Finland has finished in last place at Eurovision a total of 11 times in their lengthy history at the contest, and has won only once. More generally, the nation has been hit or miss, especially since their win back in 2006. Hoping not to achieve a 12th last place finish is group Blind Channel, who will represent Finland with the rock song, Dark Side.
Anita (Eurovision Union)
Song and Vocals
Some of Finland’s best Eurovision results have been with rock based entries, so it’s easy to see why Blind Channel dominated their national final this year. While it is a shame not to see Aksel participate, Blind Channel certainly has more potential at this year’s contest. Dark Side is probably the most authentic metal song we have seen from Finland at the contest, and at Eurovision in general, with the most recent song reminiscent of Dark Side coming from Hungary back in 2018.
The opening beat of Dark Side is an incredible start, and immediately you get drawn into the song. The chorus is sung prior to the first verse, and it is a key indicator for the style of the song. If you detest rock or metal, by that point you would know to have your strategic toilet break. Overall, it’s an explosive start to the song, but the verses are a bit more toned down. I feel that the verses are probably the weakest part of the song, and the choruses are the part of the song you remember after the song is over, especially due to the lyrics. Speaking of, one of my biggest qualms about this song is the lyrics, which I find to be a bit cringeworthy at times.
Overall, this is a strong entry from Finland, especially considering their recent entries. It’s almost unimportant to mention live vocals in a genre such as this, as the vocals aren’t meant to be perfect. The style allows for grunge vocals, and they are delivered well in this song.
Performance and Act
The national final stage show for this song was strong, but I do hope to see something a bit more elevated at Eurovision. The lighting was the strongest element, but it came across that a group such as this wasn’t used to such a big stage, or at least a big stage in this context. The group seemed so far away from each other, and the camera shots really highlighted their distance. The group interacts well with the camera during close up shots, which is certainly a plus. I expect pyro to feature in the Eurovision performance, in a similar style to Hungary 2018.
This is a very strong entry from Finland that I believe will confidently take them to the final. In a pop dominated contest, it’s always good to see something heavier just to provide a bit of diversity in the line-up. In the final, I’d expect a mid-table finish.
Song and Vocals
‘Dark side’ takes me back to the days I listened to Linkin Park songs on repeat. Strong rock, combined with mild rap in the verses. The guys from Blind Channel also were able to perform this difficult song live, even though the vocals were a bit weaker when compared to the studio recording. The song is unique in the semi final field, giving it a very good chance of qualification.
Performance and Act
Whilst the vocals are a bit weaker than the studio version in their live performance, their energetic and convincing presentation makes up for it for a 100% to me. They know how to give away a show. Not just for the people in a venue (if they are there) but also for the viewers through the television. Which is of course the most important aspect of a Eurovision performance.
In the second semi final, this song is unique in the field and thus it has a strong chance of qualification to me. I can’t see it missing out, to be fair. In the final there is fierce competition with the Italian song, but they might both do very well on the big Saturday night. I’m glad Finland returns to their favourite genre again, since they always come up with the goods when they do!
Additional Scores from Eurovision Union and ESCDaily editors:
Average Score: 7.9/10