Iceland gearing up for Eurovision frenzy

24.01.2019 - 12:21
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: RÚV
Excitement is mounting in Iceland, and around Europe (and Australia), as countries start selecting their songs for this May’s Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv. Iceland starts its selection process with a bang this Saturday evening.

Söngvakeppnin 2019 (Iceland’s Eurovision selection show) starts this Saturday at 19.45 (20.45 CET, and 21.45 in Tel Aviv) on RÚV 1 TV.  

The half-hour programme will set out Iceland’s stall, so to speak: a brief introduction to the ten songs in the running, as well as their writers and singers.  

RÚV English insider preview: Even though this year’s competition is made up of 10 songs instead 12, 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. 

The ten songs will be released to radio stations and on digital music platforms following the show. You can be sure they’ll all get plenty of air time on Rás 2! 

From there, the competition looks something like this: 

Friday 8 February:  
#12Stig at 19.40 on RÚV 1 
A warm-up show for the first live semi-final in which we 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 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 tonight!  

The Grand Final features 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 29th January, but previous years have featured the likes of Måns Zelmerlöw, Loreen, Emmelie de Forest, Sandra Kim, and more. 

The evening also features a ten-person, international panel of expert judges who will give their opinions and their points, alongside the public vote. The show ends with the two top choices going head-to-head in one final round of voting—but, crucially, both will keep their points from the first performance and no-one will know which is ahead when the second round of voting begins. Spicy! 

All the shows will be available to view on the RÚV website, on catch-up, and also live by clicking "Beint" at the top—both internationally and in Iceland. Tickets to attend the three live shows are not on sale yet, but will be available for a very reasonable price from 30th January, through Tix.is

RÚV English will be with you all the way from Reykjavík to Tel Aviv—so strap in for an entertaining ride!

Alexander Elliott
Project manager
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