When someone says the words “Finland” and “Eurovision” in the same sentence, the first things to come to mind are the terrifying red-eyed monsters that earned Finland their only Eurovision victory in 2006. That win came 45 years after their debut in 1961. It’s a shame that our memories have been clouded with the craziness of Lordi, as Finland has sent some of the most beautiful songs that Eurovision fans have heard over the past few years. From songs in Finnish to English to Swedish, we certainly have a lot of love for Finland, for a lot of different reasons!
Finals qualified for since 2008: 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013
2013: Krista Siegfrids with “Marry Me”, 24th place with 13 points
2012: Pernilla with “När Jag Blundar”, 12th place (semi final 1) with 41 points
2011: Paradise Oskar with “Da Da Dam”, 21st place with 57 points
2010: Kuunkuiskaajat with “Työlki ellää”, 11th place (semi final 1) with 49 points
2009: Waldo’s People with “Lose Control”, 25th place with 22 points
2008: Teräsbetoni with “Missä miehet ratsastaa”, 22nd place with 35 points
How many times did Krista Siegfrids mimic wedding bells by chanting “Ding Dong” in 2013? 10 times
How many times did that awkward cellist appear during Pernilla’s performance in 2012? 7 times
How many times did Kuunkuiskaajat clap during their performance in 2010? 54 times
How many points has Finland given to the United Kingdom in the Finals? 141 points
Best Scoring Entry:
2011: Paradise Oskar with “Da Da Dam”, 21st place with 57 points
“Da da dam” may have failed to make the top 20 in 2011, but it is still Finland’s highest scoring entry since 2008. The man and his guitar was Finland’s answer to Alexander Rybak, but lacked a few hundred points to be up to his standard. Our little eco-warrior sang about a lovely bloke called Peter going to save the planet, and mumbled on about telling his mother about the big, planet saving adventure he had planned. We haven’t heard much from Paradise recently. Does anyone know whether he’s saving trees in the rainforest with Peter as we speak?
Memorable lyrics: “Peter is smart, he knows each European country by heart” Good, that’ll be quite useful as Peter can remind you which countries DIDN’T give you points!
Worst Scoring Entry:
Pernilla with “När Jag Blundar”, 12th place (semi final 1) with 41 points
Pernilla’s ballad sung in Swedish “När Jag Blundar” gave Finland it’s worst placed entry since 2008. The live performance left the audience in silence and Eurovision fans have been wondering since May 2012 what on Earth went wrong?! Maybe Europe would have preferred a song in Finnish or English rather than Swedish, or found the performance with only a cello for support quite boring. Whatever the reason, Pernilla deserved to qualify and the fact that we didn’t see this beautiful ballad in the final was one of the biggest misjustices at Eurovision!
Memorable lyrics: “Nå’n som hjälper en och flyga då man glömt hur man gör” (Someone who helps you fly when you’ve forgot how to do it) Funny, I’d always imagined flying to be like swimming. Once you’d learned, you’d never forget…
This is what Team Wiwi have to say about Finland’s recent entries:
Deban: ‘Leave me alone, I wanna go home’ (Finland, 2007) sums up my attitude to Finnish entries since they debuted in the contest in 1961. Clearly the underachieving country before it’s victory in 2006, Finland is no stranger to nil points. Strange entries from Finland have appeared on the ESC stage. In 2011 there was a man strumming a guitar humming “Da Da Dum.” And then the even stranger Pernilla Karlsson singing a Swedish folk song the following year. Seriously?? Did she really think she’d advance to the final? However, things turned around this year. Krista Siegfrieds championed the rights of LGBT people in Europe with her catchy pop tune ‘Marry Me’. She staged the contests’ first ever lesbian kiss (Yes, she beat t.A.T.u to it), and released the most club friendly album of the year. Singlehandedly, she raised her country’s profile with a musical gimmick that sheds light on marital injustice. Still, although I’m in no hurry to return to Helsinki, I’m ready for a high calibre of Finnish entries.
Bogdan: Quick, name a Finnish artist that you absolutely love. Exactly, that’s the problem with Finland. I don’t know why, but Finnish music has never really took off on the international music stage – unlike Swedish or Norwegian music, for instance. With perhaps the exception of the one-hit-wonder band The Rasmus, I’m afraid few people outside Finland ever listened to Finnish music. Yes, Finland has once won Eurovision, but with all respect to Lordi, their victory was based on the shock factor in a weaker ESC year, not on the song itself. So, Finland’s very poor record at Eurovision (it has placed last nine times and scored “nul points” three times) is a reflection of the country’s underdeveloped music industry. Unless they come up with another shock entry in order to steal the show (which Krista tried last year, but failed miserably), I don’t see it winning again soon.
Wiwi: I’m really struggling to say anything, and I had to go on Wikipedia to remember who had represented Finland in recent years. Once I did I was reminded that the country’s acts are pleasant enough, even if they are all overshadowed by Lordi and their freaky costumes. Judging the acts from 2008 to 2013, my least favourite is definitely the 2008 entry Teräsbetoni. Lordi stole all the gothic rock heat, and this derivative number left me bored, bored, bored. But at least I now know where Max Jason Mai got his inspiration for his hair and costumes! My favourite act is probably Krista Siegfrids with “Marry Me”. The song is, as one Eurovision blogger suggested in Malmö, “trash.” But Krista wrapped that trash up in a whole lot of fun and her enthusiasm was infectious. All I remember about Paradise Oscar is that he had an amazing LED screen with a big ‘ole earth. It was very “Heal the World” and totally beautiful. Sadly the song just got old.
Zach: Poor Finland seems to be the forgotten Nordic country when it comes to Eurovision, they managed to pull out a win in 2006 but their entries are always hit or miss, sadly with more misses than hits in my opinion.
For their best I’m going to say Krista. The song was undeniably catchy, Krista had the most amazing attitude, and overall I enjoy listening to the song. Yes her vocals could have been better, but I thought for sure she would have at least made the top 15. Her votes just seemed to disappear in the Final unfortunately. I also enjoyed Pernilla in 2012, such a sweet pretty song.
For the worst, it’s definitely Paradise Oskar. His voice was really off putting to me, and the song was cheesy in a bad way. He seemed nice, but unfortunately, his song was not. Boring, cheesy, not good vocals, three strikes and he’s out. Their 2008 entry was pretty out there as well, I don’t remember it at all.
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Photo credit: Sander Hesterman (EBU)