Here it is again! My favorite time of the year! You know why? Because May means summer! The nature is at its best – fresh and glimmering in all the shades of green, flowers blossoming and all. And it also means Eurovision Song Contest and Ice Hockey World Championship… Especially ESC is a MUST. Honestly, I don’t even know why. I mean, come to think of it, Finns almost never even make it to the final… and even if they do, they’ll most likely end up to the bottom five. And I hardly ever even like any of the songs. So where’s the catch? Beats me. But I just HAVE to SEE it! This year watching the ESC proved to be rather tricky. There’s no TV in our new home yet and internet connection is slow like a turtle. So I’ve been getting grumpy and pissed of the whole last week. Come on! I couldn’t really enjoy my favorite one and only TV-entertainment. And the whole darn thing only takes place once in a year!
Anyway… that is not what I wanted to talk about. Instead, I wanted to say something about the contents and ingredients of this song contest. Every year, I am absolutely amazed about what kind of songs people vote for the finals. Most of the time I can’t really agree on the winner, either. This year was no exception. This leaves me wondering if my music taste is really weird or if it’s just everyone else who is weird….? Please, can somebody explain what is going on here?
Finland’s poor success year after year is another odd story. It seems like it doesn’t really matter who or what kind of songs we Finns send to the contest, it just never works… (Ok, there’s one exception, the hideous monsters of Lordi and their Hard Rock Hallelujah!) What strikes me even odder is how we Finns behave and treat our delegates… Because the truth is, we start shooting the delegate as soon as one’s been chosen. And by this I mean everyone. The media is digging out all the possible dirt from the artist and cooking up all kind of stories why this particular artist or song cannot have any success, or at least how the betting odds are looking so bad… And the rest of us Finns… well, just take a look at any social media platform and you get the idea. It is like a national shoot the artist -content. Could somebody please explain to me why we are so malicious…?
Besides, I think the artists are facing a mission impossible here. They have to come up with a NEW song that everybody in the whole Europe (plus people down under in Australia!) loves and this song can last only three minutes. Then they have to create a show that looks good on TV (No, it is not enough if it looks good on stage.) and they have to perform better than ever to convince the whole Europe and people down under in these given three minutes… Easy, eh? Krista Siegfrids ( an artist who was the delegate of Finland some years ago) said once, that trying to guess who will actually succeed is like being heavily drunk, throwind darts and trying to hit the bull’s eye at the same time. Mission impossible. What do I know, I hardly remember how it feels to be drunk… but it sounds about right, wouldn’t you say?
…Another point of view: Let’s pretend that I’d been given the possibility to represent my home country in this hideous competition. Guess what? I would say no to this honor immediately. Absolutely. No. Why? Well, because of shoot the artist -competition. And because the little experience I have from performing, I know I would mess it up. You see, I suffer a severe case of performance anxiety. This means I always screw up the first song of the set list. After that I am fine, the anxiety fades away and I can concentrate of what I am supposed to be doing. But if there’s only one song… well, I would screw it up. And even if I didn’t, there would be the lack of emotion. You see, my way of dealing the anxiety is to go on auto-pilot. Technically doing everything right but lacking the emotion. And singing a winning piece definitely needs emotion. Lots of it!!! Now I know there are artists who don’t get paralyzed with fear but I still can’t help but wonder how they pull it together. How do they set up the timing so that the tension is just right during these three given minutes? I don’t know. I am happy that this was just a let’s pretend -game.
With all this I just want to say… it is easy to sit in front of the TV and criticize. Come on, after all these second thoughts, I have to admit that even I seem to be enjoying this particular pastime. But, there was lots of INTERESTING shows this year (just like every year). To my opinion, some of them would really rather fit into a clown contest than song contest. All that being said, I still want to give an enormous thumbs up for every artist who went to Tel Aviv and made the show. It was a blast. I could not have done that – but they went there and they did it. My respects!