The Iceland Head of Delegation is playing down expectations ahead of the nations first rehearsal in Tel Aviv.
Felix Bergsson the Icelandic Head of Delegation, has spoken as Hatari travelled to Tel Aviv for Eurovision 2019. Hatari are currently one of the favourites heading into the contest, sitting as sixth favourite to win the contest. Hatari are widely expected to bring Iceland back to their first Eurovision final since 2014.
But as these expectations grow Mr Bergsson has played down expectations. He explained that Iceland’s chances of performing well are down to the 45 seconds before Hatari even perform. He added that how commentators react to the song will be key to whether audiences at home watch, or get up and go to get a drink.
The Icelandic Head of Delegation’s aim heading into the contest is to have a performance that “the audience gets proper goose bumps”. He explained that the song does not have to be universally liked by viewers:
Do not forget that the people who do not like the song are not the ones that matter, those people that matter are who love it and they are the ones who vote. In this context I often mention the famous bearded diva from Austria Conchita Wurst. She was not high on the list in betting odds, but when you saw her on the stage there was no doubt who would win.
Mr Bergsson added that Icelanders need to remember that qualification for the Grand Final cannot be taken to granted and that it will all come down to the night.
Who are Hatari?
Hatari have been performing since 2015 and are formed of Klemens Nikulásson Hannigan, Matthías Tryggvi Haraldsson and Einar Hrafn Stefánsson. In December 2018, the group released a statement saying that they were disbanding because they had failed to topple capitalism.
In January 2019 it was revealed that Hatari would be competing in the Icelandic selection for Eurovision 2019. They competed with the song “Hatrið mun sigra” and won the selection. Since their victory they have gone on to be one of the most talked about acts in the contest.
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.