Back in September, Iceland confirmed that they would again use the national final Söngvakeppnin to select their act for Rotterdam. Now broadcaster RÚV has confirmed that the competing acts will be revealed on 18 January — just over one week away.
Iceland to reveal Söngvakeppnin songs on January 18
The broadcaster confirmed the news to Eurovision media. No further details of the announcement have been revealed, but RÚV is expected to announce the ten contestants in a show.
In October, the broadcaster revealed that they had received 157 song submissions for Söngvakeppnin 2020. That’s a 20% increase on 2019, thought to be in part due to the success of Hatari in Tel Aviv.
A seven-person committee reviewed the 157 songs without knowing the identity of the artists. From that, the committee has selected the ten acts who will go on to compete in the Söngvakeppnin semi-finals next month.
Söngvakeppnin 2020 schedule and format
Five entries will compete in each semi-final. From each semi, two acts will go through to the grand final in the Laugardalshöll Arena in Reykjavík.
The Icelandic broadcaster might add a fifth finalist as a wildcard, as was the case last year with Kristina Skoubo Bærendsen.
The first semi-final takes place on February 8 and the second semi-final a week later on February 15. And just like for Söngvakeppnin 2019, we will have to wait two weeks for the grand final, as that takes place on February 29.
The Icelanders are sticking with the format that led Hatari to a Eurovision top-ten finish last year. The 2019 nation final winners got Iceland its sixth-best result ever, so perhaps the Nordic country is on the right track.
However, Iceland still remains one of the longest-running non-winners of Eurovision, having not taken home the crystal microphone it in 32 attempts. So, there’s a reason to wonder if staying with the old format will do Iceland good.
Do you think Iceland could win with the current selection format? Which artists would you like to see in the national final? Speak up in the comment section!