Eurovision 2020

#FINLAND – LIVE BLOG of #UMK2021 from 20:00 CET

Hyvää iltaa Euroopassa ja hyvää huomenta Australiassa! This is Helsinki calling! Tonight we’ll discover who will be flying the flag at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 for Finland – it’s time for Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu!

Sit back and relax, and let Eurovision Ireland’s own James Scanlan entertain and inform you. As always, feel free to tell me what you think and give your opinions about tonight’s Final and who your favourites are! I might even shout out to you in the blog!

Our show tonight is coming to us courtesy of YLE, live from Mediapolis TV studio in Tampere and hosted by Antti Tuisku. The acts hoping to represent Finland at Eurovision this May will perform in the following order:

  1. Teflon Brothers & Pandora – I Love You
  2. Aksel – Hurt
  3. Laura – Play
  4. Danny – Sinä Päivänä Kun Kaikki Rakastaa Mua
  5. Oskr – Lie
  6. Blind Channel – Dark Side
  7. Ilta – Kelle Mä Soitan

The result tonight will be decided by a mix of public televote and eight international juries from across the continent, and also the United States of America! The jury vote will comprise 25% of the final result, and the televote will count for the remaining 75%. The winner takes it all and will be Finland’s act at Eurovision 2021!

There will also be commentary tracks provided in Finnish, Swedish, English and Russian. So if you want to join in all the fun in Finland and want to watch the final with English commentary, click HERE


Olet liian aikainen! You’re too early! Come back at 20:00 CET to join in the fun from Tampere!

It’s about 20 minutes to show time! Get comfy, get your snacks and prepare to sit back and enjoy Uuden Musiiken Kilpailu 2021!

I’ll let you all in on a secret… this is the first time I’ve watched a Finnish Eurovision event and I’m really excited about it! 😀

One minute to go!!

Paul Oskar, is that you? No, it’s our host Antti and Erika!

C’mon babe, why don’t we paint the town… and all that jazz!

As opening numbers go, this is very slick, sexy and shows a lot of care and effort went into choreographing it… I’m really impressed!

A Finnish friend of mine told me Antti was an incredible performer and my goodness he is! That was amazing!

What an intimate aircraft hanger to be performing in! That stage is HUUGGEEE!!

Here we go, it’s on to song #1! – Teflon Brothers and Pandora!

Teflon Brothers & Pandora – I Love You

Just when you think you’ve seen everything at national selections, someone pops a flying saucer in a microwaves, then blue aliens with huge bulbous brains start rapping in Finnish while a Swede fires pink flames from her wrists looking like Lady Gaga from the 51st century… I swear I’m not high, welcome to Eurovision! Musically it’s so 80s and so on trend at the moment, and in terms of staging, this is out of this world… quite literally! I would have liked to see a little more movement from Pandora, but I guess when you’re balancing on a spaceship, you have to be careful! Finland could do much worse than sending this to Rotterdam, the staging alone would become iconic! I really like the song too, what a start to the show!!!

Next up is last year’s UMK winner, Aksel! Will lightening strike twice?

Aksel – Hurt

In the interview before the song, Aksel said he feels like he has grown as a performer is more ready for Eurovision this year – and I’m blown away by the change. Looking Back was a very strong song, but I remember commenting at the time he needed to relax and open his eyes to connect with the camera… kiitos Aksel for heeding my advice! The result is very special and a very intimate and strong performance. His voice is undeniable, and with a new found confidence in the way he performs and moves, he shows what an accomplished performer he has become. Bravo Aksel! I’m thoroughly impressed. If he goes again this year to Eurovision, I wouldn’t be at all surprised after that!

Now it’s time for another familiar face for Eurovision fans… it’s Laura, no longer lost in Verona, but now in Tampere!

Laura – Play

Wearing huge golden shoulder pads that wouldn’t look out of place on Dynasty, Laura’s Eurovision credentials are easy to spot as she confidentially looks down the camera. I like the whole idea of the toppled chess piece and Laura’s vocals are good, but there’s something about this song that I struggle to warm to. She said beforehand that she thinks the repetition of ‘play’ was its strongest point… I actually think it does the opposite, and makes the song a little too repetitive. Would this do well at Eurovision? I’m not sure… Laura certainly knows how to play Eurovision, but I feel like this song doesn’t showcase her full potential.

Typical Helsinki street scene… Erika’s bears from last year

Back to the songs, and our host says its time to bow down to the King… it’s Danny!

Danny – Sinä Päivänä Kun Kaikki Rakastaa Mua

Translating as “On The Day Everyone Loves Me” (ie, the day you die), the first time I heard this song and read an English copy of the lyrics, I wondered whether this was a smart move. Especially in a year when so many people have lost loved ones and many are still raw with grief. But there is something so hypnotic about Danny’s voice… as performance art, I think the subdued lyrics and Danny’s gentle performance are mesmerising. In any other Eurovision year, I would say sending something like this would be a terrible idea for a crowded, excitable arena. But if there was ever a year that an entry like this could work, a Eurovision in a quiet TV studio were the full poetry and impact of the words could work, 2021 is that year… Danny has entered UMK 7 times… could it be his turn at last? I’m quite emotional about this and it would definitely have impact in Rotterdam.

From a veteran performer to the ingénue, it’s time for Oskr to take to the stage!

Oskr – Lie

Oskr is giving such a heartfelt and powerful performance, it sounds like he is living the broken heart he is singing about with every utterance, which is very compelling to listen to! The slight issue (for me at least) is the singing with closed eyes and living so much in that moment that he’s not really connecting to the audience. At Eurovision, that could be problematic… he’s certainly got the talent though, and it was a very intimate performance though. Well done Oskr!

I didn’t know bears wore shoes…

Two songs left, and first up it’s “the black sheep of UMK” – and according to the poll we ran at Eurovision Ireland, your favourite to win tonight! – it’s Blind Channel!

Blind Channel – Dark Side

OH! OH! OH! OH! – This song just grabs you from the get go and shakes you! Rock music is perfect for an arena, but rock bands at Eurovision have a habit of performing to their live audience at the expense of the televoters at home… but these guys ARE connecting to the cameras!! They’re looking down the camera, rocking like they’re loving being up there and the result is incredible!! It makes you want to jump to your feet and go wild! The band said they poured all their frustrations and anger with the COVID lockdown into this song… which just shows that you can use pain and anger very positively! I think we may have well just seen tonight’s winner. Put your middle fingers up!!

One last song up, and it’s Ilta!

Ilta – Kelle Mä Soitan

Before the selection, this was one of the songs that stood out for me, and I must admit I was a little worried for it coming hot on the heels of the favourite. But my goodness… Ilta sings with such conviction in her voice and her eyes… looking angelic all in white, she sings her heart out as the orchestral music swells and the result is simply magical. Some people say things like saving the best till last, and I think UMK might have just done that… Finland, you’ve set the bar very high tonight, how on earth will you decide?!


Here are the numbers you need to vote! You will also need to be in Finland, or have access to a Finnish SIM card!

While we go through a recap, I’m going to gather my thoughts and tell you what I think and who I think will win the night – brb!

As I said earlier, this is the first time I’ve watched UMK and I’m astounded by how strong this final has been! Even with only 7 songs to choose from, it’s still really difficult… almost any one of them would make a fine addition to the Eurovision 2021 song book! Hmm… while I suspect Blind Channel are a contender to win, I wouldn’t discount Danny or Ilta yet either, as they both gave stellar and very emotive performances. I wouldn’t be surprised either if the Teflon Brothers won the international jury vote because it is such a mad-cap show, but as it’s only 25% of the vote, I wonder if that would be enough to win… oh Finland, you’ve made this so difficult for me!! Grrr! But I love it!!

This is a cool idea for a reaction video, filming the acts listening to each other’s songs for the first time… lovely that they’re all so supportive and enjoying each other’s work!

As we wait for the results to come in, Antti is giving us quite a show!

KEiiNO are about to take to the stage in Norway… go on… I don’t mind you heading off for a moment… but make sure you come back 😉

Here we go! The UK jury is voting now, and gives Blind Channel 12 points!

Switzerland give 8 to Blind Channel, and their 12 to Aksel!

Now for the most Eurovision of countries, the United States of America!

The US gives its 12 to Blind Channel… nothing for Laura yet…

Poland give 8 to Aksel, 10 to Oskr and 12 to Blind Channel

Hatari look different out of their S&M gear…

12 from Iceland to Oskr

Surprised Teflon are so far down the scoreboard…

Spain give 8 to Aksel, 10 to Oskr and 12 to Blind Channel

Our last jury up next, our would-be hosts, the Netherlands!

Alankomaat is Finnish for The Netherlands? Cool!

The Netherlands gives 12 to Ilta!

Here are the full results of the international juries – remember this only makes up 25% of the full vote, so this is far from over!

Time for another performance as we wait for the televote to be verified

Not at all surprised Blind Channel are leading the jury vote – slightly surprised the Teflon Brothers and Pandora are so far down, but then again, it’s a strong final and this is what happens when you have to rank everyone – songs do go further down than we’d probably like. Such is how the game is played!

It’s time for the final results! Time to add the televote! Who gets the lion’s share of the vote?

It’s going to be like Eurovision, lowest placing on the scoreboard gets their televote points first – so it’s time for Laura’s points!

Laura gets 9

Danny gets 38

Teflon Brothers and Pandora are awarded 150 points and are in the lead!

Ilta up net, she gets 101 points, currently placing her 2nd

Aksel gets 52

Oskr gets 53 points

Blind Channel need 109 points to beat Teflon Brothers

With a whopping 479 points from the televote, Dark Side has 551 points and eclipses everyone else – Blind Channel wins!

What an increbible show that was! Kiitos Suomi! And we’ll see Blind Channel at Eurovision2021!

Thank you for reading along with me tonight, I’ve been James, this has been UMK, thank you Europe and good night!

Author: James Scanlan
Source: YLE

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