Iceland - Chris Zeiher

6 acts, who’d qualified from 2 previous semi-final rounds, slugged it out in Europe’s northernmost capital, the tiny Reykjavik, for a chance to represent their island nation in Lisbon. 

Who would the glittery ticket fall to?  Would it be the “camp as Christmas” vocal group channelling Eurovision of days gone by or the catchy yet obvious Bruno Mars rip-off?  Possibly the Real Housewives of Reykjavik or, more likely, either of the two young lads with the big voices?   

What’s at stake is significant.  Iceland, having debuted in 1986, sits alongside Cyprus and Malta as the countries with the longest entry history in the contest without a win.  And recent history has seen the Icelanders controversially lost in the semi-final wilderness. 

And, this year, the Icelandic general public had been granted great power and therefore great responsibility.  Icelanders were totally responsible for the winner as 100% of the televote would go on to decide who would represent them in Portugal.   So…in the words of RuPaul “don’t f**k it up”.

With former Eurovision winner, Denmark’s Emmelie de Forrest, and Sweden’s contestant from the 2017 contest, Robin Bengtsson, providing additional entertainment.

And those in contention were…

·       Fókus – Battleline (aka – the retro Eurovision one)

·       Áttan – Here for you (aka – the hipster couple)

·       Ari Ólafsson – Our choice (aka – the cute lad singing Disney)

·       Heimilistónar – Kúst og fœjó (aka – the Real Housewives of Reykjavik)

·       Aron Hannes – Gold-digger (aka – the Bruno Mars rip-off)

·       Dagur Sigurđsson – Í Stormi (aka – the Meatloaf sounding one)

As the votes started flowing in it became clear that this was going to be a race between Disney and Meatloaf as “Our Choice” and “Í Stormi” placed in the Top 2 positions and went on to contest the “super final”.  After the first round of voting it appeared that the Meatloaf-esque belter “Í Stormi” had the final all but won.

But, after a compelling and competitive super-final, it was a genuinely shocked Ari Ólafsson whose big ballad surprisingly slayed “Í Stormi” to win the prized ticket to Lisbon (and not to mention a handsome clutch of cash).  

Here’s the dashing Ari’s winning tune…

Ólafsson is as cute as custard and the screen LOVES him (both elements which will bode well in Portugal) and this inoffensive entry may see Iceland back in the Grand Final after many years languishing in semi-final limbo.

You can view the final (until early June) by going here