Wiwibloggs has kicked off a new series in which we are taking a look at all of the countries currently participating in the Eurovision Song Contest and why we love them. Today we’re flying to Helsinki to take a look at Finland.
The Nordic nation debuted in the 1961 edition of the contest. It would take 45 years for their first win to come. Before Lordi broke through for Finland, they placed last eight times and never finished in the top five. After Lordi’s breakthrough victory, Finland have not placed in the top ten. However, they have provided many memorable entries. Here’s 10 reasons why we love Finland at Eurovision.
1. They sent the only Eurovision winners in prosthetic rubber masks
No list about Finland would be complete without Lordi. Entering Eurovision following a run of four consecutive female pop song winners, Lordi bucked the trend and proved that any genre can succeed at Eurovision. It proved to be a monumental victory for Finland, ending a long wait for a Eurovision victory. As of 2018, Lordi still hold Finland’s only win — and only top-five finish — at Eurovision, as well as a memorable spot in Eurovision history.
2. Nobody does Eurovision rock music better than Finland
We all know about Lordi and we all associate Eurovision rock music with Lordi. But they aren’t Finland’s only foray into the genre and nobody does rock music better than Finland. It may not be to everyone’s taste but most Eurovision fans will have a favourite Eurovision rock entry. If you ask this wiwiblogger, he’ll tell you Eurovision rock does not get any better than Finland’s 2008 entry, “Missä Miehet Ratsastaa” by Teräbetoni.
3. They care about the planet
We’ve had Eurovision songs about love, love, peace and peace. Finland decided to mix things up in 2011 when Paradise Oskar sang a song about saving the planet. “Da Da Dam” may have only finished 21st in the grand final but left a powerful message which we could all get behind. Let’s also not forget that he beat out Saara Aalto in her first attempt to make it to Eurovision.
4. They sent a band of adults with developmental disabilities
Finland’s Eurovision 2015 entry “Aina Mun Pitää” was definitely polarising. Whether you love or hate the punk rock piece, we can all appreciate Finland’s attempt to do something different and to remind us that music is loved and performed by people from all walks of life. The song certainly had its fans, receiving points from five countries in the semi-final and placng in the top-ten in the televote. Love it or hate it, Finland’s bravery to send Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät should be applauded.
5. They sent the shortest song in Eurovision history
Staying on the topic of Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät, their entry “Aina Mun Pitää” goes on record as the shortest song in Eurovision history. Eurovision rules dictate that a song may not exceed three minutes but there’s no minimum length. Most songs entered into the contest are at or near the three minute mark. Clocking in at one minute and twenty seven seconds, “Aina Mun Pitää” could’ve been performed twice and still been within the time limit, with six seconds to spare. The song will be remembered for many reasons, especially as it holds the record for shortest song in Eurovision history.
6. Finland can slow things down when they need to
We’ve spoken about the wide variety of rock music that Finland have brought to Eurovision. But this Nordic nation is no one-trick pony. When they’re not bringing the house down, they can bring a tear to your eye. There are many examples of beautiful ballads sent by Finland but perhaps none more beautiful than Norma John‘s 2017 entry “Blackbird”. This country can slay any genre, y’all!
7. They have sung twice in Swedish and it has never gone well
There are many countries at Eurovision that will rarely stray from singing in their language of choice — whether it be English or their own language. Finland does not follow that formula, happily mixing things up frequently between Finnish and English. They aren’t afraid to venture away from those either, performing twice in Swedish. In 1990, Beat finished last for Finland with “Fri?” and in 2012, Pernilla Karlsson failed to qualify from the semi-final with “När Jag Blundar”. The Swedish touch hasn’t brought Finland any success but we applaud them for shaking things up.
8. Marry Me! Finland was responsible for the first female same-sex kiss at Eurovision
Back in 2003, Finland was absent from Eurovision due to poor results. At the same time, Russian duo t.A.T.u. planned to stage the first female same-sex kiss in Eurovision history. It did not happen. A decade later, Krista Siegfrids changed all of that by following through with what became the first same-sexme sex kiss at Eurovision. A lot has changed for the LGBT community around Europe and the rest of the world since 2013 and we applaud Krista Siegfrids for setting all of that in motion!
9. The incomparable Krista Siegfrids
Yes, she staged the first same sex kiss at Eurovision. But Krista Siegfrids deserves a lot more than that when it comes to this list. There are many artists that huge amounts of the Eurovision fanbase can get behind. Top of that list is Krista Siegfrids. When she’s not busy walking the walk of shame or drinking coffee with your mother, she’s hosting national finals, competing at Melodifestivalen or returning as a spokesperson. She is one talented woman with no shortage of fans. We hope Finland has another win in the near future so Krista can complete her Eurovision resume by hosting the contest as well.
10. From one LGBT icon to another, we love the tale of perseverance that is Saara Aalto
I ain’t scared no more. If Krista’s same sex kiss wasn’t enough, Finland sent Saara Aalto to Eurovision 2018. Saara is arguably one of the most open Eurovision performers when it comes to her sexuality. But what we love most about Saara is her perseverance. She placed second twice in two attempts to represent Finland at Eurovision. She went to the United Kingdom to reinvigorate her career on The X Factor UK. Then she returned to Finland and finally realised her dream of making it to Eurovision. Saara’s journey has been delightful to follow and we can’t wait to see the next chapter of her career.
They are the only winners to score the same number of points in the semi-final and grand final. Lordi notched up 292 points to win the semi-final in 2006 and notched up the same total in the grand final. With changes to the structure and voting of the contest since 2006, Lordi’s feat may never be replicated.