Now that the National Finals season is finished and all songs for Eurovision 2016 have been selected we now have a period of around 5 weeks where we wait for the rehearsals to begin in Stockholm. What better way to fill the time than to look back over the 60 years of Eurovision at some of the best and worst entries that countries have sent to the Eurovision stage. There are 43 countries going to Stockholm to take part in the 2016 edition of our favourite musical extravaganza and we continue our journey with Finland who have won the contest once but have reached the top 10 on eleven other occasions and finished last on nine occasions. This has been achieved in 49 participations. You can check out the previous articles in the best and worst series for Ireland HERE ,Spain HERE, Austria HERE, Bosnia & Herzegovina HERE, Iceland HERE,Belarus HERE, Denmark HERE and Cyprus HERE.
So this year Finland are represented by Sandhja with the song ‘Sing It Away’. We will have to wait and see if it turns out to be more of a best or worst song for Finland but the overall reaction is fairly mixed so far. You can catch up on our recent article telling us some interesting stuff about Sandhja HERE.
So my selections for best and worst entries are based on a combination of actual results and personal taste. Now Finland have a mammoth forty-nine entries to choose from making the task of choice pretty hard.
We do not have to go very far back in time to find our first song that is one of the best for Finland. The year was 2006 and we were in Athens to see Lordi singing the song ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’.
Now Eurovision had never seen anything like this in the competition before and boy have we seen some sights over the years. A hard rock group wearing monster masks but singing a rock song that was catchy, melodic and instantly likeable. Lordi spent the whole time in the public/press gaze wearing their masks although when back at their hotels they apparently did go around unmasked and had two sets of accreditation badges for this purpose. It ended up finishing in 1st place giving Finland their first and long awaited victory after 40 years of trying. Amazingly it amassed the exact same number of points 292 in both the Semi Final and Final which was a new record total at that time. It went on to chart in many European countries and reached number 25 in the UK.
Moving along we look at one of the worst entries for Finland. We were in Malmo and it was 1992 where we saw Pave Maijanen perform the song ‘Yamma Yamma’
Now Pave is an accomplished musician and producer in his long career but his foray into Eurovision was an attempt to resurrect a flaying career which had taken a downturn. The song is in praise of listening to “valve radio”, with Pave likening it to a stadium with “a hundred musicians inside it”. His somewhat energetic performance did not impress and ended up in last place(23rd) with only 4 points.
So now we move back to look at another best of entry for Finland. We move further back in time this time to 1985 and find ourselves again in Sweden, in Gothenburg, to see Sonja Lumme perform the song ‘Eläköön elämä‘
Now this was what older style Eurovision was about for Finland. A rousing catchy song sung in Finnish so most of Europe didn’t have a clue what it was about but it sounded great. The song is sung from the perspective of a woman who has “stayed in the park” at night with “a good friend” (possibly a lover or a prospective one). She describes the scene and wishes that it would never end. Sonja gave us a very energetic performance and was rewarded with 9th place finish with 58 points.
Our next song that has to be considered one of the worst for Finland was a ballad. The year was 2005 and we were in Kiev to see Geir Rønning singing ‘Why?’.
Now Geir was from Norway and had tried to represent Norway but ended up representing Finland after moving from Oslo to Sweden and then Finland for his music. Dressed in all white Geir and his backing singers gave us a rousing performance. While the song garnered considerable praise for Rönning’s vocal performance, the general belief among fans was that it was too pessimistic a subject to prove successful at the Contest. It was inspired by the Beslan school hostage crisis. It ended up finishing in 18th place in the Semi Final with 50 points therefore failing to get to the Final.
So onto our last song that was one of Finland’s best. It was in 2014 and we were in Copenhagen to see Softengine perform the song ‘Something Better’.
Now Softengine are a young fresh faced alternative rock group who ranged in ages from 18 to 21. Their song was well received by the fans and the group themselves were very popular during the build up to the Final in the press centre. It was fun and refreshing and went on to some minor chart success in parts of Europe. The song itself finished 3rd in the Semi Final then in 11th place in the Final with 72 points.
We now arrive at the last song for Finland and it’s another corker of a baddie. In 2015 we were in Vienna to witness Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät perform the song ‘Aina mun pitää‘.
It was a song that was most notable for being the shortest song ever at 1 minute 27 seconds. The punk rock song’s lyrics are about having to engage in daily activities such as washing-up. The band also known as PKN, is a Finnish punk rock band, formed in 2009 in a charity workshop for adults with development disabilities. Although it was critically received in some music circles the general consensus was low expectations and so it proves as it ended up 16th and last in the Semi Final with only 13 points.
So there we have it folks, my little delve into Finnish Eurovision history and some of the best and worst moments over the years. Do you agree with all or even any of my choices? Feel free to comment below.
This series will continue with another look at songs over the years for each and every country competing in Eurovision 2016 so keep coming back for more reflections of the best and worst that Eurovision has had to offer us.
Author: Andrew Main
Source: Eurovision Ireland