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Staying power - Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest

03 February 2017 at 18:00 CET
When it comes to the Eurovision Song Contest, it would be fair to say that Finland doesn't have the strongest record. The country has finished last on ten occasions (nine times in the Grand Final and more recently in the Semi-Final in 2015). However, the country struck gold in 2006 when Lordi's Hard Rock Hallelujah stole the show in Athens. The country now has one of the most dynamic national finals and today we look back at Finland's ten most successful entries in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Finland made its debut in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1961 but had never placed in the top five until Lordi won the contest in 2006. Despite this, several Finnish entries have gone onto become firm fan favourites, including Sonja Lumme's Eläköön elämä, which features in our top ten countdown of Finland's Eurovision entries.

As with the top ten videos from previous host countries, we have taken the final placing and total number of participating countries into account when deciding on the line-up. For example, you might think that Finland's entry Tom Tom Tom, which finished 6th in 1973, might be ranked higher than Something Better, which finished 11th in the Grand Final in 2014. However, in 1973 there were 17 countries participating whilst in 2014 there were 37.

Finland's victory in 2006 saw thousands of people gather in the Finnish capital, Helsinki, honking car horns, waving flags and singing Lordi's song. It was a moment of celebration for a country that had never come close to victory in the Eurovision Song Contest, a testament to the country's perseverance. Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat proclaimed: "It's official: Hell has frozen over. Finland has won". 

In an editorial published in the same newspaper, it was written: "Years of humiliation, frustration, and 'zero points' were wiped away as the Finnish entry blew everyone off the stage in Athens. When the United Kingdom voters gave Finland 12 points, one knew somehow that nothing would ever be quite the same again."

Norma John will represent Finland in 2017 with the song Blackbird.