Finland Independence Day - their best recent UMK entries
Happy Independence Day to Finland! Today marks 103 years since they declared independence from Russia!
Excluding Lordi’s win in 2006, Finland have had little success at Eurovision, especially in recent years, with no other top 10 entry since 2000. However, Finland has produced many songs that quickly became fan favourites, including a number that remained in their national final: Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK).
Let’s go back and look at some of the best Finnish entries, that failed to make it to the Eurovision stage.
Saara Aalto – ‘No Fear’ (UMK 2016)
Before making it to Eurovision in 2018, Saara Aalto had already made two attempts to go to Eurovision, with her second attempt coming in 2016. This attempt, containing a message of confidence and being proud of yourself (common in many of her other songs) got strong support from the Finnish public, winning the televote but failing to find support from the Jury groups, and ending in 3rd place.
Emma – ‘Circle of Light’ (UMK 2017)
During the leadup to the 2017 show, Circle of Light was the strong favourite for Finland to be sending to Ukraine. Combining pop and folk element, it immediately got many comparisons to Iceland’s 2016 entry (‘Hear Them Calling’) another fan favourite. However, a weak performance on the night took Emma from favourite to win, to 3rd place finish.
Zühlke – ‘Perfect Villain’ (UMK 2017)
Sticking with the 2017 final and Zühlke brought a strong ballad as her Entry. While not a favourite to win, the song captured the love of fans, coming second with the televote and the juries. Zühlke went on to become Finland’s entry in the 2017 OGAE Second Chance competition, where she came 19th.
Erika Vikman – ‘Cicciolina’ (UMK 2020)
Back when people still assumed that Eurovision would be held in 2020, Erika Vikman’s Finnish language entry ‘Cicciolina’ raced to the top of the Finnish charts when released and quickly became one of the favourite songs out of all 2020 National Finals. Immediately before the show betting odds had her as a clear favourite to win, and most fans assumed that it was all but won before the show even started. However, while she had a high score in the televote, a mediocre jury score allowed Aksel’s entry ‘Looking Back’ to be the entry scheduled to be performed at the contest that never happened.
What will UMK 2021 bring? Hopefully more of the same after these recent gems!