Eurovision 2022 national selections: Iceland preview – Söngvakeppnin final

Iceland may be one Eurovision’s smallest countries, but that doesn’t stop them from putting on a multi-show national selection, with two semi-finals preceding the final. The final itself is a more compact affair with just 5 artists in contention, yet it is worth remembering that the Icelandic national selection produced the worldwide viral sensation that is Daði & Gagnamagnið in 2020.

I’m not sure that any of the finalists this year will produce quite the same impact, but there seems to be a two horse race between a more conventional and classy ballad/pop song (that seems to be the fan favourite) and the more frivolous entry that is top of the betting odds to win, and may be more specifically understandable/relevant to an Icelandic audience.

Fan favourite/conventional entry: Katla “Þaðan af”

While Katla is the name of a large volcano in Iceland, the Katla in question here is a female solo singer with a big classy ballad and currently the clear fan favourite to be Iceland’s representative at Eurovision 2022. Katla sang this in Icelandic in the semi-finals (all the songs must be sung in Icelandic for the semi-finals but artists can elect to change language for the final) and has elected to keep the song in Icelandic for the final, and I gather, would also keep it in Icelandic. It would definitely be refreshing to have a classy ballad in Icelandic – at least one Scandinavian language represented at Eurovision. I do fear though that the classy choice may not be made…

Betting favourite/frivolous entry: Reykjavíkurdætur “Turn This Around”

This finalist I think falls into that category of “frivolous” or “out there” entry, but Reykjavíkurdætur do not come from nowhere – they are an all-female hip-hop group that has been around since 2013. Reykjavíkurdætur means “daughters of Reykjavík” and their aim is to make music that highlights gender inequality, body shaming and other topics pertaining to Icelandic women, including empowering women and non-binary people. All of which is very laudable, but does not warm me to the song – there is quite a chance that this will win (and will be sung in English in the final) though I can’t see that this would do well at the contest itself.

The final begins at 7.45pm UK time on Saturday 12 March. You can watch the show on broadcaster RÚV’s website.

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