Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Cohesiveness of Package
Blackbird strikes just the right mood without being cliche or gimmicky and juries will recognise the musicality as well as rewarding Leena Tirronen's flawless vocal.
Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2017, complete with Melfest-style international jury, has delivered a sensible result!
As highlighted here, Norma John were the class act, and their melancholic ballad, Blackbird, will represent Finland in Kiev this May.
We’ve had several recent examples of this genre with two from Norway: A Monster Like Me which finished 9th in 2015, and the 8th placed Silent Storm a year earlier. Anouk’s Birds has also been flagged up by commenter Black n Blue, along with Nocturne, another song from Norway that actually won in 1995. Blackbird compares favourably against these examples and sets itself apart from the more anodyne Start A Fire, An Me Thimasai and One Thing I should Have Done. Its etherial arrangement and ghostly staging add drama and edge without any need for gimmicks like trapeze artists. These dark Nordic ballads have enjoyed great success over the years, so it’s hard to discount Blackbird from reaching the left hand side of the scoreboard just because it’s from Finland.
To my ears, Blackbird is stronger than the some of those aforementioned above. There is a perfect combination of light and shade, preventing the song feeling too static or too bland. And it takes viewers on an emotive journey that soars into every chorus, culminating in a subtle, but effective lighting change to end. To its credit, Blackbird strikes just the right mood without being cliche or gimmicky and juries will recognise the musicality as well as rewarding Leena Tirronen’s flawless vocal. I’m not expecting too many changes for Kiev, but I would urge them to adopt a more sunrise-inspired lighting mix for the climax instead of just red.
The first half draw is far from ideal, but good songs continue to do well at Eurovision. I think there’s plenty here for both the juries and televote to support. With a fair wind, and provided the first half of semi-final 1 doesn’t become too ballad heavy, Norma John should be aiming for qualification and a left hand side of the scoreboard finish.
Can Finland qualify for the first time since 2014?