Alongside many other countries, Iceland is ready to find their participant for the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest this upcoming Saturday. The Final of the Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins 2008 will be aired at CET 21:10.
The lengthy journey of finding the Icelandic 2008 Eurovision Song Contest entrant started in September 2007 when the Saturday TV programmes of Laugardagslögin were aired by the national broadcaster RÚV. Laugardagslögin was made up of 11 programmes in where three participants were compteting to reach the semi-finals. One of each programme went directly to one of the four semi-finals.
On 12th of January, 2008, RÚV had a wildcard heat made up by three of the non-qualifiers from Laugardagslögin. The three entries were selected by RÚV. At the wildcard heat, one song was selected to participate in one of the semi-finals. After the wildcard heat, the four semi-finals with four entries in each were aired out of which one entry was eliminated. Hence eight finalist were chosen to participate in Saturday's big final.
To sum up:
- 11 Laugardagslögin preliminary heats where 1 out of 3 entries went on to the semi-finals
- 3 songs were selected by RÚV for a second chance heat of which 1 went on to a semi-final
- 4 semi-finals eliminated 4 x 1 entries for good, and hence 8 songs were selected for Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins 2008
So who will take part then?
The complete line-up for Saturday's final is as follows:
1. Páll Rósinkrans - Gef mér von
2. Magni Ásgeirsson - Nuna veit ég
3. Davíð Þorsteinn Olgeirsson - In your dreams
4. Baggalútur - Hvað var það sem þú sást í honum?
5. Eurobandið - Fullkomið líf
6. Dr. Spock - Hvar ertu nú?
7. Mercedes Club - Ho, ho, ho we say hey, hey, hey
8. Ragnheiður Gröndal - Don't wake me up
The winner of the Icelandic final will be selected by televote, and it will take part in the second Semi-Final of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest on 22th of May. The bookmakers favourite is Eurobandið who recently revealed the English lyrics for their song. The lyrics are made by former Eurovision Song Contest entrant Paul Oscar who became famous for his somewhat untraditional song Minn Hinsti Dans at the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin, Ireland.
Can the winner lift the burden of qualifying?
The last years, Icelandic entries have not qualified from the Semi-Finals. Only in 2004, Jonsi was directly qualified for the Final because of Birgitte's eight place with the song Open Your Heart in 2003. Iceland has been close the last couple of years, though. But unluckily two 13th places in the Semi-Finals were not enough. Therefore, Iceland is in desperate need of a ticket to the Final this year. The best Icelandic result is from 1999 when Selma came 2nd in the Final with her cheerful song All Out Of Luck.