Eurovision 2018

#ICELAND – LIVE BLOG of Söngvakeppnin 2018 #AllAboard from 20:45 CET

Songvakeppni 2018

Gott kvöld Evrópa og góðan daginn Ástralíu! This is Reykjavík calling! Tonight we’ll find out who Iceland will be sending to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon!

Sit back and relax, and let Eurovision Ireland’s own James Scanlan entertain and inform you. As always, feel free to tell me what you think and give your opinions about tonight’s Final and who your favourites are!

Tonight’s show comes to us courtesy of Icelandic broadcaster RÚV live from the Laugardalshöll sporting arena in Reykjavík. The winner will be decided after 2 rounds of voting. In the first round, a Top 2 will be selected by a 50% jury vote and 50% televote. These Top 2 entries will then advance to the Super Final where the winner will be decided exclusively by televote.

You can watch the live show HERE or HERE from 20:45CET.

You know the drill: Just refresh this page to get the comments and points of view!

Singing tonight for Iceland we have:-

  1. Fókus – Battleline
  2. Áttan – Here for You
  3. Ari Ólafsson – Our Choice
  4. Heimilistónar – Kúst og Fæjó
  5. Aron Hannes – Gold Digger
  6. Dagur Sigurðsson – Í Stormi
  7. WILDCARD

LIVE BLOG STARTS HERE!!

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Hello everyone! Iceland calling! This stunningly beautiful and remote island is the only Nordic country to never win Eurovision – can they pick someone tonight who will change that for them? 😉 Check back in 10 minutes to find out when Söngvakeppnin 2018 begins!

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For anyone watching in the UK who has been complaining about how cold it is lately…!!

19 degrees in Tenerife? I’m in the wrong place…

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Good evening Reykjavik! The entire population of Iceland in one room (no, not really… at least, I don’t think so… it is a small country!)

We’ve already gone to an ad break… that was quick! Gosh, Icelandic groceries are expensive…

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He said he can’t  go on, yet here he is again! No treadmills this time, but a bevy of female backing dancers.

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Our hosts for the evening, putting the rumour that everyone in Iceland is blond with high cheekbones to rest…

I love the sound of Icelandic, beautiful and ancient language ❤

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The Green Room, or tinsel room, surely?

They’re now running through the list of contestants tonight. Judging by the reactions of the crowd, song number 3 might be one to watch!

Fókus – Battleline

Our first singers for tonight, the group Eurovision Ireland readers tipped to win tonight! This was my favourite song before the contest, and I although I prefered the Icelandic, I still like it – a real feel good lite-ballad, stand up for yourself kind of thing… my one concern at the moment is that it was a very shaky start and several vocalists looked noticeably nervous. This being said, they pulled it together and delivered a great performance. I’d be happy if this went to Lisbon!

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Áttan – Here for You

Hmmm… my first reaction was that this was quite a haphazard performance being delivered by quite a flat vocalist. He was trying to deliver a show by moving around the stage, but it felt somehow forced. Then he was joined on stage and the melody seems to pick up a bit and the whole dynamic shifted. It was certainly a case of being better the more it went on, but sometimes those kinds of songs don’t work at Eurovision because most of the audience will only see it the once… not a bad effort though! Liked the stage lights

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Ari Ólafsson – Our Choice

The crowd went wild at the mention of his name, let’s see what all the fuss is about! Well, within seconds of seeing him, I can see why the mostly teenage girl audience squealed with delight – it’s an Icelandic pretty boy crooning about world peace and love. It’s not a bad song per se, it’s sung competently, but I can’t help but think his fans are reacting to him, rather than the song…

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Our first visit the the Green Room, where the girls from Fokus are very excited about something…  I really should have taken more than a few lessons on that Icelandic language app… they seem like a lot of fun though, would be a lot of fun to talk to in Lisbon!

Ari seems very overcome with emotion, which is sending his fans into squealing frenzy… I know, I’m such a bitter old harridan, I’m sorry 😛

Adverts – buy the expensive goodies!

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OK, so this was just too bizarre not to share… a Barbershop Quartet following an old man around singing at him… I have a horrible feeling this was about bowel health or something… 0_o

Back to the show!

Heimilistónar – Kúst og Fæjó

Our first song tonight in Icelandic, and the only song in the selection that wasn’t released in English! Wow… it’s certainly colourful!It has a certain beat to it and I admit it’s hard not to bop your head along to as they sing. It’s also lovely to see a group of performers so confident in their delivery and also clearly having the time of their lives! Yes, it’s camp and kitsch, but it’s fun, something Eurovision is in desperate need of this year! Congrtulations ladies! Til harmingju!

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Aron Hannes – Gold Digger

Oh dear me… dancing around stage looking like the posh frat boys in every movie ever immediately put me off… the music is actually quite catchy, but then with such lyrics as “she’s a straight out freak” and “you got my mojo working”, I’m finding very little else about this appealing. I do admire their energy and some of those backing dancers really can move… but yikes… sorry, really not a fan…

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Dagur Sigurðsson – Í Stormi

A very intense performance from Dagur… he connects perfectly with the camera, almost like he’s singing just for the audience at home. Vocally, he has such power and depth to his voice, he’s easily the best vocalist of the night. It’s a kind of rock ballad that I’m not sure is strong enough to win Eurovision outright, but would be a lovely counter for La Forza… I’m really impressed!

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Back in the Green Room now… the interview with Heimilistónar interrupted somewhat by Dagur returning to a loud series of cheers and whistling!

Our first recap of the night! Give me a moment and I’ll process my thoughts of this evening too…

My favourites of the night are still Fókus, but Heimilistónar and Dagur caught my attention too (I know, a real mix of songs!). Fókus are upbeat and with a little work could be a really tight performance. Heimilistónar is fun and would stand out a mile in the sea of ethno-ballads heading to Lisbon. If Iceland has to follow suit with everyone though, it has to be Dagur.

This being said, I suspect the Super Final will be Ari and Dagur. Guess we’ll find out soon!

As another aside, I love Fókus’ red costumes! Where can I get one? Do they want a 6th member? :p

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Discussing the songs, and now time for a performance from Svala!

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A slowed down piano version of Paper, in Icelandic… this is quite bewitching! And I’ve always loved Svala’s dress sense – she looks like Princess Leia heading to Glastonbury and it’s awesome!

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Sweden’s Robin not only opened the show tonight, but was also one of the judges. He also proposed to his girlfriend here in Iceland at the Blue Lagoon! Awww…

A very diplomatic answer to “how can Iceland get back to the Eurovision final” !!

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Former Eurovision winner Emmelie de Forest singing now… wonder if she’s noticed the Danish flag in the front row?

Only Teardrops…. love this song! ❤

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Emmelie de Forest must really love Iceland… she was a lot more subdued when we interviewed her back in 2016 at EuroStarz in London!

They sure are keeping us in suspense tonight, aren’t they folks? Time for some more adverts, so you enjoy those while I frantically learn more Icelandic to have the slightest idea what’s going on… 😀

And we’re back! And I think it’s time for some votes!

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I Stormi takes an early lead in the first round of voting!

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Round 4 – if anyone has the slightest idea how or why the results are done like this, please let me know!

Battleline is 5th… oops…

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I Stormi still in the lead – but wait, there’s more!

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If I’ve understood this right, the Super Final now comes down to I Stormi and Our Choice – I told you so!

Make good choices Iceland! One of these songs can get you to the final… 😉

Super Final: Ari Ólafsson – Our Choice

I have no doubt that had Iceland entered this circa 1994, it would have won Eurovision by a big margin. Yes, he’s the squeaky clean pretty boy that teenage girls across Europe will fawn all over, but for me the song is too safe and unlikely to stand out in Lisbon…

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Super Final: Dagur Sigurðsson – Í Stormi

I wonder if this song’s popularity stems (in part) from the fact it’s in Icelandic and people are finally realising the beauty of sending a song in their native language? It’s very powerful, intense and in my opinion would walk into the final. The audience are going wild for him…

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This is going to be difficult to call…. what’s a strong voting drive? Teenage girls or pride in national culture?

Come on Iceland… you’re the last country tonight we’re waiting for results from! Poland, San Marino, Estonia and Finland have all chosen – what say you, Iceland?

I think we’re about to find out…

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Nope, it’s another interval act first… Iceland’s answer to the Wiggles?

Can’t get over the fact one of the girls looks like my old colleague Emma… she may well have given up her job to play a keyboard guitar in an Icelandic band, she was brilliant like that! 😀

Results now? *more stalling*

Televote is over… Iceland, your fate is sealed…

NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO GO TO A BREAK?!?! *hyperventilates*

And we’re back… do we get the result now?

Everyone is gathered on stage, I think this might be it!

Ari Ólafsson – Our Choice is going to Lisbon!

Thank you all for reading along tonight and til harmingju Ari! See you in Lisbon!

Thank you Europe and good night!

 

Author: James Scanlan

Source: RÚV

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