Post Mortem: Finland

post mortemPost 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 2016after 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.

sandhja finland sf1


  • 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.

sf1 2016 results

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:

sandhja tweet 1

sandhja tweet 2

sandhja tweet 3

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.

27 comments on “Post Mortem: Finland

  1. Finland, together with Moldova, Slovenia and Switzerland, was the most obvious non-qualifier this year. Pity for Sandhja who put her damnest into the very tiny material she had to work with.

    • indeed she had little to work with, she gave her best but I guess Finland won’t forgive her, as much as other Finnish stuff via Terry Wogan (RIP)

      • I doubt Finland cared much about her to begin with.

        • believe me , Finland cares about her a lot, and that song is the essence of Finland and her

          • I saw a tiny notice of her failure in Swedish-Finnish newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet after the semi, but after that, no sign at all. The same goes for Ilta-Sanomat and similiar papers. Search for her name there and you’ll notice that the interest is rock bottom low.

  2. Seriously? I kinda like the song. It’s completely irrelevant and harmless, but it’s got it’s little vibe going on, a bit like their 2002, admittedly stronger, effort. But man did she suck live. One of the WORST outfits of the entire year, very breathy vocals, she looked tired and barely interesting or exciting. Even the backings felt like desperate housewives trying to be cool. Sad. It could have ended last in its semi, and rightfully so.

  3. I don’t really know what to say about it – neither positive nor negative – and I believe this is where the problem was…

  4. Belgium did very well with a rather similar song. But they made the right choices with the performance.

  5. I have little to nothing to say about Finland’s failure this year. Nothing here was good enough to compete with the elevated level of songs and performances. It was ok – and ok does not do well if you dont have a strong guaranteed voting base to begin with. UMK is in dire need of a revamp and a different philosophy. It started with the aim of becoming the finnish Eesti Laul but it has failed miserably I am afraid.

    In an nf where in 2015 “Mustelmat” was eliminated in the semis there is something wrong imo. Very wrong.

  6. This was a dead certain non-qualifier from day one. Lame song, bad vocals and horrible styling. I hope that Finland gets back on track next year.

  7. That’s what you get when you appoint the Helsinki taxi drivers union and the Turku hairdressers as your national jury.#BringbackMikaelandtheexpertsjury

  8. I also thought from the start that this sounded like a sure non-qualifier. It’s a pretty weak song, but it’s a weak song that you can actually enjoy a bit if sung well which it wasn’t, plus that horrible outfit, it was a deserved non-qualifier imo.

    • and then they gave it #1, which is a great draw for a good song or a well performed song, or a kiss of death for anything average and below

      • Yeah, it could’ve been a nice opener if presented and performed well, but it wasn’t so it was most likely forgoten by the time all the songs were heard.

  9. I hope they have learned something from this disaster.

    • They haven’t. The producer of UMK commented afterwards that there was nothing wrong with the entry or with the selection process with these funny juries like kids, hair dressers, truck drivers and crying out loud – rainbow people.
      Arrogant fool was also surprised of eloborate stagings, calling it a new trend. That’s the reason why good music like Sing it away sanked.
      And of course the draw! The draw! Wasn’t this the place where Oscar failed to get to final?
      As long as people with no understanding what so ever of ESC keeps producing UMK nothing will change.

  10. I enjoyed this song and I classify it in the same league with Belgium Tbh. Live performance was bit weak IMO it was fatal since the first semi was very strong!

  11. How on earth did Finland score the exact same points with Iceland?!!!

  12. She looked and sounded awful, and had a song that was mediocre at best?

  13. I quite liked this song on record; at least it was slightly above the ‘meh’ bucket. Poppy, upbeat, catchy, it was OK. On the night, however, it was a different story: off-key vocals from start to finish, hideously unflattering outfit, off-putting screwy-up face while singing, and every “Prap! Prap! Prap!” was another nail in the coffin.

    I had expected this to qualify, but after seeing the performance was not surprised that it did not!

  14. I think people exaggerate on how bad that was, its basic flaw was mainly being quite unremarkable. I quite liked the lesbian vibes I was getting from this entry but what was that pot sponge she had on top of her head?

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