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Swingback Sunday; Finland’s biggest Eurovision mistake

It was really easy, deciding which country we should swing back to today, as there is a Eurovision country that’s celebrating it’s 100th birthday this week. On December 6th, Finland has been a sovereign nation for an entire century. And what makes more sense than sending our greetings by looking back at the year they *would have won* Eurovision, had they only sent the right song? I am, of course talking about “Sleepwalker”. 

Yes, I know this is a very personal opinion (I am after all a rock chick at heart!), but looking at their result back in 2000, it would take some nerve to claim that our pick wouldn’t most likely have done way better than their actual entry…which finished 18th out of 24, thus failing to qualify Finland for the 2001 contest.

Nightwish – Sleepwalker

Nightwish is a symphonic power metal quintet, who are highly respected by other musicians in their genre and fans alike. It came as a massive surprise to their fans and most others who knew of them when they decided to take part in the Finnish Eurovision pre-selections in 2000. It came as a greater surprise still when they didnæt winn the ticket to Stockholm. “Sleepwalker” won the public televote, but the “expert jury” had a different winner.

To me, this song and performance is art. I will never understand how Finland failed to let this masterpiece represent them at the 2000 Eurovision Song Contest, where I am sure it would have been involved in the fight for first place. 2000 is one of my favorite contests ever, and “Sleepwalker” would have made it even better.

Though I love the Eurovision version of “Sleepwalker”, I have to admit that I love the heavy version even more! The two versions are only slightly different from each other. The main difference is Tarja’s voice, which is not quite as “operatic”, but softer. There are also slight variations in the instrumentation.

What the others had to say…

Nick

How Finland ever had the guts to turn down Nightwish and especially Tarja, I’ll never know. Had this taken part sometime late in the 00s, the Finns would no doubt have selected this. But in the early 00s, they were cautious as relegation was threatening them. This song is amazing. Finland should have shown balls.

Miki

Despite Nina making me feel all fuzzy and warm with Finland’s first Eurovision entry from this millenium, Nightwish were definitely the ones that got away. Combining Tarja’s amazing vocals with the musical masterpiece that “Sleepwalker” is, could have resulted with Finland’s first ever Eurovision win. A definite missed opportunity

Nathan

There are roughly 0 words in the English vocabulary to accurate describe this. If anyone seriously wonders how this didn’t win the national selection, I beg you to find a friend, subject them to this and ask for an honest opinion. This racket doesn’t come anywhere near other more accomplished songs of its genre that have been entered into consideration for a Eurovision win. That being said, I can appreciate that for a certain type of music lover, this is an interesting mix of styles culminating in three minutes of something different. For me, it’s noise.

Next week

Next week we will take a closer look at a Greek entry…

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