Tuesday, December 05, 2017

FINLAND 100: EUROVISION SPECIAL, Vol.3

 
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.....

Ami Aspelund and her Fantasiaa restored some Eurovision pride in 1983 after a string of rather disastrous results, and the early 80s Finns were pretty satisfied when also 1984 and 1985 brought us decent results. The song is also remembered thanks to some plagiations claims. Kim Wilde herself in height of her career stated it's nonsense and Cambodia is totally different. And how could we forget the clumsy hostess in Munich who renamed several artists/composers(conductors, including the composer Kari Kuusamo. 

Vicky Rosti's Sata salamaa is one of the most loved Finnish entries by Finns, and the song has had a real revival in the past few years - Antti Tuisku even scored a #1 hit with his cover last year. In 1987 the Finnish participation was in danger until the very last moments when YLE's workers were about to strike and if they did, the contest would not have aired in Finland and Finns could not have voted. It was even discussed between YLE and EBU if Finland could still perform as an interval act.....

It wasn't all La Dolce Vita for Anneli Saaristo after her win in the national final. Some Finnish fan called her too ugly and fat as a represantitive in some publication. She wouldn't take it and sued the guy and won. She got even better revenge by placing 7th in Lausanne (curiously there are no close ups on her during the whole performance), Finland's best showing since 1973 and depending how you count it, Finland's second best ever. The voting was also manna from heaven for Finnish fans when Finland was featured in Top-5 for most of the voting, 

CatCat and their Bye bye baby. Where to start? A big favorite that totally bombed in the voting, finishing 22nd with 11 points after performing the threadful second place in the running order. Hard critic was also given to conductor Olli Ahvenlahti for insisting on a full live orchestra arrangement, quite different from the recorded one instead of using a tape like Germany with a similar beat, finishing 3rd btw. Their questionable dresses are legendary and regular food for jokers and mockers. But Finns loved the Kätkä sisters and Bye bye baby was played everywhere, all over again and for months.  Europe could go and f*ck it. 



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