A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

The trouble with Euroviisut

Soon there will be my review of the entries of the first Euroviisut semi final, held last Friday. But first, let me state the obvious.

Euroviisut (or Eurovision laulukilpailu, as it is actually called these days) has been a pretty static affair, using more or less the same crew for the last ten years. This has been increasingly clear since 2006, when TV2 started hosting semi finals in the Tohloppi TV studios in Tampere.

You all know what it is like, when you slowly lose your enthusiasm about a project. You run out of ideas and start doing things with your left hand, based on routine rather than a will to push things forward. Often everyone around you notices long before you do yourself.

The current system started out very well and lead, among other things, to Finland's first and so far only Eurovision win. Since then, however, things have slowly worked its way down in every aspect of the show.

So what did we get on Friday night? Not that much, I'm afraid.

It was a severe case of Monday in the tv studio. Nobody seemed to think it was all too fun to be back again. Jaana Pelkonen put up a brave face, but given this is her seventh year, she must have had it with hosting this show as well.

Then most things were average or below: the studio, the camera work, the songs, the post cards. And then came a sketch, a humourous break, which could well be one of the lowest points in the history of Finnish broadcasting (stereotypical, badly acted, vulgar and, worst of all, not very funny), proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that this family program has had no quality control what so ever.

In short: a competition with no excitement, a gala with no glamour, an entertainment show with no entertainment.

Luckily, I am not the only one who feels this way. The producer, Merete Manninen, has stated publicly that big changes are to come in the way the national selection is organised. A very good move that everyone will benefit from.

Euroviisut in its current form has reached the end of the road. Let's take it down an re-model it before it is wrecked beyond repair.

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