Iceland may have crashed out of the semi-finals of Eurovision 2015, but taking a cue from Maria Olafs they are stepping out of the darkness and into the light! The journey kicks off this evening when state broadcaster RUV reveals the 12 songs taking part in Söngvakeppni 2016, Iceland’s national selection for Eurovision 2016.

As Iceland Monitor reports, the songs and composers will be announced on the Vikan með Gísla Marteini programme. The announcement will take place at 19:40 Iceland time (so 20:40 CET).

The Söngvakeppni 2016 announcement will be live streamed at: www.ruv.is

Söngvakeppni 2016: The Rules

As we previously reported, all songs in the semi-final must be performed in the Icelandic language, but in the grand final songs must be performed in the language intended for Eurovision. Last year, five of the seven finalists were performed in English, with “Lítil skref” later becoming “Unbroken”The format is largely the same as what was used in 2015. The competition was only open to songwriters with Icelandic citizenship or permanent residence in Iceland. However, Icelandic songwriters were able to co-write with non-Icelandic songwriters, but two-thirds of the music and one half of the lyrics had to be contributed by an Icelandic songwriter.

THE SHOWS

There’ll be two semi-finals, and three songs from each semi will progress to the final. There’ll also be a wildcard pick from the remaining semi-finalists, making a total of seven songs in the final.

In the final, the seven songs will be narrowed down to two superfinalists via a 50/50 jury and televote. The overall winner will then be selected by 100% televote.

The semi-finals will be held on 6 and 13 February 2016, and the grand final will be held on 20 February.

RUV’s rules also state that technically it is only the song that wins Söngvakeppnin, not the performer(s). After the winning song has been chosen, RUV then internally selects the performers who’ll be going to Stockholm. It is safe to assume that RUV will go with the existing lead singer(s) of the winning song, but as we saw earlier this year when María Ólafs’ dancers from Söngvakeppnin didn’t make it to Vienna, the supporting performers won’t be guaranteed a ticket to Stockholm. Sorry ’bout it.

Follow all of our Iceland Eurovision news here

Photo: Eggert Jóhannesson

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Foxreyna
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Foxreyna

Nothing can out Maria! She’s the best out of the whole ESC for me

Daniel
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Daniel

Bring Sunday back!

Hugh
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Hugh

@PP also a brilliant song. I think there’s a theme emerging haha

Steven
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Steven

Fjadrir was one of my favourite entries in all NFs and I was so disappointed when they translated it because some songs just sound better in their initial form, and Fjadrir was haunting and mysterious

PP
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PP

For me best song in nationa final was Sunday – Fjaðrir but , they ruined song and chance to won because they sang song in english in final Feathers

Hugh
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Hugh

Litil skref was brilliant, Unbroken not so much. But the real shame was I Sidasta Skipti changing to English. Hopefully Fridrik is back this year 🙂