A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Friday, January 28, 2011

Euroviisut semi 3 - an element of surprise

The third and last semi final is over and done with - now we know the ten finalists for Eurovision laulukilpailu 2011. And I must admit to raising an eyebrow in surprise when the last finalists were revealed.

Vocally, this week was very different from especially the first week. Most of the performers stayed in tune most of the time as far as I could tell. Typically, the strongest song convinced the least when the heat was on.

Stala & So just didn't have their best night, as the lead singer got carried away, danced and jumped, and found himself out of breath in the chorus. That won't do. Focus on singing, that is what you are there to do.

Stala & So also seemed to have upset the director as they didn't get a single clear steady shot throughout their song. Fuzzy, unsharp images from ever-shaking cameras give at least me a headache. The band had rehearsed a fun stage show, most of which was completely lost for the tv viewers. Horrific!

The dire production could not stop the strongest chorus of the night, as predicted.

Saara Aalto is a delightful girl, warm and charming, with a strong voice. I was not very surprised that her high notes took her to the final, even if I am not wild about the song.

I was, however, surprised that Sami Hintsanen made the final cut instead of Tommi Soidinmäki. I guess Sami managed a certain degree of sincerity and camera contact, while Tommi here and there seemed to forget he was performing on television and acted more like the King of Karaoke on a ferry boat.

Eveliina's failure to win over the televoters was predictable, but my jaw dropped when she got the jury wild card. She sang well, but Jonna's performance was far more ambitious and a professional jury could very well have chosen to reward ambition over charm.

Next week there will be no live show, but a retrospective of Finland's ESC history, as it is fifty years since Finland first entered the contest back in 1961.

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