National finals revisited: From La Rappresentante di Lista to Isaac Sene [Part 2]

Simon Wells:
Isaac Sene – Kuuma Jäbä (Finland)

In Isaac’s own words, “you might blush a bit” when listening to the highly charged lyrics, and there was no shying away from the subject matter of the song in the UMK staging. Within the Eurovision world, it’s really pleasing to see bold LGBTQ representation that feels no need to make themes of difference or acceptance an overt part of the package; the song’s queerness is simply strikingly present.

Usually, I’m quick to snarl at a song that’s jumped on the bandwagon of The Weeknd’s sound. Whilst at first hearing ‘Kuuma jäbä’ sits in that box, the soundscape blends ‘80s synth pop and R&B with turn-of-the-millennium electronica with a satisfying end result. UMK 2022 was one of the more varied and elevated national finals of the season, and Isaac ended in 5th place. Kuuma jäbä was – and remains – my favourite. Whilst I’d have loved to have seen that musical variety and that angle on LGBTQ representation performed on the Turin stage, I can’t argue that The Rasmus added a dimension to this year’s contest that would have been missed.

That’s it from us when it comes to the second batch of few national final songs we wanted to revisit once more. We will be back next week, when we make a trip all around Europe, including Norway and (yet) another entry from Finland… Stay tuned!

Who is your favourite national final entry of the 2022 season? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter@escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to follow us on Spotify and YouTube to see our reactions to the news in the run up to the 2022 national final season!

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