Hyvää iltaa (as they say in Jyväskylä! Those crazy crazy Finns are in Eurovision, with their own unique formula. Whilst other countries may go all populist in their approach, UMK – Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu – is definitely Finnish. Broadcaster YLE goes for variety and maybe just a little bit of quirk. So what’s not to like.
If you’re familiar with UMK, you’ll know that the format is three semi-finals of six songs. The top three in each go through to a nine-song final. Tonight is Semi-final One. You can read our thoughts on the competitors HERE.
Join us at 20:00CET for our LIVE BLOG. You know the drill – just refresh the page for full updates and our thoughts on the performances.
How To Watch
The Show starts at 20:00 CET
Clemso – Thief
Eini – Draamaa
Mikko Herranen – Evil tone
Pää-Äljät – Shamppanjataivas
Saara Aalto – No fear
Stella Christine – Ain’t got time for the boys
How The Winner Will Be Selected
It’s simple. The three lucky qualifier will be picked by 100% televoting. No juries here.
LIVE BLOG – Starts 20:00 CET Here
You know the drill by now peeps. You just refresh the page after each song for our comments. Don’t forget we will be awarding our #MagicMic Award for the most memorable moment of the show!
Roope Salmonen and none other than Krista Siegfrids are here to guide us through matters. She’s wearing an outfit to remember. And she likes numbers.
Song One is from Saara Aalto. She’s got the whole shebang with her. Five shirtless backing dancers – male obviously who circle her as if she’s the centre of their universe. Are they satellites? But what’s this? Her five well-built dancers make way for a couple of young ladies. Eight on stage? Who knew! And we get the costume change. It’s all very drum-based with lots of movements and dramatic stuff. Not a bad little opener.
Mikko Herranen is on next. He’s gone for the aged rocker look. But on a hoverboard. Maybe they’re legal in stages in Finland. His head says “I’m a member of Wigwam” but his outfit says “would you be interested in buying home insurance. Fir his last chorus he’s joined by a five-piece band in identical outfits. It’s all a bit “Addicted to love” but less easy on the eye. It’s barking, but just a bit too barking.
Stella likes a red stage with lots of spotlighty type things. It’s billed as her, probably because she has the guitar. However she’s joined on stage by two backing singers who want to steal the show and two modern dancers. They’re not quite Strictly but almost just a little bit off-putting. Maybe it’s tango, as we know how much the Finns love that style.Stella sees herself as a safe pair of hands and her song bumps along. Not world-beating, and definitely won’t be in Stockholm. But it might be liked here.
From her postcard, our fourth performer Eini likes hanging around in garages. Massive tools and boxes spring to mind. Now now. We get our first wind machine. Take that Melodifestivalen. She’s on stage with a couple of dancers in nice hats and shirts with no buttons. The chorus is finally, finally, what I expect from the Finns. This is tonight’s best song by a country mile. Especialy when the pyros kick in. Lots of effects AND a decent song. Best of the night so far.
Roope and Krista chat to someone in the audience with a pair of spectacles to remember. He seems famous.
Clemso is next and talks to us, during his postcard, in English. He’s in a blue suit and a long gold chain. And he’s got six people on stage with him. That doesn’t seem right. Clemso is giving this a good go but it seems to lacking something. Or several things. This doesn’t really float my boat at all – maybe it’s the lacking backing beat, or the fact he stoops when he struts around, like Nadav Guedj. He might need to move to a house with higher ceilings. I can’t see it qualifying to be honest.
Finally is/are Pää-Äljät. Where to start. They are the Hairy Bikers. This is the most mental thing we’ll see this year. They are a duo – I think – but they’re joined by a whole collection of people who seem to be doing their own thing. It’s clip show gold, especially when they hit each other with birch twigs. They even take to the sky in a style reminiscent of Estonia’s Winny Puhh. Do I like it? Oh yes. Should it get through to Stockholm? Sorry, but it shouldn’t.
The phone lines are open, and Roope and Kristina give us a song to pass the time. She’s all warbly Mariah Carey, but in a good way. He tries his hand at rap. Yes, that’s right, rap in Finnish. And she’s now in a shiny gold boiler suit.
On tonight’s performances, Eini and Pää-Äljät are through. Saara Aalto could well be the third.
A Magic Mic award. And what to give it to? It could be Krista’s first frock. But I think it has to go to Pää-Äljät. We won’t see anything else quite like it this year.
First through is Saara Aalto. She’s pleased. Second through is Stella Christine. Our final luck finalists is Eini. I think she may well have won tonight.
Thanks for reading. see you next week. Same bat time, same bat channel.
Author: John Stanton
Source : Eurovision Ireland