Paradise Oskar for Finland!

Yesterday was a long one on Eurovision-land, and we’ve got a lot of news to share with you!  Let’s get cracking…

Finland:
Euroviisut 2011 wrapped up last night with ten finalists trying to snatch the golden ticket to Germany.  After the first round of voting, a “superfinal” was announced for the three highest vote-getters, and the voting began again.  Here are the Finnish Top 3:
3) With 12.6% of the superfinal vote, “Good Enough” by Father McKenzie
2) With 40.7% of the superfinal vote, “Blessed with Love” by Saara Aalto
1) And, with 46.7% of the superfinal vote, the winner is “Da Da Dam” by Paradise Oskar!

Paradise Oskar is the stage name of 19-year old Axel Ehnström, who wrote “Da Da Dam” on his own.  It’s been drawing a lot of comparisons to last year’s Belgian entry, “Me and My Guitar” by Tom Dice.  I can definitely see why: both Tom and Axel are polished young men with similar sartorial style, standing alone on stage with their guitars, singing simple, sweet, self-penned tunes that address important issues (in Tom’s case, following your dreams; in Axel’s, the environment).  I don’t think that Axel went out to copy Tom, but I think it’s simply further proof of my hypothesis that what’s successful in one year will carry over to the next.  Tom brought Belgium their highest placement in years, and gave the Flemish their highest scores ever.  I can’t imagine Axel going out there saying “I’m going to copy this formula and take it to the top”, but I can see how a young singer-songwriter could look at Tom’s success and think “maybe there’s a place for me and my message out there in Eurovision…I could give this a shot”.

As we’re still figuring out who Finland will be competing against in the First Semifinal, it’s hard to say how “Da Da Dam” will stack up.  But the song is well-written and well-performed, with a universal message that almost everyone can support.  There are always at least a few “message songs” in Eurovision, whether it’s about world peace, saving the planet, or having faith in yourself.  This one checks the box nicely.

Stefanos, my dear, I await your thoughts! 😉

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Posted on February 13, '11, in 2011, Finland. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Sorry I am late, dear!So, I have become your "Finn-in-residence", have I?Yes, Paradise Oskar was the best option out of the super-Finalists. I thought Saara Aalto's song was great, but what really spoked it for me is her image. Her dress, her make-up (looked like she played in her mother's make-up drawer), her backing singers. Yes, she definitely tried too hard, as you put it, and did not really strive for class. Father McKenzie? Not bad on its own, but I did not feel it was designed with Eurovision in mind.There are a few reasons why I was pulling for Milana Misic. We share this in common: we are both half-Finnish and half-Balkan. Since we share similar heritage, I can empathize more with the style of the song. Apparently those ethnic elements were sending out gypsy-vibes to Finnish ears, and I do not think that is what she had in mind (when I first showed this to my aunt, she said to me, "hmmm… Gypsy music… and you know your grandmother will say the same thing!". To me, it sounded just like a nice marriage between Balkan music and Finnish flavour, truly living up to the story it attempted to tell. I am not even arguing the song was absolutely perfect, though; it was a bit over-designed. It was still my favorite, and she nailed the rising action flawlessly live, and pretty effortlessly, too, as far as I can tell. Seeing her enter the Final pretty easily was encouraging, but it seems she will not be representing Finland 50 years after her mother first did! Were you aware that her mother was Finland's first ever representative?Marko Maunuksela sort of fell out of my favour after his semi-final performance, but returned to my good favours with his Final performance. He seemed more alert, and the red lighting suited the song better. Also, he did not wear angel wings as Jari Sillanpää did in Istanbul (what is up with artists feeling the need to take their lyrics literally and somehow integrate them into their props?); instead, he was pretty well-dressed (as was Milana, actually), I think! I liked the red velvet blazer a lot. Better dressed than Pamela & Co., anyway.That's my schpeal (spelling?), from your "Finn-in-residence"! And I do second your schpeal on Paradise Oskar. "Copy" is such a strong word, isn't it?

  1. Pingback: A “Glorious” Choice in Germany « The ESC Insider

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