ICELAND : LIVE Rolling Blog of Semi Final 1 of Söngvakeppnin 2015. #JoinUs at 20:45 CET.
Six acts will compete tonight on the first semi final and Three will progress to the Grand Final.
The show starts at 20:45 CET and you can watch it LIVE on-line HERE
Make sure to join us as tonight we will be LIVE blogging the show. You are in the hands of John Stanton and he is all stocked up on expensive Icelandic beer and fast food (Boiled Sheep’s Head – Yum)
REMEMBER all you have to do is refresh this page to get John’s thoughts – is that a wise decision – the jury is out on that but lets give him a chance.
Söngvakeppnin 2015 tonight comes from guess where? Yes Reykjavík. Apologies Iceland but I don’t know any other cities in your beautiful country.
So welcome to the blog. Tonight’s little event comes from a cavernous studio (by Icelandic standards) and has three lovely hostesses. Something for everyone watching no doubt.
They introduce us to the semi-finalists vying for a place in the final. Some of the acts clearly have their fan clubs in.
We cut to some studious looking gentleman in a plum blazer and bow tie. He has a girl in a labcoat ably assisting him. They play a cassette tape (remember them).
And then it’s onto the songs! They don’t hang about in Reykjavík.
The 6 Contestants
Erna Hrönn Ólafsdóttir – Myrkrið hljótt
Erna is a bespectacled brunette beauty who specialises in winsome looks and blowing fairy dust at cameras. She’s ditched the glasses for the stage show and is in a nice long blue shiny frock. We’ve got a ballad by numbers that our Nordic friends do really well. Simple verse, soaring chorus – you know the sort of thing. Her ‘gimmick’ involved turning her back on the huge audience to another camera. Not feeling too miffed, they become a sea of lights behind her. Some of the ballad purists out there are going to love this. It means something like quiet darkness (thanks Google translate).
Hinemoa– Þú leitar líka að mér
These are a female trio and continue the something-for-everyone look. And more spectacles – in the pre-song chat anyway. This song means ‘You also search for me’ (I think). I never got that proficient in Icelandic, but I can ask for a beer. We have a funky vibe with ‘cool’ instruments (guitars, ukeleles) and girls in extremely colourful dresses. It’s funkier than a very funky thing with the hipster instrumentalists joining in. My only thought is that it was a 90 second song and they’ve padded it out a little. But repetitiveness repetitiveness can do well.
Elín Sif Halldórsdóttir – Í kvöld
Elín Síf is a very sweet and innocent young thing. Easy on the eye but maybe a little too young for some of us that love this sort of contest. On stage she’s in a simple red dress playing a guitar and flanked at floor level by lots of candles. She almost blends into the red background. I immediately think Anna Bergendahl. Nothing wrong with this simple lilting song that she’s written herself, but it may get passed by. Í kvöld means tonight, by the way. She has a lot of fans in the crowd.
Before song 4, we go to one of our hosts – I’m going to call her Katri-Helena (how she looked in 1979, not 2015). She takes us back to plum-blazer guy who shows us some previous winners. And a white-and-silver outfit from 1986. And Selma. Labcoat girl seems very interested in the 1986 outfit. And who can forget Anna-Mjöll sjúbídú-ing all the way through 1996. It’s all very eclectic, and maybe looking at the ingredients for a winner. Silvia Night is not what a winner looks like RÚV.
Katri-Helena is now in the green room with the first three acts. It’s all very restrained in there – they must be charging hotel prices for the drinks.
We’ve cut to adverts. I’m not ignoring you.
Friðrik Dór – Í síðasta skipti
Friðrik has three mates in the postcard. He seems happy to be there and there’s a fair bit of matey banter going on. He starts with the dramatic entering-the-stage-in-silhouette look, before revealing he has a pale grey suit with thin stripes that my TV is having trouble with. He has a group of teenage girls at the end of the catwalk wanting to touch him. He must be popular. It reminds me a little of ‘When I need you’ by Leo Sayer (I must be getting old) but obviously a tad more modern. It also ends a little bit suddenly. The song means ‘The last time’, but you knew that already.
Stefanía Svavarsdóttir – Augnablik
Stefanía with the interesting patronym gets interviewed with the song’s writer. They both have a lot to say for themselves. She’s gone for a severe long black dress and a stage that’s dark. The spotlight thing but not as spotlighty as Sanna Nielsen in Copenhagen. It’s another builder of a song which is perhaps very similar to song 1. But she has two interpretive dancers. Man-dancer throws lady-dancer around as if the song is Bolero. I think it’s a little offputting, but the other features of the song make up for it. Stefanía’s got a strong voice and hits all the high notes. And it ends where you would expect it to end. Augnablik means Moment.
Björn and friends – Piltur og stúlka
Our final semi-finalists are five people spanning a large age-range. Either that or they’re all 25 and one or two of them have aged really badly. The song title means ‘Boys and girls’ and there are two cut-outs of children on stage in an Ovaltine stylee. This has anthemic qualities about it (with a capital A, N, T, etc), presumably singing out what the kids of today have to offer the world of tomorrow. It’s very Six4One, but with only four of them obviously. If the televoters and texters of Kirkjubæjarklaustur like this sort of thing, then we’ll be seeing it again in the final.
We cut back to the Green Room and drink seems to have appeared. It’s a little more lively so maybe it’s free after all. We speak to the last three semi-finalists. They all seem happy, but lets be fair – 320,000 is a huge audience for them to perform at.
Fear not, dear reader, we’ve got more adverts. Icelandic banks, liquorice chocolates included.
We now have a sketch of a man and a woman dressed as burglars stalking a long-haired blonde in her house. It’s all a tad bizarre, even more so when they’re in her bedroom being viewed by an infra-red camera. It’s apparently very funny.
Katri’s back among the audience and interviews some local heartthrob called Ingó Verðerguð.
We now find three trumpeters in green blazers playing Te Deum, before a selection of female rappers take to the stage. They’re performing bilingually, a tribute to our favourite TV show. We have a male-voice choir. It’ll be on Youtube no doubt for you to judge for yourself.
More adverts, one from Icelandair extolling the virtues of Glasgow. More banks, the post office, rotisserie chicken. It’s an education.
LIVE ROLLING BLOG – 20:45 CET
Just Refresh the page for LIVE updates
We’re nearly there. One last reprise of tonight’s six songs. A bit of chat and banter, and cheering from the audience, and the envelopes come out. Who will qualify?
My pick to qualify are Erna Hrönn, Stefanía and Friðrík Dór (Don’t you just love those crazy letters?). And don’t forget, of the six losing semi-finalists over these two weeks, one will be a wildcard seventh song on the RÚV final
The first envelope is Friðrík Dór. Lots of teenage cheers from the audience for him. And he’s split his trousers! He has two weeks to repair them.
The second envelope is Björn and friends. A surprise to me, but it’s unlike the other songs in the semi-final.
The third and final envelope is Elín Síf! I’m shocked and stunned, but the innocence of it must have got it through.
It just shows what I know. Any of the other three could be a wild-card, and from these tonight I’d pick Erna Hrönn.
So that’s it. Six more songs will compete in next week’s second semi-final. We’ll be there to blog it. Will you be there to read?
Thanks and goodnight.
Author/Editor : John Stanton
Source : Eurovision Ireland