Thursday, April 20, 2017

ESC 2017 REVIEW - FINLAND (10): NORMA JOHN - BLACKBIRD

Pictured is lily of the valley, national flower of Finland

Finland used once again Uuden musiikin kilpailu aka UMK. This 6th time however was the most revamped of them all so far (there have been minor changes every year): no more semifinals but just one grand final. As usual the songs and their videos were published way ahead of the final and in theory people were familiar with the songs before the big night. In the end Norma John took a very convincing win with both the international juries and the televoters ahead of some fan wanks with their Blackbird, written by themselves.

Norma John is vocalist Leena Tirronen and pianist Lasse Piirainen. Norma John has existed in some form already almost ten years, but Leena and Lasse go back even longer, as they have been friends and musical soulmates since teenage years. Leena (32) first came to spotlight when she placed 3rd in the X Factor 2010 and released an album after that. (Nobody has a glue who the two infront of her were btw. Gone by 2011). Lasse is a pianist, who has been working in music for ages, and recently also a lot in television. This spring he's been one of the two pianists an team leader in a hugely popular musical quizz show BumtsiBum! based on an Irish format The Lyrics Board.

What can I say? I might be a bit biased (but then again I may not, I placed Finland 2015 dead last without hesitation) but Finland is here at number 10. The Top-12 or so could be in any order depending on my mood but this is clearly one of the best songs this year musically, if not the best along with Portugal. And both are curiously rather un-Eurovisionary. Leena's voice is magic, and her pronunciation adds to the mystery. Lasse's piano solo is out of this world. This is an entry I am proud of no matter the final outcome, but I hope they will get at least a Softengine like finish. They deserve that. As minimum. But then again like in life, in Eurovision everything isn't fair. But one can live in hope. Amazng song and if and when they stick to the UMK staging (check it out after the jump)  it will be wonderful hauntingly beautiful three minutes in Kyiv.... 9/10




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