Iceland’s representative in the Eurovision song contest, Eiríkur Hauksson, did not make it past the semi-finals held in the Finlandia Hall in Helsinki, Finland, yesterday with his rock song “Valentine Lost.”
Ten countries from last night’s competition will go on to the finals along with the four largest countries who automatically qualify, the UK, France, Spain and Germany, and the top ten countries from last year’s Eurovision finals.
“Of course I’m disappointed, but I’m not really surprised,” Hauksson told reporters after the results were revealed. “Just look at the results and you’ll see why,” he said, referring to the fact that of the 28 countries competing last night, the ten qualifiers are Eastern European countries.
Hauksson then encouraged Icelanders to vote for their Nordic neighbors, either Sweden or Finland, in tomorrow’s finals. Denmark and Norway didn’t make it to the finals either.
Hauksson told RÚV he would go as far as to say the eastern block “mafia” had “bought” the competition. Iceland has not made it to the finals since 2004.
Newcomers and countries that place below the 14th slot in the final Eurovision song contest have to take part in the semi-finals the following year. The ten favorites make it to the final contest, but the rest has to compete in the semi-finals again.
Viewers across Europe choose their favorite song with televoting, but cannot vote for their own country. Yesterday Belarus, Moldova, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Slovenia, Hungary, Georgia, Latvia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Turkey were chosen to continue in the competition.
The Eurovision Song Contest has been held annually by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) since 1956. It is one of the most-watched non-sporting events in the world with millions of viewers both in Europe and abroad.
Iceland first participated in 1986, when Hauksson also represented the country. Iceland’s best results were in 1999, when it placed 2nd with Selma Björnsdóttir’s “All Out of Luck.”
Click here to read more about Eiríkur Hauksson and Eurovision.