Live: Songvakeppnin Semi Final 2

Last weekend ESCDaily brought you the action from the first semifinal of Songvakeppnin 2016 in Iceland where Greta Salome, Karlotta Sigurðardóttir, and Erna Hrönn Ólafsdóttir & Hjörtur Traustason qualified for the grand final and tonight it’s the second semifinal. Six more acts will compete for three places in the grand final to be held next weekend.

2250: And that’s it for now! We have our finalists! There is one more wildcard to be chosen by an expert jury during the next week so stay tuned for that, but for tonight’s liveblog that’s it! Thanks for sticking with ESCDaily and don’t forget to check our other blogs on this super Saturday. We’ll also be back next week to blog the final of Songvakeppnin live, don’t miss it.

2240: It’s now time for the results! The three winners of tonight’s semifinal going through to the grand final of Songvakeppnin 2016 are: Alda Dís Arnardóttir, Elísabet Ormslev, and Þórdís Birna Borgarsdóttir & Guðmundur Snorri Sigurðarson.

2235: After another recap and a short ad break, the voting is now closed and we are awaiting the results.

2222: We’re now with Pollaponk, who represented Iceland in 2014, for a quick interview where they discuss Iceland’s most successful Eurovision entry ever: 2009’s “Is it true?” by Yohanna. There’s then a quick montage of various people in Iceland singing along to the song before Pollaponk give a performance of a medley.

2213: Högni Egilsson is performing the interval act; a stripped back acoustic version of Iceland’s 1999 Eurovision entry “All out of luck” which famously finished second for Iceland.

2159: And that’s it! All songs have been performed, a recap of the songs follows and there’s more backstage interviews before we go to the second ad break of the evening.

2149: Last song and a big favourite Alda Dís Arnardóttir is next with the song “Augnablik”. The best word to describe this is angelic. She’s dressed in a white dress and wearing a gold headpiece. She’s accompanied by a band and some backing vocalists dressed in black. Although the song isn’t high-energy, it is much catchier and more uplifting than many of the entries we’ve heard tonight so far. It’s a cute folksy song: something you’d expect from Iceland. Towards the end we get some powerful ad libs and the crowd really enjoy it.

2143: Iceland’s first ever Eurovision singer Pálmi Gunnarsson is performing next with the song “Ég leiði þig heim”. Significantly older than the other competitors, he has the advantage of being an experienced artist as well as actually competing at Eurovision, which he did back in 1986. Unfortunately for him, this song is dreary at best. It sounds like a sad love song from a cheap 80’s movie. The strange title which translates into English as “I lead you home” makes perhaps even less sense. He’s standing centre stage in a blue suit, accompanied by a backing band and the entire stage is lit up in red lights. A key change and a saxophone solo make this vaguely more interesting but otherwise, it’s lost in time for me.

2137: We’re back and next on stage is Elísabet Ormslev with “Á ný”. She is heavily influenced by Adele in both her style and her sound. This song was written by Greta Salome, who will be performing in the final of Songvakeppnin with the song “Raddinrar”. The vocals on this are flawless. She stands to the front of the stage in a black dress in front of four backing singers. The song is a soft ballad with heavy drum beats that build to a crescendo. The vocals are really powerful in this performance and although the song lacks any notable hook, it’s not one to be forgotten.

2126: Some interviews in the green room now take place before going to an ad break and then we’ll continue with the performances. There’s a small comic sketch with two people watching Iceland come second at Eurovision in 2009 to Norway and LOSING THEIR MINDS because they didn’t win. I’ve never quite seen a woman throw a tantrum like that on TV before, all in good humour of course…right?

2118: Helgi Valur Ásgeirsson is third on stage to perform “Óvær”. The song translates into English as “Uneasy” and this is a perfect example of a song I think would work better in English. He’s dressed in 70’s style purple attire, complete with zebra print scarf and purple glitter make up; it just makes no sense? The song is a mid tempo 70’s style pop-rock song. It sounds like it’s been heavily influenced by the Beatles and other British bands of the 60’s and 70’s. It’s an okay song, and it’s a colourful and memorable performance, the only problem is that it could definitely suit better to perform this song in English.

2112: Erna Mist & Magnús Thorlacius are up next with “Ótöluð orð”. Another duet, these guys look like they belong together. It’s a ballad which translates into English as “Unspoken Words”. The two artists are on stage playing guitar and singing to each other and working the cameras well. This can be very strongly compared to The Common Linnets or Elina & Stig. There’s a real chemistry between the artists and I’m getting folksy, indie, vibes from this performance, they have many fans in the audience.

2105: First on stage is Þórdís Birna Borgarsdóttir & Guðmundur Snorri Sigurðarson with the song “Spring yfir heiminn”. My goodness those are some complicated names, pronouncing those is gonna be tough. This song is amazing. It starts out as a piano ballad and then there’s the rap breakdown that brings in some unique energy. The female singer is dressed in a short red dress and the male rapper is dressed in all black and wearing a fedora. They’re accompanied by three backing vocalists and a pianist. The song remains emotional and manages to showcase the female singers vocal abilities quite well. An interesting opening to the show, I’m not sure how well this will do.

2100: The show begins again in the same fashion as last week with a 15 minute episode of Hraðfréttir where they discuss Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest. Our hosts welcome us to the show and we’re given a tour backstage as well as some voting details and we’re straight on to the performances.

In the same manner as last week, all six acts will perform and viewers votes will determine which three advance to the final. The three winners will join last week’s three winners to give us a line up of six in next week’s grand final. However, a seventh wildcard will be chosen from the entries which have not yet been voted into the final. This will be decided by an expert jury and that will be revealed during next week in the run up to the grand final. Tonight’s show is coming live from Reykjavik and Ragnhildur Steinunn Jónsdóttir and Guðrún Dís Emilsdóttir will be hosting once again. The show will be broadcast live on RUV in Iceland and online through the RUV website.

The six artists hoping to win their place in the grand final tonight are:

1 Þórdís Birna Borgarsdóttir & Guðmundur Snorri Sigurðarson “Spring yfir heiminn”
2 Erna Mist & Magnús Thorlacius “Ótöluð orð”
3 Helgi Valur Ásgeirsson “Óvær”
4 Elísabet Ormslev “Á ný”
5 Pálmi Gunnarsson “Ég leiði þig heim”
6 Alda Dís Arnardóttir “Augnablik”

Of course ESCDaily will be on hand to offer our own commentary in our liveblog throughout the night, not just in Iceland but across all 10 countries who are broadcasting live shows tonight. So if you’re looking for live action, reactions and results, ESCDaily is the place to read it all. The show in Iceland is the last show of the evening, it starts at 2100CET when our liveblog will kick off so be sure to come back where you can read all about it.