Preparations are well underway for next week’s grand final of Iceland’s Söngvakeppnin 2019. Now Icelandic broadcaster RÚV has confirmed the languages the artists will sing in for their grand final performance. Three of the entries will switch to English, while two will remain in Icelandic.
In the show’s semi-finals, all the competing songs were performed with Icelandic lyrics. But for the grand final, three of those songs will be switching to the English version. As per the Söngvakeppnin rules, the grand final language of the winning song is also what will be performed in Tel Aviv.
Switching to English will be Iceland’s Eurovision star Hera Björk, whose “Eitt andartak” will become “Moving On”; wildcard qualifier Kristina Skoubo Bærendsen whose “Ég á mig sjálf” will become the sassy “Mama Said”, and Tara Mobee whose semi-final song “Betri án þín” becomes “Fighting for Love”.
Sticking with the Icelandic language will be the anti-capitalist BDSM techno performance art group Hatari with their song “Hatrið mun sigra”, and Friðrik Ómar with “Hvað ef ég get ekki elskað?”. While Hatari does not have an English version of their song, Friðrik has chosen not to switch to the English version of his song, “What If I Can’t Have Love?”
Changes to the superfinal
Broadcaster RÚV has also confirmed a change to the voting system for the grand final.
As previously announced, this year the competition will again use a superfinal between the top two acts, as voted on by a the public televote and an international jury.
However, the superfinal vote won’t be a starting from zero. The two superfinalists will keep the votes they received in the first round of voting. These will be weighted 50% against the televote and jury vote for the superfinal.
This system could help avoid what has become a common occurrence at Söngvakeppnin in recent years. In 2015, 2016 and 2018, the winner of the first round has gone on to place second in the superfinal — while the overall winner has not qualified for the grand final at Eurovision.
This year the jury will also include international members. It will be made up of three Icelanders and seven foreign representatives.
The grand final of Söngvakeppnin 2019 will take place next Saturday, March 2.
What do you think? Should more acts sing their songs in Icelandic? Is the new voting system fairer? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!