Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest
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|National selection events|
|Appearances||32 (25 finals)|
|Best result||2nd: 1999, 2009|
|Iceland's page at Eurovision.tv|
| For the most recent participation see|
Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2021
Iceland has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 32 times since its debut in 1986, missing only two contests since then, in 1998 and 2002, when prevented from competing due to finishing outside qualification places the preceding years. The country's best result is two second-place finishes, with Selma in 1999 and Yohanna in 2009.
Iceland has achieved a total of six top ten placements, with the others being Stjórnin finishing fourth (1990), Heart 2 Heart seventh (1992), Birgitta eighth (2003) and Hatari tenth (2019). Since the introduction of the semi-final round in 2004, Iceland has failed to qualify for the final seven times, including four years consecutively (2015–18). As of 2019, Iceland is the only Nordic country that is yet to win the contest.
Iceland's best position at the contest is second place, which they have achieved twice: in 1999 when Selma represented Iceland with the song "All Out of Luck", and came second to Sweden's Charlotte Nilsson and in 2009 when Yohanna came second to Norway's Alexander Rybak with the ballad "Is It True?".
In contrast Iceland's worst result in a grand final is last place, which has been achieved twice to date: In 1989 when Daníel Ágúst received nul points for his entry "Það sem enginn sér" and in 2001 when Two Tricky received 3 points for their entry "Angel".
With the introduction of semi-finals in 2004, Iceland automatically qualified for the final that year due to Birgitta's 8th place the previous year. In 2008, Iceland reached the final for the first time since then, when Euroband sang "This Is My Life". Iceland qualified for the final in seven consecutive contests between 2008 and 2014; however, it failed to qualify for the final from 2015 to 2018. In 2019 Hatari brought the country back to the final for the first time since 2014.
Despite these mixed fortunes, Iceland is the second most successful country never to win the contest (behind only Malta).
Sigríður Beinteinsdóttir has participated four times (as a member of a group in 1990 and 1992, as a solo artist in 1994, and as a background vocalist in 1991). Hera Björk has participated four times (as background vocalist in 2008, 2009 and 2015 and as solo artist in 2010). Stefán Hilmarsson has participated twice (as a member of a group in 1988 and as a member of a duo 1991), as have Selma Björnsdóttir (1999 and 2005), Eiríkur Hauksson (as a member of a group in 1986 and as a solo artist in 2007), Jón Jósep Snæbjörnsson (as a solo artist in 2004 and member of a duo in 2012) and Gréta Salóme Stefánsdóttir (as member of a duo in 2012 and solo artist in 2016).
The Icelandic broadcaster for the contest is Ríkisútvarpið (RÚV).
|Entry selected but did not compete|
|Halla Margrét||"Hægt og hljótt"||Icelandic||16||28|
|Beathoven||"Þú og þeir (Sókrates)"||Icelandic||16||20|
|Daníel Ágúst||"Það sem enginn sér"||Icelandic||22 ◁||0|
|Stjórnin||"Eitt lag enn"||Icelandic||4||124|
|Stefán & Eyfi||"Draumur um Nínu"||Icelandic||15||26|
|Heart 2 Heart||"Nei eða já"||Icelandic||7||80|
|Inga||"Þá veistu svarið"||Icelandic||13||42||Kvalifikacija za Millstreet|
|Paul Oscar||"Minn hinsti dans"||Icelandic||20||18||No semi-finals|
|Selma||"All Out of Luck"||English||2||146|
|August & Telma||"Tell Me!"||English||12||45|
|Two Tricky||"Angel"||English||22 ◁||3|
|Birgitta||"Open Your Heart"||English||8||81|
|Jónsi||"Heaven"||English||19||16||Top 11 previous year[a]|
|Selma||"If I Had Your Love"||English||Failed to qualify||16||52|
|Eiríkur Hauksson||"Valentine Lost"||English||13||77|
|Euroband||"This Is My Life"||English||14||64||8||68|
|Yohanna||"Is It True?"||English||2||218||1||174|
|Hera Björk||"Je ne sais quoi"||English, French||19||41||3||123|
|Sjonni's Friends||"Coming Home"||English||20||61||4||100|
|Greta Salóme & Jónsi||"Never Forget"||English||20||46||8||75|
|Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson||"Ég á líf"||Icelandic||17||47||6||72|
|María Ólafsdóttir||"Unbroken"||English||Failed to qualify||15||14|
|Greta Salóme||"Hear Them Calling"||English||14||51|
|Ari Ólafsson||"Our Choice"||English||19 ◁||15|
|Hatari||"Hatrið mun sigra"||Icelandic||10||232||3||221|
|Daði og Gagnamagnið||"Think About Things"||English||Contest cancelled[b] X|
|Daði og Gagnamagnið||"10 Years"||English|
|1987||Hjálmar H. Ragnarsson|
|1990||Jon Kjell Seljeseth||[e]|
|1993||Jon Kjell Seljeseth|
Heads of delegation
|Year||Head of delegation||Ref.|
Commentators and spokespersons
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Iceland has broadcast the show since 1970. The first to be broadcast live was the 1983 edition after the plan to broadcast the 1982 contest failed. Since 1985, RÚV has broadcast the contest on the radio using same commentator for TV and radio and the Internet broadcast since early 2000s.
|1970||No commentator||Did not participate|
|1973||Jón O. Edwald|
|1986||Þorgeir Ástvaldsson||Guðrún Skúladóttir|
|1989||Arthúr Björgvin Bollason||Erla Björk Skúladóttir|
|1992||Árni Snævarr||Guðrún Skúladóttir|
|1993||Jakob Frímann Magnússon|
|1995||Áslaug Dóra Eyjólfsdóttir|
|1998||Páll Óskar Hjálmtýsson||Did not participate|
|1999||Gísli Marteinn Baldursson||Áslaug Dóra Eyjólfsdóttir|
|2000||Ragnheiður Elín Clausen|
|2001||Eva María Jónsdóttir|
|2002||Logi Bergmann Eiðsson||Did not participate|
|2003||Gísli Marteinn Baldursson||Eva María Jónsdóttir|
|2004||Sigrún Ósk Kristjánsdóttir|
|2005||Ragnhildur Steinunn Jónsdóttir|
|2010||Jóhanna Guðrún Jónsdóttir|
|2011||Hrafnhildur Halldórsdóttir||Ragnhildur Steinunn Jónsdóttir|
|2013||Felix Bergsson||María Sigrún Hilmarsdóttir|
|2016||Gísli Marteinn Baldursson||Unnsteinn Manuel Stefánsson|
|2018||Edda Sif Pálsdóttir|
|2019||Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson|
In popular culture
- According to the then-Eurovision rules, the top ten non-Big Four countries from the previous year along with the Big Four automatically qualified for the Grand Final without having to compete in semi-finals. For example, if Germany and France placed inside the top ten, the 11th and 12th spots were advanced to next year's Grand Final along with all countries ranked in the top ten.
- The 2020 contest was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- All conductors are of Icelandic nationality unless otherwise noted.
- Conducted by Þórir Baldursson at the national final.
- Conducted by Vilhjálmur Guðjónsson in the national final.
- Roxburgh, Gordon (2016). Songs for Europe: The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Volume Three: The 1980s. Prestatyn: Telos Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84583-118-9.
- Granger, Anthony (8 April 2018). "Iceland: Netta Barzilai Tops Alla leið Show One". Eurovoix. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
- Granger, Anthony (3 May 2019). "Iceland: "Cannot Take Qualification For Granted" – Felix Bergsson". eurovoix.com. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- Granger, Anthony (14 May 2016). "ESC'16: 41 Spokespersons Revealed For Tonight". Eurovoix. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
- Granger, Anthony (4 May 2017). "Iceland: Bo Halldórsson To Announce Jury Votes". Eurovoix. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
- Granger, Anthony (29 April 2018). "Iceland: Edda Sif Pálsdóttir Revealed as Spokesperson". Eurovoix. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
- Granger, Anthony (24 April 2019). "Iceland: Gísli Marteinn Baldursson Returns To Commentary Booth For Tenth Eurovision Song Contest". Eurovoix. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
- Granger, Anthony (17 May 2019). "Iceland: Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson Announced as Spokesperson". Eurovoix. Retrieved 10 July 2020.