News, Culture & Society

Eurovision 2019 braces for Icelandic ‘bondage band’ Hatari with political song

The grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest is underway in Israel as crowds of international fans flock to the Expo Tel Aviv venue. 

This year’s show, under the theme of ‘Dare To Dream’ kicked off with an Olympic-style flag parade to introduce the contestant from each of the 26 countries, and featured short cameos from past winners. 

Two semi-finals, numerous dress rehearsals and a week of press and audience events have led to this point – and it hasn’t been without controversy. 

Icelandic ‘bondage band’ Hatari are set to defy Eurovision bosses with a shock political song predicting the ‘collapse of the continent’ – as the UK aims for its first victory in 22 years. 

Leather-clad Hatari will perform their song ‘Hatred Will Prevail’ at the annual competition this evening, which is this year being held in Tel Aviv, a city on Israel’s Mediterranean coast.

The controversial troupe, who describe themselves as a techno-BDSM-punk fusion, anti-capitalist group, hope their song will promote ‘peace and love’. And warn that if we do not pursue it, ‘hate will indeed prevail’. 

And, in a populism warning, have stressed in the lyrics of their song that ‘debauchery unconstrained’ will lead to moral bankruptcy and the collapse of Europe.

The group has even come close to expulsion from the contest due to their outspoken views on Israel – having spoken of witnessing apartheid after travelling to the country.

Members of the techno punk band Hatari representing Iceland, pose at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. The group has sparked controversy with it’s politically charged song ‘Hatred Will Prevail’

Hatari perform at the first semi-final of the Eurovision song contest 2019 in Tel aviv, Israel. BBC One's coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest's grand final is on Saturday from 8pm and will be led by Graham Norton

Hatari perform at the first semi-final of the Eurovision song contest 2019 in Tel aviv, Israel. BBC One’s coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest’s grand final is on Saturday from 8pm and will be led by Graham Norton

Matthias Tryggvi Haraldsson, 25, the lead singer of Hatari - or 'Haters' (pictured), has said that their song is a warning about what will happen if we 'do not love each other'

Matthias Tryggvi Haraldsson, 25, the lead singer of Hatari – or ‘Haters’ (pictured), has said that their song is a warning about what will happen if we ‘do not love each other’

Their song will fly in the face of competition rules, which stress it is a non-political event. And stipulate that ‘no organization, institution, political cause or other cause’ should be promoted. 

Matthias Tryggvi Haraldsson, 25, the lead singer of Hatari – or ‘Haters’ – said of their song: ‘Hate Will Prevail is a reflection on power and powerlessness, hope and hopelessness.

‘It’s a warning about what will happen if we don’t love each other, if we give up on peace and unity, because then hate will indeed prevail. And we feel these are relevant themes to the context of this year’s contest.’

Their performance has even stirred up controversy in their home country, which was the first in western Europe to recognise Palestine as a state, in 2011. A petition urging them to boycott the completion has been signed by at least 20,000 people. 

But Eurovision bosses, have tried to keep them on track. With Haraldsson revealing they have ‘made it very clear that we have stepped over the line and reached the limit of their tolerance.’

He said they will now stay clear of ‘buzzwords’ like apartheid that prick the ears of producers and will use their performance as ‘a platform to uphold a critical discussion about the context of this year’s contest’. 

Despite the ongoing controversy, Michael Rice (pictured), a former X Factor contestant, will be hoping he can take the Eurovision crown back to Britain for the first time in 22 years

Despite the ongoing controversy, Michael Rice (pictured), a former X Factor contestant, will be hoping he can take the Eurovision crown back to Britain for the first time in 22 years

The 21-year-old (pictured) from Hartlepool, Co Durham, is one of 26 acts vying for the top prize during the climax of the week-long contest in Tel Aviv

The 21-year-old (pictured) from Hartlepool, Co Durham, is one of 26 acts vying for the top prize during the climax of the week-long contest in Tel Aviv

Who’s the favourite to win this year’s Eurovision? Holland, Sweden and Australia are the bookies’ favourites… with the UK outsiders at 200/1! 

The Netherlands: Duncan Laurence, ‘Arcade’ – 3/4

He has been touted as the clear favourite to win since his self-penned song Arcade debuted online in March.

The singer is known in his homeland for appearing on The Voice, where he reached the semi-finals. And is a a graduate of Rock Academy in Tilburg.

Duncan Lawrence has been touted as the clear favourite to win since his self-penned song Arcade debuted online in March

Duncan Lawrence has been touted as the clear favourite to win since his self-penned song Arcade debuted online in March

Australia: Kate Miller-Heidke, ‘Zero Gravity’ – 4/1 

Kate will perform her latest single Zero Gravity, written by herself and collaborator Keir Nuttall at the Eurovision song competition this evening. 

She has released four studio albums in Australia. Trained as a classical singer she has performed several roles for the English National Opera.  

In 2015 she even broke into national television, starring in The Divorce, a four-part ABC musical mini-series.

Kate Miller-Heidke will perform her latest single Zero Gravity, written by herself and collaborator Keir Nuttall at the Eurovision song competition this evening

Kate Miller-Heidke will perform her latest single Zero Gravity, written by herself and collaborator Keir Nuttall at the Eurovision song competition this evening

Sweden: John Lundvik, ‘Too Late for Love’ – 8/1

Born in London, Lundvik was adopted and moved to Sweden aged six. But he did not get involved with singing until later life. 

His first career was in athletics, where he won eight gold medals in national competition. 

His became involved in music in 2010 when he wrote When You Tell the World You’re Mine, a song written for a Swedish royal wedding. 

He will tonight perform ‘Too Late For Love’. He will be representing both Sweden as a singer and songwriter and the United Kingdom as a writer and composer, since he has also worked on Michael Rice’s song.

Born in London, Lundvik (pictured) was adopted and moved to Sweden aged six. But he did not get involved with singing until later life

Born in London, Lundvik (pictured) was adopted and moved to Sweden aged six. But he did not get involved with singing until later life

Switzerland: Luca Hänni, ‘She Got Me’ – 9/1 

Hänni is best known for winning a song competition in Germany, entitled Deutschland sucht den Superstar.

Since then he’s topped the charts with two studio albums and released 16 singles. He is also very athletic and is happy to take on challenges such as the various Ninja Warrior shows.

Hänni (pictured) is best known for winning a song competition in Germany, entitled Deutschland sucht den Superstar

Hänni (pictured) is best known for winning a song competition in Germany, entitled Deutschland sucht den Superstar

Italy: Mahmood, ‘Soldi’ – 14/1 

Mahmood was born in Milano in 1992 to an Italian mother and Egyptian father. He is another of many contestants who first found fame on a television reality show. 

He competed in the sixth season of the Italian version of The X Factor in 2012 where he was voted out early on in the show’s live stages. 

But he has since had a successful music career, releasing a debut album in 2019 which includes the song ‘Hola’ featuring Tom Walker, 

Mahmood (pictured) is another of many contestants who first found fame on a television reality show

Mahmood (pictured) is another of many contestants who first found fame on a television reality show

Iceland: Hatari, ‘Hatrið Mun Sigra’ – 14/1

The band was formed by three school friends, Klemens Hannigan, Matthías Tryggvi Haraldson, and Einar Stéfansson. 

They describe themselves as describe themselves as an ‘anti-capitalist BDSM techno performance art group’. 

The group has sparked controversy with their song, which warns that ‘debauchery unconstrained’ will lead to moral bankruptcy.

Hatari was formed by three school friends, Klemens Hannigan, Matthías Tryggvi Haraldson, and Einar Stéfansson

Hatari was formed by three school friends, Klemens Hannigan, Matthías Tryggvi Haraldson, and Einar Stéfansson

 The United Kingdom: Michael Rice, ‘Bigger Than Us’ – 200/1 

The former X Factor contestant will be hoping he can take the Eurovision crown back to Britain for the first time in 22 years

The 21-year-old from Hartlepool, Co Durham, is one of 26 acts vying for the top prize during the climax of the week-long contest in Tel Aviv. 

Despite the even bigger than usual media craze around the competition, he insists: ‘I’ve got my game face on, and I’m ready to go out and give the best performance.’ 

And speaking to the BBC, he added: ‘We aren’t a popular country in Europe. Everything is against us. But if we sent a decent song we’d do okay.’    

The former X Factor contestant will be hoping he can take the Eurovision crown back to Britain for the first time in 22 years

The former X Factor contestant will be hoping he can take the Eurovision crown back to Britain for the first time in 22 years

The controversy comes amidst security concerns surrounding the competition, after the Israeli national broadcaster’s webcast of the semi-final in Tel Aviv was hacked with images of explosions over the city. 

And earlier this week it was revealed how Israel had reportedly deployed its Iron Dome defence system ahead of the song competition. Despite last Monday, Israel and Hamas agreeing to a ceasefire following a ferocious missile exchange which saw nearly 700 rockets fired across the border.

Despite the ongoing controversy, Michael Rice, a former X Factor contestant, will be hoping he can take the Eurovision crown back to Britain for the first time in 22 years. He will take to the stage with his new song Bigger Than Us. 

The 21-year-old from Hartlepool, Co Durham, is one of 26 acts vying for the top prize during the climax of the week-long contest in Tel Aviv. 

Despite the even bigger than usual media craze around the competition, he insists: ‘I’ve got my game face on, and I’m ready to go out and give the best performance.’ 

And speaking to the BBC, he added: ‘We aren’t a popular country in Europe. Everything is against us. But if we sent a decent song we’d do okay.’    

The Eurovision song contest is set to get underway in Tel Aviv later this week under controversial circumstances

The Eurovision song contest is set to get underway in Tel Aviv later this week under controversial circumstances

Rabin Square in the centre of Tel Aviv with a stage set up ahead of the song contest later this week

Rabin Square in the centre of Tel Aviv with a stage set up ahead of the song contest later this week

Earlier this week it was revealed how Israel had reportedly deployed its Iron Dome defence system (pictured) ahead of the song competition

Earlier this week it was revealed how Israel had reportedly deployed its Iron Dome defence system (pictured) ahead of the song competition

Rice performed for the expert jury panels on Friday night during a non-televised dress rehearsal of the grand final.

He, unlike the Icelandic entry, insists that: ‘We should be focusing on the music and getting the right song instead of droning on about stuff like that.’ 

The ‘stuff’ the 21-year-old from Hartlepool was referring to is politics. He added that he’s ‘sick of being asked about Brexit, constantly all the time’. 

‘I’m just a singer; I’ve never even thought about politics,’ he added. 

Rice got a by-pass to Saturday’s final, being the face of one of the ‘big five’ nations but faces stiff competition in the firm favourites, the Netherlands. 

Also fancied are Australia, Switzerland and Sweden. The latter’s singer, British-born John Lundvik, actually co-wrote this year’s UK entry.

Madonna will also make her Eurovision debut after days of speculation over whether she would indeed appear.

Madonna will also make her Eurovision debut after days of speculation over whether she would indeed appear

Madonna will also make her Eurovision debut after days of speculation over whether she would indeed appear

Sweden's John Lundvik will perform, singing the gospel-tinged ballad Too Late For Love. He is touted as one of the favourites

Sweden’s John Lundvik will perform, singing the gospel-tinged ballad Too Late For Love. He is touted as one of the favourites 

The Queen of Pop, 60, has been dogged by calls from the pro-Palestine Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign to cancel her appearance.

All Together Now winner Rice will face intense competition from the contest’s front runners, many of whom have already showcased their songs in the two live semi-finals on Tuesday and Thursday.

Sweden’s John Lundvik will perform, singing the gospel-tinged ballad Too Late For Love, as will Russia’s Sergey Lazarev, who will sing Scream.

Both are touted as favourites to win after well-received performances in the second live semi-final.

The Netherlands’ Duncan Laurence will also sing. He has been touted as the clear favourite to win since his self-penned song Arcade debuted online in March.

Australia’s Kate Miller-Heidke, Iceland’s Hatari and France’s Bilal Hassani are also in with a chance.

Prospects of a British victory are bleak – both Coral and Ladbrokes have given Rice a 150/1 chance of taking the title.

BBC One’s coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest’s grand final is on Saturday from 8pm and will be led by Graham Norton. 

What is the running order of tonight’s Eurovision song competition?  

The running order is decided by the European Broadcasting Union, Eurovision’s governing body, and is designed to ensure each act has the opportunity to stand out.

Producers look at the genre and tempo of the song, whether it features props and excessive lighting or pyrotechnics, and the number of backing dancers or vocalists. 

1. Malta – Michela Pace with Chameleon

2. Albania – Jonida Maliqi with Ktheju Tokes

3. Czech Republic – Lake Malawi with Friend Of A Friend

4. Germany – S!sters with Sister

5. Russia – Sergey Lazarev with Scream

6. Denmark – Leonora with Love Is Forever

7. San Marino – Serhat with Say Na Na Na

8. North Macedonia – Tamara Todevska with Proud

9. Sweden – John Lundvik with Too Late For Love

10. Slovenia – Zala Kralj and Gasper Santl with Sebi

11. Cyprus – Tamta with Replay

12. Netherlands – Duncan Laurence with Arcade

13. Greece – Katerine Duska with Better Love

Halfway break

14. Israel – Kobi Marimi with Home

15. Norway – KEiiNO with Spirit In The Sky

16. United Kingdom – Michael Rice with Bigger Than Us

17. Iceland – Hatari – Hatrio Mun Sigra

18. Estonia – Victor Crone with Storm

19. Belarus – Zena with Like It

20. Azerbaijan – Chingiz with Truth

21. France – Bilal Hassani with Roi

22. Italy – Mahmood with Soldi

23. Serbia – Nevena Bozovic with Kruna

24. Switzerland – Luca Hanni with She Got Me

25. Australia – Kate Miller-Heidke with Zero Gravity

26. Spain – Miki with La Venda

Residents in all participating countries can vote. Fans can vote over the phone, by text or via the Eurovision app, available on iOS, Android and Windows devices.

As per one of Eurovision’s most famous quirks, fans can vote up to 20 times but will be unable to select their own country’s entry.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.