Back to the Nordics, and one time winners Finland have perhaps the most recognisable name for non-Eurovision fans among this year’s artists, with DJ and record producer Darude of “Sandstorm” fame, the worldwide smash hit in 1999/2000. Finland made a return to the grand final for the first time since 2014 thanks to Saara Aalto. Can they do the same this year?
Last year Finland changed their national selection to internally select the artist, but have a national final where that artist would perform a choice of three songs. They’ve repeated that format this year, and selected Darude. While his monster hit “Sandstorm” is what most people will remember, his career has continued in the time since then, releasing more albums and performing across the world as a DJ at venues and events across the world.
It will come as no surprise then to see that the song that won the national final is an EDM track (all three options were) and for each of them Sebastian Rejman was vocalist. Sebastian also happens to be a TV host and an actor – multi talented, these Finns! “Look Away” is all about climate change and while it was the favourite to win from the three songs, I think I preferred one of the others.
It’s an enjoyable track (if you like EDM of course, as I do) but I do wonder if it may come across as a bit dated and repetitive to some. I actually think that the song gains more energy in the live version (though I have reservations about consistency of Sebastian’s live vocals) and I am sure staging will he good. I do think though this faces an uphill battle to qualify but that doesn’t seem to be bothering Darude. Seeing him at the London Eurovision Party it’s clear he’s enjoying his Eurovision experience so I hope that continues!
National final performance:
My preview video:
Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1961
Appearances (excluding this year): 52
Best result: Winner 2006
Last year’s result: 25th