All opinions expressed in this article are those of the person quoted and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the other team members or ESC United as a whole.

It’s finally time. This weekend, and after much anticipation, Finland will select its act for Eurovision 2023 in Turku! Finland are still looking for their second win since Lordi and have seven acts vying for this. This year, Finland will compete in the second half of the first semi-final.

Reviewing for us this week is; Alastair, David, Boris, Tyler and Lee who ranked the 7 songs on a 1-10 basis. This gives us an overall average score and should in the end decide out winner.

Finland has a strong competition this year so let’s see our reviews!

Benjamin – Hoida Mut

David – I’ll start with saying, that Finnish is far from being the most attractive sounding language, and Finnish pop… that’s a thing I suppose. I feel it’s the same beat over and over, and I’m not quite fuzzed about the vocal presentation. There’s so much energy in the song, which gets pulled down by raspy voice, it’s not really pulling my interest. 3/10

Lee – This song had me utterly lamenting the fact that Finland can only send one song to Eurovision. Hoida Mut is, simply put, brilliant — an energetic, intoxicatingly playful celebration of self-liberation. The pulsing synths, melodically impactful chorus and appealing ambience combine to draw the listener into its neon world. The result is an anthem which champions embracing one’s diversity and expression, encouraging the listener to unapologetically be themselves — and to bop along happily for the full three minutes. 9/10

Alastair – Very poppy and with a different sound. That electric sort of thing. I’d like to see how it sounds live. Definitely a strong song though. 8/10

Boris – 10/10

Tyler – 9.5/10

Average – 7.9/10

 

Käärijä – Cha Cha Cha

Tyler – Yeah, this is it. This is the winner. This entry is a journey. The first minute makes you think the song is going in a more rock way, and then it all gets scrambled and you’re just dancing your ass off and wondering how you got to this point. I’m so nervous about the live, but I’m not marking a song down this time because of it. As of right now, this could WIN Eurovision this year if Finland picks it. It’s got the fanbase behind it at least and would be a huge contender. 10/10

Boris – Holy F* this is some potent endorphin-laden mental workout material. Listening to “Cha cha cha” is like injecting creatine directly into the hypothalamus. It’s a tsunami of viral energy, shaped into two distinct and flawless directions by Käärijä. It’s more than a song, but an experience that gets more maddening with every listening. Nothing at Eurovision is like it. My heart really wants Benjamin but my brain… my brain knows, that if Käärijä is anywhere near good live, that he’s The One Finland should be going for in this great selection.” 10/10

David – I’ll start with my initial thought, which was a bit like “What in the actual flipping hell am I listening too?!?!?”… and I’m honestly still wondering. The song throws you really off, before it eventually grabs you, before it leaves you confused. I don’t understand the deep harsh singing parts, since the more soft vocal parts, are far more pleasing to listen. This is probably a crime to say, but I think I would’ve preferred this in English. I’m still confused and don’t know what to think, so as of this writing, it remains in the middle. 5/10

Alastair – 6.5/10

Lee – 10/10

Average – 8.3

 

Keira – No Business on the Dancefloor

Alastair – I love this. It’s an earworm that’s chorus will not leave my head. Its really catchy and if there good staging its got it. A really good party song for this year. 9/10

Lee – At only 17, Keira proves that she means business with an incredibly solid debut. Questionable Harry Potter lyric aside, No Business on the Dancefloor is a tremendously catchy pop hit, one that will have you migrating to the dancefloor in no time. The production here is excellent — the loud, punchy instrumental always feels fresh and engaging. Overall, it’s not the most surprising thing you’ve ever heard, but it’s a great example of a thoroughly enjoyable pop song. 7/10

Tyler – Honestly a BOP, but I think the song could have gone further to make it even more of a dance hit. A little low energy with the verses, but I love the woodwinds after the chorus. I’m assuming Keira will do a big dance number during the live and I hope so and it’ll make the song pop even more. This does have business in Eurovision! 8/10

David – 6/10

Boris – 7.5/10

Average – 7.5/10

 

Robin Packalen – Girls Like You

Boris – “Continuing the trend from last year, the worst option Finland have available is their big name! :sigh: I’ve resigned myself to the possibility that Robin will win, and well, that says it all, really? Robin isn’t at all bad, but (1) UMK is extraordinarily good this year (2) “Girls like you” is the sort of song I have heard before, often and often involuntarily (radio) (3) We’ve ALREADY had Benjamin Ingrosso, and look how well he did in the televote. Surely we don’t have to content ourself with lowest common denominator stuff, just because ~He’s Famous~, right? ” 6/10

David – If I have to describe this, it would probably be in the lines of “pretty boy who invites for a dance with a slight touch of 80’s”. The song feels modern, but can get a bit bothering with the small disco touch it has and that synthesizer sound effect. It grows boring fast and feels a bit uninspiring, so a nice attempt, but I’d rather forget about it. 4/10

Lee – Robin Packalen’s effort Girls Like You is a perfectly inoffensive, pleasant radio pop song: but unfortunately, it doesn’t strive to be much more than that. The track isn’t bad by any means, but feels pedestrian in comparison to its stellar, experimental competition. In all, the song feels stiflingly safe for a song that repeats “I’m all about that wild side.” 6/10

Alastair – 6.5/10

Tyler – 7/10

Average – 5.9/10

 

Kuumaa – Ylivoimainen

Alastair – While I usually like something like this it just feels very boring and nothing really is there. It is very pretty and a nice song, just not what I am looking for right now. 4.5/10

Boris – “A standard synthpop band. Nothing out of the ordinary, but pleasant enough. I would probably care more if Benjamin didn’t exist. Would NOT hate this if this won and beat my other faves.” 7/10

Tyler – This song is such my vibe, it’s so good goddammit! I don’t think this has a shot at winning UMK, but I’m adding Kuumaa to my playlist. “Ylivoimainen” sounds so mysterious and it’s intriguing to me, and it’s got such a great hook. Love the vocals, could see myself dancing to this while everyone is confused at what I’m doing. God, UMK is the best national final this year holy sh**. 9/10

David – 6/10

Lee – 7.5/10

Average – 6.8/10

 

Lxandra – Something To Lose

David – What an absolute shame… I honestly sympathize with the lyrics, but the song just goes nowhere. 1/10

Lee – While Something to Lose is beautiful, I ultimately felt that it took too long to really show off its potential. There are great ideas here, however, it is perhaps a bit too understated for its own good. The song is barely allowed to expand beyond its starting point; rather than swelling to a great, fulfilling conclusion, the energy remains constrained for most of its runtime. There is a lot of potential here, but sadly it never really feels like it builds up to as satisfying a peak as it wants. What is here is very touching; Lxandra’s vocal is gorgeous, perfectly setting the scene for an atmospheric, gentle look within. However, the track’s reluctance to grow much further beyond its alluring base may unfortunately cause it to lose the attention of many listeners. 6.5/10

Alastair – Its like Bulgaria 2021 with something missing. The lack of connection I feel. It is very pretty and I’ll listen to it, its just not the right one. 4/10

Boris – 9/10

Tyler – 6.5/10

Average – 5.4/10

 

Portion Boys – Saimaa taivasta katsotaan

Boris – “Random stadium anthem making its way into a national anthem <3 Portion boys are outclassed massively by Käärijä for me, but I do enjoy this hammy throwback to stilted 2000s televote entries that pandered to Europe with the cheapest, most stereotypical refs possible <3 Oh, and I automatically like any entry that uses a random celebrity as a crux in their song (see also: “In corpore sano” & Meghan Markle) ” 8/10

Tyler – This song feels a little too much like Dragonforce to me, and looking at the music video and the lyrics, I get the impression that the song is trying too hard to be funny. The music is fine and the vocals are fine for what they are, but to me this is the weakest song in the selection. It’s still good, but there are much better choices, and this would flop at Eurovision. 6/10

David – I had a hunch while listening to the song, that this was some sort of European celebration anthem, so of course I had to look at the lyrics just to be sure, and I’m happy I was right. Something you can actually call a European anthem in Finnish, full of fun and energy. Maybe there might be a bit too much going on, but it’s something you can get used to. 6/10

Alastair – 5.5/10

Lee – 2/10

Average – 5.5/10

And with all of that here are our results in order!

The Results

  1. Käärijä – Cha Cha Cha – 8.3/10
  2. Benjamin – Hoida Mut – 7.9/10
  3. Keira – No Business on the Dancefloor – 7.5/10
  4. Kuumaa – Ylivoimainen – 6.8/10
  5. Robin Packalen – Girls Like You – 5.9/10
  6. Portion Boys – Saimaa taivasta katsotaan5.5/10
  7. Lxandra – Something To Lose – 5.4/10
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