'Söngvakeppnin', the national selection for Iceland, has begun! Earlier today, Iceland's broadcaster RÚV announced the ten acts and songs that will compete for a ticket to Tel Aviv.
RÚV hinted towards an exciting season earlier this week: "Even though this year’s competition is made up of ten songs instead of twelve, the variety and diversity are higher than ever. There’s something for almost everyone this time round... but we’d be made to stand in front of the wind machine singing endless key changes if we revealed any more at this stage. You’ll just have to tune in on Saturday."
Meet the finalists
Ten songs will compete in this year’s competition. Five songs will perform in each semi-final, on the 9th of February and on the 16th of February. Four songs will be televoted by the Icelandic public into the final competition, which will be held in the Laugardalshöll venue on the 2nd of March. The contest’s commission, though, can decide to have five songs in the final, if it chooses to use the “wildcard” option.
All the songs must be performed in icelandic in the semi-finals, but in the final some of the songs will be performed in English. Here are the songs, composers, authors and singers of Söngvakeppnin 2019 (Icelandic title/English title):
First semi-final, 9th of February
Hatari - Hatrið mun sigra (Hatari)
Hera Björk - Eitt andartak / Moving On (Örlygur Smári, Hera Björk Þórhallsdóttir & Valgeir Magnússon)
Kristina Skoubo Bærendsen - Ég á mig sjálf / Mama Said (Sveinn Rúnar Sigurðsson & Valgeir Magnússon)
Þórdís Imsland - Nú og hér / What Are You Waiting For? (Svala Björgvinsdóttir, Bjarki Ómarsson / Stefán Hilmarsson)
Daníel Óliver - Samt ekki / Licky Licky (Daníel Óliver Sveinsson, Linus Josefsson)
Second semi-final, 16th of February
Elli Grill, Skaði and Glymur - Jeijó, keyrum alla leið (Barði Jóhannsson)
Friðrik Ómar - Hvað ef ég get ekki elskað? / What If I Can’t Have Love? (Friðrik Ómar Hjörleifsson & Sveinbjörn I. Baldvinsson)
Ívar Daníels - Þú bætir mig / Make Me Whole (Stefán Þór Steindórsson & Richard Micallef / Nikos Sofis)
Tara Mobee - Betri án þín / Fighting For Love (Andri Þór Jónsson and Eyþór Úlfar Þórisson / Tara Mobee English)
Heiðrún Anna Björnsdóttir - Helgi / Sunday Boy (Heiðrún Anna Björnsdóttir & Sævar Sigurgeirsson)
Friday 8 February:
#12Stig at 19.40 on RÚV 1
A warm-up show for the first live semi-final in which we will meet the five competitors and hear more about their songs and how they have been preparing for the big moment.
Saturday 9 February:
First Semi-final, live from Háskólabíó at 19.45 on RÚV 1
The first live show, featuring five songs. A combination of public votes and the expert judging panel will see two of the songs head into the final.
Friday 15 February:
#12Stig at 19.40 on RÚV 1
A warm-up show for the second live semi-final in which we will meet the five competitors and hear more about their songs and how they have been preparing for the big moment.
Saturday 16 February:
Second Semi-final, live from Háskólabíó at 19.45 on RÚV 1
The second live show, featuring five songs. A combination of public votes and the expert judging panel will see two of the songs head into the final.
Saturday 2 March:
The Grand Final, live from Laugardalshöll at 19.45 on RÚV 1
The grand final will present four or five songs (organisers reserve the right to introduce a wild card entry to the final in addition to the four semi-final winners) in an exciting, loud, and lavish live show. The winner will be decided!
The final will feature performances from Ari Ólafsson, who represented Iceland last year, as well as a well-known Eurovision star from another country. Who it will be is a closely-guarded secret until the 29th January. Previous Icelandic national selections have featured the likes of Måns Zelmerlöw, Loreen, Emmelie de Forest, Sandra Kim and others.