The Xtra Files: We Review Finland’s ‘Blackbird’ by Norma John!

Welcome to The Xtra Files, our new series which will give you an insight into what the team at escXtra think of your favourite entries into this year’s contest! Today, we review Finland.

Now that all the songs have been released, we are able to review each and every one of them. Our honest and brutal reviews will keep you entertained until the rehearsals start in May! We will also each give a score out of 10 for every entry, and create an escXtra leaderboard of the entries! You can see our preview reviews here.
Today, it is the turn of the Finnish entry, ‘Blackbird’ by Norma John, to be reviewed by Katarina, Luke, Nathan, Ryan, Wivian, and Yassia. Let’s get started!

The Reviews


The studio version of this song would probably be my last place. However, Leena’s live vocals are so on point that they make me appreciate this rather boring ballad. I also grew to love the piano instrumental, too bad the rest of the song has no impact on me whatsoever.


Many people say that this song is a beautiful masterpiece. I am not one of those people. Why is she so annoyed at this poor blackbird? The choruses are pretty, but for the rest of the song Leena sounds so bored, as if she would rather be anywhere else but on that stage. Sorry Finland, but that doesn’t sit well with me.


You know, it says a lot when you can’t even remember what the song is. I’m going to leave that there.


I was firmly team Circle of Light so it took me time to accept this as the Finnish entry. However, the quality of this song is undeniable but it has needed many listens for me to begin to click with this entry due to its subtleness. The piano interlude remains the strongest part of the song and I think Finland will be relying on juries with this.


Someone told me that since I love Anouk’s Birds, I should also love this. Well, they were wrong. Apart from not being uptempo I can’t find any similarities between the two. Minus the first kinda promising fifteen’ish seconds, is just three minutes of nothing.


It’s just a boring ballad for me, that’s all I can say about this song. I recognize that she is really good in terms of vocals. This melody makes me sleep though.


Dimitris 10 Rodrigo 8.5
Hlynur 6 Ryan 7
Katarina 4 Sagheer 4
Luke 3.5 Simon 5
Matteo 10 Sophie 6
Nathan 3 Wivian 2.5
Nick 5 Yassia 4

When we remove the top score of 10 and the lowest score of 2.5, the average score for Finland is 5.71.
(Removing the top score and the lowest score helps to make the average score more reliable and less affected by outliers.)


Finland reaches 24th place in our leaderboard with a score of 5.71.

  1. France – 9.04
  2. Italy – 9.03
  3. Azerbaijan – 8.00
  4. Sweden – 7.77
  5. Belarus – 7.75
  6. Iceland – 7.46
  7. Australia – 7.25
  8. Israel – 7.21
  9. Serbia – 7.08
  10. Estonia – 7.07
  11. Switzerland – 6.96
  12. Denmark – 6.83
  13. Armenia – 6.80
  14. Portugal – 6.79
  15. Hungary – 6.79
  16. Germany – 6.59
  17. Austria – 6.58
  18. Moldova – 6.58
  19. Greece – 6.54
  20. Norway – 6.33
  21. Latvia – 6.25
  22. Czech Republic – 6.25
  23. United Kingdom – 6.00
  24. Finland – 5.71
  25. Ireland – 5.54
  26. The Netherlands – 5.33
  27. Albania – 5.21
  28. Ukraine – 5.13
  29. Malta – 4.25
  30. San Marino – 3.92
  31. Georgia – 3.91
  32. Montenegro – 3.33
  33. Croatia – 2.71
  34. Slovenia – 2.13

Tomorrow, we will review Poland.
Do you agree with our reviews of the Finland? What are your thoughts on Norma John’s ‘Blackbird’? Let us know in the comments!

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