Iceland – Hatari

Iceland’s Hatari made huge waves around Europe before, during and even after Eurovision 2019. And it seems all that hype has encouraged Icelanders to write songs and dream big. Today Icelandic broadcaster RÚV has revealed it received a total of 157 song submissions for Söngvakeppnin 2020 — its Eurovision selection. That’s 25 more entries than last year, reflecting a bump of about twenty per cent.

A seven-person committee will now deliberate and choose just ten songs for the competition. Songwriters can’t rely on their reputations or their good names. Björk Magnúsdóttir, who sits on the executive committee of the competition, explained why to RÚV.

“Everyone submits songs under pseudonyms. Now a selection committee is working, and there are just a lot of mickeys, mice and traps — so they don’t know who is behind what,” says Björk. (Those mickeys, mice and traps are, of course, fake names).

The results of that process will be officially announced in January. As we previously reported, the lucky ten will compete in two semi-finals on February 8 and 15, while the final will be held on February 29 at Laugardalshöll.

Will that €5,000 fine the broadcaster received for Hatari’s green room behaviour impact this year’s competition in any way?

Björk says no: “We don’t expect this to affect the race and how great it will be.”

RÚV has decided to keep the format of song selection that was introduced for the 2019 edition. Along with the usual submission portal, Iceland’s national broadcaster called on a few experienced and popular Icelandic songwriters to compose some of the songs.

Since 2016 RÚV has invited one or more artists with strong relations to Eurovision to perform in the final. There will be no change in that department this year as RÚV plans to treat the audience with at least one non-Icelandic Eurovision artist as an interval act. Among the past guests are the newlywed Måns Zelmerlöw, Loreen and 2018’s second place act Eleni Foureira.

Are you excited that interest is up slightly in Iceland? Which artists from recent editions do you hope to see make a return? Let us know in the comments box below.

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Jonas
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Jonas

I want Iceland resident John Grant to submit a song, maybe something he has written for an Icelandic singer or even a duet with them. He’s already participated as a lyricist, so why not go further?

Jack Pricefield
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Jack Pricefield

If she has improved on her live vocals… I’d love to see Maria Olafs return with a banger and potentially pull off what Poli Genova & Tamara Todevska did and make a huge redemption finishing Top 10 after NQ the last time, I wonder if Alda Dis is still singing and ready to give Songvakeppnin another go? she was so robbed in 2016(thanks to the charisma-less Greta and her Heroes-copy)

Eurovision fan
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Eurovision fan

I would like to see Iceland as the winner of Eurovision 2020. Just imagine how epic and memorable the Eurovision in Iceland would be XD

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Very cool that Hatari has inspired other Icelandic artists to have a go! It felt like Söngvakeppnin was losing its way a bit in recent years. The fact that Iceland went from four years of non-qualification (including last in its semi with “Our Choice”) to absolutely smashing it into the top ten with “Hatrið mun sigra” shows that turnarounds can easily happen – just don’t be afraid of taking risks!

Ana
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Ana

A cheap provocation in disguise of activism is not going to work every year. I sense that Iceland will go back to the non qualifier position in 2020. The freak show card has been played, now they will have to actually send good music, which they manage to do only once in a while.

Sabrina
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Sabrina

I wonder if someone submitted their song under a “Aly Ryan” pseudonym… Also, which 120 pseudonyms Aly Ryan has picked.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

“Ok, the next track is from a young Icelandic singer called Aly Ryansdottír…”

Sabrina
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Sabrina

Aly mun sigra!

Joe
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Joe

Of Monsters and Men are way too big at this point but a little part of me hopes that they’d consider it.

Frisian esc
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Frisian esc

They kinda are a one hit wonder. And that one hit dates from 8 years ago so they could give it a shot.

Jeff Messer
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Jeff Messer

In the US only “little talks” charted on the billboard top 100 at number 20. However all three of their albums have charted in the top 10 on the billboard albums chart and 8 songs have charted on the alternative chart in the United States all in the top 30. Their songs and albums have also charted in many other countries so I’d have to agree with joe.

Azaad
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Azaad

If Hooverphonic do well in 2020 wouldn’t be surprised to see Of Monsters and Men competing in Songvakeppnin soon

Natalie
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Natalie

I wonder if anyone from Iceland Eurovision past would submit again? Like Greta Salome or Svala (maybe Ari Olafsson with a good song)

Kimmoralee
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Kimmoralee

I would love to see Ari coming back with better, modern song.

Karlan
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Karlan

Something better than Hatari…Iceland will not find it for a very long time.
Send grandfather, for instance Helgi Bjornsson/Palmi Gunnarsson.
Sincerely as Iceland in 2013.

ESCFan2009
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ESCFan2009

I am excited to hear the songs after that “push” 😀 (and I hope that Iceland will not stand at the end of my ranking for 2 years in a row then ^^)