Háskólabíó was jam-packed with excitement tonight when the second semi-final of Söngvakeppnin 2020 took place. Five acts battled for the two remaining spots in the finals on 29 February, and in the end, the public sent Ivá and Daði og Gagnamagnið onward to Laugardalshöll Arena.
Last week, two vastly different acts made the cut. Metal band DIMMA and duet Ísold & Helga are on opposite sides when it comes to music genres, but in the spirit of Eurovision, the Icelandic public celebrated diversity and did so again tonight when IVA and Daði og Gagnamagnið were announced as qualifiers. RÚV also announced that Nína and “Echo” had received the jury wild card, and therefore we’ll see the magic number five again in Laugardalshöll in two weeks time.
Daði og Gagnamagnið – “Gagnamagnið/Think about things”
Daði and his band Gagnamagnið exploded onto the Icelandic music scene in Söngvakeppnin 2017.
The song “Gagnamagnið” or “Think about things” was written specifically for Söngvakeppnin, as oppose to “This is love”, which Daði claims was just a prototype and he never imagined or expected the love they received from Iceland.
He originally composed the song in English, and dedicates the lyrics to his daughter Áróra. But according to the rules of Söngvakeppnin, there must also be an Icelandic lyric, so Daði just whipped out a silly but fun lyric about Gagnamagnið coming from the future to save mankind. “I’ve never spent so much time on a song”, Daði said in an interview with RÚV. “Last time it was a fluke, this time we really, really want to represent Iceland in Eurovision!” And judging by the reaction of the public, Daði and Gagnamagnið might get their wish fulfilled this time around.
Ivá – “Oculis Videre”
Íva Marín Adrichem or Ivá, is a multi talented musician who has steadily risen to fame in Iceland. The half Icelandic, half Dutch beauty wrote “Oculis Videre” along with Richard Cameron, and finds it a bit unreal to be competing in Söngvakeppnin, being only 21 years of age.
“I still feel like I´m such a kid!” she said laughing.
Íva and her mesmerizing tune “Oculis Videre” have been generating interest and gaining support among her fellow Icelanders as well as the international fanbase, and many predict that she will be the chosen one in the end. And she definitely is closer than ever to the chance of joining her two native countries on stage in her hometown of Rotterdam. Fun fact: There is an Icelandic movie called “Reykjavík:Rotterdam”. Coincidence or prediction?
Nína – “Ekkó/Echo”
Nína may only be 20 years old, but she has been involved with Eurovision since the day she was born, as her mother Rúna Stefánsdóttir has competed in Söngvakeppnin on several occasions and was one of Selma´s back up singers in Jerusalem in 1999. She is a big fan of the contest, and says that every year, there is a party at her house, whilst Eurovision is on.
“I’m so proud of this, because mum was part of the team that got us to second place”. But the other silver queen, Yohanna, is also a great inspiration for Nína, who vividly remembers “Is it true” and the staging in Moscow. And maybe it will be Nína´s turn to write her name down in the Eurovision books, and carry on the family legacy to Rotterdam on 29 February.
So, now we have the full line-up for the grand finals of Söngvakeppnin. From metal to haunting latin infuced classical, the variety is endless.
Did you agree with the Icelandic public and the wild card? What were your choices? Please sound off in the comment section below.
Photo Credit: Visir