RÚV has revealed that juries are set to determine the qualifiers from the Söngvakeppnin alongside the Icelandic public.
The Icelandic national broadcaster has announced a number of changes to Söngvakeppnin, as the nation aims to qualify for their first final since 2014. With the ten acts competing in the selection set to be revealed on Saturday night, RÚV has announced changes to the voting in the contest.
Ten acts will compete in this years Söngvakeppnin, with five artists in each of the semi-finals. In each of the semi-finals, both a jury and the public will determine the two acts from each semi-final that will qualify for the final. The final will feature up to five artists, with RÚV reserving the right to add one additional song in to the show.
Grand Final Changes
In the Grand Final, RÚV has also increased the size of the jury that will help select the act that will represent them in Israel. The Grand Final will feature two rounds of voting. In the first round a a ten-person, international panel of expert judges will vote on the acts, alongside the Icelandic public.
Once the first round of voting has ended, two acts will make it through to the Super Final. In a change to previous years, the points from the first round of voting will be kept. The Icelandic public will then vote again and the winner of Söngvakeppnin 2019 will be decided.
RÚV has confirmed that alongside Ari Ólafsson, a well known star of the Eurovision Song Contest will also be performing during the show. In previous years Måns Zelmerlöw, Loreen, Emmelie de Forest and Sandra Kim have performed.
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.