Daði Freyr to Represent Iceland at 2020 Eurovision Song Contest

Having prevailed at tonight’s Television Song Contest, Daði and Gagnamagnið will represent Iceland at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Think About Things. 

Five acts competed for a spot at this year’s Eurovision – which will be held in Rotterdam in May – but only two progressed to the final round (the so-called “duel round”): Daði and Gagnamagnið and Dimma with the song Almyrkvi. Also competing were Helga and Ísold with the song Meet Me Halfway, Iva with Oculis Videre, and Nína with Echo.

A telephone vote and an international panel of ten judges determined that Daði Freyr and Dimma would progress to the duel round. Having performed their songs again, Daði and Gagnamagnið were ultimately crowned the winners following a telephone vote (just like last year, the two songs kept the votes they received during the first televoting round).

This is the second time that Daði and Gagnamagnið compete at the Television Song Contest; having made it to the duel round in 2017, Daði and his band ultimately lost to Svala (who performed the song Paper). 

Iceland Review spoke to Daði Freyr shortly before tonight’s competition. Daði stated that he felt more comfortable on stage this year as compared to in 2017: “I’m just excited. Not too worried about winning or losing. Whatever happens: it’s been a great experience.”

Drivers Snowed in on Ring Road Overnight

Nearly a hundred and fifty people had to be rescued by ICE-SAR yesterday after their vehicles got snowed in on the Ring Road around the Eyjafjöll mountains and Jökulsá á Sólheimasandi glacial river in South and Southeast Iceland on Thursday night, RÚV reports.

The trouble started around 5pm on Thursday, when police in South Iceland were notified that a car had gotten stuck in the snow on the bridge over Jökulsá á Sólheimasandi glacial river, blocking all other traffic. By the time police arrived, many other vehicles had queued on either side of the bridge while heavy snow continued to fall. In the end, ICE-SAR had to transport passengers from 45 vehicles to temporary overnight accommodations, either at a hotel in Skógar or a shelter that the Red Cross opened in Heimaland.

Weather conditions and visibility were so bad on the Ring Road around the village of Hella that drivers who had gotten stranded in the area had to wait until close to 10pm for help to arrive. Some ICE-SAR rescue vehicles broke down in the snow on the way, while others had to see to other tasks before they could proceed to the stranded drivers. The weather finally began to clear around 1am and passengers were then transported to shelters.

All told, 38 people were taken to a hotel in Skógar, 100 were taken to the Red Cross shelter in Heimaland, and four people chose to stay in their own cars overnight.

Those who had stayed in the hotel or temporary shelter were driven back to their vehicles the next day. A snowmobile had been used to clear snow away from their cars and the roadway, but the road itself remained closed until Friday afternoon as conditions were still too dangerous for driving.

Garbage Piling Up During Ongoing Strike

With negotiations between the City of Reykjavík and its workers in the Efling labour union at a standstill, parents of young children are not the only ones feeling the effects of the ongoing strike. City sanitation workers are also taking part in the action. As such, many public trash cans throughout Reykjavík are overflowing and, Vísir reports, residents are being asked to take care of their own garbage as best they can.

In a radio interview on Thursday, Ragna I. Halldórsdóttir, division head of the environmental and educational division of Sorpa, the waste management company responsible for Reykjavík’s garbage and recycling, encouraged residents to take their non-recyclable household garbage to the large dumpsters that are located in many neighbourhoods or to drive it directly to one of Sorpa’s six centres in the capital area.

Ragna said that individuals can bring up to two m3 [70 ft3] of garbage directly to Sorpa and drop it off free of charge. She also said that some larger neighbourhood associations have paid for delivery vans to transport their garbage to Sorpa on their behalf.

“At this time, we just have to take care of ourselves, unfortunately,” she remarked. “Or use delivery trucks or the like.”

Ragna said that Sorpa’s contingency plan is being reviewed to determine what actions will need to be undertaken if the strike continues, as well as how to handle a large influx of garbage likely to arrive at the company’s processing stations after the strike ends.