This morning the EBU confirmed that Eurovision 2019 would be hosted in Tel Aviv, and now Icelandic broadcaster RÚV has confirmed that Iceland will be there in May. The broadcaster revealed that they were waiting until the host city was confirmed as they may have been less happy to go to Jerusalem.
Fans had noticed that Iceland was well overdue in confirming their participation for Eurovision 2019. The Nordic nation normally confirms around mid-August. But it turns out there was a very specific reason for that delay.
Earlier this year, a petition and pressure campaign was launched, with many Icelandic stars urging the broadcaster to boycott the contest over the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.
Last week a number of international artists — including Söngvakeppnin 2017 runner-up Daði Freyr and 2017 finalist Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir — signed a petition urging a boycott of the Israel-hosted contest.
The issue was discussed by the RÚV board. Now that the host city for Eurovision 2019 has been confirmed as Tel Aviv and not the potentially problematic Jerusalem, Iceland has decided to go ahead with Eurovision 2019.
The broadcaster notes that all the other Nordic nations — Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland — have confirmed for Eurovision 2019.
Skarphéðinn Guðmundsson, the program director of RÚV, explained the decision. He said, “The decision is based on the fact that there is no political event. On the contrary, it is a gathering of different nations, whose main purpose is the broadcasting and communion of unity and peace, using contemporary music and culture in general.”
The broadcaster has not, however, confirmed how they will select their act for Eurovision 2019. It is most likely that they will again use their national final Söngvakeppnin. However, as Iceland has not qualified for the Eurovision final in the past four years and even placed last in their Lisbon semi-final, the broadcaster may be considering ways to revamp their selection process.
What do you think? Are you glad Iceland will be part of Eurovision 2018? How should they select their act? Share your thoughts below!