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Malmö Messages: Tonight's participants

Malmö Messages: party animals, tradition and strong women

Croatia: For a long time, Croatia was the number one with “Rim Tim Tagi Dim” according to the bookmakers. Now he’s in second place. The story is known: the song tells about young people leaving Croatia to find their fortune elsewhere. This is depicted by someone walking with a suitcase. The whole group wears traditional clothing. Baby Lasagna has not been praised for his singing talent so far, but that doesn’t seem to harm him. Split or Zagreb next year? Iceland: The friendly Hera Björk, who kindly spoke to us a few days ago, is back. With flair and enthusiasm, and without us having to worry about her vocals, she stands on stage. However, we do have a concern: the song. It doesn’t seem to make much of an impact yet. While Hera easily made it to the final in 2010, the odds currently give her a 29th place. The final seems far away. Slovenia: Many bodies around the Slovenian Raiven as she sings her Veronika. The dancers, all in bodysuits and with a lot of nudity, portray the story of this strong woman with her. Vocally, everything is well. But whether the beautiful but sad story of Veronika will be understood? We hope so! With a 19th place, the bookmakers are positive for now. Finland: What Käärijä can do, Windows95man must have thought he could do too. We have our doubts about thát, but what he and his companion Henri Piispanen definitely succeed in is throwing a party. With the blurred Windows95 logo, the underwear, and the way too short 1970s jeans, the entry stands out. “No rules,” sings the man who follows the rules perfectly. Moldova: We don’t understand it. Why wasn’t Natalia Barbu, who sings her “In the Middle,” allowed to bring all her look-alikes from the national final? Now she has added everything: butterflies, blossoms, wings, a violin… but she stands there alone. In 2007, she had to pay for her trip if she didn’t make it to the final. She did make it, but hopefully, she doesn’t have such a deal with the Moldovan broadcaster again. The bookmakers have her at 36th place.

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Malmö Messages: returning artists, strong women and underwear

Iceland is represented this year, 14 years after her participation in 2010, by Hera Björk. This time, she sings “Scared of Heights”. She starts on a sort of black platform. She has swapped her reddish-brown dress for a golden one with fringes. She is alone on stage without dancers. We see lots of lasers in the background. It seems like Hera is mainly focusing on singing. Given her past experiences, that will undoubtedly be good. And Hera is impressed, as she told us: “It was fantastic! It’s much bigger and more professional than in 2010”. Photo: EBU/Sarah Louise Bennett After the Irish witch comes a song about a witch from Slovenia. That is to say: Veronika really existed and was accused of witchcraft. Raiven sings about her being a powerful woman. She wears a silver bodysuit. Those who know the music video will recognize a lot. She starts off sitting and adds a lot of drama to the whole performance. She is surrounded by five dancers; and no, they are not naked, but wearing a skin-colored bodysuit. photo: EBU/Corinne Cumming Windows95man and Henri Piispanen show more or less the same act for Finland with “No Rules” as they did during UMK. Henri in denim and Windows95man in his underwear and then in a still not very revealing denim. The difference is that the Windows 95 logo is now blurred. It’s still advertising, and that’s just not allowed. Although he sings about the absence of rules, he still has to follow the rules. “I was nervous at first, but the more we performed the better it went. I burned my sock from the fireworks, so it was even quite dangerous. But it’s nice to be in Malmö and rehearse with all the professional technical stuff”. Photo: EBU/Corinne Cumming Also returning: Natalia Barbu. We have to go all the way back to 2007 for her last participation. Now she sings “In the Middle” for Moldova. Interestingly, she hasn’t brought the ladies who were around her during the national final. According to sources, that would be a matter of money. So Natalia is alone on the stage now. We see butterflies and blossoms at the LED screens. During the part with the violin, wings are shown on the LED screen, making it seem like Natalia is an angel. photo: EBU/Corinne Cumming in collaboration with Eurovision Artists

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🇮🇸 Road to Malmö: Iceland

We can not wait for the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö. Therefore, we have a closer look at one of the contestants every day. Today: Iceland. Hera Björk Hera Björk Þórhallsdóttir, an Icelandic powerhouse vocalist born on March 29, 1972. With a career kickstarting in childhood, Hera was already a familiar face in commercials and had recorded songs before turning twelve. Her musical journey gained momentum when she clinched a victory in a singing competition at sixteen. Hera’s debut in 1999 showcased her versatile talent, which spans across various albums that include traditional Icelandic tunes and international hits. Noteworthy albums from her early years include “Litla Hryllingsbúðin,” “Ilmur af Jólum / The Scent of Christmas,” and “Disneylögin.” Hera’s knack for collaboration and her solo ventures underscored her growing artistic maturity, evident in her prolific period from 2003 to 2009 with albums like “Í faðmi þínum” and “Við gefum von.” Her 2010 Eurovision entry, “Je ne sais quoi,” catapulted her to European fame, while her victory at the 2013 Viña del Mar International Song Festival in Chile with “Because You Can” solidified her international acclaim. Hera continued to engage her fans with releases such as “Ilmur af jólum 2” and made a notable return to Söngvakeppnin in 2019, securing fourth place with “Moving on.” Beyond her international exploits, Hera Björk remains a stalwart in Iceland’s music scene, admired for her dynamic range and ability to traverse genres effortlessly. In 2024, Hera Björk was chosen to represent Iceland at the Eurovision Song Contest for a second time with the song “Scared of Heights”. Söngvakeppnin Söngvakeppnin is the Icelandic national final ever since Iceland first took part in the Eurovision Song Contest, back in 1986. The past few years, it contains two semifinals with 5 songs each. Two songs from each semifinal, ánd a wildcard, go through to the final. The favourite to win the contest this year was Palestinian Bashar Murad, who lives in East Jerusalem. Murad and Björk were the two contestants reaching the superfinal. Hera Björk won. However, there was some controversy as the voting app RÚV Stjörnur experienced a glitch during the superfinal. Icelandic broadcaster RÚV recognized this but stated that Björk’s victory was beyond doubt. Bashar Murad Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest In 1986, Iceland debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest, reaching the 16th place with Icy and their “Gledibankinn”. “Scared of Heights” will be the 36th Icelandic entry. Iceland never won the contest yet. However, there was a 2nd place for the island twice: in 1999 with Selma and het “All out of luck”, ten years later with Yohanna’s “Is it true?”. The Bookmakers Currently, the bookmakers give a 20th place for Hera Björk. That means, she would reach the final just like she did when she first participated in 2010. The Song This is the song:    

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🇸🇪 News from the HoD meeting

Today, there is some interesting news from the Head of Delegation meeting. This meeting took place today, and some decisions are made about the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest: Iceland It was a big questionmark whether Iceland was going to take part or not. Icelandic broadcaster RUV stated that they, together with the artist, would make a decision. Icelandic artists expressed serious concern about their country taking part in a contest with Israel being there.The decision now made is that Iceland will take part. Big releave for singer Hera Björk, who now will for sure represent her country. Marcus & Martinus Always, the place for the host country gets drawn at the HoD meeting. So this time, it was decided where Sweden would perform in the final. And the result is: they will open it! In 1984, Sweden opened the show too and won. Is it an omen? Big Five For the very first time, the artists from the Big Five countries – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom – and host nation Sweden will each perform their entries in full live during the Semi-Finals. In other years, a part of the rehearsals was shown, but never the entire performance. Longer ago, even that didn’t happen and only a part of the video was shown. The voting A new feature for Malmö 2024 includes extending the timeframe for voting during the Grand Final. Voting will start just before the first song is performed on Saturday, 11 May. This allows viewers to vote for the songs in real-time as they are being performed, a departure from the traditional method where voting commenced after all the entries were showcased. This approach was the standard since the introduction of public voting in 1997, with the exceptions of 2010 and 2011 when voting opened at the show’s start. Moreover, fans from countries not competing (Rest of The World) will be given almost 24 hours to vote for their preferred songs before the start of each live show. For these international fans, online voting will be available right after the conclusion of the second dress rehearsal for each Semi-Final and the Grand Final, continuing until the commencement of the live broadcasts.

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🇮🇸 Hera Björk has won Söngvakeppnin 2024

It was a tough superfinal, but Hera Björk has won Söngvakeppnin 2024 with “Scared Of Heights”. She advanced to the superfinal together with Bashar Murad and his song “Wild West”. In the end Hera won, and will represent Iceland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2024.  She has also represented Iceland back in 2010 with “Je Ne Sais Quoi” where she ended up 19th. 

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🇮🇸 Iceland selects their entry

Tonight is the night when Iceland selects a song. Söngvakeppnin, their national final, will contain 5 songs. Out of these 5, jury and televoter will select two to head to a superfinal. In that superfinal, televotes will be added to select the winner. The show starts at 20:45 CET and you can watch it here or here (with English comments). These are the contestants: nr. Title Artist(s)   1 Biómynd VÆB 2 Scared of heights Hera Björk 3 Downfall Anita 4 Wild west Bashar Murad 5 Into the athmosphere Sigga Ózk Sigga Ózk reached the final last year. Hera Björk represented Iceland in the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Je ne sais quoi”. She took part in 2007 (semifinals), was the runner up in the 2009 Danish Melodi Grand Prix and 3rd in Söngvakeppnin 2019. The connection from Palestinian Bashar Murad with Iceland is the fact that, in 2019, he collaborated with Hatari in the song “Klefi/Samed”. This is, however, his first attempt in Eurovision. Bashar is the hot favourite to win tonight.

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🇮🇸 Hera, Sigga and Bashar through in Iceland

Hera Björk and Bashar Murad will go through to the final of Söngvakeppnin, next Saturday. The results of tonight’s semifinal are as follows: Hera Björk sings “Við förum hæarra” Heiðrún Anna sings “Þjakaður af ást” Bashar Murad sings “Vestrið villt” Sigga Ózk sings “Um allan alheiminn” Maiaa sings “Fljúga burt”   After the regular contest, there was a wildcard given to Sigga Ózk. That means she will also be added to the lineup of the final.

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🇮🇸 Iceland starts with Söngvakeppnin

Iceland starts with Söngvakeppnin tonight. It is, already since 1986, the Icelandic national final. This year, 5 songs compete in each semifinal. Two of them go to the final, along with one wildcard. In the final, the songs can be sung in any language. In the semifinals, they have to be sung in Icelandic. The show starts at 20.45 CET and you can watch it here. Tonight´s contestants are: CeaseTone sings “Ró” Blankiflúr sings “Sjá þig” Anita sings “Stingum af” Sunna Kristinsdóttir sings “Fiðrildi” VÆB sings “Biómynd”   None of the artists participated in Söngvakeppnin before.

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Participation of Iceland unsure

Participation of Iceland in the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest remains unsure. Due to the Israel-Hamas war, Icelandic broadcaster RÚV will let the possibility of withdrawal open. In an earlier stage, the Icelandic Association of Composers and Lyricists (FTT) has asked RÚV to withdraw from the Eurovision Song Contest. Stefán Eiriksson, director-general of RÚV, made a statement today. The Icelandic national final, Söngvakeppnin, will be held as planned. After the winner is known, RÚV and the winning artist will make the decision together. “They apply with the goal of becoming Iceland’s representative at Eurovision. They are concerned about the situation just like we are. This has been our preparation for Eurovision and we have announced that we intend to participate in Eurovision without any changes, but we do not know what the future holds”, says Eiriksson.

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