Söngvakeppnin 2018, the Icelandic national selection for Eurovision was organised by Icelandic broadcaster RÚV. The show was held in Laugardalshöll in Reykjavík and was hosted by Ragnhildur Steinunn Jónsdóttir, who is also one of the producers of the contest, as she has been in recent years. Twelve artists participated in Söngvakeppnin 2018 with Ari Ólafsson emerging as the winner and will represent Iceland in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest!
As in previous years, the entries were performed in Icelandic during the semi-finals. Each show featured six acts and the three songs with the most votes proceeded to the final. In the final the six acts had the choice to perform their song in the language of their choice. Dagur and Heimlistónar kept Icelandic while the other four chose English.
The top two were determined through a combination of both public and jury votes while the ultimate winner, Ari, was selected solely by the public.
These are the six participants in the final. The superfinalists are in bold:
Ari Ólafsson is a 19 year old Icelandic singer who grew up in Reykjavík although he lived in Florida USA when he was young. He started singing at a very early age and his angelic voice and stage charm soon landed him the lead role in the musical Oliver! at the national theatre of Iceland. He was only 11 years old and the person to discover him was director and Eurovision star Selma.
From then on he has been singing and acting professionally on all of Icelands biggest stages, continuing to land roles at theatres in Iceland. In 2011 he got noticed by the Norwegian megastar singer Sissel Kyrkjebo who invited to sing in several occasions and he moved on to study classical singing and has already been noticed for his extraordinary talents in the genre.
Ari competed in The Voice of Iceland in 2015 and was a backing vocalist in Söngvakeppnin last year and has sung with bands and concerts with well known Icelandic singers. This fall he has been accepted into the Royal Academy of music in London on a full scholarship where he will continue his singing studies. Ari has always been a big fan of Eurovision and dreamt of representing Iceland in the competition from and early age. He sings all kinds of music from classical to pop, rock and funk, and one of his favorite artists is Stevie Wonder. Ari is also a prolific impersonator and known to be able to master different accents and languages and loves to improvise both in the theatre and music.
Our Choice is written by Thorunn Clausen who also wrote the Icelandic Eurovision entry in 2011 performed by Sjonni’s friends Coming Home. She sings backing vocals and plays the piano in Our Choice.
Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest
Ari will perform Our Choice in the first half of the First Semi-Final of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest on Tuesday 8th May in Lisbon.