The suspense has been mounting in the run up to the start of the Icelandic selection, Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins 2011. State broadcaster RÚV has kept details surrounding the participants strictly under wraps, but the wait is finally over, as now over half of the names are confirmed.
The first 5 entries that will battle it out in the heat to be held on the 15th of January have been made public. These are (composers names are in brackets) :
Erna Hrönn Ólafsdóttir – Ástin Mín Eina / My Only Love (Arnar Ástráðsson)
Böddi og JJ Soul Band – Lagið Þitt / Your Song (Ingvi Þór Kormáksson)
Pétur Örn Guðmundsson – Elísabet (Pétur Örn Guðmundsson)
Hanna Guðný Hitchon – Huldumey / Elf Maiden (Ragnar Hermannsson)
Haraldur Reynisson – Ef Ég Hefði Vængi / If Only I Had Wings (Haraldur Reynisson)
Erna Hrönn is the one name perhaps best known to many, having participated in previous editions of Söngvakeppni in both 2007 and 2009 as well as backing singer for Yohanna in Moscow in 2009.
Details surrounding the participants in the other two heats, to be broadcast on the 22nd and 29th of January are still to be released. Among these however, it has been confirmed that Yohanna will be attempting to emulate her success with Is It True? in 2009 with a song penned by María Björk Sverrisdóttir. In addition to Yohanna, Kristján Gíslason, otherwise known as one half of the duo Two Tricky, is to make a reappearance at this year’s contest. He last represented Iceland in 2001 with Angel. This year he’ll be taking to the stage alongside the band Íslenzka Sveitin to perform the Albert Guðmann Jónsson number Þessi Þrá (This Longing). Another confirmed participant who needs no further introduction to the Icelandic public is Magni Ásgeirsson. Magni’s career rocketed after having taken part in the American contest Rockstar Supernova. Following the show, he has built himself a reputation as a credible artist in Iceland, with many live appearances with his band, Á Móti Sóli as well as numerous succesful albums. Magni will be performing an entry composed by Hallgrímur Óskarsson, who has previous experience in working with Birgitta Haukdal amongst others. Malta’s answer to the Ralph Siegel, Gerard James Borg is also co composer of the entry, having previously written no fewer than 5 Maltese entries.
With such high profile names already known, anticipation will no doubt reach fever pitch on the road towards the grand final to be held on February the 12th.