RUV has today confirmed Iceland will participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 as Tel Aviv is confirmed as the host city.
Iceland has confirmed that they will be participating in Eurovision 2019 thanks to Tel Aviv being announced as the host city. The Icelandic national broadcaster has come under pressure from a large amount of the Icelandic public to boycott the competition next year in Israel. The discussion lead to the broadcaster meeting the Israeli consul to Iceland.
The Programming Director at RUV explained that;
The decision is based on the fact that there is no political event, but on the contrary, the gathering of different nations, which have been the main purpose of the broadcasting and communion of nations and peace of mind that consist of contemporary music and culture in general.
This year, Iceland was represented at Eurovision in Lisbon by Ari Ólafsson with Our Choice. Iceland finished last in the first semi-final scoring just 15 points, this included 0 points from the public vote.
Iceland debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1986 and, aside from 2 years of relegation in 1998 and 2002, has participated every year since. The contest is incredibly popular in Iceland, regularly being one of the most watched programmes of the year. Iceland has yet to win the contest but has finished in 2nd on two occasions. In 1999, Selma missed out on victory in Jerusalem by 17 points, and in 2009 Yohanna became the most successful Icelandic entrant ever finishing 2nd in the final with the song “Is it True?”. She scored 218 points, yet still finished 169 points behind the runaway winner Norway.