Finland has decided: it’s Pernilla Karlsson!
After a long, sometimes confusing National Final process, Finland has picked the winner of this year’s “Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu”. A six-song final and three-song superfinal were held, and the winner was finally crowned: 21-year-old Pernilla Karlsson, with her heartfelt ballad, “När jag blundar”:
“När jag blundar”, or “When I Close My Eyes”, is truly a family affair. Written by Pernilla’s brother Jonas, it was originally intended as a 50th birthday gift to their mother, and submitted to the National Selection almost as an afterthought. Pernilla might not be a professional performer, but she is used to the world of competition; she’s a competitive handball player for the Sjundeå club in her home town of Siuntio.
Pernilla’s song is a bit of an anomaly; she’s a member of Finland’s Swedish-speaking minority (which only makes up about six percent of the nation’s population as a whole), and will perform her entry in her mother tongue, as opposed to English or Finnish. This will be only the second time that Swedish has been used by the Finns at Eurovision; the other entry, 1990’s “Fri?“, came in joint last place. Other Swedish-speaking Finns have participated at Eurovision before, however, including last year’s Paradise Oskar. And, for the record, the Swedes haven’t sent a song in Swedish since 1998’s “Kärleken är“, which was the last year of the EBU’s native language rule.