Last night, Ari Ólafsson became the winner of Iceland’s national selection show (Söngvakeppnin 2018) to choose a representative for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. Ari Ólafsson will perform “Your Choice” – a ballad – in the first semi-final in Lisbon this May.
The contest was organised by the Icelandic broadcaster RÚV and featured twelve artists across two semi-finals. In the semi-finals, all artists had to perform their songs in Icelandic. The top three from each semi-final then went on to compete in the grand final of the competition last night, where they could perform in the language of their choice. A combined jury and public voted selected the top two entries before the public selected Ari Ólafsson as the overall winner.
You can watch Ari Ólafsson perform “Your Choice” below:
Iceland first entered the Eurovision Song Contest back in 1986 and they have yet to win the contest. They have, however, came close to winning on two occasions, firstly with Selma in 1999 and in 2009 with Yohanna. Iceland has not fared well at Eurovision in recent years though, failing to qualify for the final for the last three years, even with fan favourite Greta Salóme representing the country in 2016.
Iceland will be hoping they can break their recent trend and make it through to the grand final this year, however, they already have some tough competition. Other acts that have been announced so far are Sennek for Belgium, Saara Aalto for Finland, Waylon for the Netherlands, AISEL for Azerbaijan, Cesar Sampson for Austria, Jessica Mauboy for Australia, Eugent Bushpepa for Albania, Iriao for Georgia, Madame Monsieur for France, Julia Samoylova for Russia, Alfred & Amaia for Spain, Mikolas Josef for the Czech Republic, Ryan O’Shaughnessy for Ireland, Eleni Foureira for Cyprus, Christabelle for Malta, Zibbz for Switzerland, SuRie for the United Kingdom, Rasmussen for Denmark, Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro for Italy, Eye Cue for F.Y.R Macedonia, Franka for Croatia, Netta Barzilai for Israel, Gianna Terzi for Greece, Alekseev for Belarus, Vanja Radovanovic for Montenegro, Sanja Ilic and Balkanika for Serbia, Michael Schulte for Germany, DoReDos for Moldova, AWS for Hungary, Mélovin for Ukraine, Laura Rizzotto for Latvia, Lea Sirk for Slovenia, The Humans for Romania and Sevak Khanagyan for Armenia.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2018 will be hosted at the Altice Arena, Lisbon, Portugal; with the two Semi-Finals taking place on 8 May and 10 May and the Grand Final taking place on 12 May. A total of 43 countries will compete in the contest.
Finally, don’t forget to let us know your thoughts on Iceland’s selection of Ari Ólafsson for this year’s Eurovision. You can tweet us your thoughts on Twitter @CelebMix.