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Destination Lisbon (#1): Meet Ari Ólafsson from Iceland

17 March 2018 at 08:00 CET
Ari Ólafsson represents Iceland at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest Íris Dögg Einarsdóttir
In the first part of 'Destination Lisbon', our feature counting down to the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, we get to know Ari Ólafsson who will represent Iceland with the song 'Our Choice'.

Earlier this month Ari won Söngvakeppnin 2018, the Icelandic national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. Ari beat off stiff competition from 5 other acts in the final, emerging as the winner and will represent Iceland in Lisbon with the song Our Choice. The singer was visibly moved following his victory.

The tension of the winning moment was also perfectly captured by Icelandic broacaster RUV on their Facebook page:

Who is Ari Ólafsson?

Ari is 19 years old and a classically trained singer. He started singing at a very early age and his angelic voice and stage charm soon landed him lead roles in musicals at the National Theatre of Iceland. Amongst other musicals, he played a part in Oliver, a musical directed by Selma Björnsdóttir who came second in the 1999 Eurovision Song Contest with the song All Out Of Luck.

Ari competed in The Voice of Iceland in 2015 and was a backing vocalist in the national selection Söngvakeppnin last year. We caught up with him after his victory in the Icelandic national selection:

Our Choice is written by Thorunn Clausen who is an Icelandic actress, singer, song writer and director who studied acting in London and singing and vocal coaching in Copenhagen. Along with her husband Sigurjon 'Sjonni' Brink, Thorunn wrote the Icelandic entry for Eurovision in 2011. 

When Sjonni sadly and unexpectedly died before the 2011 competition, Thorunn and Sjonni's friends got together agreed that they would carry on and perform Coming Home in his memory. recorded a special documentary with the team on the day of their Semi-Final in Düsseldorf in 2011:

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. Check out the official video for Our Choice below.

Iceland's Ari Ólafsson will perform Our Choice in the first half of the First Semi-Final in Lisbon on 8th May 2018. 

Let's get social!

You can follow Ari on the following social media platforms:

Don't forget to check out his videos on YouTube!

What do you think of Ari's Our Choice? Leave your review in the comments below!