Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Member stationRÚV
National selection events
Participation summary
Appearances32 (25 finals)
First appearance1986
Best result2nd: 1999, 2009
Worst resultLast: 1989, 2001, 2018 SF
Nul points1989
External links
Iceland's page at
Song contest current event.png For the most recent participation see
Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2020

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 has yet to win the Eurovision Song 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 is last place, which has been achieved twice to date: In 1989 when Daníel Ágúst got nul points for his entry "Það sem enginn sér" and in 2001 when Two Tricky received 3 points for their performance of "Angel".

With the introduction of semi-finals in 2004, Iceland automatically qualified for the final that year thanks 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". Since the two semi-final system was introduced in 2008, Iceland has qualified for the final in seven straight contests; however, it has 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 2007). 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).


Table key
Second place
Third place
Last place
Year Artist Language Title Final Points Semi Points
1986 ICY Icelandic "Gleðibankinn" 16 19 No semi-finals
1987 Halla Margrét Icelandic "Hægt og hljótt" 16 28
1988 Beathoven Icelandic "Þú og þeir (Sókrates)" 16 20
1989 Daníel Ágúst Icelandic "Það sem enginn sér" 22 0
1990 Stjórnin Icelandic "Eitt lag enn" 4 124
1991 Stefán & Eyfi Icelandic "Draumur um Nínu" 15 26
1992 Heart 2 Heart Icelandic "Nei eða já" 7 80
1993 Inga Icelandic "Þá veistu svarið" 13 42
1994 Sigga Icelandic "Nætur" 12 49
1995 Bo Halldórsson Icelandic "Núna" 15 31
1996 Anna Mjöll Icelandic "Sjúbídú" 13 51 10 49
1997 Paul Oscar Icelandic "Minn hinsti dans" 20 18 No semi-finals
1998 Did not participate
1999 Selma English "All Out of Luck" 2 146
2000 August & Telma English "Tell Me!" 12 45
2001 Two Tricky English "Angel" 22 3
2002 Did not participate
2003 Birgitta English "Open Your Heart" 8 81
2004 Jónsi English "Heaven" 19 16 Top 11 Previous Year[a]
2005 Selma English "If I Had Your Love" Failed to qualify 16 52
2006 Silvía Night English "Congratulations" 13 62
2007 Eiríkur Hauksson English "Valentine Lost" 13 77
2008 Euroband English "This Is My Life" 14 64 8 68
2009 Yohanna English "Is It True?" 2 218 1 174
2010 Hera Björk English, French "Je ne sais quoi" 19 41 3 123
2011 Sjonni's Friends English "Coming Home" 20 61 4 100
2012 Greta Salóme & Jónsi English "Never Forget" 20 46 8 75
2013 Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson Icelandic "Ég á líf" 17 47 6 72
2014 Pollapönk English "No Prejudice" 15 58 8 61
2015 María Ólafsdóttir English "Unbroken" Failed to qualify 15 14
2016 Greta Salóme English "Hear Them Calling" 14 51
2017 Svala English "Paper" 15 60
2018 Ari Ólafsson English "Our Choice" 19 15
2019 Hatari Icelandic "Hatrið mun sigra" 10 232 3 221
  • NOTE: If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. In addition, back in 2004-2007, the top ten countries who were not members of the big four did not have to compete in the semi finals the following year. If, for example, Germany and France placed inside the top ten, the countries who placed 11th and 12th were advanced to the following year's grand final along with the rest of the top ten countries.

Related involvement[edit]

Heads of delegation[edit]

Year Head of delegation Ref.
2019 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(s) Commentators Spokesperson Spokesperson Background
1970 No commentator Iceland did not participate Spokesperson did not present visually until 1994
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
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 The Sun Voyager, Reykjavík
1995 Áslaug Dóra Eyjólfsdóttir Reykjavík Skyline
1996 Svanhildur Konráðsdóttir Atlantic Ocean, Iceland
1997 RÚV Studios, Reykjavík
1998 Páll Óskar Hjálmtýsson Iceland did not participate Iceland did not participate
1999 Gísli Marteinn Baldursson Áslaug Dóra Eyjólfsdóttir Reykjavík Skyline
2000 Ragnheiður Elín Clausen
2001 Eva María Jónsdóttir Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík
2002 Logi Bergmann Eiðsson Iceland did not participate Iceland did not participate
2003 Gísli Marteinn Baldursson Eva María Jónsdóttir Reykjavík Skyline
2004 Sigrún Ósk Kristjánsdóttir
2005 Ragnhildur Steinunn Jónsdóttir
2006 Sigmar Guðmundsson
2008 Brynja Þorgeirsdóttir
2009 Þóra Tómasdóttir
2010 Jóhanna Guðrún Jónsdóttir
2011 Hrafnhildur Halldórsdóttir Ragnhildur Steinunn Jónsdóttir Faxaflói Bay, Reykjavík
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 Harpa, Reykjavík
2018 Edda Sif Pálsdóttir
2019 Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson


All conductors are Icelandic except those with a flag.

  • Gunnar Þórðarson (1986)
  • Hjálmar H. Ragnarsson (1987)
  • Norway Jon Kjell Seljeseth (1990, 1993)
  • Jón Ólafsson (1991)
  • United Kingdom Nigel Wright (1992)
  • Republic of Ireland Frank McNamara (1994, 1995)
  • Ólafur Gaukur (1996)
  • Poland Szymon Kuran (1997)
  • Note: Kuran changed his nationality to Icelandic in 1991.

Prior to 1999, the Icelandic entry was performed without orchestral accompaniment in 1988 and 1989.[2]



  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.


  1. ^ Granger, Anthony (3 May 2019). "Iceland: "Cannot Take Qualification For Granted" – Felix Bergsson". Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  2. ^

External links[edit]