ESCountdown 2019: #35 – “Look Away” by Darude featuring Sebastian Rejman, Finland

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! Welcome to my ESCountdown 2019, presented by eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica! Between April 7 and May 10, I will countdown my picks of the entries in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019! There are 41 countries participating this year, and we’ll bring you each and every entry from them all!

Last year, when we first launched our ESC coverage, I did the songs in random order. This year, I’m changing things up a bit. Due to copyright issues with the way I did my TKR videos on YouTube, my ESC show last year never made it to public consumption. So this year, rather than just cover the songs, I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

In at #35 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Finland, “Look Away” by Darude featuring Sebastian Rejman, written by the artists. The song is performed in English, and will be performed 3rd on the first semi-final on May 14.

DJ, songwriter, and producer Darude (real name Ville Virtanen) shot to  fame in 1999 with his instrumental dance club smash “Sandstorm“, which hit the charts around the world, including here in the U.S., and although he’s continued to work non-stop in the nearly (OMG really?) TWENTY years that have passed since that song took the world by storm, he’s released projects only occasionally, preferring to produce rather than perform. Singer Sebastian Rejman has been a star in his native Finland for decades, both as a musician and as a television host and occasional actor.

I have to be honest here – I absolutely ADORE “Sandstorm”, it’s one of my all time favorite instrumental hits. So I was expecting a LOT when I heard that Darude was representing Finland this year. And what we got…is a total letdown. This bland social justice ditty about how the world looks away and ignores the potentially devastating problems it faces could have been SOOOOO much more. Instead, it just sits there, flat, dull, yawn-inducing. It has a decent enough beat, but the lyrics are pedestrian, and could have had much more impact than they do. It’s like they set out to do a song as powerful as 2018’s “Non mi avete fatto neinte” from Italy’s Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro, and in the end couldn’t deliver anything better than “Our Choice” from Iceland’s Ari Olafsson…and I’m truly sorry, because I wanted to see this team SOAR…and I just can’t get into it…

Finland made its EuroVision debut in 1961, and has appeared 52 times over the years. They got their first and only Grand Championship finish in 2006 with one of the most popular EuroVision winners of all time, Lordi’s Hard Rock Hallelujah. But it also should be noted for historical accuracy that they are also part of EuroVision’s equivalent of Dancing With The Stars‘ Kenny Mayne Club, having finished dead last ten times, actually receiving “nul” (zero) points for their song entries in 1963, 1965, and 1982. They finished in the middle of the pack with the fan favorite “Monsters” by Saara Aalto last year…and i’ll be bringing this song up again later on in the countdown for a completely different reason, heh heh….

Here’s the official music video…meh…

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through this year’s finals on May 18 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! My daily song countdown will appear on all three sites, with some additional material coming to both Planet BM and TKR in the days and weeks’  ahead.

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Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And hopefully, we’ll get to see the finals again this year somewhere – American fans, with Logo dropping coverage this year, let’s let AXS know we want to see it become the American home of EuroVision!

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