YLE, the Finnish national broadcaster, has confirmed its participation at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021 and has also confirmed that UMK will be again the mechanism to select the Finnish Eurovision entry and act.
Finland will be opting again for the same selection format for 2021 that was used this year. The submission window for UMK 2021 will open on 1 September. The rules of the competition will be released in June. The pre-selection of the competing entries will be conducted by a UMK panel of experts, chaired by Tapio Hakanen (YLEX Music Director).
At this year’s UMK, Aksel Kankaanranta with his song Looking Back was chosen as the visa representative of Finland. The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 was scheduled to be held in Rotterdam from 12 to 16 May, but was canceled due to the coronavirus. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has outlined that the songs for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest must be new and the songs selected for this year’s competition cannot be used.
Ansi Autio says:
A year is a long time for any song and Eurovision has new music. Aksel may choose to participate at UMK next year, but the professional jury will select the contestants and ultimately the public will make their deliberation.
The 2020 edition attracted one of the largest UMK audience for years, with a record number of young people in particular. Similarly, the public vote was the busiest since 2015.
The interest and positive reception in this year’s competition, moreover, reinforced our view that open competition will continue. We also received positive feedback from the finalists after the competition, which we are particularly pleased about. Next year will mark the 10th anniversary of UMK and I believe it will become a state-of-the-art contemporary music show.
Hence Aksel Kankaanranta, the 2020 Finnish Eurovision hopeful has not been invited to represent Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest next year. If he would like to fly the Finnish flag at the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest he would have to enter the Finnish national selection from scratch.
Aksel was set to represent Finland at Eurovision with his entry Looking Back:
Finland in Eurovision
Finland debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1961 and has won the competition once, namely in 2006 when Lordi brought the coveted trophy to home soil for the very first time with Hard Rock Hallelujah. The Nordic country has competed 53 times in Europe’s favourite television show.