Aside from announcing dates for its selection shows, RUV is making changes to the Icelandic national final Söngvakeppin in 2019.
Söngvakeppin 2019 will function for the 14th time as national singing competition in which the winner gets the right to fly the Icelandic flag in the Eurovision Song Contest. Despite good intentions, Iceland has failed to connect with the European audiences in recent years, failing to qualify for the last four years in a row now.
Hoping to turn the tide, RUV has now announced the following changes to the contest;
Compared to last year, there’s a reduction in candidates. Ten artists, spread over two semi-finals, will be allowed to perform their song, in Icelandic, on one of two nights. Out of each semi-final, two acts will qualify although RUV reserves the right to add one wildcard to the final. The final will feature no more than 5 acts, where songs can either be performed in Icelandic or English.
The broadcaster has also announced it’s opening the call for songs to established songwriters, artists and the general public. Anyone interested can submit a song, via its official website. The song needs to be in Icelandic for the semi-finals and at least one person within the team needs to be Icelandic. RUV also announced it will work closely together with the Icelandic Society of Authors and Composers to organize a special workshop with Söngvakeppin in mind.
The Icelandic public will be able to start their 2019 Eurovision journey on 9 and 16 February. Two weeks later, on March 2nd the winner of Söngvakeppnin 2019 will be chosen in Laugardagshöll and represent Iceland at the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel. More information on the final and special guests, are to follow in due course.
In 2018, 20-year-old, Ari Ólafsson won Söngvakeppnin and represented Iceland with his ballad Our Choice. He failed to qualify from the first semi-final, finishing 19th. Check out his performance below: