Back in January, Finnish broadcaster YLE announced that the iconic DJ and producer Darude would represent Finland at Eurovision 2019. Tonight the Finnish public and an international jury decided that Darude and vocalist Sebastian Rejman would perform “Look Away” in Tel Aviv.
Over the past month, the artists released their three collaborations, each potential entries for Finland at Eurovision 2019. The songs were performed live for the first time tonight.
“Release Me” is a strong, danceable EDM banger, “Superman” has a heartfelt message, while “Look Away” offered commentary on the troubled world we live in. And in the end, it was “Look Away ” that won.
The song was performed with Darude at a keyboard inside a giant three-side cube. The cube rotated and had LED panels on its exterior that showed visuals that alluded to the song lyrics, particularly with regard to climate change. An interpretive dancer performed on top of the cube, while Sebastian Rejman moved around the stage as he sang.
The winning song was decided by a 50/50 televote and international jury vote. The jury was made up of Norway’s 2017 Eurovision hitmaker JOWST, Spanish Head of Delegation Ana Maria Bordas Julve, Czech Republic Head of Delegation Jan Bors, Swedish Eurovision songwriter Gabriel Alares, Irish Head of Delegation Michael Kealy, Danish Eurovision winner Emmelie de Forest, Eurovision 2019 head of events Tali Eshkoli, and representing the UK, wiwibloggs’ own editor-in-chief William Lee Adams.
It was a clean sweep for “Look Away”, with all the judges giving it their 12 points:
When the televote results came in, the public agreed. “Release Me” earned 19 points, “Superman” was on 73 points, while “Look Away” had a top score of 148 points.
“Look Away” was also a favourite with wiwibloggs readers. In a recent Wiwi Poll, 46.83% of readers selected “Look Away” as their favourite. The Wiwi Jury agreed, giving “Look Away” the highest score in the Wiwi Jury.
Show co-host Krista Siegfrids opened the evening singing about cats while standing in front of a massive golden cat, taking inspiration from Netta’s staging in Lisbon. Then a children’s flute choir came on and played “Toy” as well as Darude’s 1999 international hit “Sandstorm”. Krista also performed a Finnish version of “Toy”. And that’s how you get a show started!
Emmelie de Forest also provided the interval act. She performed her Eurovision winning song “Only Teardrops”, with a slightly different arrangement to her 2013 winning act.
Darude’s two-decade career
Darude is best known for his 1999 instrumental trance single “Sandstorm”. The track was an international hit and charted around the world, including the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK singles chart.
In recent years, “Sandstorm” has found new life as an internet meme. Thanks to its popularity in gaming videos, this led to the development of a meme where any request for a song title gets the response Darude – “Sandstorm”. It looks like that wish has partly come true.
But there’s more than just that one single in Darude’s repertoire. The accomplished international DJ and producer has released four albums and numerous singles. With a career spanning over two decades, Darude remains a respected musical artist.
Sebastian is the lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter of the Finnish rock band The Giant Leap. The group were most active in the 2000s and the group released two albums. Rejmann also plays with his own band, Sebastian & The 4th Line Band.
What do you think? Is “Look Away” a good choice for Finland to take to Eurovision 2019? Can Darude take Finland to the grand final?