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 on 5 May! We will also each give a score out of 10 for every entry, and create an ESCXTRA leaderboard of the entries!
The series continues today, with reviews of the Finnish entry, ‘Look Away’ by Darude feat. Sebastian Rejman, from Angelos, Matt, Simon, Tim, Tom R and Wiv. Let’s get started!
All credit for Finland for at least trying with different music styles over the years. “Look away” is a fine entry and was undoubtedly the best among the three from the national final, but here I miss a hook or something that will keep my interest for longer than a minute. The song sounds too dated.I’m not sure if this song by it’s own will keep the European audience interested either, so I’m hoping for a good stage performance by Darude in order for it to be remembered.
It speaks volumes when I’m more impressed with the LED offering than the actual song, artist and performance. I’m sorry but I don’t like Sebastian Rejman’s vocal here, and the song is instantly forgettable, not bad, but forgettable. Not sure what the woman in green having a breakdown on stage really lends to the whole show, and I think these details matter as this is borderline non-qualifier in my book.
Musically it is a little dated, but I was expecting it to be more so. Sure, a dramatic performance, but where’s the hook? A professional entry, but one that will probably get missed among shinier things. Darude needed to ratchet up the bangerz factor here.
The war has definitely just begun for Finland. Before I went to UMK a few weeks back, I was completely 50/50 with Look Away. When I watched the rehearsals, and I saw how it was going to be staged, I had a feeling it might overtake Superman (which was my favourite). But, when I saw Sebastian give us those vocals in the live broadcast, I knew that it was going to be game over for Superman and Look Away was going to win. The song completely ticks all the boxes, it is beautifully staged and it has a powerful message. I cannot wait to see how they will stage the song in Tel Aviv.
How to win UMK guide: Think of the biggest staging with the most extravagant props. Add a mediocre song and an even more mediocre singer. You’ve won. I’m not saying this applies to UMK on a whole as Monsters last year was one of my favourites but the theory is the same. The only reason Look Away won the national final was because of the excellent staging. And this is what will get it into the final in Tel Aviv, too. Just like Saara last year, I can see Darude drifting through to the Saturday show because televoters love the staging. Because to be honest, the song isn’t all that great. It’s not bad but it’s definitely not amongst the better end of the songs either. Finland, please revert back to your old national final format next year. Please.
This song starts out really good, and I kinda got my hopes up I would like Finland again. But then the canned drums kicked in, and as everybody can attest to; that kills any song for me. (Unless it’s Páll Óskar, but that’s not really what I was supposed to talk about right now.) Both Darude and Sebastian are great artists, but for me, this song died at 53 seconds. Which is the precise moment it came alive for other people. However, it seems I have to wait until next year for my “I love Finland again” song.
Therefore, the average score for Finland is 5.50.
Finland reaches 6th place in our leaderboard with a score of 5.50.
- Cyprus – 8.26
- Norway – 6.96
- Slovenia – 6.63
- Ireland – 6.17
- France – 5.74
- Finland – 5.50
- Lithuania – 4.78
- Australia – 4.65
- Montenegro – 3.48
Tomorrow, it will be the turn of the Czech Republic to be reviewed.
Do you agree with our reviews of Finland? What are your thoughts on Look Away?
Let us know on social media @ESCXTRA!