Finland. The home of Father Christmas, Nokia and… Eurovision winners Lordi. What do the Finnish Eurovision voters have in store for us this year? Tonight, we will find out the answer.

The winner will be selected through the combination of 90% public voting and 10% by jury voting. The jury voting will be provided by ten jury groups that represent different sections of Finnish society: Eurovision experts, musicians, the media, YouTube personalities, Finland Swedes, LGBT, members of parliament, asphalt constructors, children and social media users.

The show is hosted by Krista Siegfrids and Roope Salminen. It begins at 20:00 and the blog will be live from 19:55.

Tonight’s running order is as follows:

  1. Cristal Snow: “Love Is Blind”
  2. Stella Christine: “Ain’t Got Time for Boys”
  3. Annica Milán & Kimmo Blom: “Good Enough”
  4. Eini: “Draamaa”
  5. Barbe-Q-Barbies: “Let Me Out”
  6. Tuuli Okkonen: “Don’t Wake Me Up”
  7. Sandhja: “Sing it Away”
  8. Saara Aalto: “No Fear”
  9. Mikael Saari: “On It Goes”

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20168:52 pm

Sandhja will represent Finland with Sing It Away!!

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20168:50 pm

Sandhja only 3rd with the televote but she’s still won!!

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20168:47 pm

The televotes are not being given out in the Melodifestivalen (and new Eurovision!) fashion…

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20168:44 pm

Interval act, interval act, interval act…

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20168:39 pm

1. Sandhja – 92

2. Mikael – 72
3. Saara – 67
That’s how things stand after all the juries have voted. We’ve still got the televoting to come, which is worth 50% of the overall vote.

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20168:37 pm

After 8 juries…

1. Sandhja
2. Mikael
3. Saara

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20168:34 pm

After 5 juries…

1. Sandhja
2. Mikael
3. Barbe-Q-Barbies
The jury voting is very scattergun tonight!

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20168:31 pm

After 3 juries…

1. Sandhja
2. Saara
3. Mikael

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20168:30 pm

The lines have closed and the juries are giving their scores…

Sandhja is leading after the first two juries.

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20168:20 pm

But I don’t think anybody is going to be challenging Mikael…

Let’s say 1. Mikael, 2. Tuuli, 3. Saara

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20168:17 pm

The main surprises for me were Tuuli absolutely nailing her song and Sandhja’s song not being as effective as it could have been.

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20168:16 pm

It’s recap time! Let us know who you want to represent Finland on our Twitter, @escXtra.

Did anybody surprise you?

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20168:15 pm

9. Mikael Saari – On It Goes

Very theatrical performance here and Mikael absolutely sings it out of the park. I think the song goes on a bit but it has grown on me.
I don’t think it’s a bad choice for Eurobision and it would certainly find a voter base but I won’t be going back to it much.

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20168:06 pm

8. Saara Aalto – No Fear

We come now to the first of the two big favourites in tonight’s Finnish final.
This is VERY strong. As much as I think the big dress thing is overdone in Eurovision, the costume change is very effective.
Saara is on point vocally, at the start of the song when she’s static and in the second half when there’s lots of choreography.
However I’m not sure how this would go down at Eurovision. It’s a song that takes a couple of listens to get into and it does get a bit messy at the end.

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20167:57 pm

7. Sandhja – Sing It Away

To these eyes, Sandhja is in a different outfit this week with the whole colour scheme looking different.
Very strong vocals again and a catchy song but actually, this seems like a bit of an anti-climax after Tuuli! This would get the crowd jumping in Stockholm though if the voters give it a chance.

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20167:52 pm

Krista’s just had a costume change into a massive pink Pom Pom. I just thought you guys needed to know that.

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20167:49 pm

6. Tuuli Okkonen – Don’t Wake Me Up

Tuuli really does have a hint of Agnetha Faltskog about her when she’s singing. Her vocal is much less nervy this week and the chorus sounds great.
Still visually strong with Tuuli on a platform and the rain effect. It’s a great Scandipop ballad but I’m not sure this would really fly at Eurovision.
She’s just nailed the big note though, with the big pyro moment to accompany it – very strong.

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20167:44 pm

5. Barbe-Q-Barbies – Let Me Out

Big rock chick performance with lots of thrashing guitar, dynamic lighting, pyro moments and very strong vocals.
I don’t like the song very much but for what it is it comes across extremely well. The Finnish audience will like this a lot.

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20167:39 pm

4. Eini – Draamaa

It’s schlager time!!
There’s a big trail on the dress, there’s a disco ball, there are legs, there are attractive male backing dancers, this is a schlaherboy’s wet dream.
And that’s before the pyro curtain at the end! Not a contender in the slightest but apparently Eini is well loved in Finland so hopefully she won’t be embarrassed.

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20167:32 pm

3. Annica & Kimmo – Good Enough

This is my favourite song in the national selection (possibly in any of this year’s selections) but the performance was not good two weeks ago. It needs to step up several gears both in terms of vocals and visuals. Let’s see…
The staging is pretty much the same, with the darkness and the mirrors, but the vocals are much better, with a massive wall of sound in the chorus.
Annica and Kimmo are much more relaxed and everything is working much better this week…did this just become a contender again?

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20167:26 pm

2. Stella Christine – Ain’t Got Time For Boys

Nice and chilled second song, but the second slot might not be great for it. This little subtle jazzy number stood out in the first heat but it could well get forgotten tonight.
I think the background dancers are a bit of a mistake but this is a very nice song well sung. It’s a shame this probably won’t be enough.

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20167:22 pm

1. Cristal Snow – Love is blind

Oooooh goodness that was a dodgy start. His voice cracked completely in the very first line and was off for the rest of the verse. I can’t deny that it’s an anthemic chorus though.
The overzealous gospel backing vocalist is present and correct. It came together in the end but this isn’t a great opener to the show.

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20167:18 pm

Here we go folks! Song number one is Love Is Blind by Cristal Snow.

Two weeks ago this qualified in spite of a very ropey vocal, which will need to improve vastly for it to be in the running.

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20167:11 pm

Hard Rock Hallelujah is still a great song.

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20167:09 pm

Mr Lordi is sawing Krista up and ripping her organs out. Yep, that’s actually just happened!

Peter Dunwoody
February 27, 20167:07 pm

Good evening!

The show has got underway in Finland and we start with a video of all the contestants taking a trip to a haunted house with the hosts…
And an opening performance from Lordi! I don’t need to tell you what they’re singing.

Content Manager: In the real world I work in PR and I love pizza, dogs and gin. When it comes to Eurovision I can be quite a cynical fan at times, but I can always be won over by a killer key-change.

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