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Finland: Softengine – Something Better

    Finland has selected its entry - the winning song is Something Better by Softengine. After a hard-fought UMK campaign, Something Better was top with the judges and televote. The judges’ preferences were exactly the same as the top three, with Mikko Pohjola’s Sängyn reunalla in second and the surprise of the night MIAU’s God/Drug in third after a strong live performance. The song itself is an example of what I (ScandieAndy) would classify as dull-but-worthy indie rock, the best-known purveyors of the genre being Coldplay and Muse. It’s a good example of its type, being reasonably catchy and the band certainly did the song…

Review Overview

Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Historical Support Strength

Something Great

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User Rating: 3.75 ( 39 votes)

 
 
Finland has selected its entry – the winning song is Something Better by Softengine.

After a hard-fought UMK campaign, Something Better was top with the judges and televote. The judges’ preferences were exactly the same as the top three, with Mikko Pohjola’s Sängyn reunalla in second and the surprise of the night MIAU’s God/Drug in third after a strong live performance.

The song itself is an example of what I (ScandieAndy) would classify as dull-but-worthy indie rock, the best-known purveyors of the genre being Coldplay and Muse. It’s a good example of its type, being reasonably catchy and the band certainly did the song justice in Espoo. The chorus, whilst having a hook, is somewhat simplistic, being melodically the same line repeated four times.

This kind of band performance is difficult to improve on, given the nature of the genre. With my Eurovision (rather than my credible indie) hat on, I would suggest that the singer give up his guitar, roam a bit more and work on his stagecraft. Having said that, they were still impressive at the Barona Areena.

Given that (a) there are fewer entries this year and (b) Finland are drawn in the second half of what is on paper the weaker semi-final, I’m pretty confident that Softengine will qualify for final. Having said that, I’m equally confident that they will be on the right-hand side of the scoreboard come the final.

What do you think of Finland’s entry?

  • Qualification History
  • Final Performance
  • Allies
  • Studio Version
Since the introduction of the new semi-final format, Finland have qualified four times in 10 attempts. 40% qualification success.

Highest semi-final score: 292 (2006 – Lordi, Hard Rock Hallelujah)
Lowest semi-final score: 41 (2012 – Pernilla Karlsson, När jag blundar)
Average semi-final finishing position: 10th (9.7)
Average semi-final score: 85 points

Finland has finished in the top-10 once since 2004.

Highest score (since 2004): 292 2006 – Lordi, Hard Rock Hallelujah)
Lowest score (since 2004): 13 (2013 – Krista Siegfrids, Marry Me)
Average final position: 18th
Average final score: 90 points

Average Points Received

Estonia – 6.9
Iceland – 5.3
Sweden – 4.2
Norway – 3.7
Poland – 3.6
Lithuania – 2.8

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About ScandieAndy

Editor, Eurovision Historian & Scandinavian Expert.    I’m a London-based translator born a few months after ABBA won in Brighton. I’m gifted with a brain full of miscellaneous useless pieces of Eurovision information. My long-suffering wife tolerates this and many of my anti-social foibles.

19 comments

  1. For those who missed it (I’ll update in the morning, once WordPress is behaving), Mikko Pohjola was second. Two surprises: Miau came third after an excellently powerful performance (both with judges and overall) and Hanna Sky crashed out, coming 7th in the judge vote (her first score was 3; she only beat Madcraft). A deserved winner overall.

  2. Yes, well done to Gav for calling these guys early. They didn’t convince me at all on first listen, but the studio version in the lyric video comes off much strong, and they were very good tonight in Espoo, helped quite a lot by the fact that they were the only act with a decent sound mix. I don’t really know what kind of position lies in wait for Softengine at ESC since my initial gut reaction suggested, similarly to Tobias, that this a bit like a number of Swiss non-qualifiers.

    However, as I’ve gotten used to the song, I’m now getting more of a Coldplay “Viva La Vida” meets 30 Seconds to Mars “Closer to the Edge” vibe off it. The big question is whether the band are going to be able to make the powerful impact they made in the UMK final straight away in Copenhagen, or are they going to risk coming off a bit flat again like in the first audition?

    I think they will qualify now purely on song strength, but I genuinely have no idea of it’s potential placing after that. It depends on how good they sound (critical) in Copenhagen and the competition they face.

    On a personal note though, let me just say that if Softengine are destined for top 5 and this is about as good as it’s going to get this year, I’ll be disappointed, and I’m hoping the surge of entries being picked in March will have the winner amongst them instead.

    • Yes, I’m hearing 30 Seconds to Mars too, with perhaps a dash of The Editors. I am hopeful that these lads won’t follow Switzerland’s Sinplus. They’ve chosen the kind of song that would make the top-20 in most western leaning country’s charts.

  3. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to notice the sound mix – pretty much all the other acts had the vocals way too low. Cock-up by YLE?

    • Just watched a few and noticed that Andy,at a few low points in Hannas song you cant hear her.I thought it was just a rotten performance but yes sound seems very low .
      Hats off to Gav on Softengine as i probably wouldnt of had them as a profit early if he hadnt pushed them.

  4. nice to have my first bet of the eurovision season come good. It was clearly the best song but the producers had me nervous putting it on first. it should qualify comfortably but needs a good running order to have an impact in the final.

  5. My initital thought was if Denmark’s 2011 Friend in London can manage to do well in Eurovision so should these guys.
    But friend in london’s lead singer was really working the camera while Softengine’s lead singer seems to avoid it. If they don’t fix this, it’ll be really difficult for them to connect with audiences in May.

    • Interesting note on Friend in London’s performance in the 2011 final: they ranked 3rd with juries, but only 18th with televoters. One could argue that camera connection is less important when it comes to juries – if indeed we expect a similar result split for Softengine.

      • A Friend in London had a terrible draw in the final and that didnt help their televote.In the semi going from 18 of 19 they qualified in an easy 2nd place.They also failed to pick up hardly any votes from the Balkans or from central/eastern europe in the final.These areas had plenty of diaspora countries to vote for and any western votes favoured Sweden.
        Id also say they had a far superior song and look to Softengine,at least at this stage.I like this band but they will need to really up their game and get a good draw to do well in the final id expect.

        A Friend in London is probably a great example of why you need to be the standout song in your area east,west,central/Balkans AND contain elements that appeal to the other two main blocks to win an ESC.

        • Yeah, serious drop in televote ranking from the semi to the finals – I’d say that mainly must have been due to the draw, as the relative lack of allies + competition with Sweden already was there in the semi.

          Agree that FiL had a slicker package, I really liked them personally actually. Let’s see if Softengine can up their game, as you say.

  6. @squall
    thank you for pointing that out. I only remembered they finished top10 but didn’t remember the split vote.
    Looking at it closer it makes me wonder if A Friend in London would even do well these days with the new 1to26 voting system or if poor televote results would entirely cancel out a good jury result in some countries.
    If something is put 3rd by a jury it’s a really big deal if it finishes somwhere between 11-15 or 21-26 in the televote. Considering the difference between those ranges is as small as 1%-2% it shows how insane that new voting system really is. It drives me crazy they are sticking with this.

    • Last year the system seemed to deliver the right top 10 though.The problem they might have this year is a winner that doesnt top jury or televote.That would cause a lot of bad press.The EBU/producers might be pushing a few acts to counter this,just like they did last year with Denmark.
      I think this explains why the juries now seem to vote like a middle of the road televoter.The EBU want to counter diaspora,but they want the juries to mirror the public unbiased voting.

      • We don’t and can’t know that it delivered the right top10!! Not even close actually! We never received a real split vote ranking like in previous years. The first time in history they only gave us “average rankings” instead of a split vote. You think that’s a coincidence? Just do the math!

        Take a case where an entry finishes 11th in televote and 11th in jury vote, in the old system that’s a certain 0 points, it’s also a certain 0 points in a televote table and a certain 0 points in a jury table.
        In the new system the same entry will most definitely score points and in an extreme case where juries and televoters disagree entirely the same entry can manage full 12 points! So how do you hide the fact that the new system brings entirely different results than the split table of old days indicates? You just release average rankings.

        • Of course shell thats 100% right and is the reason they didnt give the split votes.It would highlight the problems with the system and televoters would be complaining in droves.However i think the top 10 was probably a fair top ten all things considered last year.That doesnt mean i think the system is fair,or right,i dont.I agree with you all split votes should be shown for every country.No doubt about that.With a much tighter year this year the new system might create some terrible results.Time will tell.

    • Not really looking for a top10 at this point for Softengine though, but rather trying to assess qualification chances. And for semis (esp with this low number of participants), it seems like a big discrepancy between jury/tele isn’t a problem, as that still would render you points from most countries.

  7. My main worry for this song is that he knackers his voice during rehearsals week. In most versions I’ve heard so far you can hear his voice get worse during the course of one run through, so a full rehearsals week might be too much. I know that there are fewer rehearsals than a few years ago, in part as a result of there being too many damaged vocals in the finals(still cant get that top note in Milim out my head!), but the repeated falsetto will still take its toll.

  8. Finland Top Nordic @50.0 unibet value i think especially when you can lay it at 9.0 on betfair to run it free for those interested.

    • Wow that’s a pretty good find. I’m amazed Finland is getting matched in Betfair @ 7.2 and someone is willing to back at 9.0 also.

  9. Finland to win semi final 2 @29 ew 1/5 for top 3 @William Hill. I think it’s a nice value, especially when I think the contenders for the win come from slot 1, 3, 4, and a lot of uncertainty about two of them. In the eurojury Finland is ranked 3rd of of the nations in semi 2. They are well placed in the running order and they also have a lot of potential to improve their act. It’s a realistic long shot in my opinion.

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