Post Mortem – In our next look at the countries that did not make it through to the grand final this year, Eurovision Times looks at the fortunes of Finland’s Sandhja singing ‘Sing it away‘.
Sandhja was declared the winner of the Finnish selection process, Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2016, after winning the jury vote and placing third with the public. That should have been a warning. Only 3rd with viewers showed a song and performance that wasn’t connecting with enough of the public, leaving many Finns asking just who voted for her and many not being happy with the result.
Reviews by Eurovision bloggers were equally as negative in places with Wiwi’s reviewers saying “I don’t find any redeeming qualities in Sandhja’s voice either. She seems to get tired before she even makes it to the bridge. Not a very good impression overall.” and “she goes all disco, a genre well past its prime and one I cannot access on any level. The horns in the chorus are irritating and the hook isn’t one I’m keen to hang on to. Fine production but you really can’t polish a turd.”
Before the semi-final
Rehearsals did not start well with Sandhja’s choice of outfit resulting in much ridicule and more comments about camel toe than the song or the performance. As most other acts improved their performances each time, Sandhja’s performance changed little from the national final.
- A smattering of juries awarded some points to Sandhja
- The Armenia jury awarded the most points… 8
- Czech Republic (7), Malta (5) and Sweden / Hungary (4) also awarded jury points
- The Spanish, Dutch and Austrian juries awarded 3 and 2 points each.
- Her total of 35 points from the juries gave her 13th place with the juries.
- Sandhja only picked up 16 points in the televote, with 7 of those from neighbouring Estonia and 6 from neighbouring Sweden.
- The remaining 3 televote points came from Iceland (2) and Hungary (1)
- This placed her 15/18 in the televote for SF2
Her final placing of combined votes was 15th out of 18th and nowhere near qualifying for the final.
During the semi-final
Some people called for all of the YLE team to be sacked as the staging was so poor. Many highlighted the weak vocals. Here’s some tweets from the night:
ESCTips called it right, saying before the show “an anonymous, 90s-dance song and Finland are in trouble”
After the results Finnish broadcaster YLE reported that Sandhja, was remarkably positive, saying, “I’m not disappointed. Everything that was meant to be happens. Everything is a learning experience and (each cloud) has a silver lining. I’m proud of my team and we’ve done a great job.”
What could have been a good party anthem sung by a bubbly performer, was incohesive, made no connection with the televoters at all, was not sung particularly well on the night and the staging was poor… topped off with dreadful wardrobe choices which looked like they’d been bought in a rush from UFF, the infamous Finnish 2nd hand shop.