|Genre||Pop music etc.|
|Founded by||Ríkisútvarpið (RÚV)|
Söngvakeppnin (known until 2012 as Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins, literally "The Television's Singing Contest") is an annual music competition organised by Icelandic public broadcaster Ríkisútvarpið (RÚV). It determines the country's representative for the Eurovision Song Contest.
The contest was first organised in 1986, when Iceland made its debut in the Eurovision Song Contest. Since then, RÚV has used Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins to select the Icelandic entry, but has also used an internal selection at times, mainly between 1995 and 1999, 2004 and 2005.
Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins has consisted of a multi-artist competition, with between 5 and 10 songs competing. Most contests in the past have been a one-night event, however since 2006 the contest has consisted of a number of semi-finals aired before a grand final.
It was known for RÚV to change the performers for Eurovision. This can be seen in 1986, when winner Pálmi Gunnarsson was joined by Eiríkur Hauksson and Helga Möller to form ICY for Eurovision. In 1994 RÚV were not happy with the winning song, and so enlisted Frank McNamara to rearrange the entry and select a new singer.
Songs in Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins were once only allowed to be performed in Icelandic. However winning songs were normally translated into English for Eurovision. This rule was abolished in 2008, when English language songs were allowed to compete for the first time.
All winners of Söngvakeppnin have gone on to represent Iceland at the Eurovision Song Contest. Iceland has never won the contest (the only Nordic country never to do so), but they have come second twice: in 1999 (when an internal selection was used), losing to Sweden, and in 2009, when they lost to Norway.
The following table lists those entries which finished fifth or higher at Eurovision:
|Year||Song||Artist||Position in the Eurovision Song Contest|
|1990||"Eitt lag enn"||Stjórnin||4th|
|2009||"Is It True?"||Yohanna||2nd|
- Dansk Melodi Grand Prix
- Melodi Grand Prix
- Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu
- Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest