Iceland Lands Fourth in 2021 Eurovision Song Contest

Daði Freyr og gagnamagnið Eurovision 2021

Iceland’s representatives in the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, Daði og gagnamagnið, landed in fourth place at the competition despite a COVID-19 infection in the band that prevented its members from performing live. A second member of the band tested positive for COVID-19 upon arriving home in Iceland: Árný Fjóla Ásmundsdóttir.

Iceland has only twice done better in the Eurovision Song Contest: the country won second place in 1999 with the song All Out of Luck performed by Selma Björns, and also in 2009 with the song Is It True, performed by Jóhanna Guðrún. Iceland also reached fourth place on one previous occasion: in 1990 with the song Eitt lag enn, performed by Stjórnin.

After a COVID-19 infection came up in the Icelandic delegation early last week, the entire group was put into quarantine. The first infection was diagnosed in a crew member, but a band member later tested positive that week. Daði og gagnamagnið decided to use the recording from their dress rehearsal as their submission in the semi-finals of the competition last Thursday, and qualified for the finals, held on Saturday night. Iceland landed in fourth place, with 378 points: 198 from the jury and 180 from the public.

Most of the Icelandic delegation arrived home in Iceland on Sunday, when a second member of the band tested positive for COVID-19: Árný Fjóla, frontman Daði Freyr’s wife. Daði and Árný are now in isolation together and have announced they plan to use the time to make a music video. Fans can vote on which song they’d like to see realised on Daði’s Twitter page.

Second COVID-19 Infection in Iceland’s Eurovision Delegation

Daði Freyr og gagnamagnið Eurovision 2021

Update May 19, 12:54: The EBU has released a statement confirming that Daði og gagnamagnið will neither perform at the Thursday semi-finals nor the Saturday finals of the 2021 Eurovision Songcontest. A recording of their second rehearsal in Rotterdam will be used as their entry.

One of the members of Daði og gagnamagnið, Iceland’s representatives in the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, has tested positive for COVID-19. Daði himself announced the development this morning on Twitter. The band will consequently not perform in the Eurovision semi-finals tomorrow night and a recording from their second rehearsal will instead be used as their entry.

In a tearful video posted in Gagnamagnið’s Instagram stories, band member Jóhann Sigurður Jóhannsson came forward to tell fans he is the member who tested positive. “I’m really shocked and disappointed and generally just really sad about the whole situation,” Jóhann stated, adding that he did everything he could to stay safe. The Icelandic delegation entered quarantine and underwent testing earlier this week after an infection arose in the Polish Eurovision team. Jóhann is the second member of the Icelandic group to test positive – the first is a crew member and not a performer. Jóhann assured supporters that he was healthy but disappointed as the group had worked so hard and the performance had been “so long in the making.”

In a Twitter thread from this morning announcing the development, Daði Freyr stated that the band was “very happy” with the taped performance that will be used on Thursday night and “super excited” for supporters to watch it.

The Eurovision finals take place on Saturday. It is unclear whether Iceland will be able to perform live at the event.

No Further Infections Detected With the Icelandic Eurovision Delegation

No further members of the Icelandic delegation for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam tested positive for the coronavirus yesterday, RÚV reports. The whole group was tested for the virus after a member of the Icelandic crew tested positive the previous day. The infected individual is not a member of the on-stage group.

The Icelandic delegation will be tested again on Wednesday and Thursday morning and if no further infections are detected, Daði and Gagnamagnið will perform at the jury show on Wednesday evening and the second semi-finals on Thursday night.

Head of the Icelandic delegation Felix Bergsson stated that the infection is a reminder to continue to be careful despite their vaccinations but the whole delegation was vaccinated before departing for the Netherlands. Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason has stated that the infection despite the vaccination does not surprise him, it occurred only 10 days after the individual in question received his shot of the Jansen vaccine but it takes two or three weeks for the vaccine to reach full efficacy.

Daði to Compete Despite Eurovision COVID-19 Outbreak

Eurovision Iceland Daði og gagnamagnið

Daði og gagnamagnið, Iceland’s representatives in the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, will compete in the competition’s semi-finals in Rotterdam this Thursday despite a COVID-19 outbreak in which members of the Polish and Icelandic teams have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, RÚV reports. One member of the Icelandic crew tested positive for COVID-19 and the others are quarantining as they await their test results. If the band is unable to perform live, a recording from their dress rehearsal will be used as their semi-final entry.

Band Vaccinated Before Departure

The competition is taking place in the Netherlands, currently a high-risk area for COVID-19 according to the European Centre for Disease Control. Vísir reports that Icelandic national broadcaster RÚV, who sponsors Iceland’s participation in the competition, requested that the crew be vaccinated before departure to the Netherlands. “And we granted that,” Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason told the outlet. “People are being sent out there on behalf of the Icelandic state where [the virus is widespread]. We have been reluctant to grant such requests but we did so in this instance.”

Just under 40% of Icelandic residents have received one or both shots of COVID-19 vaccine, and authorities are still administering the jab to priority groups including school staff and people with underlying illnesses. Þórólfur admitted that some might consider it unfair to let the group jump the line due to the Eurovision trip.

The Icelandic Eurovision crew received the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) single-dose vaccine around ten days ago, shortly before departing for Rotterdam. One member of the crew has now tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which does not surprise Þórólfur. “It’s only been ten days since the vaccination. We know it takes two to three weeks for the vaccine to reach full efficacy.” The infected individual is not part of the on-stage group but has been in contact with them. Their identity has not been revealed for privacy reasons.

Daði Rises on Eurovision Charts After First Rotterdam Rehearsal

Eurovision Söngvakeppnin 2020 Daði Freyr Dimma

Iceland’s representatives at the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, Daði og gagnamagnið, rose two spots in bookies’ charts after their first rehearsal in the Netherlands, RÚV reports. Daði and gagnamagnið’s song 10 Years was in sixth place before the group took the stage at Rotterdam’s Ahoy Convention Centre but had risen to fourth only a few hours later. Daði Freyr and his band won fans across the world in 2020 with their song Think About Things, Iceland’s submission to the 2020 Eurovision contest, which was eventually cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the rehearsal, the band premiered new costumes, graphics, and instruments – the latter designed by band member Árný Fjóla (also Daði’s wife and the subject of the song), and constructed by Árný, Daði, and Daði’s father. The band’s graphics reference previous Eurovision performances, including that of Icelander Jóhanna Guðrún, who represented the country at the 2009 contest, and Ukrainian artist Ruslana’s 2004 contest-winning song Wild Dances.

Read More: Daði’s Eurovision is 20/20

The group’s next rehearsal takes place this Thursday and their official performance will be next Thursday, May 20 in the Eurovision semi-finals in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Daði and Gagnamagnið Release Music Video for Eurovision Song

Daði Freyr og Gagnamagnið eurovision 2021

A giant monster, Iceland’s ongoing eruption, and Trapped star Ólafur Darri Ólafsson are just a few of the features of Icelandic musician Daði Freyr’s music video for his 2021 Eurovision song 10 Years, which has just been released. In the video, the “Mayor of Iceland” (Ólafur Darri) implores Daði and his band Gagnamagnið to fight a giant monster that has emerged from Eyjafjallajökull with their “sweet, sweet dance moves.” The whimsical result can be watched below.

The video was co-produced by Guðný Rós Þórhallsdóttir (who also directed it) and Birta Rán Björgvinsdóttir (who also did the cinematography), the same team that created the video for Daði’s hit Think About Things. Daði Freyr is credited as the story writer. Daði created some of the costumes with his partner (and Gagnamagnið member) Árný Fjóla Ásmundsdóttir, who is the subject of the song.

Read More: Daði’s Eurovision is 20/20

Daði’s song Thing About Things was the favourite in the 2020 Eurovision song contest before it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The song catapulted him to stardom and Iceland decided to send him as their representative in 2021 without holding the usual local Söngvakeppnin competition.

Daði Freyr Wants You To Join His 2021 Eurovision Song

Daði Freyr Pétursson will perform Iceland’s entry to the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam this May. He is putting the finishing touches on his song but has posted a video on social media asking for help creating an a cappella choir part.

In the video, Daði states: “I’m almost finished with the song but I need your help because I want there to be a huge a cappella choir part in the song, but I don’t have access to a choir right now. So, I need you to be in the choir.” Daði is releasing examples of the vocal parts he needs to realise his vision of a virtual choir. “There are seven different vocal parts. If you could record yourself singing one or more of these vocal parts and send it to [email protected] that would be very nice, and I would put you in the recording,” Daði states in the video. Further instructions and access to the link is available on Daði’s Twitter account and hopefuls who want to join his choir are asked to send in their audio files by January 11.

“Thank you very much, I hope you want to be on my Eurovision song. If not, then have a nice day and if [you do] then have an even nicer day.”

Daði is making the most of COVID-19 related changes to ESC regulations allowing performing acts to play recorded backing vocals. The changes are temporary and there’s no limit to how many voices can be recorded.

Daði Freyr’s hit song Think About Things won Iceland’s preliminary competition Söngvakeppnin in 2020 and was highly favoured to do well in the competition until the 2020 ESC was cancelled due to the global pandemic. Daði Freyr was asked to compose a new song for 2021, making this his third attempt to enter the competition as his 2017 attempt was runner-up to Svala’s Paper.

 

Daði Freyr in Eurovision 2021

Daði Freyr Pétursson and his band Gagnamagnið will perform Iceland’s entry to the Rotterdam Eurovision Song Contest next May. RÚV approached the musician who agreed to write a song for the contest.  Daði won the local song contest Söngvakeppnin this year with the song Think about Things, which was well received internationally. He was considered a frontrunner for this year’s Eurovision, cancelled due to the global pandemic.

Read more about Daði Freyr’s Think About Things win

Once this year’s contest was cancelled, participating countries were informed they could send their chosen competitor to next year’s contest but they would have to bring a new song. Alternatively, they could have a new competition, choosing a new contestant and song.

Daði told Berliner Zeitung last week that he was ready to participate in the song contest but only if he would be asked to. “Taking part in the preliminary contest is a lot of work and at this point, I don’t see a reason to go through that again. If we went straight to the main contest, we could focus on that.”

In a statement from RÚV, Skarphéðinn Guðmundsson, Director of Programming, says he’s delighted that Daði Freyr accepted the invitation. “Daði won Söngvakeppnin 2020 by a landslide and the reception to Iceland’s contribution has never been so welcoming. We’re very happy and proud to be able to enter this great musician and his people into the competition like we wanted to do last time. We think the nation wants Daði og Gagnamagnið to represent us in this competition.”

He says many things had to be considered before making the decision but they found this was the right thing to do. “Due to the unprecedented situation that there was no Eurovision Song Contest this year. We thought it right and fair.”

In addition to the song contest’s cancellation this year, Daði also had a narrow miss in 2017. His song Is This Love? Was a fan favourite but ultimately came in second to Svala’s Paper. Daði Freyr is excited to finally take the Eurovision Song Contest stage. “I’m very excited. The reason I took part in Söngvakeppnin 2020 was to try to take my friends in the band to experience Eurovision from within. We always wanted to see how far we could go in this competition and we’ll see how we do this year.” Daði hasn’t written the song yet but he’s working on a couple of ideas. “I know how the music video is going to look and I have a few key things that need to be in the stage performance so I’ll write a song around that. I’ll try to write a dong to fit my performance, not the other way around, Euro is in a league of its own. But it will be a fun song, that’s for sure.” Daði is in it for the fun, stating: “The main thing is to have fun with it, although I do think it would be most fun if we win.”