#FINLAND: Live blog of UMK 2019 from 19.00 CET

FINLAND: Live blog of UMK 2019 from 19.00 CET

After three weeks of reveals, Finland picks which of Darude’s song will be flying the blue-and-white cross in Tel Aviv in May.

Broadcaster Yleisradio is keeping things simple. Three songs by Darude and his pal Sebastian Rejman are in with a shout. But which one will it be? A 50/50 split of jury and televote will decide the winner.

You know the drill: We’ll be blogging our thoughts, and you may or may not agree with us. You can also watch the action HERE.

And we’re off. It’s a very basic set.

You can join in the action using the hashtag #UMK19. Good luck if you do.

We’re going through the beats per minute (BPM) for some of the winners, and how they compare with tonight’s three songs. All very interesting.

After more brief chat, it’s onto the songs. We’re getting the videos that were released over the last few weeks.

Release me (written by Ville ‘Darude’ Virtanen, Jaakko Manninen and Brandyn Burnette)

This features a slow vocal with the trademark synthesised backing. I feel that this is crying out for a more intense backing beat, and maybe this will happen if it’s the choice of Finland. And that’s a very big ‘if’.

Superman (written by Ville ‘Darude’ Virtanen, Chris Hope and Thom Bridges)

This starts with an almost muted backing whilst Sebastian takes us through the first verse. The video has the whimsy of Mr Darude dressed as a Superman-style character. The chorus does have a lot of potential, which subsides during the second verse. The second chorus has more about it and it’s definitely a floor-filler – if it gets through. I think it’s better that Release me.

Look away (written by Sebastian Rejman and Ville ‘Darude’ Virtanen)

As with Superman, this starts quite subdued. The chorus demonstrates Sebastian’s vocal better and it has more of a beat to it with potential to shine out from the slower songs that have already qualified for Tel Aviv. This bounces along nicely and it is the best of the three.

And that’s the three songs – all done and dusted in 26 minutes. Nice one, YLE. Of course, with televoting we’re in for a bit of a wait before we know a winner.

To fill in, we see Emmelie de Forest’s winning performance in Malmö. And she’s there. She tells us that she’s still writing and performing with her band. And she’s busy with other projects too. From her win, she got signed to Universal Records which she loved. She’ll be performing at UMK later.

More chatter, in Finnish naturally, with Rassu Redford and Eino Nurmisto. Eino is looking fetching in a sparkly suit.

From the spartan studio, we now go to a bigger venue with a large crowd.

Chatter with Darude. His influences appear to be Modern Talking and Dr Alban. Of course, the biggest thing he ever did was Sandstorm. A world wide hit that yielded countless awards. He even met the president of Finland.

Back to the big arena and we get dancers opening the show.

It’s Wo sind die Katzen. That featured in an Eesti Laul semi-final. But ‘Stormy Siegfrids’ is singing it.

There’s a large Netta cat on stage with people coming out of the back of it. You want disturbing? Welcome to Finland.

Kids with recorders playing Sandstorm? And Netta’s Toy with a Darude-themed reworking? Brilliant.

Our hosts for tonight.

We’re getting the numbers for the Finnish public to call. Only €1 to do so.

Darude and and Sebastian are on stage for each song now.

Release me

The song has a stage that’s concentric square of fluorescent lights. Variously purple and white. Sebastian is on a travelator with Darude behind him. Towards the end the lighting peels back to the side of the stage and Seb is at the front. There’s pyros and smoke too. No expense spared here.

After chatter about Israel, we talk to two young boys who know the words to Rybak’s That’s how you write a song. Fans in the making?


A different setting with dancers dressed in white, dancing with balls. There are flames this time too. This bouncing along nicely, and the staging is very good. There’s a large purple heart made of more fluorescent lights behind the set. I get the impression more efforts has gone into this staging. Especially when we get pyros, laser lights and large balls bouncing around the audience. It’s very popular.

More chatter with typical Finns, who may or may not be Eurovision fans.

Our hosts are in a big shell now.

Look away

Stark monochrome staging here. They’re in front of a large box with a dancer above it. Said box revolves (with Darude in it) with images projected onto its sides. The staging is very good and slick. And it gets the biggest cheer of the night. Sounds like a favourite to me.

Songs over, and we find out more about Israel.

Phone lines are open. So we get Emmelie de Forest providing the cabaret. She performs Only teardrops.

Vote time from the jurors.

The UK gives 12 to Look away.

Norway gives 12 to Look away.

Spain gives 12 to Look away.

Czech Republic gives 12 to Look away.

Sweden gives 12 to Look away. Looking a bit convincing now.

Ireland gives 12 to Look away. The Irish seem to know what they like.

Denmark gives 12 to Look away.

Israel gives 12 to Look away.

Will the Finnish public agree with the jurors?

Another bit of chatter from the small outside studio, whilst the public can still cast their votes, even though they know how the jurors have voted.

Our co-host is in another outfit to remember.

‘Stormy’ is back, singing Love parade. Another understated stage show follows. No images can do it justice. But it’ll be on Youtube somewhere.

Points from the televoters are coming in now.

Release me gets 19. Superman gets 73. Look away gets 148 points.

That’s pretty conclusive. The compsoition written by Darude and Sebastian wins.

That’s the end of this blog. I hope you liked the winner. Tell us what you think.

And good night.

Author: John Stanton

Source: Eurovision Ireland

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