Iceland frozen out of live Eurovision shows by Covid
Iceland’s Eurovision Song Contest contender, one of this year’s favourites to win, will miss the live shows in Rotterdam after a band member tested positive Wednesday for coronavirus.
Dadi og Gagnamagnid will not take part in Wednesday’s live rehearsal, Thursday’s semi-final or Saturday’s final, with footage of the band performing their song “10 years” in an earlier rehearsal being used instead.
The news is a blow to organisers of the competition in the Dutch port city, which was cancelled last year due to Covid-19 and is going ahead this year with strict health measures.
“We have all been extremely careful the whole trip so this comes as a huge surprise,” tweeted singer Dadi, who like the rest of the band performs in a green tracksuit with an emoji of his face on the front.
“We are very happy with the performance and super excited for you all to see it! Thank you for all the love.”
The European Broadcasting Union said in a statement that a member of the Icelandic group tested positive on Wednesday as did a member of the Icelandic delegation on Sunday.
“Dadi og Gagnamagnid have taken the difficult decision to withdraw from performing in this year’s live Eurovision Song Contest shows, as they only want to perform together as a group,” the statement said.
“Their song will remain in the competition and we will broadcast their rehearsal performance, recorded on the stage on 13 May.”
The Icelandic delegation would remain in quarantine as it had been since the initial positive test on Sunday, the EBU said.
A member of the Polish delegation also tested positive on Sunday while teams from Romania and Malta missed Sunday’s opening ceremony as a precaution as they had been staying in the same hotel.