When you think of Iceland in Eurovision, you immediately think of Selma, who represented her country with two promising and memorable entries.
In 1999 her song “All out of Luck, a favorite for the win, reached the 2nd place. in 2005 Selma entered with “If I Had Your Love” and to everybody’s surprise did not make it to the final, placing 16th in the Semi-Finals. We caught up with Selma to discuss how her Eurovision adventure affected her life and what she has been doing since.
You went through two very different Eurovision experiences, In 1999 you came so close to winning the contest, and in 2005 when you (shockingly) didn’t qualify for the final, how did both experience affect your career and personal growth as an artist/person?
Yes, well in 1999 my career blossomed beyond my imagination and that was all sudden and a bit turmoils. To be honest I didn’t expect that at all and so I wasn’t totally prepared for it either. So I was a pop star for a couple of years but then I got tired of it and started focusing on my real passion, the theater. That has been my world for 10 years now and my main profession is directing. In 2005, my career didn’t suffer from the disappointing result . I just kept on doing what I was doing and that was all good. So there is life after Eurovision .
Having performed at Eurovision both with and without orchestra, what atmosphere would you prefer? When you re-watch both of your performance, what goes through your mind?
I get butterflies in my stomach. Both experiences I enjoyed though I gladly admit that 1999 scores higher there
What is your most vivid Eurovision memory? What were your highlights from both contests?
In 1999 the voting. I was so not expecting that. And in 2005 the voting. I was so not expecting that
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Selma’s performance in Jerusalem 1999.
Would you consider participating again?
Well, it´s an idea that is very far away from me at this point, but I´ve learned never to say never. Maybe I´ll do it when I´m 70 .
If you had to cover one Eurovision song, what would it be?
Úff that one is too difficult for me. Sorry.
What are your favorite Eurovision songs of all time?
There are many. For example: Euphoria, All kinds of everything, I´m not afraid to move on, Se pa meg, Neka mi ne svane, Rhapsodia and on and on .
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“If I Had Your Love”, Eurovision 2005.
Our readers would be interested to know what have you been doing since your Eurovision days What current projects are you working on?
I just came back from Norway where I directed at Den Nationale Scene, The heart of Robin Hood. I´ll go to Boston to direct in November and in December I´ll take on the leading female part at the National theater in Iceland in Spamalot. I´ll be playing and singing the role of the Lady of the Lake .
If you hadn’t been in show business, would would you have been doing instead?
My plan was always to become a lawyer…I guess I´d done that.
What’s your proudest “I can’t believe I’ve don’t that” moment?
That´s easy. The birth of my two wonderful children.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
World domination . Always shoot for the moon. If you miss you´ll land among the stars
Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
I´ve only been to one country in Asia and South America. That´s where I´ll hopefully travel next.
What’s your favorite food/drink?
I´m a sushi lover, good spaghetti lover, water, white wine , coke ( not too often though).
What’s your favorite color?
Black, green, brown, camel, blood red, gold.
What’s your favorite book/movie?
Les Miserables, the book, SJálfstætt fólk, and movies are Breaking the waves, Tootsie, Deer Hunter, The Departed, The headhunters, Etter bryllubet and many many more.
Dogs or cats?
Who would play your character in the movie about your life?
Meryl Streep , of course 🙂