Iceland have truly outdone themselves this year, giving us a great selection of songs in their national final Songvakeppnin. Five songs made it through to tonight’s final and in the end the nation have chosen Hatari to represent them in Tel Aviv with the song ‘Hatrið mun sigra’.
Iceland’s pick last year was a little bit lack lustre, but they more than make up for it in 2019 with ten really good songs from a eclectic mix of genres. Any of the ten songs could go on to do very well at Eurovision and we had a difficult time trying to rate and rank them. We finally did it, read on to find out which are our favourites!
Iceland is the little nation that could. Despite having some great tracks in the last five years, Iceland haven’t made it to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest since 2014. They will be hoping to turn this unfortunate streak around in 2019 and this began today when broadcaster RUV revealed their plans for Eurovision 2019 at a press conference.
There has been pressure for a number of European nations to withdraw from next year’s Eurovision Song Contest, scheduled to be hosted by Israel in May 2019. After Israeli singer Netta Barzilai won the Contest in Lisbon last week for her song ‘Toy’, she announced ‘Next Year in Jerusalem!’. Although there has yet to be any official announcement from the national broadcaster IPBC or the EBU, many sources point towards Jerusalem as the host city for 2019. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed his interest in Jerusalem hosting the Contest and the other main rival city Tel Aviv have stated they have no interest in putting a bid in.
The news is not welcomed by all, and some politicians, political groups and other individuals have expressed their disgust at the recent and historic violence that the Israeli state has carried out on the Palestinian people on the Gaza Strip. In the wake of the Eurovision result, there has been widespread attacks on Palestinians following the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Among those expressing that their nation should boycott the Contest in 2019 in protest are former winner Charlie McGettigan (Ireland) and a petition started by an Icelandic native has garnered almost 20,000 signatures.
The 2016 Eurovision selections have really kicked it up a gear this weekend with seven selection shows taking place on Saturday and Sunday. Take a look below to find out about each one and where you can watch, (all times are local time):