Iceland will not perform at Saturday’s Eurovision grand final after failing to make it through the semi-final in Vienna last night.
Unbroken, sung by María Ólafs, was not among the ten acts chosen to go through.
The result is chosen jointly by national juries and public televoting. There were 17 performances overall last night, only ten of which go into the final.
Ten finalists from Tuesday, ten from Thursday, last year’s winner Austria, and the “big five” who contribute the most money to the competition, mean there will be 26 countries performing on Saturday night. Except, no, there will actually be 27, because Australia has been invited to compete as a one-off reward for having been Eurovision crazy for 30 years—and as a treat to Europe as well, given that Eurovision is 60 years old this year.
María had a good song and an excellent strong voice, but she was visibly shaking with nerves on the night, which also affected her singing—she nevertheless gave a strong performance and Iceland is proud of her this morning.
She was so upset after the show that she refused to be interviewed on RÚV TV, but she later wrote on Facebook: “This evening I stood up on the biggest stage in front of millions of people and sung my ass off for Iceland,” adding that she can walk away satisfied.
María herself will now be supporting Australia in the final, she says.
Iceland qualified for the final every year between 2008 and 2014, and came second in 2009. Iceland is the second-most successful country never to have won Eurovision, but is the only country in northern Europe not to have done so. It has been trying since 1986.
There’s always next year.