Live: Iceland Söngvakeppnin 2014 Semi Final 1

Tonight, the first semi final of Söngvakeppnin 2014 will take place at RÚV TV Studios in Iceland. Five semi finalists will be competing for two places in the grand final on the 15th of February.  Ragnhildur Steinunn Jónsdóttir and Guðrún Dís Emilsdóttir will be our hosts for the night. You can keep up with all the action tonight by watching here and following our liveblog from 20:45 CET.

This year ten acts will compete to represent Iceland in Copenhagen in May, these acts will compete in two semi finals with five songs being presented in each semi final. The results of the semi finals will be decided by telephone voting alone, the two songs with the most public votes in each semi final will earn a place in the grand final. Tonight’s semi final line up:

1. Sverrir Bergmann – Dönsum burtu blús (Dancing away the blues)
2. Greta Mjöll Samúelsdóttir – Eftir eitt lag (After one song)
3. Gissur Páll Gissurarson – Von (Hope)
4. Ásdís María Viðarsdóttir – Amor (Love)
5. Vignir Snær Vigfússon – Elsku þú (My darling you)

And we’re off! Both of our hosts this evening looking incredibly glamorous, Regnhildur is actually a former Miss Iceland! They are standing on a small but very pretty and bright looking stage giving some quick voting information and a brief introduction to the very small studio audience and it’s on with the show!

First up it’s Dönsum burtu blús (Dancing away the blues) by Sverrir Bergmann. He and his band are all wearing matching outfits! It’s adorable and very feel-good! Did you expect anything less from a song which translates into English as “Dance away the blues”? His vocals are good and there’s even some scat singing and some trumpets! A strong, jolly opening song.

Second on stage tonight is Greta Mjöll Samúelsdóttir with Eftir eitt lag (After one song). A beautiful blonde girl, she is dressed in blue and playing the ukelele, with an all female band, this has a fabulously Icelandic feel. It’s similarly jolly and has folk vibes, she is very “cute” and her song is very catchy, a fantastic performance!

And now we have a quick comedic interview segment with Sverrir Bergmann and Greta Mjöll Samúelsdóttir  during rehearsals

Next on stage is Gissur Páll Gissurarson with the song Von (Hope). Dressed sharply in a tuxedo, supported on stage by a grand pianist and a guitarist, it’s a very romantic sounding number. He delivers the song with great confidence in an operatic style with fairly simple staging, not a very catchy song, but a compelling performance.

A quick ad break and we’re on to our next song Amor (Love) by Ásdís María Viðarsdóttir. This girl has STYLE. A dark and quirky song, she wears all black and face paint and stands alone on stage. Her style is very “Florence + the machine”, she has an element of hippy vibes to her. The song is quite dark and features lots of whistling, her performance is good though!

The fifth and final song tonight is Elsku þú (My darling you) by  Vignir Snær Vigfússon. He’s one of Sjonni’s Friends! The fantastic Icelandic band who represented Iceland in Eurovision 2011 in Dusseldorf, so expectations are high. Dressed in a waistcoat and tie and sporting a guitar, this is a good song! It’s a happy song, sung very well by him and his band. It’s quite catchy but very similar to Dönsum burtu blús (Dancing away the blues), so I’m unsure how this will pan out when it comes to the voting. A great song and a fantastic performance nevertheless!

And that is it! All five songs have been performed! Ragnhildur and Guðrún are now giving us a quick interview with all of tonight’s semi finalists, this is followed by a quick recap of all the performances and voting details. A few more comedy segments from Ásdís María Viðarsdóttir, Gissur Páll Gissurarson and Vignir Snær Vigfússon, who knew the Icelandic had such a sense of humour?

Voting is over: It’s time for the results.

The finalists are : Gissur Páll Gissurarson and Greta Mjöll Samúelsdóttir! They have bagged themselves a spot each in the final of Songvakeppnin 2014. Next Saturday night is the second semi final, where five more artists will compete for two more places in the final of Songvakeppnin 2014. As always, we’ll have all the action here at ESC Daily so you can join us next Saturday night for the second liveblog from Iceland!