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”.