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.
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.
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.
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Photo: Eggert Jóhannesson