ari ólafsson our choice iceland 2018
Iceland, Ari Ólafsson, 3

On Saturday in Reykjavík the adorable Ari Ólafsson unexpectedly snatched victory in Söngvakeppni 2018, after an exciting duel with Dagur Sigurðsson. But amid the celebrations, some behind-the-scenes drama was starting to foment.

Júlí Heiðar Halldórsson, the composer of the second-place song “Í stormi”, expressed his concerns that there might have been a glitch in the phone system, which could have led to votes for Dagur being ignored.

In an interview with the Icelandic web media www.visir.is, Júlí Heiðar said that many people approached him after the finals, saying that it seemed like some of their votes never went through, most likely due to a strain on the phone system.

“It’s such a shame if this is the case. RÚV and Vodafone are looking into the matter, and hopefully we will get some answers,” Júlí said, adding that coming second is by no means a bad thing, and that he was immensely proud of Dagur and the team behind “Í stormi”.

Eyebrows were raised when Ari won the duel, considering that Dagur won both the jury and the televote by a landslide in the first round, earning 20,183 votes from the jury and a whopping 24,547 televotes, making the combined number of votes 44,730.

Ari on the other hand earned 17,453 jury votes and 18,408 votes from the Icelandic public, or 35,861 votes in total.

But in the super final the tables quickly turned. When the duel started, people were pretty certain that the trophy belonged to Dagur, but in the end Ari crushed the competition with 44,919 votes to Dagur’s 39,474 votes. What exactly happened in that half an hour or so to tip the balance is difficult to say.

RÚV along with Vodafone did indeed investigate to make sure that everything was working as it should have and gave their verdict in a statement yesterday, both on www.visir.is as well as on www.ruv.is.

“The results are clear and rule out the possibility that the phone system could have been acting differently between the two competing numbers during the voting,” RUV said.

Vodafone’s statement had a similar message: “Our investigation doesn’t show any malfunction in any way. Both the SMS part as well as the phone-in part worked without trouble. Also, individual numbers in the televoting all have the same set-up and use the same device, so it is impossible that one number works and the other one doesn’t”.

So, there we have it. Say what you want about the results, but Ari won fair and square and will be representing Iceland in Lisbon in the first semi final on May 8th with “Our Choice”.

Read more Iceland Eurovision news

23 Comments
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Purple Mask
Purple Mask
2 years ago

I agree with Robyn that Superfinals are perhaps unnecessary in the context of sending a song to Eurovision, which gets judged on a single listen alone. I think the only reason they happen is to get more money through the phone company, to be honest.

beccaboo1212
2 years ago

I’m glad their weren’t any issues, voting-wise. However, I’m still confused about why so many people hate Iceland’s entry. Either way, here’s a petition to get Ari’s performance to be changed in Lisbon.

https://www.change.org/p/european-broadcasting-union-ari-%C3%B3lafsson-s-our-choice-performance-to-be-changed

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
2 years ago
Reply to  beccaboo1212

That’s one of the saddest petitions I have ever seen. 🙁

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
2 years ago

This is nothing new for Iceland. In 2015, Fridrik won the first round of voting and Maria won the superfinal. In 2016, Alda won the first round and Greta won the superfinal.

Superfinals have no parallel with Eurovision voting. If a song is only appealing on a second viewing, it’s not going to do well at Eurovision which doesn’t offer such a chance.

If history is anything to go by, the Söngvakeppnin superfinal is doing no favours for selecting Iceland’s Eurovision acts.

Ari
Ari
2 years ago

What’s new is that this time, we already know for a fact they won’t qualify.

Charles
Charles
2 years ago

Nevertheless, there is a big difference between Ari Ólafsson winning fair and square and Dagur Sigurðsson having the best song and the best performance of the two. Obviously as a winner Ari is the Icelandic representative … but the best song remains Dagur’s and the fact that people are still wondering what happened in just 30 minutes showcases that he was the one with the best song. Nothing strange considering the amount of times greats songs were surpassed by others less worthy of winning national finals.

Nico
Nico
2 years ago

I would’ve rather seen Dagur at Eurovision, because I prefer Í stormi over Our choice, but that’s just how it is. If this goes wrong in Lisbon, RÚV might learn, that a Superfinal makes not much sense (at least to me). Like, why would you have one, if you only have six participants in the “normal” final anyways? Don’t get that.

Zuzu
Zuzu
2 years ago

Not sure what difference it makes, given that both songs are appalling.

James
James
2 years ago

Fans simply became complacent as is often the case it seems for national selections that hold superfinals in the first place.

Adam
Adam
2 years ago

I think the results are completely fair. I think everyone needs to take into consideration while yes Dagur received the most televotes in the first round over Ari, that was when it was between 6 songs. So anyone who voted for Fókus, Áttan, Heimilistónar or Aron in the first round who didn’t make it to the super final then had to pick between the final two songs if they wanted to vote again. So its completely reasonable for the results to change because supporters of 4 other songs out of the running who may not have voted for Ari or… Read more »

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
2 years ago
Reply to  Adam

Exactly!

Borde
Borde
2 years ago

And what about releasing the results from the semi final? Some transparency please. I still cannot believe Brosa was overlooked. Perhaps there was a glitch responsible there too. Still perplexed.

JEFFERSON LAMAS
JEFFERSON LAMAS
2 years ago

Franka Batelic & Crazy will be released when?

Carlös
Carlös
2 years ago

7pm

Ari
Ari
2 years ago

It was completely fair in the sense that the voting format was crystal clear before the competition and every participant agreed to the rules when they entered. This is a question of “Is it a fair format to begin with?” And the answer is, of course, no, not all. It isn’t fair to render the votes of the first round completely irrelevant and start anew with the top two. The outcome was hardly a surprise, as the superfinal often changes the initial winner (2016, 2015…). It’s also not advisable for finding the entry with the best chances of doing well… Read more »

Colin
Colin
2 years ago
Reply to  Ari

Hungary, Estonia and Norway have the exact same format only with different number of superfinalists. There is nothing wrong with letting the public decide on their subsequent winner.

Ari
Ari
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin

I want the public to decide. Always. And they did decide. Twice.

Linda
Linda
2 years ago
Reply to  Ari

Totally agreed. I don’t understand why a couple of countries use the Superfinal. It doesn’t make any sense within the Eurovision format.

I mean, it would be interesting to see what would’ve happened with the winner if Europe had to choose between Jamala and Sergey. Or between Conchita and the Common Linnets.

But as long as Eurovision doesn’t work that way, just don’t pick that system for your national finals!

Ari
Ari
2 years ago
Reply to  Linda

In that case, I request a super final for 2014. The Common Linnets all the way. 😛 Although Ilse and Waylon probably won’t share the stage anymore, eh?

Tobias Andersen
Tobias Andersen
2 years ago
Reply to  Linda

I agree. Kerli from Estonia lost last year for the same reason. She won first round but lost super final due to “anti Kerli feelings”. Super finals are stupid the song has to stand out from as many songs as possible as in Eurovision final there are 25 or 26 songs…
Denmark does the same mistake, but usually we have the same winner in both rounds…

Kyna
Kyna
2 years ago

Well Kerli did won the first round, but Verona was clear winner on the televote side in the same round. In final round without the help of jury she lost to Verona.
I guess we have super final so that the public will have the last say in deciding who will represent us.

Ari
Ari
2 years ago
Reply to  Kyna

And what if the jury eliminates the public’s favorite in the first round? That could also happen.

Kyna
Kyna
2 years ago
Reply to  Ari

It did happen in 2011 and 2014, the favorites were either 2nd or 3rd with televote but got killed off by the jury. A year later in 2015 they changed to have 3 songs in super final, before that it was only 2.
So yeah I agree that this system can be hit or a miss sometimes.