Iceland just finished their second heat of Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins, in the search for who can represent the country at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. Out of the five acts presented, Regína Ósk and Simbi & Hrútspungarnir managed to convince the jury and audience enough to advance to the national final.
The overall standard tonight was great, extremely high and very entertaining. It was tricky to know who would get the votes.
The songs: (you can read more about the participants in our presentation)
Song 1: Guðrún Árný Karlsdóttir – Minningar (Memories) (Composer & Lyrics: Valgeir Skagfjörð).
This is a fragile piano ballad with a charming melody that goes up near
the end. It really shows off Karlsdóttir’s haunting voice almost
cracking with emotion at times. She wore a simple and elegant black
dress. On the stage was, of course, a man playing the piano and three
backing singers (two men dressed in black suits and red ties and a woman
wearing a red dress). The purple stage lighting helped a lot to create
an atmospheric and exciting environment. Here the vocalist’s prowess is
demonstrated with a wide range and her vocals shine above the gentle
piano. Utterly gorgeous.
Song 2: Ellert Jóhannsson – Ég Kem Með (Count Me In) (Composer: Ellert H. Jóhannsson, Lyrics: Mikael Tamar Elíasson).
It was absolutely stunning and Ellert’s voice was amazing. He even hit the hard notes with no problems at all. This is an upbeat simple party song with the same chords throughout the song. His voice is beautiful and he is not just a singer, he is a performer! He was dressed very simply in a white shirt and black trousers. On stage there were also five musicians dressed in black (three guitarists, a pianist and a trumpeter) who were playing their instruments and singing at the same time during the chorus. He truly loves what he does and when he sings it is like he is pouring his heart out. He gave the most energetic performance of the night to that point.
Song 3: Regína Ósk Óskarsdóttir – Hjartað Brennur (Fire in My Heart)
(Composer: María Björk Sverrisdóttir, Marcus Frenell, Fredrik
Randquist, Anna Andersson Lyrics: Kristján Hreinsson & Anna
Another great voice here. The song has a catchy tempo, that suits her
voice perfectly and gives the singer much space to improvise and
bring the soul out. The melody is nice and easy to keep in mind. She
wore an elegant black dress with a skirt of black and white stripes and
red shoes to match her earrings and the big ring she wore on her right
hand. At the back of the stage there were five female backing singers, dressed in a masculine suits and dancing a nice
well-timed choreography. Beautiful song, amazing vocals, great charisma
and a great stage performance but not strong enough to win this year.
Song 4: Simbi & Hrútspungarnir – Hey (Hi) (Composer & Lyrics: Magnús Hávarðarson).
This is an Icelandic ethnic folk entry that has the power to occupy the consciousness of an audience long after the last note from voice or guitar has been performed. The main singer’s clear voice and musicians’ exemplary instrumental work are a stunning combination. Their costume was quite traditional. They wore black trousers and white shirts with the folk touch of waistcoats, woollen boots and caps. They all also wore a distinctive scarf tied around their neck. At the beginning of the song the four singers were sitting (to highlight that the seat of the lead singer was a wooden goat). On stage there were also a guitarist and a drummer dressed in the same way. The only lighting hitting the front of the stage was blue, while powerful strobes placed at the back of the stage created harsh backdrops. It has got potential but it gets a tad dull after two minutes listening.
Song 5: Rósa Birgitta Ísfeld – Stund Með Þér (A Moment With You) (Composer: Sveinn Rúnar Sigurðsson, Lyrics: Þórunn Erna Clausen).
This is a jazzy tune. Her voice has a timbre and tone that speaks of experience with insistent backing vocals, rich sensuous keyboards and bottomed out percussion. She was dressed in an orange and white below knee dress. She was accompanied on stage by four dancers, two men and two women. The women wore tight black dresses and men were dressed in white shirts and black trousers. All the stage lighting was orange during the song. The performance was confident and strong and she delivers it perfectly, proof of her ingenuity and talent as an artist.
Host, Brynja Þorgeirsdóttir, welcomed us once again to the RÚV studios in Reykjavík for the second installment of Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins 2012 explaining the rules of the competition. Same procedure as last week.
Another host speaks from the green room where the artists were waiting during the show.
Each act was introduced by the composer telling small stories with images of the rehearsals.
The voting was delivered in a similar manner as in the previous show.
First one to be announced as finalist was Regína Ósk and the second ones were Simbi & Hrútspungarnir. They join last week’s victors in the final on 11 February.
Congratulations to the two winners this evening and see you next Saturday when another five songs will compete for the two last spots in the final.