After the 2019 rollercoaster ride that was Hatari, we finally — and officially — have the class of Iceland’s Söngvakeppnin 2020. We say officially because the songs leaked ahead of the reveal show via Spotify. In any case, these ten acts are ready to fight their way to Rotterdam. Tonight, through a special show, RÚV introduced each of the hopefuls, who will try and follow Hatari’s big, bondage-themed and boot-clad footsteps to represent Iceland at Eurovision 2020.

Daði Freyr competed in Söngvakeppnin 2017 and came close to snatching the trophy. He, however, had to accept the silver medal as it was Svala’s “Paper” that swept the nation off its feet and went to Kyiv. Daði became a household name in Iceland after his participation in Söngvakeppnin and has been fairly popular since then.

Matti Matt is not a newbie when it comes to Söngvakeppnin. He has participated in the Icelandic national final a few times and has even made it to the big stage before. He was a part of Sjonni’s Friends — the group that represented Iceland with the song “Coming Home” in Dusseldorf 2011. It was formed after Sjonni Brink, the composer and original performer, tragically passed away just a few weeks before the Icelandic national final that year.

Elísabet, also known as Elísabet Ormslev, participated in Söngvakeppnin 2016 with the song “Á ný”, written by none other than Greta Salóme. Elísabet made it to the final where she competed against Greta herself who performed the song “Hear Them Calling”, which ended up representing Iceland in Stockholm 2016.

Metal fans around Europe might (or should) spot a big name within the metal scene among this year’s participants. DIMMA is one of Iceland’s biggest metal bands and have gained popularity around Europe as well.

Other participants are a little less known to the masses. Hildur Vala won the second edition of the Icelandic version of Idol in 2005, but has been a part of the Icelandic music scene ever since. Kid Isak first appeared before Icelanders when winning the annual Söngkeppni framhaldsskólanna, a song contest between high schools in Iceland. He was then asked to perform a new edition of “Ég er eins og ég er”, Reykjavík Pride’s theme song, that had previously been recorded by Paul Oscar, Iceland’s representative at Eurovision 1997. Iva and Ísold made appearances in the Icelandic version of The Voice. Brynja Mary, Helga and Nína seem to be newbies, but there’s no better place to make your debut than on Söngvakeppnin’s stage.

The setup is no different from recent years. The show will involve two semi-finals, which will air on February 8th and February 15th, and then a grand final on February 29th. All three shows will be presented by Björg Magnúsdóttir, Benedikt Valsson and Fannar Sveinsson, the same trio as presented in 2019.

Söngvakeppnin 2020 – Competing entries

First semifinal – February 8th

Kid Isak – “Ævintýri” (IS)
Composers: Þormóður Eiríksson, Kristinn Óli Haraldsson & Jóhannes Damian Patreksson
Lyrics: Þormóður Eiríksson & Kristinn Óli Haraldsson

Brynja Mary –  “Augun þín” (IS) – “In Your Eyes” (ENG)
Composers: Brynja Mary Sverrisdóttir & Lasse Qvist
Icelandic lyrics: Kristján Hreinsson
English lyrics: Brynja Mary Sverrisdóttir

DIMMA – “Almyrkvi” (IS)
Composers: DIMMA
Lyrics: Ingó Geirdal

Elísabet – “Elta þig” (IS) – “Haunting” (ENG)
Composers: Elísabet Ormslev & Zoe Ruth Erwin
Icelandic lyrics: Daði Freyr
English lyrics: Zoe Ruth Erwin

Ísold & Helga – “Klukkan tifar” (IS) – “Meet Me Halfway” (ENG)
Composers: Birgir Steinn Stefánsson & Ragnar Már Jónsson
Icelandic lyrics: Stefán Hilmarsson
English lyrics: Birgir Steinn Stefánsson, Ragnar Már Jónsson & Stefán Hilmarsson

Second semifinal – February 15th

Daði & Gagnamagnið – “Gagnamagnið” (IS) – “Think About Things” (ENG)
Composer: Daði Freyr
Icelandic and English lyrics: Daði Freyr

Hildur Vala – “Fellibylur” (IS)
Composers: Hildur Vala & Jón Ólafsson
Lyrics: Bragi Valdimar Skúlason

Iva – “Oculis Videre” (IS/ENG)
Composers: Íva Marín Adrichem & Richard Cameron
Icelandic lyrics: Íva Marín Adrichem & Richard Cameron
English lyrics: Richard Cameron

Matti Matt – “Dreyma” (IS)
Composers: Birgir Steinn Stefánsson & Ragnar Már Jónsson
Lyrics: Matthías Matthíasson

Nína – “Ekkó” (IS) – “Echo” (ENG)
Composers: Þórhallur Halldórsson & Sanna Martinez
Icelandic lyrics: Þórhallur Halldórsson & Einar Bárðarson
English lyrics: Þórhallur Halldórsson, Cristoph Baer, Donal Ryan & Sanna Martinez

As in recent years, the songs will be performed in Icelandic in the semifinals but the performers have the choice of switching to whatever language if they make it to the final. Only six songs have English versions, the four remaining only have Icelandic lyrics. You can see the English titles in the brackets behind the Icelandic title.

From each semi-final, two acts will go through to the grand final in Laugardalshöllin. Like last year, RÚV has the option to pick a wildcard as the fifth finalist, but we won’t know that until the end of the second semi-final.

After several years of big-name guest stars, such as Eleni Foureira, Loreen, Alexander Rybak, Måns Zelmerlöw and Emelie De Forest, the Icelandic fanbase is waiting eagerly to find out who will grace the Laugardalshöll stage with their presence.

So who is your favourite? Who are you most excited to see? Tell us in the comments below.

Read more Iceland Eurovision 2020 news here

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Daniel
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Daniel

DIMMA and Iva are the best, of course. But most of the other entries are cool as well.
Except creepy peddo face. I thought he said he wasn’t returning to the competition.

Rosa
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Rosa

Brynja Mary kust turned 16 on Jan 19

Colin
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Colin

I second @Kris in this one – the average song quality has gone up from 2019 by a clear margin (even if HMS is a masterpiece). Oculis Videre would be an obvious choice for it’s strong spiritual vibe and memorable chorus. I can really feel the chills when listening to it. It could be seen as medieval, Roman or even a bit fantasy inspired. The English version is also really good, but I would definitely pick the Icelandic one. The reason is simply because in this case having a language “barrier” adds to mysticism and the Latin title already gives… Read more »

evvvity
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evvvity

Oculis videre is my favourite by far but I’m worried the staging will fall really flat….

Sandra
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Sandra

She is my friend. I am also blind. Standing and stating isn’t problem for blind people.

Jakra
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Jakra

Damn, Iceland came to play!
Good on you, Iceland!

Bebee
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Bebee

DIMMA, Elisabet and Iva have the best songs this year. My personal favourite is Elisabet because it has such a killer dance beat, it would really contrast with Iceland’s past entries and could be a potential dance pop extravaganza to rival ‘Fuego’, if there are killer dance moves and memorable staging 🙂

Kris
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Kris

This has been so much better than Iceland has been in 2018 and 2019 ! Maybe some people don’t like any song as much as they did Hatari’s song but there is not denying on average the song quality has gone up . I like quite a few songs. Most people have mentioned them in the comments. Like Oculis videre , meet me halfway and echo Not a huge fan of haunting and Think about things and Almyrkvi(this is more cause I’m not a fan of their genre) I do think though I seemed to have liked ‘Augun pin ‘… Read more »

AndersP
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AndersP

‘Haunting’ is my favourite of the songs (not least because of the 80s inspired electric panpipes); ‘Oculis Videre’ has the potential to become something epic which could work very well on the Eurovision stage (especially if the rumoured Netflix money were to go into amping up the instrumentation in the storm refrain and delivers some special staging). I imagine that will be the winner. It’s a nice selection though, but sadly I don’t think we’ll be heading to Reykjavík next year (unless OV is revamped to become something super-epic).

Zenjanal
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Zenjanal

Oculis videre is already epic.

NickC
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NickC

I liked the elisabet’s song best. In fact, this is the first song to give me winner vibes this season.

Erste Reihe beim ESC / JESC
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Erste Reihe beim ESC / JESC

my top 3 for Söngvakeppnin 2020:
1. Iva – Oculis Videre
2. Elísabeth – Elta þig
3. Dimma – Almyrkvi

Tom
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Tom

Oculus Videre sound like incantation from Harry Potter lol 😀

Klámdrengur
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Klámdrengur

GO IVA !!! ??

Whisker
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Whisker

So far I am enjoying a lot Oculis Videre and Fellibylur. But I find all entries are super OK and above average.

Hyunwoo
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Hyunwoo

Iva only Iva, she sings amazing!

A random russian guy
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A random russian guy

1. IVA 2. Dadi 3. Elisabet
If Iva’s live and staging are good, it can be top-20 at Eurovision. Not as confident about Dadi and Elisabet.

Una
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Una

I liked a lot Oculis Videre in Icelandic and Meet Me Halfway in English. These two are the ones I am most curious about to see live, especially Oculis Videre. This one has a lot of potential for epic staging. I love an epic staging!
Overall the selection is great and there is something I like about every song.

Whisker
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Whisker

Oculis Videre has everthing it takes for an epic performance and an epic staging. With that said, at this point in time, I feel very comfortable stating I don’t care about ANY other entries at all. #sorryfrance, #noshade, #timewilltell.

Lady Vulvamort
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Lady Vulvamort

Oculus Videre is very special and stands out the most, but my personal favorite is Daði Freyr! I would love to finally see some indie pop in the contest.

Boozyfloozy
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Boozyfloozy

Iva or Elisabet to win please easily the best songs!

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

Daði Freyr was one of the biggest NF robberies that I remember!
Love this song as well. <3

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

Overall better than last year…but of course…nothing as big of a standout as last year’s winner.

I’m still a little worried about what might happen if this year ends up having a lot of strong entries. Iceland’s sent nice songs a lot of times without qualifying. I’m a little afraid that might happen again because every year there’s ALWAYS a fan favorite that gets left behind…

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Brightly coloured bulbs, plus a bit of smoke. Does the trick every time. 😀

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

“Oculus Videre” in Icelandic – This is a possible Eurovision winner. While it is an “old hat” genre for some, this particular song is a stand-out, and those are the songs that tend to win a song contest like ESC.
If there is competition, it could come from Elisabet (English version) or possibly Nina (either version).
Good luck to all participants.

MisterMister
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MisterMister

DIMMA or Dadi for me

Bebethequeen
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Bebethequeen

So who is going to start the petition for Hatari to comeback?!
Cuz my hype for this Icelandic selection
went downwards real quick.

Sabrina
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Sabrina

If Iva can sing this well when performing live, it’ll be almost impossible to ignore her. So, yeah, she’s also my frontrunner. But I would pay attention to Nína too. Her song is safe pop, but very well done. And there’s something seriously charming about how she pronounces “echo”. I was expecting some sort of Hatari effect, with more out of the box entries. But I guess we’ll have to accept that they were always meant to be a one of a kind experience.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Oh, just one more thing: I hope Google Translator is wrong and there’s no “but I was really peeing” in Kid Isak’s song. Though it would make him a fine companion to the “We All Poop” guys.

Juliana
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Juliana

Google translate is rubbish. I can’t even imagine what word it was supposed to be.

Inga
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Inga

Nahh, it’s “thinking”, not peeing.

Sabrina
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Sabrina

Thank you, it makes much more sense. 🙂 Since the rest of the translation seems perfectly fine, I wonder how the system mistaken a very common verb for it.

Lilja
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Lilja

I think the “Hatari effect” is that there are 4 songs that are only in icelandic

Sabrina
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Sabrina

That’s a good point. And I must say the translations to English are way better this time.

Rasmus
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Rasmus

Iva – Oculis Videre is the only one for me:)

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

a great selection i must say. oculis videre is on another level tho

Bebethequeen
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Bebethequeen

Great selection? Are you sure about that hun

KESC
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KESC

Fortunately, there is Oculis Videre.
I wouldn’t call it a great selection, especially after Hatari

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

last year’s selection was literally awful except for hatari

Ashton Schier
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Ashton Schier

Whoa there I really liked Eg A Mig Sjalf

Kosey
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Kosey

Original post got blocked, not sure why. Really good set of songs, 3 personal favourites
– meet me halfway – melancholia and hope = yum
– Oculis Videre – takes me to church
– Echo – just really sweet

Ernest
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Ernest

Elisabet s Song si the best choice.

Kosey
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Kosey

I really like this set of songs, I have three personal favourites:

Meet Me Halfway – I just love the melancholia and hope in this song
Oculis Videre – I’m getting all sorts of religious/spiritual vibes from this
Echo – she sounds like a sweet singer with a sweet song

In terms of what is likely to be most popular, I think Oculis Videre – I think the religious vibes will be popular across Europe

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Depending on their live vocals, I’d either go with Elisabet, Kid Isak or Nina.
I’d be very careful with Iva’s medieval goth pop. It treads a fine line and has been done worse but also a lot better. Whereas I think, the first half of the song is bearable, the second half is once again a throwback to my worst musical traumas of the 90s. So I guess, this will be picked. 🙂

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

I agree that the first half is much better in its minimalist use of instruments and delicate, atmospheric vocals, but even as a whole it’s still miles better than the rest. What musical traumas are you referring to, Era’s “Ameno” and Enya craze?

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

I wasn’t even thinking about “Ameno”, that was awful … And Enya was different, also folky but mostly less “renaissance fair”, I enjoy some of her older stuff (on her first album she also had a song in Latin which I quite liked). As I see it, this kind of music has two very distinct branches, the good kind would be acts like Qntal, that’s more electronica or industrial than pop, otherwise very similar (operatic voice, very atmospheric, texts in Latin, Provençal, Ancient French or Middle High German). I don’t think she’s nearly as good as them. Then there’s the… Read more »

Mr X
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Mr X

For me only are Iva and DIMMA quiet interesting

Tajikistan
Guest
Tajikistan

As long as they keep it in Icelandic I don’t really mind who wins

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Let’s be fair – nothing could beat Hatari.
While most of the entries are pleasant if not a bit too safe (which is pretty typical for Iceland), one act takes the cake – “Oculis Videre”. There’s truly something magical about that song, some kind of ethereal, timeless aura that takes you to another world, the inside of a medieval gothic chapel or Nordic woods bathed in Northern Lights’ glare. Although I think there’s some room for improvement and the stage presentation might be tricky, it’s by far the best choice Iceland can make.
And also, wouldn’t this song sound great in Latin?

Geo
Guest
Geo

Not a winner of Eurovision among them. Sadly, Netflix will lose some money. But hey, maybe the Icelandic act will at least have a great performance, the staging, the props, clothes, graphics and so on (if they’ll invest the money from Netflix in that)…

Mr Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr Vanilla Bean

I really wanna take part in that yearly Söngvakeppnin photoshoot. They always have such pretty backdrops.

zheng
Guest
zheng

OMG Oculis videre is awesome!! I’m speechless

Mr Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr Vanilla Bean

There is only one here – Iva with “Oculis Videre”. It’s not that I am so overwhelmed by her song, but that her weak competitors make Iva such a standout that I am happy there’s one decent choice for Iceland again. Overall, I remain underwhelmed because I remember when Iceland had options. In 2012, they had five songs in their final which were all awesome choices to send to Eurovision. Oh well. Iceland has Iva this year, so at least they are not pulling an Ari again. Iceland is known for great, well-rehearsed vocal performances, so I imagine Iva will… Read more »

KESC
Guest
KESC

Iva with Oculis Videre would the best option in my opinion. It stands out here and would do so in Rotterdam as well. The others seems pretty generic and nothing special.
I’m rooting for Iva. Hopefully, her peformance won’t disappoint.

Btw, am I the only one getting some Asian/Chinese vibes from this song? 😀 At least from the English version lol