A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

ESC 2017: Tobson's thoughts after semi 1

Finland, Finland, Finland. This wasn't supposed to happen. Finland was supposed to fly like a blackbird through to the final and get us a first top ten placing since Lordi. Instead the adventure ended already on Tuesday night. Harsh.

Reliable sources have it Norma John didn't quite shine on Monday night's jury final, and with a song like that I guess most chances are gone unless you have the jurors on your side.

I see only one silver lining here: had Finland had a top placing in the final, the people in charge would have concluded the national final is working well. It doesn't. Someone would need to take a long hard think about how to do things next year.

Apart from the Finnish flop, I got nine songs out of ten right. If you read carefully, you see that I half expected Poland to happen. However, I thought Greece or Australia would be ejected if so.

I stand by that. Australia really didn't shine this time and Greece felt like a real budget charter disco song. Neither one particularly deserved their success. However, I was so pleased for poor Blanche to make it through. She must have been under so much pressure and finally delivered. 

Another one who delivered tonight was Hovig who actually managed to fill his song with quite a lot of energy and attitude. Much better than I expected.

One thing that became painfully clear tonight is that the greatest threat against Italy's victory is Francesco Gabbani himself. On his one-minute-clip tonight he came across as frantic, almost manic. Far removed from the cool and controlled cat he was in Sanremo. He can't afford being this over the top. Someone needs to talk him down, pronto.

Oddly enough, the other big favourite suffers a bit from the same thing but off stage. Salvador Sobral doesn't find Eurovision success hugely important - I don't think that is required - but I think the people who voted for him tonight would have wanted to see some genuine happiness or at least something else than an ironic face. 

But there are still many days left until the final. There is time for many things to happen. But for Norma John the adventure is already over.


  1. It's sad, so extremely sad. But I realised while watching Norma John's performance that it wouldn't work (and so I adjusted my prediction, leaving out Finland in favour of Cyprus, which gave me the result 9 of 10 in the end).
    I thought Leena put a little too much power in her vocals in the chorus, rather than sounding "soft and beautiful", which ruined that special mood a bit. Besides, I thought the instrumental background sounded too weak, which also affected the musical feel. The yawning reactions from my family members (who had not heard the song until now) confirmed my suspicions. My only hope was for the jury to save the situation, but I suspected that it would not be sufficient, because juries are traditionally not very fond of Finnish entries.
    So I was prepared for this disaster. But still ... Poland in the final instead of Finland is really, really annoying. (Polish diaspora again? If so, how come that diaspora was not able to save Poland for many years up until 2014?)

  2. I also think that the camerawork did not do Finland favours. Instead the running around the artists the picture should have concentrated more on Leena and given her emotions more room. Just when she was taking an eye contact with the camera, the mixer chose the steadycam running around Lasse. But I agree with Carl-Henrik, this was not a song to impress the average television audience.