The grand final of Söngvakeppnin was on Saturday night, and Iceland decided BDSM techno punk band Hatari is going to represent the nation in Israel for Eurovision 2019.
See Also: Music in Iceland
Söngvakeppnin is the national competition held each year to decide which musical artist will represent Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest.
Throughout a few weekends, ten acts were whittled down to 5. On Saturday night, these five performed once again, then the top two battled it out in a final showdown.
Friðrik Ómar’s ballad Hvað ef ég get ekki elskað (What if I can’t love?) was set against Hatari’s anti-capitalist epic Hatrið mun sigra (Hate will prevail). When mics were down, it was decided that Hatari would be going to Israel.
See Also: Artist Spotlight: Hatari
Eurovision in Iceland is a huge deal. The country has participated in the contest since 1986 and has never won. Iceland came second twice; in 1999 with Selma’s, ‘You’re all out of luck’ and in 2009 with Yohanna’s ‘Is it true’. Since 2015 Iceland has failed to make it into the grand final of the competition, and many are hopeful that Hatari could break this trend.
Before their final showdown against Friðrik Ómar, Hatari was already a clear winner. They had already received 47,513 televotes against Friðrik’s 25,365. When they were finally announced as winners, the leather-clad musicians had received 134,492 votes; a massive step ahead of the runner up who received 98,551.
Above is the introduction video for Hatari taken from the Söngvakeppnin grand final, with English subtitles.
The band have been the source of almost daily headlines in Iceland since they announced their intention to compete for the right to represent the nation. Some have touted them as marketing geniuses who never seem to break character.
Hatari challenged the Prime Minister of Israel to an Icelandic wrestling match. They also angered a right-wing Icelandic commentator to the point where she threatened to leave the country if they won the competition. When this came out, Hatari claimed she was working with the band as part of their PR team which if correct is strange, if false is possibly the most brilliant response ever.
Never before has an act going to Eurovision been so divisive for Iceland. There are even conspiracy theories from conservative media personalities that the group are merely puppets of the national broadcaster RÚV to push an agenda.
Whatever happens from here one thing is sure; Hatari is probably going to continue to captivate, inspire and anger as they continue in their quest to dismantle capitalism by winning Eurovision.
So what does the rest of the world think? Well, we put together some of our favourite YouTube reaction videos to Hatari’s winning performance.
There’s the Latvian woman who was so happy she almost cried
The guy who fell in love, but that was pretty obvious from the satanic artwork behind his computer.
The famous fan experts giving their two cents.
The geezer who wonders if he just walked into someone’s nightmare
.. and this speechless queen
So what do you think of Hatari’s song? How do you think they will do in the Eurovision Song Contest? Tell us in the Facebook comments below.