After rather average results Finland decided to completely overhaul their selection process, they had indicated that they would do this at the end of UMK 2011. However what they replaced it with, an X-Factor style competition has had very mixed results as a national final selection process, so what have they sent?
Finland decided to send a song in Swedish this year, meaning that we will hear Swedish sung in the contest for the first time since 1998. The song "Nar Jag Blunder" by Pernilla Karlsson is a gentle piano ballad and is a great gentle song, rising and falling in wonderful musical arcs. It is subtle and is performed in a wonderfully understated way. Pernilla has a wonderful voice that is really suited to the song.
"This all songs well and good really" you might say. Well sadly as much as I do like this song I think that it has many limitations. It is not the most entertaining of songs, which is made clearly evident by need for a dancer to perform on stage. The song has no real end either, it just sort of grinds to a halt (no crescendo). It offers little in terms of a hook. Being in Swedish doesn't help that though. I fully respect Finland's choice to leave the song in Swedish.
This song has really is going to be under pressure to qualify in semi-final 1. Sandwiched between Belgium, who have another straight forward and uncomplicated ballad. Really it is difficult to see how Finland might qualify for the final when the public televote might be so against it. Why would they be against it? Well, I think being a dry ballad it might not exactly set the place on fire on Tuesday night half way through all of the songs. On the other hand it may stand out to more conservative voters, however I think they will drift towards Belgium.
Verdict: This might not drive the fans or the public crazy in the semi-final but in spite of its many failures it triggers something happy inside of me when I hear it. I'm not convinced it is a qualifier though.