Eurovision 2016 Entry: Finland — Sandhja — “Sing It Away”

Sandhja can certainly rise above Finland's last place Eurovision performance from last year, but can she make the finals?

Country: Finland
Song Title: “Sing It Away”
Artist: Sandhja
First Semi-Final: Position #1
Last year’s entry: “Aina Mun Pitaa” – Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (DNQ – 16th Place, SF1)

It feels like Finland has nowhere to go but up this year – last year’s entry, Pertti Kuikan Nimipaivat’s “Aina Mun Pitaa” was a complete dud in Vienna, placing last in its semifinal. Sending a punk act was innovative, but definitely felt a bit too left-field to make the final stage successfully. This year, the first semi-final has more competitors fighting for 10 slots – does Sandhja’s “Sing It Away” have what it takes to take all the way to Saturday?

This is another entry this Eurovision season that I really liked upon first hearing it in Finland’s national final, but which has waned in continued listens. There are a lot of elements to the song that I react positively to (positive message, disco-brass at the chorus), but they never quite gel into a coherent whole that’s greater than the sum of those parts. Finland hasn’t really done anything to tweak the song since it’s introduction earlier this year, so we’ll see if the song is enough to sway the judging panels.

I feel the same way about Sandhja’s live performance and staging as I do about the song itself. There are a lot of elements going on at once – backing singers, Sandhja’s general style, and a DJ who is somehow necessary.  Nothing quite goes with each other – the backing singers feel ready for a much more formal performance compared to Sandhja’s edgy look, and I’m not entirely sold on why there’s a DJ1 at all. Her live vocals are also a bit pitchy – there’s some vocal gymnastics going on throughout the song, but the live performance doesn’t quite rise to meet the standard set by the studio recording.

This one’s definitely on the bubble for me. In a night with strong live performances, televoting could sway this over the edge, but it could also just miss the big stage if juries aren’t overly enthused either.

Eurovision Song Contest First Semi-Final
May 10, 2016

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San Marino

  1. if my previous description of him was any indication  

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  • I have to keep reminding myself that the key to understanding Eurovision is not to ask “Why?” but rather “Why not?” 🙂

    The running order was released today and Finland will open the first semifinal; while I think that’s a great move for the contest to start off with a little energy, it’s probably not such a great move for Finland. Also, I have a hard time keeping this song and Spain’s straight in my head. Spain will be previewing their song on Tuesday as well, I wonder whether that might confuse viewers and cause them to cast their votes elsewhere.