As national final season starts to get into full swing, Finland chose the song to represent it in Oslo in May.
After three, semi-finals, there were ten songs competing for the chance to bring Finland a second Eurovision Song Contest Victory:
Maria Lund – Sydän Ymmärtää (Valtteri Tynkkynen/Maria Lund, Heikki Salo)
Antti Kleemola – Sun Puolella (Antti Kleemola, Mikko Karjalainen)
Linn Niggard – Fatal Moment (Sebastian Holmgren/Sebastian Holmgren, Linn Niggard)
Pentti Hietanen – Il Mondo è Qui (Lasse Heikkilä, Petri Kaivanto, Stefano de Sando)
Heli Kajo – Annankadun Kulmassa (Heli Kajo)
Nina Lassander – Cider Hill (Janne Hyöty, Paul Oxley)
Amadeus Lundberg – Anastacia (Risto Asikainen, Ilkka Vainio)
Sister Twister – Love at the First Sight (Jonas Olsson, Elin Blom/Elin Blom)
Eläkeläiset – Hulluna Humpasta (Kristian Voutilainen, Onni Waris/Onni Waris)
Kuunkuiskaajat – Työlki Ellää (Timo Kiiskinen)
The final was held in the Tampere Exhibition and Sports Centre. Jaana Pelkonen and Mikko Peltsi Peltola had hosted all the semi-finals and were again in charge of proceedings.
1) Maria Lund – Sydän Ymmärtää – Maria didn’t qualify directly for tonight’s final. She was given her place courtesy of a wildcard awarded by a jury. Her song starts off well, but the end seems a long time in coming.
2) Antti Kleemola – Sun Puolella – Songs like this are nearly always a safe bet in international competition. It’s a ballad that’s more than decent. As in the semi-final, Antti starts his performance at the piano and ends on his feet.
3) Linn Nygård – Fatal Moment – The second song was one of the stronger contenders. It’s a rock song, a style that has proved popular with the Finns in recent years.
4) Pentti Hietanen – Il Mondo È Qui – Taking full advantage of the free language rule that now applies to the Eurovision song contest, Pentti sings in Italian. The song itself is not one you would be likely to hear if you found yourself in Italy, despite the use of the language.
5) Heli Kajo – Annankadun Kulmassa – a very youthful looking Heli sang a song that sounded as if it had been written long before she was born. It wouldn’t have sounded out of place in a Finnish final of the 1970’s.
6) Nina Lassander – Cider Hill – Nina’s song stands out as it sounds like no other song in the final. It’s not the only ballad, but has a baroque style, which is not a sound commonly heard.
7) Amadeus – Anastacia – Amadeus’ deep voice and the heavy string arrangement give the song a pop-opera atmosphere. With a bit more added to the arrangement, this would have been a stronger contender.
8) Sister Twister – Love at the First Sight – The second rock song of the evening. The inexperience of the singer showed and it looked and sounded like a bad talent show act.
9) Eläkeläiset – Hulluna Humpasta – Although quite a successful and established act in Finland, Eläkeläiset will be seen by a lot of fans as taking the Mickey out of the whole thing. It’s easy to see why but, to be fair, this song is representative of their usual style. The oom-pa-pa style is not a frequent visitor to the contest and it was one of the favourites to win tonight.
10) Kuunkuiskaajat – Työlki Ellää – The last song is another of the favourites. It’s quite a traditional Finnish song and one of the ladies of Kuunkuiskaajat merrily plays the accordion throughout, there is also a hint of Sami music in the arrangement.
The phone lines opened after all the songs had performed. The top three songs would then fight it out in a ‘superfinal’.
The three songs that qualified for the superfinal were:
Eläkeläiset – Hulluna Humpasta
Nina Lassander – Cider Hill
Kuunkuiskaajat – Työlki Ellää
After another round of phone voting, the winner was revealed. Kuunkuiskaajat are going to Oslo with their song, Työlki Ellää