Iceland pick their first two finalists – Jónsi secured a place in the final

Tonight Iceland kicked off its national selection for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. 15 songs will compete for 6 spots in the final – and in first round the 2004 Icelandic representative Jónsi made it to the final in a duet with Greta Salóme Stefánsdóttir.

Monday the first five songs were published by the national broadcaster, RUV, and tonight those songs competed for the viewers attention. Tention was high as only two of them would continue to the national final still in the running to represent Iceland at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan in May. 

The songs: (You can read more about the participants in our Get To Know article)

Song 1: Iris HólmLeyndarmál (Secret) (Composer: Sveinn Rúnar Sigurðsson, Lyrics: Þórunn Erna Clausen)

Iris opens the show with this traditional pop song with a catchy chorus easy to sing a long to. She has a nice fresh voice, which is however absolutely best on the softer parts in the beginning and the end.

On stage she is accompained by three female choir singers – all is dressed in long black dresses – just like Iris herself. The choir singers are sitting through most of the song, a position Iris only has in the beginning. With her dark short hair some might come to think of Nadine Beiler, who represented Austria at the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. All in all a very secure performance with little to none distraction.   

Song 2: Jónsi & Greta Salóme StefánsdóttirMundu Eftir Mér (Remember Me) (Composer/Lyricist: Greta Salóme Stefánsdóttir)

Here we have a more tradtional Nordic sounding song, which starts out a bit dramatic. Their voices matches each other quite well. The performance starts out being in blue – white, something that is repeated several times thoughout the song. They have more musicians to accompaigni them on stage in the song, which uses some quite unusual TV ancles and cuts where you see everything very close up and basically never see the performers in full figure – instead you see the instruments closer than ever before. 

Song 3: Gestur Guðnason & Hallvarður ÁsgeirssonRýtingur (Dagger) (Composer/Lyricist: Gestur Guðnason & Hallvarður Ásgeirsson)

Song three is one of those songs were there is a lot going on music wise – so much that it in several places appear too high for the singing voices. He is dressed in a black suit, white shirt and a black butterfly. She is dressed in a long black dress and with her long blonde hair and the clouds in the background this makes one think of Yohanna (Iceland 2009). A very solid performance, which will make them a serious contender to win in Iceland.

Song 4: Blár Ópal – Stattu Upp (Get Up!) (Composer/Lyricist: Ingólfur Þórarinsson og Axel Árnason)

And now to something completely different as we continue with a rap song with a Åh Åh Åh chorus, which also appears in the beginning and the end. The four male band members each have a guitar with them in the beginng, but they throw it quite soon after some citchy dancing moves. They are all dressed in black, but with catchy shoes in each their light colour. They are full of energy on stage and might just get quite some votes from the younger generation.    

Song 5: Heiða ÓlafsVið Hjartarót Mína (Deep Within My heart) (Composer/Lyricist: Árni Hartarson)

We end with a slow ballad with hints of folk music. She is dressed in a long black and red dress, where the top is like a corset, and is accompaignied on stage by two female choir singers. It is a very classic performance with not much distraction aside from two make dancers coming in around half way through. Just as with the other participants she also delivered a very secure performance.

The show: The show was hosted by Brynja Þorgeirsdóttir dressed in a woman’s obligatorical "little black thing". She has a classic short haircut and was wearing a big silver necklace.

During the show they looked back on 2011 where it was Sjonni’s Friends to represent Iceland at the Eurovision Song Contest. In the studio is the widower of the songwriter, Sigurjón Brink, who died shortly before the national selection, and one of the bandmembers. Clips from Düsseldorf was shown, which included a very enthutiastic commentator!

Clips from previous Icelandic national finals are shown as well. Iceland had its debut at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1986 and most of the clips appear to be from the first few years as they have that 80’s look over them.

The result: It was a bunch of nervous participants who were waiting to be told whether or not they would made it to the final. From the performances it appeared to be song number 2 that was rather sure to qualify and then a matter of it would be song 1 or song 4 to follow them into the final. 

First one to be announced as finalist were Blár Ópal, song number 4. Second one was to no surprise Jónsi & Greta Salóme Stefánsdóttir, song number 2. Next Saturday yet another 5 songs will compete for two more spots in the final. 

Source: EuroVisionary
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