Iceland: RÚV confirms participation with Hera Björk

by Stefano 554 views

There were a lot of speculations since last Saturday when Hera Björk was announced winner of Söngvakeppnin 2024, the Icelandic national selection to Eurovision. RÚV had first to admit some mistakes in the voting process, but validating the winning act. Today, the Icelandic broadcaster issued a statement confirming the participation of the Nordic country in Malmö.

All is well that ends well. The Icelandic Queen of Eurovision Hera Björk will indeed take part once again to a Eurovision Song Contest. This was confirmed today in a statement released by RÚV, the Icelandic national broadcaster. Radio director Stefán Eiríksson said:

“In recent weeks and months, we have closely monitored the situation at our sister broadcasters in the Nordic countries, all of which are planning to participate in the competition”

Iceland is therefore confirmed for the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden, keeping the number of participating countries to 37.

Not an easy decision

Last Saturday Hera unexpectedly won Söngvakeppnin 2024 after defeating favourite Bashar Murad in the runoff vote. Her entry Scared of heights collected 100’835 votes against the 97’495 counted for Bashar Murad’s Wild west. Bashar had won the first round of votes, but was unable to repeat the result in the runoff race. These results had to be corrected by RÚV after voting irregularities were discovered  in the voting app, which according to the broadcaster did not affect the final outcome.

Program manager Skarphéðinn Guðmundsson says the decision was not easy. Managers at RÚV have become aware of the unrest in society due to the competition here and possible participation in Eurovision.

“Hera Björk won the duel with an overwhelming public vote, and we see that as a strong support for her going to Eurovision on our behalf. We encourage everyone to rally behind Hera and her colleagues, she will be a splendid representative of us.”

Thoughtful after the victory

Both Hera and Bashar have been object of online hate since lights went off at Söngvakeppnin 2024. Hera Björk herself admits that she became thoughtful after the victory in Söngvakeppnin:

“The discussion saddens me. Both the way they talked about me and all kinds of different opinions and meanings were made up to me, and no less the way they talked about Bashar. This discussion was not to our credit, and the more I thought about it, the more I became more determined to keep my word and keep it as the people voted me to do.”

Hera Björk will perform Scared of heights in the second half of the first semi final on Tuesday 7 May 2024 in Malmö. She will be on the Eurovision stage as soloist for the second time, after having already represented her home country in 2010 with the song Je ne sais quoi. In Oslo she placed 19th in the Grand Final.