Still loads of work going on. But of course I must have my say on the second Finnish semi final as well.
1. NINJA - Battlefield Of Love 3/5
Ninja is a wonderful creation - a madcap former model turned pop star, mainly because she wants to herself. She is a kind of Finnish mix between Björk and Vanessa Paradis, with a hint of super model sprinkled over the package. Her debut album "I don't play guitar" may not have been the biggest seller but contains many hooky choruses, and even produced at least on single-hit in Sweden, where "Hush Hush" did quite well in the charts. In theory, I am very positive to all of this: a fast, trashy, pop punk pastiche in a furious tempo, but the entire thing collapses into a big, black hole when there is no chorus. Ninja's album is bursting full of choruses - why doesn't she have one here? I don't understand a thing. Not bad, but could have been so much better.
2. KRISTIAN MEURMAN - Jos en sua saa 1/5
Kristian is this year's Idols reject, a category that seems to have grown compulsory in this contest lately, and many people took to his singing during and after last season. He has mainly sung Finnish classics and evergreens and tried to make them his own. The song he has chosen to sing in Euroviisut will, most probably, not end up in the songbooks. A monotonous ballad that feels heavy on your shoulders way before three minutes have passed. Not a surprise if the Finns fall headlong for this song, though.
3. JIPPU - Kanna minut 2/5
Jippu is a Finnish singer/songwriter with a very intimate style and her very own way of performing. Fair and square, but maybe a bit too inaccessible for the larger audiences. The acute problem of this song is that the first minute completely lacks dynamics and pushes every inattentive listener away. Then there will be a very sweet chorus, but by then most people will have stopped listening. Unfortunately.
4. MIKAEL KONTTINEN - Milloin 3/5
And here he comes, the saviour. Kerkko Koskinen, who used to be the primus motor of Ultra Bra, has written a very effective floor filler for every Finnish traditional dance salon and this will be the favourite of the domestic radio stations. Mikael Konttinen could very well be a Jari Sillanpää in the making, but no amount of enthusiasm can cover up the fact that this is a shadow of Kerkko's "Shanghain valot" from 2006. Good, but not as good.
Mikael Konttinen and Kristian Meurman will get voted into the final, even though I would favour Ninja over Meurman any given moment. But maybe she will break through from the Second Chance round?