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Iceland opens selection process for 2016

15 October 2015 at 17:36 CEST
Maria Olafs on stage in Vienna Andres Putting (EBU)
The Icelandic broadcaster, RUV, has released the rules for their national selection for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, the so-called Söngvakeppnin. Twelve songs will compete in the TV shows and the final choice will be made on the 20th of February.

Interest's been high for next year's Icelandic national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, especially when it comes to submitting entries for participation. That's one of the reasons why their broadcaster RUV has decided to release some information about their selection process for 2016.

Celebrating 30 years

The national selection of Iceland for the Eurovision Song Contest, Söngvakeppnin, is one of the biggest TV-events in Iceland. They are celebrating its 30th Anniversary next year, "so we are diving into the preparations with big enthusiasm!" shared their broadcaster RUV.

Iceland first entered the competition in 1986 in Bergen, Norway, after having broadcast the show for many years. Their debut Gleðibankinn by Icy didn't exactly prove a success with the juries that night ending at number 16, but the country has already been close to winning twice, in 1999 with Selma's All Out Of Luck and in 2009 with Yohanna's Is It True? both finishing 2nd in the final ranking. Last year they were represented in the second Semi-Final by Maria Olafs and the song Unbroken

The competition

Here are some important things about the rules of Söngvakeppnin 2016, especially regarding the participation of non-Icelandic songwriters in the competition:

  • Söngvakeppnin 2016 will be held in the form of three live TV-shows; Two Semi-Finals on the 6th and the 13th of February and one Grand Final on the 20th of February 2016. Further details about the venues and ticket sale will be announced shortly.
  • Six songs compete in each Semi-Final, whereof three will continue to the Grand Final. A total of six songs will therefore compete in the Grand Final, but a special jury will have the power to choose a seventh "wildcard“ to go through to the Grand Final.
  • Only songwriters with an Icelandic citizenship, or those with a permanent residence in Iceland between the 1st of September 2015 and the 15th of May 2016, are allowed to submit songs in Söngvakeppnin 2016. However, Icelandic songwriters are allowed to co-write songs and lyrics with non-Icelandic songwriters in such way that two thirds (2/3) of the song and one half (1/2) of the lyrics must be by Icelandic composers/lyricists.
  • All songs in the Semi-Finals must be performed in Icelandic and the Icelandic lyrics must be attached when submitting the song. However, in the Grand Final all the competing songs must be performed in the language that the artist intends to perform the song at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden, if they're the winners of Söngvakeppnin 2016.
  • All songs are to be uploaded through RUV's website with the necessary info needed. The deadline ends on the 2nd of November 2015 at 11:59 AM.

Iceland will compete in one of the two Semi-Finals of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Stockholm, on the 10th and 12th of May 2016.