Finland: Aussievision's UMK 2023 rankings
Over the past two weeks, we've been drip-fed the tracks from the seven artists chosen, battling it out in 'Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2023', Finland's Eurovision selection contest.
Many Eurovision fans and critics have praised the quality of entries in this year's UMK competition, which range from 80s pop and dance floor bangers to ballads and metal-lite techno raves.
19 of Aussievision's contributors have listened to all the tracks and had their say in our rankings poll ahead of the contest at Logomo Arena in Turku on Saturday, February 25.
Each song was ranked 1st to 7th with the amount of points given for each position below:
1st - 12 points
2nd - 10 points
3rd - 8 points
4th - 6 points
5th - 4 points
6th - 2 points
7th - 1 point
So in reverse order, here's our team's favourite from this years UMK:
7. Robin Packalen - 'Girls Like You' (49 points)
Top scores: 8 points from John
6. Kuumaa - 'Ylivoimainen' (69 points)
Top scores: 6 points from Stef, Dale, Colleen, Fleur, Craig and Mike
5. Portion Boys - 'Samaa Taivasta Katsotaan' (98 points)
Top scores: 12 points from Dale, 10 points from Kiel, Tim, Colleen and Fleur.
"Look... I know this borders on dated novelty, but this bops along as a great pace with a hooky chorus and a real "Finnish" sound. This is something that could really be quite epic and fun on stage or just big ol' mess. Just the kind of entries I love!" - Dale
"Another crazy left of centre one which will be memorable, complete with name drops to Kimi Räikkönen in the chorus. Cheesy stuff worked for Moldova last year, and if Portion Boys execute their dance routine well, and win UMK, look out Europe." - Kiel
"Close race for my favourite. This has everything we expect from Finland. Would love to see this do well." - Fleur
"This song sounds like it’s got a lot going on which I think I really enjoy. It does sound very similar to Teflon Brothers from a few years ago but it’s got a few memorable moments." - Tim
4. Lxandra - 'Something To Lose' (105 points)
Top scores: 12 points from Justin, 10 points from Steven and Hayley.
"It's an earnest ballad that would do quite well if the vocals are as good (if not better), and I found myself stopping whatever I was doing while listening to it. It's a strong bunch overall, but I think it being the only ballad in the mix is a great advantage to the party music surrounding it." - Justin
"In complete contrast to my douze points choice, Lxandra’s entry is a stripped back and heartbreakingly plaintive lament that features devastatingly beautiful yet tragic lyrics all delivered in a distinctive and pleasing vocal tone. It *is* a sad song, but it feels more authentic than the usual fare in this category of prospective Eurovision tracks." - Steven
"Absolutely stunning! Her voice is to die for, very different and this song is memorable on first listen." - Hayley
"The only slow song this year, but that just helps it stand out more. I'm sure it can be pulled off live to a pleasantly surprising result." - Colleen
3. Keira - 'No Business On The Dancefloor' (118 points)
Top scores: 12 points from John and Cooper, 10 points from Samuel and Hugo.
"It is my favourite and should represent Finland because I would rather see a female bop battle between Keira, E'Femme, Noa Kirel, and Maia Maia. It would be a very interesting watch and I hope Finland won't repeat the same mistake they did in 2020." - John
"This song is a bop and a half! It's already an ear worm throughout the verses and pre-chorus but then for added catchiness, they threw in a flute breakdown! I haven't stopped playing this song since its release." - Cooper
"I’m absolutely living for this sassy, seductive song! Kiera has a contemporary tune and performance that would make any bona fide American popstar proud. But I also love the inclusion of ethnic instruments in the chorus, very different from Finland. I think genre-wise this is actually the most unique song in the UMK line-up, and I believe she will stand out further as she is one of only two female main vocalists. Also Kiera’s dancing is incredible – she absolutely has business on the dance floor!" - Samuel
"'No Business On The Dance Floor' is a great little bop of a song in - to my ears - the Sugababes vein of (reasonably) modern pop. Whilst not reinventing the wheel and featuring some odd lyrics (Harry Potter?), this could look great on stage with some tight choreography. The whistle refrain is also super catchy!" - Steve
"I love Keira’s voice, and this song is probably everything I expected but done well and very catchy! I love the flute instrumental as well. Can see this really elevating in the live show." - Hugo
"Typical female cute flirty Scandi bop and it slaps. The flute post-chorus is reminiscent of an underrated Romanian song No Time by Carine and good for Keira, because it sounds great too. I can’t see this winning but as her first offical song release, Keira should be so proud of herself. Amazing solid effort and a total crowd pleaser. Go girl!" - Josh
2. Käärijä - 'Cha Cha Cha' (182 points)
Top scores: 12 points from Kiel, Fleur, Colleen, Kyriakos, Emma, Mike and Hayley, 10 points from Stef, Justin, Dale, Craig, Josh and Mark.
"I AM OBSESSED WITH THIS!! This is the best song I have heard in a long time!! It is impactful, punchy, and takes you on a journey. I hope Käärijä wins!! The rest of the world needs to see this on the Eurovision stage." - Kyriakos
"This is the perfect mix of art and crazy. I just want to see this in Liverpool. It gets a bit repetitive towards the end, but the crowd will lap it up screaming Cha Cha Cha. Priceless." - Fleur
"It's the year for Finland to go crazy. This goes from being a Rammstein-lite stomper to a poppy techno rave at the end, while keeping all those catchy Cha-Cha-Cha's which will be hard to get out of anyone's head. Their neighbours Norway were instantly memorable with Subwoolfer last year and did well - and I reckon the time is right for the Finns to take a leaf out of their book." - Kiel
"I could see this song winning Eurovision. Although my personal favourite is Benjamin, I kind of want to see Cha Cha Cha win, as I think it encapsulates the magic of Eurovision, as well as the essence of Finland. What a song!" - Stef
"This is *extremely* catchy (yet not irritating or repetitive), and I can see audiences eating this up. My one concern is the vocal effects in the verses, which may pose a replication problem. Other than that? This would be a solid choice to send to Liverpool." - Justin
"'Cha Cha Cha' seems to cover a bunch of different genres and the first 30-45 seconds I was like WTF is this. But 90 seconds in I was like "CHA CHA CHA CHA CHA CHA CHA"! An interesting and fun performer with a Finnish language song that is catchy as hell. Sign me up!" - Dale
"We are served two different songs in the space of three minutes, but they fit together so perfectly. I think this could be a televote powerhouse if they deliver a decent staging." - Colleen
"'Cha Cha Cha' was not my favourite UMK entry on first listen but I'll happily admit I have been swayed by the online buzz for this song. Sounding like Hatari singing on the Lego Movie soundtrack, it's different enough to stand out from the other six entries which are all of a consistently good quality this year. It's not necessarily a song I would choose to listen to but I enjoy it nonetheless and can see the appeal. Staging will make or break this so I look forward to seeing the live performance." - Emma
"This really shouldn't be my thing... and yet somehow it really, really is? This is littered with musical twists and surprises throughout which suggest Käärijä has given thought to how this will play to a live audience, and the "cha cha cha" hook is undeniably catchy. Probably a little bit vegemite, but I'm firmly in the pro camp for this one - would be over the moon to have something this wild in Liverpool." - Craig
1. Benjamin - 'Hoida mut' (190 points)
Top scores: 12 points from Stef, Tim, Samuel, Steven, Samuel, Hugo, Josh and Mark, 10 points from John, Cooper, Kyriakos, Emma and Mike.
"I've genuinely listened to this song at least 5 times a day everyday since it was released, sometimes more...I think it may be the perfect song! The 80s synth beat, the tiny bit of English in the perfect places...it's perfection! I love that they have English subtitles available on the videos with closed captioning, so now I just sing "do what you gotta do....JUST DO ME!". No matter what happens with this song, I'm now a dedicated Benjamin fan and will listen to this song for the rest of my life. It's one of my favourite songs of all time." - Stef
"Hot, slick, retro, dark, cool. This 80s sound has been back for a couple of years but not sure it’s been done this well at Eurovision yet. And despite the pastiche elements, it still feels modern (unlike Fyr og Flamme, or Raylee, for example). Also, the hair styling is a fashion MOMENT." - Mark
"It is tough choosing a winner from what I think is so far the strongest national final this season. However, in a selection stacked with quirky, up-tempo songs, Benjamin just edges ahead for me. The chorus is as an absolute toe-tapper and is as addictive as Finnish vodka. I feel like Benjamin could be the younger brother of the fabulous Erika Vikman (who sang Cicciolina in UMK 2020). He is also serving Michael Jackson realness with his fingerless, red leather gloves – which I want to borrow for my next costume party." - Samuel
"I think In all the 80’s style Synth-pop of UMK this year, this was the most melodic and I think the most radio friendly song. I think this be very popular at Liverpool and for an international audience especially given the intermittent English lyrics in the song. I think it’s biggest challenge could be winning UMK but it’s got a lot going for it and I hope this does well." - Tim
"A tale of queer love/lust set to a whipcrackling fast electro beat with suitably sexy lyrics delivered in Finnish (bonus point!) by an artist who exudes sensuality? Tick, tick, tick … boom! My cheeks are blushing too after all that! 🥵" - Steve
"Benjamin is taking us back to the 80's in Finnish and I am loving it. This is catchy as and the clever addition of some English in the chorus means everyone can at least sing along to part of the song. And the best thing is I'm liking it more and more after each listen which can only be a good thing!" - Emma
"Catchy, well-produced and unabashedly horny, Hoida Mut is taking the format of the 80s-inspired dance bop that we've become very familiar with in recent years and giving it a gay twist. I have basically no worries about whether Benjamin will be able to perform this, and the music video is rich with cool visuals and double-entendres which hopefully give a sense of where they're going to take this as a live performance. Perhaps not entirely reinventing the wheel, but this is doing a well-established Eurovision subgenre to a very high quality, and I think would inject some much needed fun into Eurovision 2023 in Liverpool!" - Craig
"This is great! I’m not usually a huge fan of the 80s sounding synth tracks, but this is modern enough for me to like. The chorus is so catchy and I find myself wanting to hear is more and more as the song goes on. Perhaps doesn’t have such an X factor about it, but this is my favourite of the bunch at the moment!" - Hugo
"80’s bop x catchy homo erotica. Perfection! This song is a fan fave and would be deserving of a spot on the Eurovision stage. The only question is will this be overtaken by the underdog mish mash of Cha Cha Cha" - Josh
"HIGH impact and ridiculously catchy!! 2nd half feels more pop in production. It stays with you long after it's finished. Is it good? I'm not sure and I don't care. BRILLIANT!!" - Mike
So there you have it - a very tight two-horse race with Benjamin just edging ahead of Käärijä for Finland's UMK 2023, based on the thoughts of the Aussievision team.
What are your favourites from UMK 2023? Let us know on our socials.
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