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!

Follow more Iceland news here

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poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
1 year ago

They just announced the running order for the final today

1. Fridrik
2. Kristina
3. Tara
4. Hera
5. Hatari

Sebastian
Sebastian
1 year ago

It would be amazing to see Hatari at Eurovision but there’s something I’ve been thinking about. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t they say that they are participating so that they can protest against Israel? Wouldn’t that get them disqualified since it’s a political gesture? I also heard that they said something along the lines of “Send us and don’t watch the performance”. In the unlikey event that they do get disqualified, the Icelandic public would probably be okay with it, considering the amount of signatures on the petition the Icelandic national broadcaster received. Hera Bjork herself signed the… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
1 year ago

I knew Icelandic broadcaster would do anything to prevent H a t a r i from winning. A little political statement from them in Tel Aviv and Iceland would be fined. That’s very serious and I am sure RUV wouldn’t want to take such a huge risk. Sadly I don’t think we will hear “Hatrid mun sigra” in ESC 2019.

HallsiKallsi
HallsiKallsi
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonas

If anything this helps Hatari, they will probably be 1st in the first round, so a superfinal with the previous votes counted makes things more likely they get through

Daniel
Daniel
1 year ago

BWAHAHAHA! Yes!!! There is no way the jury will let Hatari win this.
And thank heavens for that, because that song is just awful. Terrible nonsense with lots of unwanted controversy ahead. It is just a hype because eurobasics have never seen anything like that, while for the rest of the world Hatari is a cheap residue from what NIN once was (and not even the best period of the band’s history).

Fridrik should win this with his huge talent.

Katitam
Katitam
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel

What? NIN? Other of their songs maybe (Odyr, for example) but Hatrid mun sigra has other influences and it’s more mainstream than the rest of their discography.

Una
Una
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel

Deleted. Have read some comments below.

David F
David F
1 year ago
Reply to  Una

How do you delete a comment?

Una
Una
1 year ago
Reply to  David F

I actually edited my own comment – deleted what I had written and typed “deleted ….”. I think it’s possible to edit a comment only a few minutes after writing it. For example now I could not edit my previous comment. I hope this helps.

HallsiKallsi
HallsiKallsi
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel

Hatari’s last on stage, and with the amount of popularity the song has, they probably win the first round, the superfinal might be tough though

Datme
Datme
1 year ago

Did I understand correctly? There’s a jury in the superfinal, but… why?

Daniel
Daniel
1 year ago
Reply to  Datme

Because televoters are idiots, that’s why.

Una
Una
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel

The same issue like Romania’s? Viewers choosing Goodbye, the disaster of epic proportions in Eurovision terms for Romania, now this year the broadcaster introduced an international jury to counter the power of televoting? Thanks.

romanian
romanian
1 year ago
Reply to  Una

Goodbye (The Humans) was not a disaster of epic proportions. They were 11th if I remember well, and it was the only nonqualification for Romania. This is not “epic disaster”. And international jury did the right thing. Laura fans don’t understand what “the whole package” means, they just think Europe never heard a screaming teenager before.

Una
Una
1 year ago
Reply to  romanian

I may have not conveyed my message right. I fully agree with TVR introducing an international jury and I am elated with On a Sunday as the winner. I enjoyed the semis and the final especially. I wish Romania a lot of success this year. It’s my winner so far. About the epic disaster from last year: I am not the only one that thinks that. It’s TVR that said something along the lines of “national catastrophe” in the aftermath of the NQ. There is a good article out there on the internet that also includes recommendations for improvement based… Read more »

HallsiKallsi
HallsiKallsi
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel

Nah, juries and televoters in Iceland ususally agree on who should win, it all goes wrong with the superfinal, this change might be a good one though

tom
tom
1 year ago

Well, after dissapointed pick of Bilal, Ester, D- Moll or Lake Malawi i dont think Iceland wil choose them, It will be Hera or the man from 2008 🙁 but Hatari can win or be in top 10 in ESC actually !!! Good luck to everyone

romanian
romanian
1 year ago

I don’t like H a t a r i (hope this avoids filters), I’ve lived in communism and I’m NOT ready to agree with their political views, and their BDSM is not for me.
BUT anything is better than another peace song. Just send them to Tel Aviv and let’s see what will happen. If they boycott, they will have a problem with their own country that spends money for them. I want to see them on the big stage, either they want it or not.

Miyaya
Miyaya
1 year ago
Reply to  romanian

Matthías (the screaming guy) works for RUV so I doubt they will do anything too outrageous because they wouldn’t want to waste RUV’s money like that.

Colin
Colin
1 year ago
Reply to  romanian

You gave a good point here – Even if one doesn’t personally ”dig” that kind of music, it’s okay to admit that this is the only song in the NF that will make Iceland stand out. Sure, some people might hate it, but everyone WILL NOTE IT, and that’s huge for Iceland.

eurovision6
eurovision6
1 year ago
Reply to  romanian

Communism as much as I dislike it is not as big of an issue as capitalism though. I have not heard them talk a whole lot about communism either. If you are supporting the capitalism in USA for example, you are literally supporting the collapse of the western world. That is the hate that will prevail unless the people wake up and start a revolution.

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
1 year ago
Reply to  eurovision6

As someone who lives in the United States, I’ll agree that capitalism is thoroughly destroying our country. People here can’t even afford the medicines or treatments they need to survive. Our current system here has a body count.

I’ll agree communism is a bit extreme, …but I’ve never heard these guys call themselves communist. Only anti-capitalist, …which I’m willing to agree with.

Katitam
Katitam
1 year ago
Reply to  romanian

Agree, but they never called themselves communists, but anti-capitalists. There’s a difference, and capitalism it’s not working either.

Geo
Geo
1 year ago

Hehehe I think I’m the only one that dislikes Hatari’s song … it’s just not my cup of tea…

Daniel
Daniel
1 year ago
Reply to  Geo

No, you’re not. I don’t just dislike it – I HATE it

Meliris
Meliris
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel

and that is quite fitting in this case 😀 (I love this song though)

Fille
Fille
1 year ago

Do you guys really think the Icelandic broadcaster will let Hatari win the national final after their clear opposition against Israeli government? That’s very serious, I mean you all know that one little political statement in Tel Aviv and Iceland will be fined.

Well, this year all the countries make wrong choices anyway as if there’s some kind of weird conspiracy. Are they freaking helping Russia to win or something?

M_K
M_K
1 year ago

I don’t get it. If they wanto to avoid that the entries placed first and second switch places in the second round… why is there a second round? If they want to stick to the result of the first round, there’s little sense in holding a second round at all.

It’s the same weird logic used by people who complain if the jury winner is different from the televote winner. If you expect them to agree, there’s little sense in having two different sets of votes in the first place.

T.J.
T.J.
1 year ago
Reply to  M_K

It seems they want to avoid a meltdown of Hatari fans should the band win the first voting and then come second.

Miyaya
Miyaya
1 year ago
Reply to  T.J.

But involving the jury in the superfinal makes it extremely unlikely that Hatari will win.

Anna
Anna
1 year ago
Reply to  M_K

This is because of money. A second round means more votes and that means more money for the broadcaster. I believe there have been around 50.000-150.000 votes in the second round in the past. That means revenue would have been around 75.000 euros for 75.000 votes. (Each vote 1 euro)

Una
Una
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna

Wow, well done Iceland!!!! I know Icelandic people are big fans of Eurovision. More than 90% households watch it either in semis where Iceland performance or the final. But so many votes! And the population is so small in numbers! In Melo more than 6 million votes were casted in each semi so far. I don’t know if people had to pay though. I’ve only followed Melo and Romania’s SN so far this year. In Romania about 3000 votes were made for the first semi and about 1700 for the second. I don’t know about the final. Someone said 4000… Read more »

DavidR
DavidR
1 year ago

I swear to God if Hatari won’t win this selection it’ll be the last time I am watching a national selection. They are all full of disappointments. I can’t already. I’ll just wait for the chosen act. -_-

Colin
Colin
1 year ago

I am not against superfinals in all cases, but here and in Montenegro it’s just pointless. I mean, it’s just FIVE SONGS! I see SF as something done to make people re-think and if their favorite didn’t qualify, to be able to vote for their second or third one over their last option. It may work in MGP, where we have 10 songs and 4 superfinalists.

PS. Word of advice, if you don’t want people voting against the “bigger” favorite, maybe conceal who it is and call top 4/2 in random order.

Ben
Ben
1 year ago

Am I missing something with this Hatari song? I think it’s awful to listen to and I just don’t get it. What’s the appeal?

Colin
Colin
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben

Bingo! You used the word “awful”! I think it’s amazing! The song provokes reaction, which is a good thing, since there are no negative points at ESC! Tell me, how many people would describe Fridrik’s song as “awful” or “amazing”? I bet most would use the word “okay”. That’s the recipe to stay in the semi.

Teddy
Teddy
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben

Listen to it a few times over the course of a couple days. I started off hating it (loving the aesthetic though). Now I love it.

up!
up!
1 year ago

Okay, there’s a spark of hope. This change clearly is made to increase Hatari’s chances since generally in super finals, the voters of the non-qualified acts unify against the “extreme” act.
An even more effective step would have been to get rid of the super final completely…

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
1 year ago

I’m just glad Hatari are keeping it in Icelandic
An English version would have ruined the song

Mio
Mio
1 year ago

We need Hatari for Eurovision. Different, bold and fresh.

Porsteinn
Porsteinn
1 year ago

Maybe I’m the only one but the English version of Fridriks entry touches me more because I can understand the lyrics.

David F
David F
1 year ago

If Hatari don’t win this, then I’ll quietly ponder the alternate timeline where Electric Fields, Laura Bretan, Seemone, Barbora Mochowa, Sandra Nurmsalu, Kerrie-Anne, MARUV, KEiiNO, Joci Papai, and Hatari all enjoy an ESC 2019 that will never be.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
1 year ago
Reply to  David F

That would be the “Mirror Universe”. (Add trademark symbol)

David F
David F
1 year ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Haha, true 😉

romanian
romanian
1 year ago
Reply to  David F

I’m happy with Ester for my country, but I admit this year was so controversial. Since boycott the host, then Jerusalem drama, Bulgaria withdrawal, and all the drama/scandals from France, Italy , Australia, now I expect anything, 29 countries left.WOW.

Catriona Colville
Catriona Colville
1 year ago
Reply to  David F

A lot of those acts would make it worse. For me at least. I think Australia, Czech Republic and Estonia picked the right songs, and I expect a lot of the others you said to make it anyway.

Peters
Peters
1 year ago
Reply to  David F

Ogae second chance will be the one to watch.

Álex
Álex
1 year ago
Reply to  David F

Don’t add KEiiNO already, you’ll make me cry!! But invite me to that alternate ESC!

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
1 year ago

That new scoring system seems slightly better to me. However, I still don’t like “Superfinals” in principal.
The introduction of International jury members will be interesting.
I have to admit I am personally disappointed that Friðrik Ómar will not sing his song in English – it is one of the few songs that I actually liked on the recording.

mamma mia
mamma mia
1 year ago

Hatari will prevail, hopefully!

RLB
RLB
1 year ago

Fridrik sounds much better in Icelandic.

Lolek
Lolek
1 year ago

If it means qualifying for the eurovision finals, Hatari really is the only choice here. I don’t dislike the other songs but they are almost certainly guaranteed not to qualify. Iceland’s strength this year would be to go with something bold in a sea of relatively generic songs thus far.
As it stands, if Iceland choses Hatari, then they’d probably become my current favourite to win, if not top 5 at the bare minimum.

Pancake
Pancake
1 year ago

IDK about you but Hatari is scaring me.
And it’s not because of the industrial music .

Hatari FTW
Hatari FTW
1 year ago

Hatari FTW

Joshua
Joshua
1 year ago

I really hope Hatari win. I don’t think the other songs have any chance of qualifying and I want to see Iceland in the final :c

Miyaya
Miyaya
1 year ago

I wish Robyn was on the international jury so she could vote for Hatari

Colin
Colin
1 year ago

It started out as a novelty, but now almost every country uses international jury. While some foreign input is okay, that kills chances to national identity and songs in native language. Just watch Sweden – one generic song after another. Iceland has the most interesting song in their hands. They’d be fools if they let them lose. Other four songs have no chances to qualify. Honestly, I find Our Choice more memorable than any of them.

Jo.
Jo.
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin

Italy don’t use international jury at Sanremo, and it has been working just fine for us.
I mean… using Björkman in every single selection, some random HoD, and previous ESC singers…how’s that a recipe for success at Eurovision? Some jury members are even past-ESC non-qualifiers, what do they know about the contest that didn’t even work for them?

Colin
Colin
1 year ago
Reply to  Jo.

Yes, NFs which don’t use foreign jury format are far more likely to pick a song in native language (Sanremo, FiK, A-dal, Dora). IJ, even when fully benevolent, picks mostly what they believe will have the most broad, international appeal, thus, often safe. That is why I’m afraid for H.tari. Sure, maybe more people would find Moving On nicer in comparison, but there are surely far less them who would have it as their first choice.

Dave
Dave
1 year ago

I’m sure that Iceland won’t let Hatari win the national final. They are clearly anti-Israeli. Pff…. This year’s contest keeps getting worse.

Miyaya
Miyaya
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave

Anti-Israeli government isn’t the same thing as being anti-Israeli

Lolek
Lolek
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave

Tbh I think they are anti all european nation states considering their message is anti-capitalism. Then again, the entire purpose of their group is a sort of “art performance” so I don’t think one can take the things they do or say with too much seriousness.

David F
David F
1 year ago
Reply to  Lolek

“the entire purpose of their group is a sort of “art performance” so I don’t think one can take the things they do or say with too much seriousness.”

Why do you think that their purpose and this form of art is not to be taken seriously? If it cannot be taken seriously on some level, then I would question whether it is really ‘art’ at all. What makes something a work of art is exactly the work’s ability to be appreciated and have meaning.

Lolek
Lolek
1 year ago
Reply to  David F

Hence my choice of saying “too much”, although perhaps it wasn’t the best choice of words. I don’t think what they do is entirely devoid of meaning. Evidently their “artwork” is meant to make us think and/or question things but I don’t think we are meant to take what they do or say in a completely “literal” sense (perhaps I should have used those terms instead of “serious”).

Emma
Emma
1 year ago

I hope Hatari wins.

Nicolas
Nicolas
1 year ago

International jury ? Then goodbye Hatari, they will send the 35th generic song in english to Tel-Aviv and get stuck another time in the SF.

Fiore
Fiore
1 year ago

I think that the juries will do everything to prevent “Hatrid mun sigra” from winning. They already made an anti-Israeli statement so I don’t think Iceland will let them win, which is sad. 🙁

Mio
Mio
1 year ago

They all sound better in Icelandic to me.

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
1 year ago

https://escunited.com/new-plagiarism-accusation-in-iceland-fridrik-omar-vs-rihanna/

so apparently there’s accusations of plagiarism going around now concerning Friðrik Ómar’s song and a song by rihanna.

Personally, i can hear some similarities…i wonder if this might become an issue or not

Engelbert Badonkadonk
Engelbert Badonkadonk
1 year ago

I think this is why he has kept the lyrics in Icelandic – less to compare with Rihanna.

Weißbrot
Weißbrot
1 year ago

Ah man, now the filter got me too. 🙂

Colin
Colin
1 year ago

Now I made a comment even avoiding that name and I still got filtered. Sure, comments appear eventually, but many times it’s late to make any impact.

David F
David F
1 year ago

Pepper LaBeija doing Icelandic anticapitalist BDSM realness is in the haus to-night!

via GIPHY

Weißbrot
Weißbrot
1 year ago

Wait, I don’t really get it, maybe I’m just dumb. Does the jury have a say in the superfinal as well? Anyhow, I really don’t know if the jury is going to go for Hatari, I have a bad feeling abou this. But if I were to be part of this jury, I would choose Hatari regardless of my taste, because everyone knows about the big hype about them and that they’re the only reason, that Iceland isn’t in the bottom 10 in the betting odds. Idk, if I knew, that one particular act is a country’s only real choice,… Read more »

Weißbrot
Weißbrot
1 year ago

Oh no, I’m scared…

Miyaya
Miyaya
1 year ago

But how does jury voting even work with just 2 songs?

Weißbrot
Weißbrot
1 year ago
Reply to  Miyaya

Exactly, it’s nonsense.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
1 year ago

So the juries will be asked for their opinions twice? That makes no sense at all unless the performances are different. Or, unless I have completely misunderstood the maths.

Katitam
Katitam
1 year ago

Iceland, don’t kill Hatari’s chances.

Robert
Robert
1 year ago

Why the F would Fridrik keep it in Icelandic?! Sounds nice but blows his chances if you ask me.. Tara for me!

Joe
Joe
1 year ago

I dunno. Hatari don’t totally vibe with me. Kinda fallen out of love with that one.

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe

That’s fine, it’s not everybody’s thing. And that’s its strength.

Peters
Peters
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe

The live performance lacks the x factor for me.

Skeno
Skeno
1 year ago

I’m pretty scared that the new voting system will make hatari lose.

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
1 year ago
Reply to  Skeno

me too….iceland just fell in the odds from 10th to 14th….i think people are realizing these changes may go against them

However, they still are #1 in the odds for songvakeppnin though…i’m not very good at understanding the numbers but it still doesn’t seem like 2nd is that close….

Miyaya
Miyaya
1 year ago

They can only win if they totally landslide the televote in the first round. They will surely lose the 2nd round.

Daniel
Daniel
1 year ago

Fridrik is really close to Hatari in the odds. It will be a fight between them only.

Laburnum
Laburnum
1 year ago
Reply to  Skeno

I actually disagree I think it’s to increase their chances of winning. Could just be my optimism here tho 😀 Hatari ftw!!

eurovision6
eurovision6
1 year ago
Reply to  Skeno

They better win..

Loin dici
1 year ago

“Eitt andartak” sounded better than “Moving On”, but it’s Hera’s choice, and I believe she can slay it.

Stian F
Stian F
1 year ago

Great. Fridrik’s song is much better in Icelandic. If only Hera could have done the same… But it’s still Hatari for the win!!!!