Finland: YLE confirms participation in Eurovision 2019; UMK final on 2 March

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 1,863 views

YLE, the Finnish national broadcaster has confirmed to ESCToday that Finland will participate at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv.

Last June the Finnish broadcaster announced that the forthcoming Finnish Eurovision national selection Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) will have the same format as this year and will remain an invitation only competition.

The 2019 Finnish national final is scheduled to be held on 2 March 2019. The yet to be determined 2019 Finnish  Eurovision hopeful (invited artist) will sing a number of entries at UMK 2019. More details regarding the 2019 Finnish Eurovision project and plan of action will be disclosed in the coming weeks. YLE will be revealing further information on the UMK 2019 host city and ticket sales in due course.

Thus Finland joins the list of countries who have confirmed their participation at the upcoming Eurovision edition in Israel.

UMK 2019

Finland is set to follow the same mechanism as it did this year in 2019. YLE will once again invite artists, composers and record companies to submit their proposals for the forthcoming song competition. The new format has been quite successful for the country as Finland qualifed to the Grand Final for the first time in four years, having missed qualification 3 times in a row.

The Finnish broadcaster is yet to determine the number of artists it will invite to partake in the selection, the final format of the competition is yet to be finalised and remains open with many option on the table.

Mr. Anssi Autio (UMK’s producer) comments:

The  2018 UMK has proved that through the invitation contest we will be able to invest more in performances and other content. We continue to develop the concept now from this point of view.

We have had contacts and have been in touch with record companies, producers, songwriters and artists. We are currently discussing and evaluating different options and opportunities.

UMK 2018 was viewed by circa 1.4 million viewers whilst the 2018 Eurovision Semifinal and Grand Final was watched by 2.5 million spectators in Finland. All in all the 2018 editon of UMK was a record breaker with the 2018 UMK entries going viral with more than 5 million views/listenings, whilst the official website received circa 289,000 different visitors during the UMK week.

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 partaken in the competition 52 times.

In 2018 YLE changed the format of UMK and invited Saara Aalto to represent Finland at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon. Hence the broadcaster selected the artist internally and held a national final with a total of three songs. Saara’s Eurovision entry was selected via a 50/50 jury deliberation.

Saara Aalto flew to Lisbon with Monsters, achieving a 25th placing in the Grand Final.