Finland: UMK to return with open selection in 2020; YleX joins the project

by Stratos Agadellis 897 views

Hyvää iltaa! The Finns are coming! Following the confirmations from Norway, Denmark and Sweden, Finland is the fourth country of Northern Europe to announce their participation at the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest, which will be held in the Netherlands next May. Although it’s only early June, the Finnish national broadcaster YLE has already revealed some details regarding their plan of action for next year.

Opting for the old recipe

As it has been the case since 2012, the country of thousands of lakes will be choosing their Eurovision act through their national selection event Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK). However, the competition’s format will be reconsidered for 2020, after two recent artist internal selections which ended up in a poor Eurovision placing and a semi-final elimination (Saara Aalto and Darude feat. Sebastian Rejman respectively). As already confirmed, YLE is going to return to an open process, with various competing artists and songs. Anssi Autio, the UMK producer says:

It has been great to work with top Finnish professionals and produce great performances on both the Lisbon and Tel Aviv Eurovision Song Contest. Now we are going to open again next year and will create a competition that will unite the music industry for the next few years.

When it comes to next year’s national competition, UMK producers will be joining forces with YleX, one of the major youth-oriented radio stations of YLE broadcaster. Excitement is diffused about this new collaboration and both Anssi Autio, as well as the Program Manager of YleXHanne Kautto, who will be closely following the show’s production from now on, have made the following statements:

We want strength and power from collaboration to search for new songs and entries. This also brings new opportunities for participating artists. The role of YleX — which has been awarded Music Media of the Year — includes love for new music. Its important task has always been to raise and support the new Finnish music talent.

The option for an open competition for Eurovision 2020 seems to satisfy most of the Finnish fans, as a 53% of them were in favour of that kind of national selection, according to a recent survey.

The submission window for UMK 2020 will be open form 1 to 8 November 2019, on the official website of the competition. More information on the event are expected soon.


Finland at Eurovision 2019

In keeping with their 2018 selection mechanism, the Finns selected internally the world-renowned DJ Darude and his close collaborator Sebastian Rejman to represent them at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Once again, YLE ran a televised national final show, UMK, where both the public and expert jury would choose the Finnish entry to Eurovision 2019, among three competing songs. It was finally decided that the two celebrated artists would fly to Tel Aviv with the song Look away in their suitcases, in the hope to bring the country back to a high placing on the scoreboard.

Finland competed in the first semi-final on 14 May. Their entry came 17th (last) with semi-final, thus missing out a qualification to the Grand Final.

The country’s best result in the current decade has been an 11th place, this achieved by the rock band Softengine in 2014. Do you think this can be beaten at the dawn of the 2020s?

How could Finland better their recent poor Eurovision results in 2020?