Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Iceland
Iceland
Member stationRÚV
National selection events
National final
Internal selection
  • 1994 (artist)
  • 1995–1997
  • 1999
  • 2004–2005
  • 2021
Participation summary
Appearances32 (25 finals)
First appearance1986
Best result2nd: 1999, 2009
Nul points1989
External links
Iceland's page at Eurovision.tv
Song contest current event.png 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.

History[edit]

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).

Contestants[edit]

Table key
1
Winner
2
Second place
3
Third place
Last place
X
Entry selected but did not compete
Year Artist Title Language Final Points Semi Points
ICY "Gleðibankinn" Icelandic 16 19 No semi-finals
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
Sigga "Nætur" Icelandic 12 49 No semi-finals
Bo Halldórsson "Núna" Icelandic 15 31
Anna Mjöll "Sjúbídú" Icelandic 13 51 10 49
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
Silvía Night "Congratulations" English 13 62
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
Pollapönk "No Prejudice" English 15 58 8 61
María Ólafsdóttir "Unbroken" English Failed to qualify 15 14
Greta Salóme "Hear Them Calling" English 14 51
Svala "Paper" English 15 60
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

Related involvement[edit]

Conductors[edit]

Year Conductor[c] Notes Ref.
1986 Gunnar Þórðarson [d] [1]
1987 Hjálmar H. Ragnarsson
1988 No conductor
1989
1990 Norway Jon Kjell Seljeseth [e]
1991 Jón Ólafsson
1992 United Kingdom Nigel Wright
1993 Norway Jon Kjell Seljeseth
1994 Republic of Ireland Frank McNamara
1995
1996 Ólafur Gaukur
1997 Szymon Kuran

Heads of delegation[edit]

Year Head of delegation Ref.
20182021 Felix Bergsson

Commentators and spokespersons[edit]

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.

Year Commentator Spokesperson Ref.
1970 No commentator Did not participate
1971 Unknown
1972 Björn Matthíasson
1973 Jón O. Edwald
1974 Unknown
1975 Dóra Hafsteinsdóttir
1976 Jón Skaptason
1977 No commentator
1978 Ragna Ragnars
1979 Unknown
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985 Hinrik Bjarnason
1986 Þorgeir Ástvaldsson Guðrún Skúladóttir
1987 Kolbrún Halldórsdóttir
1988 Hermann Gunnarsson
1989 Arthúr Björgvin Bollason Erla Björk Skúladóttir
1990 Árni Snævarr
1991 Guðríður Ólafsdóttir
1992 Árni Snævarr Guðrún Skúladóttir
1993 Jakob Frímann Magnússon
1994 Sigríður Arnardóttir
1995 Áslaug Dóra Eyjólfsdóttir
1996 Svanhildur Konráðsdóttir
1997
1998 Páll Óskar Hjálmtýsson Did not participate
1999 Gísli Marteinn Baldursson [is] 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
2006 Sigmar Guðmundsson
2007
2008 Brynja Þorgeirsdóttir
2009 Þóra Tómasdóttir
2010 Jóhanna Guðrún Jónsdóttir
2011 Hrafnhildur Halldórsdóttir Ragnhildur Steinunn Jónsdóttir
2012 Matthías Matthíasson
2013 Felix Bergsson María Sigrún Hilmarsdóttir
2014 Benedikt Valsson
2015 Sigríður Halldórsdóttir
2016 Gísli Marteinn Baldursson Unnsteinn Manuel Stefánsson
2017 Björgvin Halldórsson
2018 Edda Sif Pálsdóttir
2019 Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson

Gallery[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

The 2020 Netflix comedy film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga depicted Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams as a fictional duo from Iceland competing in Eurovision.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ The 2020 contest was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. ^ All conductors are of Icelandic nationality unless otherwise noted.
  4. ^ Conducted by Þórir Baldursson at the national final.
  5. ^ Conducted by Vilhjálmur Guðjónsson in the national final.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Granger, Anthony (8 April 2018). "Iceland: Netta Barzilai Tops Alla leið Show One". Eurovoix. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  3. ^ Granger, Anthony (3 May 2019). "Iceland: "Cannot Take Qualification For Granted" – Felix Bergsson". eurovoix.com. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  4. ^ Granger, Anthony (14 May 2016). "ESC'16: 41 Spokespersons Revealed For Tonight". Eurovoix. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  5. ^ Granger, Anthony (4 May 2017). "Iceland: Bo Halldórsson To Announce Jury Votes". Eurovoix. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  6. ^ Granger, Anthony (29 April 2018). "Iceland: Edda Sif Pálsdóttir Revealed as Spokesperson". Eurovoix. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  7. ^ Granger, Anthony (24 April 2019). "Iceland: Gísli Marteinn Baldursson Returns To Commentary Booth For Tenth Eurovision Song Contest". Eurovoix. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  8. ^ Granger, Anthony (17 May 2019). "Iceland: Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson Announced as Spokesperson". Eurovoix. Retrieved 10 July 2020.