Sunday, December 03, 2017

FINLAND 100: EUROVISION SPECIAL, Vol. 1

 
Finland celebrates its 100th year as an independent state and has ever since searched for its place in Europe and the world, between East and West. Sometimes with less success. As we speak in 1939 we were at war again with Soviet Union but - let's make a huge change of subject here -  since 1961 Finland has been taking part in the Eurovision song contest (and we also took part, and won twice, the copycat contest behind the Iron curtain, Intervision song contest). It may have taken awhile before we won, but it never stopped us taking part. EBU did, in those crazy 1990's-early 2000's.
Let's look back in coming days as a countdown to the Big Day some of the most memorable and significant entries from Finland.....

In 2002 Finland sent Laura Voutilainen with Addicted to you to southern neighbour Estonia. Expectations were high as usual, and there was a thrilling buzz all around Helsinki the big night; bars were showing the contest, thousends of Finns were at spot in Tallinn and after Laura won the Marcel Bezençon fan award we were pretty sure it will be a success and Helsinki gets to host the next one. But no, once again Finns were left at the bottom of the scoreboard: 24 points and 20th place. The parties at bars died out quietly and people went home to sleep. For yet another year. And then we had the "wet arm bit" drama afterwords....

2014 Finland trusted again to rock in Eurovision. Softengine won the national final with Something better, and even if critics loved them, and Finns were feeling kind of sceptical on their chances. Their 11th place was a nice surprise no one really expected! Big expectations were laid on them after they charted here and there after the contest and their future was looking very promising and bright. Three years later three band members are left and their releases have gone independent. Sadly.

2017 was a bit of a repeat of 2002. Norma John's Blackbird was praised by critics and surprisingly very well welcomed by the European fandom. Finns were sure they will fly to the final and place well after their magnificant staging. Instead they missed out the final placing 12th in the semi final. A fact that was voted by the Eurovision fans as the biggest unjustice of the year. 

Marion Rung returned to Eurovision in 1973 with Tom tom tom (after placing 7th in 1962 with Tipitii when she was just 16) and launched an international career. She placed 6th, Finland's best showing, one point short of 5th place and only four from the 4th. No one could imagine 6th would remain Finland's best for the next 33 years....


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