Finland begin their Eurovision 2014 search tonight with the first live heat.
Welcome to our LIVE Rolling Blog that begins at 20:30 (CET) – Just refresh the page for real-time updates on the performances
Format of the show
There are 12 songs in total in the Finnish selection and tonight 6 songs are competing for 1 direct place to the Grand Final and 4 places to the Semi Final. and 1 will leave the competition.
The voting lines for tonight’s show have been open since last Monday. The televote will account for 50% of the vote and the 4 member Jury will make up a further 50% of the vote. The Jury members are Aija Puurtinen, Toni Wirtanen, Redrama and Tomi Saarinen – whom we have met in the presentation shows
The six acts tonight competing are :
- MIAU – God/Drug
- Dennis Fagerström – My little honey bee
- Lili Lambert – Let me take you there
- Hukka ja Mama – Selja
- Softengine – Something better
- Jasmin Michaela – Kertakäyttösydän
Tonight you are in the company of John Stanton from the Eurovision Ireland Team. Gear what he thinks of the songs as you #JoinUs in this very close run heat.
Hi people, John here to give you the benefit of my experience with tonight’s little show.
The show is backstage and currently talking to some of the people necessary to run a show like this.
Our other backstage hostess is now in the audience, chatting to some of the crowd, giving us a flavour of respective acts’ fans.
Having spoken to the fans, the host and hostess are now in the ‘Green Room’ area of the venue, chatting to the acts and asking them (I think) what their chances are of getting through tonight’s bunfight.
We’ve been reminded that we can tweet the show via #umk14. Go on, I dare you to.
It’s the top of the hour, and time for the show to start. Of the six acts tonight, who will stay in and who will go home?
Our two official hosts (different from the backstage crew) have introduced the six acts and also the ‘expert’ jury. They’ve also reminded the good viewers of Finland of the various ways to vote for their favourites.
First on are girl band MIAU (that’s with capital letters). Tough being first on, but let’s see how they manage.
Our trio have very individual tastes in clothing. Imagine Vanilla Ninja getting dressed in the dark. They also had two very androgynous ‘dancers’ that pose and pout in the ‘Vogue’ style. The song builds well even if it is a little repetitive. They get a massive cheer and round of applause at the end.
The jury seem positive – quite rightly – with their comments greeted by more cheers from the crowd. It’s different enough to make a good impression.
Next on is Dennis Fagerström. His postcard shows him getting some tips on how to sell his song, and doing some distance on a treadmill.
Dennis’s song is very upbeat. He’s in a suit with a backing band of five dressed mainly in white. His English is very good and he sells this very well. It doesn’t have the shock value of MIAU, but it’s a charming song that the voters might just like. He got a big cheer too.
More constructive comments from the jury followed.
Song number three came from blonde Lili Lambert. She’s shown trying on clothes with overtones of London’s Pearly Queens.
The motif here is black and gold and an impossible, almost 1940’s hairdo. She’s assisted by two singers and a three-piece band. It’s a darker song, reminding me just a little like a quicker ‘I feed you my love’. It could be a floor-filler in the Euroclub.
Next on are the duo Hukka ja Mama. We see them chopping wood in a forest and using the results to get a roaring fire going.
Hukka & Mama were sat at a yellow floral sofa. The song was a little in the country style. Raven-headed Mama was very striking with two knitting needles in her hair. Hukka strummed his guitar and he was in a red jacket and bow tie(!). It’s yet another very different song that has a likeable quirkiness about it. Finally, it fools everyone with a little false ending. I think it’s fair to say it’s got the biggest cheer so far tonight.
The penultimate act are young band Softengine. we see them rehearsing their music in a studio.
Our lead singer was in a silver grey suit. He, and most other band members, had guitars. They’re definitely a hit with the younger members of the crowd and it’s instantly catchy. It also contrasts well with the previous song. It could be a big hit. It gets a very big cheer.
To my untrained ear, the judges really liked this song and it seems to be rivalling Hukka ja Mama for crowd support.
Finally, glamourpuss Jasmin Mikaela told us a little about herself while trying on clothes and having a photoshoot. She has more than a hint of Maarja-Liis Ilus about her.
She sticks to Finnish for her song. It’s her, in black and gold, with three discreetly placed backing singers. This song with a looooong Finnish title has a heavy beat to it. It apparently means disposable heart. She gets joined by two scnatily clad dancers (female of course) and she joins in the carefully crafted choreography during the song’s middle-eight. It’s maybe too choreographed and could almost be a more central European Eurovision song. It gets a big cheer.
More positive comment came from the judges and they likened it a little to ‘Hips don’t lie’. They might have a point.
Now we’ve heard all the songs, we get a brief reprise of each of them. Back-to-back it’s a very diverse selection. To be fair, any of these songs could go through, it could be that close.
The show finishes – for now – and we go back to our back stage presenters Frida & Sippo. Lines close at around 20.05 local time so we have about 10 minutes to kill.
We see some of the statistics so far and they appear to read out some Tweets. Have you tweeted them yet? #umk14
Frida & Sippo interview members of the audience to see what they think of tonight’s show.
We now have Frida on stage with a young guy with very long red hair. They’re seated at a dinner table and talk for a while before they waltz, or maybe tango. Only at Eurovision…
The voting lines have closed, and we no go back to our main presenters Anne & Ile for those all important results. Will the right songs qualify? Of course they will. But first, a final reprise.
The judges who gave us their pearls of wisdom earlier read out their votes. The first judge Toni Wirtinen gives MIAU 6, Dennis 4, Lili 3, Hukka ja Mama 10, Softengine 8, and Jasmin 7.
Judge number two Aija Puurtinen gives MIAU 7 (13), Dennis 5 (9), Lili 6 (9), H&M 9(19), Softengine 10 (18), and Jasmin 8 (15).
From Tomi Saarinen MIAU 6 (19), Dennis 5 (14), Lili 3 (12), H&M 8 (27), Softengine 9 (27), Jasmin 7 (22).
And finally Redrama gave MIAU 4 (23), Dennis 5 (19), Lili 6 (18), H&M 8 (35), Softengine 9 (36), Jasmin 7 (29).
So distilling all that, the current order is Softengine, Hukka ja Mama, Jasmin Michaela, MIAU, Dennis Fagerström, Lili Lambert. But the televoting results could change all this. One goes through to the final, and four to the run-off.
Before we see these results, UMK 2013 finalists Arion perform their latest song ‘Seven’. Some might say it’s the best song of the night so far. It’s a dark song with metal overtones that the Finns do so well.
Here come the results: First called out are Hukka ja Mama. Then Softengine. Jasmin Mikaela is next. And MIAU. The final lucky act is Dennis Fagerström.
Softengine go straight through to the final on 1 February.
So Lili Lambert sadly goes home. The rest live to fight another day.
That’s all from UMK Heat 1. Heat 2 takes place on Saturday 18 January at the same time (from 19.30 CET). I hope you enjoyed this. I know I did.
Author : John Stanton
Source : Eurovision Ireland