Norma John Brings The Drama for Finland

Is Finland doing okay, y’all?

Finland tends to be the wildcard of the Nordic nations at Eurovision – I’ve jokingly referred to them as being the most hipster of the Scandi-bloc (given the more ridiculous outfits their judges panel tends to show off), but their taste is actually pretty eclectic – we’ve had everything from Softengine’s alt-rock “Something Better” (which placed 11th, their best since 2006) to last year’s more disco-inflected “Sing It Away” from Sandja…which didn’t make the finals.  I’m starting to get concerned that it’s getting to Finland, since they eschewed some lighter entries for a more dramatic entry this year, Norma John’s “Blackbird”:

There were other entries I liked better in their final (“Helppo Elämä” from Lauri Yrjola stood out, in particular, and would have been my pick), but on re-listening, it’s easy to see why this one. Leena Tirronen’s vocals throughout are strong, and there’s a nice moment for pianist Lasse Piirainen to show off his skills as well.  There’s a dark drama to the full performance, and I’d love to see them find a way to make the staging bigger in Kyiv – at least get some more fog in there!

About the Author
Ben has been writing about TV, music, and pop culture in some form or another since 2009, including stints at Mental Floss and Temporary Obsession. When not solving puzzles of some sort or consuming pop culture at a frightening pace, he can be found collecting shiny pieces of the internet at GoodAtInter.net. E-mail: ben@whatelseison.tv