Iceland has started the process of selecting Ari Ólafsson’s successor and tonight, we saw the first heat of Söngvakeppni take place in Reykjavík.

“Variety” was the word of the evening, as we got to see a rock-hard ode on the destruction of capitalism, a 60’s infused number devoted to the empowerment of women, soft dance-pop, a ballad from a Eurovision alum and a musical breakdown and analysis of dating through social media. Whew!

Prior to this evening, there was already huge buzz surrounding the controversial, yet entertaining duo of Hatari. They became a fan favourite early on, both in Iceland and abroad, and there seemed to be no way of stopping them. And so it was tonight — for Hatari galloped their way easily out of the semis with a powerful BDSM infused performance with ironclad dancers and a person crawling around on the floor in chains, which (most likely) represented the death of capitalism. They would be a bold choice for Iceland, and Benjamin Netanyahu might just have to learn how to wrestle Hatari style

Hera Björk is no stranger to Eurovision, and she meant business tonight when she performed her power ballad and marked her spot in the finals in March, safely and without hassle.

She was a long way from the flowing red dress from Oslo, dressed all in black, but she put her heart and soul into the performance, which she described as “very personal”.

In a week we will see the other five hopefuls take the stage and two of them will advance to the grand finals of Söngvakeppni which will be held in Laugardagshöll arena on March 2nd.

What do you think about tonight’s results? Are you happy with the qualifiers? Did the right songs advance to the finals? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Dalth
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Dalth

Hatari is a wonderful racket hope Iceland picks this

Dalth
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Dalth

Hatari is great been starting to give up on the scandies with all the midlle of road dross they been sending in recent years thank god for Iceland, best song of 2019 so far

ESCdenmark
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ESCdenmark

Hatari is horrible! One of the worst songs I have heard this year! Its okay its wierd, but this is too much..

Gurl
Guest
Gurl

Neverthelles, non-typical ESC song can make fans enough to be in final, just like AWS last year.

Christian
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Christian

Yes it’s for me one of the worst too indeed. I don’t understand why fans hype it so much.

Gin
Guest
Gin

This was interesting.
The song from the Icelandic Band That Must Not Be Named or the filter monster gets me, reminds me strangely of the theme for “IT Crowd” mixed with something really familiar. Maybe a Sisters of Mercy song, or Bauhaus? Depeche Mode? All of them? Can’t quite put my finger on it.
I didn’t love it at first listen, but I definitely welcome it. It was different, and appealed to my semi-industrial sensibilities.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

You guessed it – the filter decided to hold back your comment, even though it didn’t use the H-word! This is driving us crazy, but we are determined to get to the bottom of it!

ESCalator
Guest
ESCalator

Hera is a great singer, but this song…nope. Too boring.

Hatari needs a back vocalist (hidden behind the stage) with a stronger falsetto to duplicate the singer.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

I noticed that both the female dancers had mics and were singing the chorus, so perhaps the sound mix needs to be altered.

HallsiKallsi
Guest
HallsiKallsi

Apparantly the sound was great in the arena, but the televised version had some technical problems, which isn’t anything new in Söngvakeppnin

Rasmus
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Rasmus

Why are countries going so safe? Denmark,Belarus, Latvia, Sweden,UK,Iceland. I want more risks. I love Montenegro though.

Gurl
Guest
Gurl

Lol, Montenegro’s choice is definition of safe

Uyo
Guest
Uyo

Hatari’s performance didn’t live up to the stuido version. It’s now weirdly boring. It can’t make me wanna scream, “Yes!!!!! This has to win!!!” If it’s in Eurovision, they have to get the staging right to make it stand out.

Alon I srael
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Alon I srael

Hatari is a eurovision winner!

Milla
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Milla

I think it’s too bold.

uwu vision
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uwu vision

Hera Björk’s song is boring to me. I would much rather have had Imsland in the final. Hatari is definitely a good song, though. I do wonder how many people voted for Hera just because shes Hera Björk? i mean, her voice is great… but the song…

DavidR
Guest
DavidR

If they won’t send Hatari, Iceland is cancelled.

Sakis
Guest

On adore en France hatari en force hatari 12 points

Sakis
Guest

Les chanteurs hatari sont formidables …ils sont rigolos….et surtout ils apportent un humour…j’aime Héra Björn….mais trop classique ….a mon goût…

Donc votez hatari en force pour Islande ….dans 15 jours…lol

Hatari hatari hatari hatari

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Just not Hatari, please… Iceland won’t qualify

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Maybe. but anyone else won’t qualify much harder.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

They played it safe last year and it got them last in their semi-final.

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

I can’t take another national selection making a terrible choice. You know what to do, Iceland.

Notmysong
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Notmysong

I think Iceland has the best song so far (if Hatari wins)… however the performance is putting me off a bit. But having listend to the song halfway through I also got ab bit bored…hmm :-/ Still I guess it would qualify. – Let’s wait and see. 🙂

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

Okey, I kinda like Hatari. It was fascinatingly terrifiying: that guy growling the hell out looks like he is undergoing a demonic possession (his face…), the dancers with black eyes and chains, the guy walking around chained, the other guy banging the boxes during the whole 3 minutes… “Hatrið mun sigra” wouldn’t be out of place in an Icelandic remake of American Horror Story (especially in the first season, if you know what I mean…). The falsetto part needs to be fix though, it sounds really bad live. Hatari is the obvious winner in Iceland, but I’m afraid this BDSM… Read more »

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Eurovision is a contest primarily for adults. It is theoretically timed late enough to accomplish this (except in Australia, obviously). The 16-17 entry age is a grey area I personally object to, because International Law on child rights is quite clear – a minor is a person under the age of 18 (unless I am mistaken). Families might watch Eurovision together, but it is always with parental responsibility in mind. Adult themes will always be present in art and music, and long may it be so. Having said that, would the contest have been the same without Blanche or Kristian… Read more »

Milla
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Milla

My son have stayed up and watched eurovision since he was 10 years old. I think Hatari is too much. Defenetely the music video.. I wouldn’t dare to show it to him, he would get nightmares. There are limits I think to what you can send to eurovision. Lordi’s masks pale in comparison. And bondage is something that can stay in people’s bedrooms. So no.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

In principal, as an artist, I could enter a song about an adult topic. That is part of what Eurovision guidance accepts I can do. The EBU can make certain exceptions for offence; that’s fine. It might still be that the EBU objects to Hatari on those grounds – it is admittedly borderline. But in principal, the contest is effectively aged 16+. There is a Junior contest specifically for younger contestants and viewers. That’s the intention of having the two contests instead of just one. To tone down certain aspects of the adult contest solely to suit child viewers goes… Read more »

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

Your telling me your son would be more scared of a little skin and leather than he would be a big man with bat wings and a monster face?

suuuuuuuure….

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

Also if your problem is sexuality in the show, ….Czech 2018 and Sweden 2017 both had songs with very sexual lyrics and they were still allowed

I think your real problem is that Hatari makes you uncomfortable because for once, it’s men instead of women

Teddie
Guest
Teddie

I was actually pleasantly surprised with how well the falsetto was handled. It’s no small task to maintain the volume and break through the mix, however, he did it pitch-perfect

Charles II
Guest
Charles II

If they are going to transform what is already a hellish entry into an even hellish political entry, then they might as well stay home or be disqualified right now.

Gurl
Guest
Gurl

Just cancel everything and send Hatari

brennan
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brennan

is hatari’s song really about the destruction of capitalism tho
the lyrics seem like more of a criticism of far-right movements in europe

Marcelo
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Marcelo

If that’s true, it will be so funny considering countries like Poland and Hungary compete in the same semi. Hatari has to win!

123
Guest
123

why would Hungary and Poland be far-right?

Lolz
Guest
Lolz

Because they are, lmao

Lolek
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Lolek

I don’t think their group/song is necessarily meant to be taken too seriously. They largely seem to be singing about (against) capitalism as well as fascism (sometimes putting the two together) but their interviews come across as mostly satirical in nature. Sort of like Silvia Night – but of a very DIFFERENT variety/breed. Either way I enjoy their performance and style!

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

No, it’s just Christian pop. I don’t know what other meanings are you looking for, guys.

Joe
Guest

Except antifa isn’t just anti-fascist but also pro-communist, which is arguably even worse. They are two sides of the same coin.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Y’all, there’s a weird thing happening where some comments on this post are being held for moderation. We don’t know why, but it seems to be related to mentions of Hatari! (Yes, it’s very Hatari-esque for Hatari to be breaking the internet!)

We’re trying to figure out exactly what the problem is, but until then there may be a delay before you see your comment show up. Thank you!

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

It is aa really curious thing. I thought that it might be the band name, but unfortunately, it happens on plenty other occasions as well. 🙁

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Thanks Robyn.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Maybe the name of the band means something really bad in some language? Thanks for being always helpful, Robyn! 😀

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

It means danger in suahili. Kinda appropriate for this situation.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Indeed. But it wouldn’t explain the filter reacting to it. Maybe the fact everybody was using the band’s name (let’s not provoke the monster) made the filter see it as a spam attack.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Sorry for the “spam”. Now, all the comments I entered are appearing.

DenizNL
Guest
DenizNL

Nice my bottom 2 qualified!
Can someone pls tell me why Hatari is so amazing?
Are normal pop songs without SM clothing not good enough for you?

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

eurovision fans think they are “bold” and “deep” for standing up against the far right or sonething like that… The viewer at home will just see them as a joke act tho.

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

No fam, we just like the song and the rest of this selection is a hopeless snoozefest.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Yes but there wasn’t a single eurovision fan who liked aina mun pitaa in 2015 so how do they suddenly all like this one? No offense but i feel people mostly like the image.

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

Yeah, these songs aren’t really that similar in my opinion.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Come on, this one is quite melodic, it is an actual song. (And the lead singer is very easy on the eyes).

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Is he? I hadn’t noticed! I was too busy watching Italy’s selection. 😛

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Fair enough. Italy’s entire top three is easy on the eyes.

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

Hatari MUST win. After seeing their performance, I’m a bit concerned though. The guy singing the chorus wasn’t in his best shape. I understand the chorus is supposed to be quieter than the verses, but he sang them in an underwhelming quiet falsetto. I think they could have easily turned down his mike’s volume for a better result. Good thing is that they have a lot of time to get better for the final.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Honestly, i think he may even ruin everything. At Eurovision. In Iceland, they still have no competition, no matter how bad he is.

Eurofan1999
Guest
Eurofan1999

I was in the audience and he sounded very good so I think that the production messed up and they will be great next time! It sounds very dull in tv but he was great live! Hope the television doesnt ruin this

Lolek
Guest
Lolek

you were? Lucky!! Hope it was fun Eurofan1999!

Katitam
Guest
Katitam

I read on YT from a guy that was there in the studio that he sounded very well. Maybe it’s a transmission issue? But I’m a little agree with you. The first chorus was a little weak.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Yeah, Hatari delivered pretty much what I expected (I especially appreciate the guy just hammering those two boxes whole performance).

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Ooo I got filtered too. How exciting!

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I tried 3 different comments and all of them got filtered. Can I at least say I totally agree with Iceland’s decisions tonight?

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Indeed. 🙂

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

It is out of hand. The most basic-worded sentences don’t get through.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

It seems that the crisis is over and our comments are back. Nonetheless Evil Filter is still an issue to fix, Wiwibloggs.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Yey, our full conversations have re-appeared. Wiwi comments make sense once again.

Dani
Guest
Dani

Hatari was so good. They have to win!!

Jordy
Guest
Jordy

I LOVE hatari their song but they scare me a little bit anyone can explain why they’re so quiet

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

It’s part of the act, I reckon.

Miyaya
Guest
Miyaya

It’s just their thing. When they aren’t being Hatari, they are normal people.

Jordy
Guest
Jordy

I would love to see them smile

Miyaya
Guest
Miyaya

Then look at their Facebook and Instagram accounts. They are very cute when they smile.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I would pick Hatari and Hera too. Them because it’s the entry that can make Iceland stand out in Tel Aviv, her because she gave a great vocal performance. The other acts were enjoyable though.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

I watched Hatari and Imsland. Hatari was exactly how I imagined it would be, which likely says more about me than it does the artists. 😛 Bravo Hatari. Imsland I thought did well too, but considering Hera Björk’s popularity, the result is not a surprise.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Hera Björk is insufferable. What a non-song. I’d rather have Ari back, even.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Well, as Ari sang, there’s always a choice we can make.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Only Iceland can make the right choice.

Lolek
Guest
Lolek

Hahaha well punned!

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

It’s not even a competition. No one but Hatari is any good. I didn’t enjoy it fully, though. The band leader was amazing and awesome, but other guy almost wrecks it for me. An able choir singing his parts would be better.

Quint
Guest
Quint

Omg yes i was afraid Hatari woudn’t qualify but i’m soo happy they did!! Please win!!

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

This filter is insufferable.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Said the bean to the filter 😛
(Another coffee bean joke, I know.)

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

LOL. The amount of jokes is endless, really.

Escfan
Guest
Escfan

My fav out already, great!! Iceland have now become my least favourite country in Eurovision. Hatari is bull shit but it’s obvious they’ll send them, so I hope they flop hard

uwu vision
Guest
uwu vision

what was your favourite?

Ruby
Guest
Ruby

Yay Hera Björk to the final, good job!

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

I reiterate: This is not a competition, only Hatari are any good in Iceland. Having said that, I wasn’t entirely thrilled. The band leader was awesome, but the other one almost ruined it for me. I’d rather they get a good choir to sing his parts, I did not enjoy him.
(Hera’s “song” is insufferable. I’d rather have Ari back, even.)

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

Great, Hatari’s through, now let them win please.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Hatari qualifed, I can sleep calmly. Nice show overall, Iceland.