Finland was represented by Jasmine, with the song ‘ »Niin kaunis on taivas« , at the 1996 Eurovision Song Contest, which took place on 18 May in Oslo. « Niin kaunis on taivas » was chosen as the Finnish entry at the national final organised by broadcaster Yle and held on 3 March.
The final was held in Espoo, hosted by Minna Pentti and Nina Honkanen. Ten songs took part with the winner chosen by televoting. One of the other participants was Kirka, who had represented Finland in 1984. « Niin kaunis on taivas » was a clear winner, receiving almost twice as many votes as the second-placed song.
|1||Eini||« Aina sun luonas »||7285||7|
|2||Laila & Timo||« Salaisimmat tunteet »||4465||10|
|3||Riot||« Pintaa syvemmältä »||6379||9|
|4||Eija Kantola||« Rakkauden kirja »||35969||2|
|5||Aikakone||« Ihan hiljaa »||23742||5|
|6||Jasmine||« Niin kaunis on taivas«||67907||1|
|7||Kirka||« Toukokuu »||29615||3|
|8||Inka||« Keinuta mua »||12599||6|
|9||Sami||« Auringonkukka »||7236||8|
|10||Funkykarkurit||« Elämän tivoli »||23837||4|
In 1996, all countries hoping to participate (with the exception of hosts Norway who were exempted) had to first go through an audio-only pre-qualifying round held on March 20. 29 countries were involved, with the top 22 qualifying for the Oslo final and the remaining seven being eliminated. « Niin kaunis on taivas » received 26 points, placing 22nd and gaining the last qualifying spot for Oslo.
On the night of the final Jasmine performed 18th in the running order, following Ireland and preceding Iceland. Jasmine’s appearance on stage with unstyled hair and no make-up (in contrast to her groomed appearance at the national final) caused considerable puzzled comment – she would subsequently explain that she had strongly disliked the results of the Norwegian hairstyling and make-up artists endeavours, and at the last minute had decided to wash out her hair and remove the make-up, but had no time to start again herself so had no choice but to appear on stage au naturel. At the close of voting « Niin kaunis on taivas » had received only 9 points (7 from Iceland and 2 from Norway), placing Finland last of the 23 entries, the eighth time the country had finished the evening at the foot of the scoreboard. The Finnish jury awarded its 12 points to Estonia. The poor result meant that, with the return of relegation rather than the one-off pre-qualifying system used in 1996 with somewhat controversial results, Finland would have to sit out the 1997 contest.
Points awarded by Finland
|1 point||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
Points awarded to Finland
|12 points||10 points||8 points||7 points||6 points|
|5 points||4 points||3 points||2 points||1 point|
(Note: Entries scored out are when Finland did not compete)