Kyiv 2017

High expectations for Svala!

Almost a week ago, on the 11th of March, Svala won Söngvakeppnin and was thus chosen to represent Iceland in Kyiv in May.
Svala is a well known artist here in Iceland and has been singing since the age of 7. She is not the first in her family to represent Iceland in Eurovision. Her father, Björgvin Halldórsson, is also a known artist, and he performed the Icelandic entry “Núna” way back in 1995. He finished in 15th place.
We did a short interview with her, to get her first reaction after she qualified from the second semi final. She was feeling very excited about qualifying from her semi, and already had her mind set on the Final. And as we suspected, she told us she would perform in English, since it was originally written in that language.
Here is what she had to say!

Huge support for her song
Like you heard in the video, she thanked the people for voting for her. And vote, they did! That night she won the semi final with 12789 televotes. At the final she got even more, actually way more; 45258 votes! That is much higher than the following acts. She also scored most points from the international jury.
And at the super final she got 62.5% of the votes, which amounts to 79570 votes! With these number in mind it turns out that people spent 147,000 Euros on voting for her. That says a lot about how people Iceland believe in her and her song. High hopes indeed!

The aftermath
After winning, Svala, expressed great gratitude for the win. She said that she wasn’t expecting to win, because she never expects to things to go well. Svala said she is always skeptical on predetermined success. Svala was very emotional over the huge support her song got. She also thanked the backing vocals, they are the members of the Filadelfia Gospel Choir and they will accompany her to Kyiv.

At the press meeting, Svala was asked about her career and if that had put more public pressure on her to do well. She answered that she was usually the one putting the most pressure on herself. She also said that she loves to sing and to perform and would try to do her very best in Kyiv.
The song itself
When asked about the song, she revealed that the song wasn’t composed especially for Söngvakeppnin, and it was her husband who suggested they’d submit it, and so they did. She’s been asked many times before to take part, but singing songs for other people was not something she wanted to do. If she was going to take part, she wanted to go with her own song. And it had to be a strong song, a song she believed in.
She said that the song is about having a difficult relationship with yourself. So even though some people might think it is a love song, it’s actually about her dealing with herself and dealing with difficult things in life. She said she’s always been very open honest about her anxiety that she’s been dealing with since her teenage years. A lot of teenagers deal with anxiety today along with the complications of the modern world and with social media. The song is about being strong, not to give up and not being ashamed. That’s the message she wants to give to the audience.
Will she join the 2nd place winners?
As part of promotions she recorded a carpool video with the two second place winners from Iceland. And when asked if it might be a premonition, she laughed and said she’d be lucky and honored to end up in second place. Here is the video with Selma and Yohanna!

We at escXtra wish her the best at Eurovision!
P.S. escXtra would like to say a special thank you to Ásta and Friðrik for helping out at Söngvakeppnin; for their work, videos, pictures and their great company.

Hlynur Sigurðsson

Icelandic Eurovision fan!

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