Finland Versus Sweden

Howdy all. You know, Eurovision passed this year and I hadn’t done a SINGLE post on it! Well, it did occur 2 weeks after I returned home so I guess I was still adjusting to life back here in Australia after three months away, and I have managed to catch a lot of what happened at this year’s Eurovision, and it’s fair to say it is certainly bigger than ever. Not just that, it is as CONTROVERSIAL as ever.

Ignoring the fact that Ukraine won in 2022 for reasons one suspects was not just about the song, this year Loreen won for Sweden with her song ‘Tattoo’, with Finland’s ‘Cha Cha Cha’ coming in second. The crowd favourite at the stadium in Liverpool was without a doubt Finland, as they chanted ‘Cha Cha Cha’ during the reading out of the votes.

And without a doubt my Facebook feed has been full of people declaring the wrong call was made, not just that I have seen totally unbacked claims that Sweden ‘cheated’. Interestingly a few years ago the system of voting changed to roughly what we have today, and that is (in the final) a combination of the televote – basically people texting in their preferences (not for the country you are voting from though, so you can’t vote for your own country), and votes coming from juries across Europe who assess the songs and give votes. Each country’s jury of five musical experts views the last dress rehearsal and proportions votes according to their decision. As it played out on the night all the jury votes combined are read out, and I will give credit to the organiser in at least reducing the time it takes to get through the votes. This year the jury voting wasn’t used for the semi-finals which determine which countries make the grand final.

So what’s the controversy? Well, in general it seems the most popular song was from Finland, so it must mean something is afoot if someone else wins. Yes I know who this sounds like. But as for any real suggestion of ‘cheating’ – there doesn’t seem to be any. But there is definitely a sense that ‘Cha Cha Cha’ was ‘robbed’. And a lot of this is because of the jury system.

Not so long ago results were determined purely on the televote. The jury system was brought in because it was felt, I believe, that the voting was too POLITICAL. In as much as groups of countries voted for each other. Did this result in undeserving winners? Maybe. And the reason this happens is because people are more likely to vote to countries they relate too, and in the case of Russia when Dima Bilan one with ‘Believe’, one of the less inspiring songs of the last 20 years, there are a lot of Russians living in other countries, especially ex-Soviet countries, and they voted for Russia.

The combining of jury with televote was supposed to reduce the ‘vote for thy neighbour’ attitude, and in some respect it has. The United Kingdom has struggled to get off the bottom rungs of the ladder since it’s last win in the 1990s, and last year actually came second which is why it was chosen to host in 2023 when Ukraine just wouldn’t have been able too.

But now the shoe is on the other foot, with Finland winning the televote, or ‘popular vote’, but being overtaken by Sweden when the jury votes were read out. Why? Is Sweden just in good with all the officials? It has won SEVEN times now, equal with Ireland. They are certainly considered one of the most important Eurovision countries outside the five that bankroll the competition. Finland on the other hand has one (awesome) win to their credit only. There is definitely a feeling Sweden is more of a power player in Eurovision than Finland and indeed many other countries.

Also, 2024 is fifty years since Abba won with ‘Waterloo’ and from there stormed the world to pop icon status. Also, the singer Loreen has already won Eurovision before with ‘Euphoria’ in 2012, an absolute ‘banger’ as I heard the commentators this year refer to nearly every song (Australian commentators). So I get it, there may be reasons beyond simply the song that Loreen garnered votes. There’s only one way to really work out if it was fair enough or not. And that’s listen to and compare the two songs. Here they are:

Loreen – ‘Tattoo’ [Sweden]

Käärijä – ‘Cha Cha Cha’ [Finland]

What do you think, take a little sample and let me know in the comments. My thoughts are this – Loreen’s song is not a patch of ‘Euphoria’, it sort of rambles away and doesn’t really build, and frankly I can’t understand a word she sings. Also seems very similar to ‘The Winner Takes it All’ – by Abba!

‘Cha Cha Cha’ for me is EASILY a better song. EASILY. It’s fun and catchy. It’s a little oddball I guess and perhaps that didn’t appeal to some juries. I don’t know. I don’t want to make excuses for them. I mean Loreen dressed in beige and performed inside a waffle iron, hardly conventional either. Looking through the comments on Facebook, I have never seen a reaction like this. Many believe ‘Cha Cha Cha’ should have won, and frankly, I think they are right.

Then there is the below – Australia’s entry which I thought was pretty cool – Voyager with ‘Promise’!

What’s your opinion? Please comment! Thanks for reading today, take care wherever you may be in the world, and May the Journey Never End!


6 thoughts on “Finland Versus Sweden

  1. I never watch.They all look the same. 5 weird people, wearing weird clothes, around a weird object in the middle of the stage, with loud music and flashing lights. I’d like a sweet romantic ballad with a pretty voice … but it would be a song, not a show.

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