Tuesday, 30 April 2019

I didn't see this one coming

Finland
Darude feat. Sebastian Rejman
Look Away

Any birthdays coming up? Wondering what to get for that special loved one in your life? Need an "ironic" present for that hateful Brexiteer uncle knobhead of yours? EUROS TO LITERALLY BURN?

Well as luck would have it, this year in the Eurovision tat shop as well as the obligatory beanie hats, T Shirts, mugs and mouse mats (mouse mats?) you can "CREATE YOUR OWN SONG CONTEST" by buying Eurovision: The Board Game, which manages to combine two different ways of having people you don't like in your living room into one. What a deal! You get 25 country chips (who've they left out?), 521 cards (hopefully questions I'll nail and everyone else won't even know who Gina G is), 6 pawns, and 1 die. You also get a bunch of these scoring pads which list the things a country needs to win, although if Azerbaijan is one of the included counties you'll note that "international sim cards from a bloke I met in a Tel Aviv car park" is not on the list.

You could get the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 Mini Trophy (for €250 + P&P) and "FEEL LIKE A STAR!" (or a mug), or how about a "Party Package", which in suitable homage to the Russian grannies, allows you to "Invite your friends and host a PARTY FOR EVERYONE!". The pack - for just 45 eye watering euros (plus 6.99 P&P) consists of "The Official CD" (packing in over 30 soul destroying ballads), the official "Dare to Dream Poster", some badges, some of those rubber bangles that haven't been popular since Make Poverty History failed to make poverty history, six "free" coasters (insert joke re the automatic qualifier countries here) and "10 balloons", which is neither 99 big red balloons, nor suitable receptacles for the massive bottles of hippy crack you need to get through the double dose of scoring these days. 

"This package includes all the essentials for your Eurovision Song Contest Home Party" says the blurb - forgetting to include a CD of Eurovision songs that people will recognise, any flags at all, or a bottle of Ouzo to get through the interval act.

Darude & Sebastian Rejman
Anyway, the Fins. In a sea of turgid ballads and mid tempo inspirationals, you can usually depend on the Fins to think outside of the laatikko. They won with what amounted to a rock version of the Banana Splits in 07, they almost came in last with miserable dirgerock in 08, they rolled a fat one of "Dave Pearce Dance Anthems" in 09, appeared in snow suits doing a gypsy-folk number in 2010, did some whiney enviro-Stepford in front of a GIANT GLOBE in 2011, and entered a Finnish-Swedish folk ballad in a fairisle jumper in 2012.

In 2013 they went for a bouncy pop stalker number ("spying on you undercover drinking coffee with your mother"), entered fate-tempting  soft rock "something better" that was not, in fact, "something better" at all in 2014, four lads with learning disabilities sung a 90 second long punk song about how limiting living in an institutionalised setting can be in 2015, kickboxing champion Sandhja "beat Saara Aalto" Kuivalainen to go on about how singing can relieve poverty in 2016, a dark, brooding, melancholic ballad sat in the semis like a triple cheese pizza during gastroparesis in 2017, and last year they sent X Factor UK alum Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaara "biggest crowd in Helsinki historyAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalto to sing a brilliant little song about LGBT bullying that featured the remarkable line "so tonight I’m making friends with all the creatures that are hiding there under my bed" (it's better when you hear it scan), but then spoiled it by asking her to sing upside down while strapped to a literally spinning wheel.  Like a record baby, right round round round.

Things got very exciting back in January when it emerged that YLE were going send turn-of-the-millenial house music producer Darude. Darude! Him of off Sandstorm! Dun dun dun dun dun, dun dun dun dun dun dun dun, dun dun dun dun dun dun, dun dun, dun dun dun dun dun, dun dun, dun dun dun dun dun. The trouble is they asked him to write all three options for their national final, so instead of dun dun dun dun dun, dun dun dun dun dun dun dun, dun dun dun dun dun dun, dun dun, dun dun dun dun dun, dun dun, dun dun dun dun dun we got bollocks like "only you can make me fly like a shuperman", "how can we fix what's already been stolen" and miserable eventual winner "look away", which is exactly what Europe will be doing when they realise it's rubbish and see Darude appear in that box pretending to DJ, which for some reason just makes me think of him as a kind of drug addled, finnish Windy Miller. Maybe the fins can't think outside of the laatikko after all.