At long last Iceland has announced details about Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins 2012, Iceland’s national contest for selecting their Eurovision entry. In brief: the structure is pretty much the same as last year. Semifinals will be in January, and the Final will be in February, exact dates still to be determined. Songwriters have to be Icelandic or living in Iceland. Like last year, all Söngvakeppni songs must be performed in Icelandic, though they add the provision that the language of the winning song may change when it comes time to compete in the ESC. The rules permit song entries to be as long as 3:15, which I think is a bit strange since the ESC limit is 3 minutes. Apparently if people like the song well enough they’ll bring out the pruning shears later. The songwriters can choose, with input from the organizers, who will perform the songs. Entries are due October 10, 2011.
Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins has become firmly entrenched as one of our favorite national selections because it has the rare combination of generally good song quality, the occasional eccentric moment, endearingly bad production value, and a familiar cast of characters. Pétur, Erna, Matti Matt, Jógvan… we’re waiting.
A short list of our most anticipated players:
Pétur Örn Guðmundsson
Pétur wrote and performed 2 songs in Söngvakeppni 2011, and sang backup for Hera Björk in ESC 2010, Euroband in 2008 (with Hera Björk) and Silvia Night in 2006.
Erna Hrönn Ólafsdóttir
Erna competed in Söngvakeppni 2011 and Söngvakeppni 2009, and she sang backup for Hera Björk in ESC 2010 and for Yohanna in ESC 2009. (Joining Erna as Yohanna’s backup? Hera Björk.)
Matti Matt sang 2 songs in Söngvakeppni 2011, 1 song in Söngvakeppni 2010, and was one of Sjonni’s Friends.
This is not William H. Macy. Jógvan competed (and made the finals) in Söngvakeppni 2011, 2010, and 2009. His entry was our favorite in last year’s contest.