Iceland’s Söngvakeppnin 2018 grand final set for 3 March…as producers maintain language rule


When the going gets tough, the tough get going. And that’s exactly what Iceland has decided to do ahead of Eurovision 2018. The small island in the North Atlantic might not have made it to the final over the past three years, but that won’t deter them from coming back strong in Lisbon.

Today RÚV announced that submissions for Söngvakeppnin 2018 — Iceland’s national final — are now open and will close on 20 October.

That gives Icelandic composers plenty of time to cook up a song that will get Iceland back to the grand final. We hope, anyway.

The format of the national final will be similar to that of the past two years. There will be two semifinals where results will be determined by 100% televote and a grand final consisting of 50% televote and 50% jury vote, which will result in a two-song ‘super-final’. The ultimate winner will then be decided by the public and the public alone.

Each semifinal will consist of six entries with three of them making it to the final. That means the grand final will also contain six entries.

Dates for all of the shows have been set in stone. The two semifinals will take place in Háskólabíó on February 10th and 17th. The grand final will be held in Laugardalshöll two weeks later on March 3rd. The two-week gap is perhaps the only big change in the overall arrangement of the national final, as in past years there has only been a one-week break between semifinals and final.

As for the submission rules, nothing has changed. The majority of composers behind each song still need to be Icelandic citizens or have permanent residency in Iceland. RÚV also maintains the language rule from previous years: songs must be sung in Icelandic in the semifinals but in the grand final contestants will sing in the language they intend to sing in at Eurovision should they advance.

There’s one other major change and that’s the winner’s pay check. The winning composers will receive 3 million ISK (around 24,000 euros) — that’s three times as much as last year.

No official reason has been given for the raise but one could assume this means that RÚV is going to go all in when it comes to next year’s Eurovision entry. Anyone else smell pyro?

RÚV seems to have adopted last Eurovision’s slogan as they specifically state that they are looking for diversity and encourage all types of composers to enter. All musical genres are welcome. #CelebrateDiversity, indeed!

Are you excited for Söngvakeppnin 2018? What type of songs would you like to hear? Are there any specific artists you would like to enter? Tell us in the comments below.

Read more Iceland Eurovision news here