovision dream, she obsessively practiced the high note from Céline Dion’s All by Myself. This note is the climax of the song Húsavík in the movie. Ready for Jaja DingDong? Let’s go
Jaja Ding Dong is sung by Will Ferrell and Molly Sandén. Netflix claims that Rachel McAdams vocals were mixed in under Molly Sandén’s singing. Eurovision’s music producer Savan Kotecha told Vanity Fair that Sandén and McAdams’s “tones worked so well together” that on some tracks he had difficulty telling the difference between their vocals.
Molly Sandén is not so sure: “If they say so, maybe that’s the truth. But I just know that I didn’t really hear [McAdams] in the soundtrack…maybe it’s mixed in somewhere.” Sanden added that the only time she picked up McAdams’s singing is in the scene where Sigrit is seated at a piano, secretly working on Húsavík (My Hometown). Commenting on her experience working on the film, Molly Sandén said “It feels like a rematch for the 14-year-old Molly, who lost four times and didn’t even make it to the final. Now it feels like I can leave Eurovision forever on a good note.”
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is a treat for anyone who has marveled at the spectacular oddity that is the Eurovision Song Contest or anyone who has spent time in the Norden countries. If anything is missing, it is the commanding presence of Hannah Waddingham, but that is no fault of the movie, which appeared three years before Waddingham’s star turn as a Eurovision 2023 host. To conclude, one more video from the movie, okay?
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