Finland are another veteran Eurovision nation, sending 46 songs to the contest. It hasn’t always paid off, with a string of last-place finishes that would make all but Norway go pale. Their trials finally paid off in 2006 when monster-metal band Lordi picked up the then-biggest landslide in Eurovision history when “Hard Rock Hallelujah” won in Athens.
But momentum has never been the strong point of the Fins, particularly during 1994-2004 when the relegation rules led Finland to only participate once every two years due to poor results. Post-win results haven’t been much stronger, and even despite a promising semi-final performance in 2011, they’ve yet to finish in the top half of any final since Lordi’s win.
Saying that, they’ve had a decent run of qualification from the semis, with their occasional failures only being narrow ones. The Swedish-language entry by Pernilla Karlsson didn’t quite make it, so they will want to perform well in their neighbour’s contest next month. Their national selection show was tough going, but the final selection was certainly an eye-catching one. (Read my write-up of national selection show Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu).
Krista Siegfrids was (I gather) a relatively unknown name in Finland, with a former band, work in a musical and most recently participation in the Finnish version of “The Voice”. So it was a surprise result for her to beat 2012’s “Idols” winner Diandra to win the ticket to Malmö, but you can see why it was a more memorable track.
Krista plays the blushing Bridezilla, determined to snare her potential husband by shamelessly offering whatever it takes to seal the deal. The rapid-fire delivery of the first verse is a great intro, while that chorus is a solid power-pop effort.
I worried the wedding dress schtick is a bit of a novelty angle that might doom it to another bottom-half finish in the final, but if Katy Perry can get away with it, why now? It does at least lend itself to some ridiculous fun set-pieces. That’s not to detract from Krista herself, who carries the song with ease, charm and confidence.
In Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu the performance involved a massive wedding train in the middle-eight, so I’m sure the Malmö performance will be a memorable one. The “ding dong” refrain in the choruses is a bit cheesy, but it’s catchy and fun, a nice contrast against some of the more downbeat tracks in semi-final 2.
I have every confidence it will qualify, I think Semi 2 is easily the weakest selection, with some easy cannon fodder to take the fall. I don’t rate Finland’s chances of a win, and given the contest’s treatment of the more light-hearted entries in recent years (are there even any novelty songs this year?!), I wonder how the juries will vote. But the participation is what counts, and I’m sure Krista will give it her best.
For more reviews of the 2013 entries and other Eurovision news, please check out my Malmö hub.