Ahead of the third and final heat of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2016, Finland’s Eurovision 2016 selection, the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — listened to and reviewed all six of the songs to find out which three deserve places in the final. Today we turn to Tuuli Okkonen with “Don’t Wake Me Up”. Did this sound like a dream or a total nightmare? Read on to find out…
Tuuli Okkonen – “Don’t Wake Me Up”
“Don’t Wake Me Up” reviews
William: She begs the listener not to wake her up. I say don’t worry: Just put your song on full blast and you’ll sleep through anything. This drags on for what seems like an eternity and I’m not really convinced she feels anything she is singing about. This power ballad really lacks power. Her voice would work better on an Auto Tune dance track.
Edd: Just another one of those pop ballads. A sweet girl and a pleasant production — but it evokes no emotion in me whatsoever. I’m pretty sure that of the six songwriters, only one of them is Finnish — and that’s Tuuli herself. Maybe some countries do send better entries with the help of international songwriters, but Finland certainly isn’t a country in need. And it saddens me to see this factory production of songs slowly stripping Eurovision of personality.
Sam: I feel the ice in her voice as she coldly sings this heartbreaking song – and the excessive autotune definitely helps in conveying it. But the genericness of it all brings nothing new to the table. I don’t have interest in seeing how she sings without autotune if this is the song she’s bringing.
Luis: It’s another case of a national final song in which the most appealing part is the music video. Tuuli’s voice is likeable, but her song felt like a random background music in a curious video. I’d compare it to Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight — if you like the genre, you’ll like it. But if not, you’ll find it boring, even if it’s wrapped in a nice package.
Robyn: I like the song more with its deliciously weird music video. On its own, the song is a rather more ordinary tale of heartbreak. How it comes across live will depend on whether the magic of the video can be captured on stage. I’m not saying that Tuuli needs to sing to a melting ice sculpture at UMK, but wouldn’t that be amazing?
Kristin: Is it just me or does the SNL actress Kate McKinnon have a doppelganger in Tuuli? With that said, “Don’t Wake Me Up” is a pleasant pop song, and the chorus is completely stuck in my head. It might not be the strongest song in UMK this year, but Tuuli has a sweet voice, and the song itself delivers smoothly. I think that in order to advance, Tuuli does have to bring her A-game to the stage, so the song will definitely stand out with the audience, but for my part, I like this, with or without the ice sculpture.
Antranig: I have absolutely no idea what is happening in the music video but I like it. The song itself is cute for the most part, but it is a bit too repetitive and lacks the power to be a real contender. It could be elevated to a higher level with an improved chorus but as it is, this sits comfortably in the middle of the pack.
Max: “Don’t Wake Me Up” is a well-structured and beautifully produced electropop ballad, and when paired with Tuuli’s crystalline vocals, it should (in theory) slay the pack. I’m spiritually uplifted when the final chorus arrives, as Tuuli’s voice soars to shimmering heights on a bed of dreamy synths. At once ethereal and epic, this is an indulgent three minutes of pop melodrama. And I just can’t get enough of it.
In the Finnish Wiwi Jury we have 16 jurors but only have room for 8 reviews. The remaining eight scores are below!
The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 2 and a high of 9.
WIWI JURY SCORE: 5.43/10