The Aussievision team rank Finland UMK 2020 songs 1st to 6th
This Sunday morning (Australia Time) Finland will hold Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) 2020, the 9th edition of their national selection show.
There are six entries this year, each from different artists (a change in the format from 2018 and 2019).
You will be able to watch the final (which will be hosted live in Tampere by Krista Sigfrieds and Mikko Silvennoinen in Tampere) at 5am AEDT.
To preview the show, we asked the Aussievision team to rank their entries
Points were given as 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 and 2 points from each of our jury, and the totals were as follows:
1st: Erika Vikman – Ciccolina (98 Points)
Highs: 12 points from Laura, Dale, Emma, Steven, Fleur and Jess
Lows: 8 points from Mike
Dale: This. Is. Everything. Powerful, dramatic, tongue and cheek with a killer melody and chorus. It’s gone full 80s to late 70s retro with an almost ABBA sound at times. I loved the Finnish entries in the 80s and this feels similar, female up front, power song, great use of the Finnish language. I ADORE this entry and really hope it wins UMK.
Laura: I would love to hear Finland send a song in Finnish to Eurovision for the first time since 2015 and ‘Cicciolina’ would be a fantastic addition to the lineup of Finnish Eurovision entries throughout the years. The song harkens back to late-90s trance bangers (think ‘Ecuador’ by Sash) and it is sure to be a crowd-pleaser that will get audiences bopping along. The subject matter of women’s empowerment and openness certainly strikes a chord, and it’s easy to see that Erika is very passionate about this song upon hearing her feisty, tongue-in-cheek vocal delivery. From the second that synth riff opens the track, you know to be prepared for an iconic ride, and this song certainly does not disappoint!
Mike: I’m partial to a Euro Dance banger and this ticks all the boxes. Awesome 80’s pastiche with production that works perfectly for the song. This will please a lot of people. Hopefully the live performance delivers.
Emma: It’s dated, it’s in Finnish but for some reason I love this. It sounds like a 90’s revamp of an Abba song. This would definitely stand out at Eurovision provided the staging isn’t too cheesy. Very enjoyable.
Steven: WHAT. A. BANGER! With an infectious dance beat (that reminds me of ABBA’s disco era hits) and provocative yet empowering lyrics, this playful example of Finndisco at its finest ticks all my boxes. I’m only sad that I had to Google Translate the lyrics to discover the song’s message. In short, I hope this is chosen to represent Finland this year and I feel that it has the potential to be as big a non-English language crowd pleaser as its Scandinavian neighbour’s 2019 representatives KEiiNO.
Fleur: This is the Eurotrash that I live for. I love this. Yes, I have done some (I stress “some”) research on the subject matter. It’s brilliant. Please Suomi send this!!! Also, I want to go to Helsinki.
Jess: Retro, energetic, Finnish – I AM IN LOVE. I can see this being played non stop at various Eurovision parties, with great dancefloor energy. I love a variety of languages at Eurovision, so would appreciate Finland departing from the long tradition of Nordic countries sending English language entries!
Kyriakos: I have heard a lot about this online Eurofan favourite which has been hyped up greatly. The song actually lives up to the hype. I do get slight ABBA vibes within the chorus. Erika seems to have a big personality in her lyric video. If she manages to translate that well on stage I think this could take it out.
2nd: Catharina Zühlke – Eternity (74 points)
Highs: 12 points from Mike and Kyriakos
Lows: 4 points from Jess
Dale: There are elements of this song that are my favourite of the bunch. The big vocal build up to a big Eurobeat are FANTASTIC. It does take a while to get going however, but overall it should be good. Catherine can sing live and is a former UMK runner-up.
Laura: I thought this was going to be a full-on ballad, but when the tempo change hit and the pulsing 808s kicked in, I was pleasantly surprised. The classical elements and the strings mesh well with electronic beats to create a Saara Aalto-meets-Bojana Stamenovic song that takes a life all of its own. Catharina’s voice transitions from raw and delicate to strong and powerful, and it’s difficult to ask for a better showcase for her vocal ability than this song.
Mike: OMG that chorus!! I want to be at the Ahoy as she belts that out! Overall the song can take a while to get going, but you get the banger. It’s not the most original and it could do with a rework. But it works for me!
Emma: What a surpise...just when I thought we had a fairly standard ballad, it turns in to a banger. Catharina has a gorgeous voice but I feel like it’s almost an inferior Euphoria rip off.
Steven: I like Catharina’s voice, the song progresses from a ballad to a more uptempo number (which I appreciate!) and, if delivered well live, the “ooooooooos” could be impressive. For me, this is let down somewhat by the simple and really rather repetitive lyrics (I mean, you couldn’t fail to know the song’s title by the end).
Fleur: This takes a while to get going. I like Catharina’s voice most about this. It melds well with the ballad/banger moments. There are just other songs that I prefer in the contest, but this is good.
Jess: Don’t get me wrong – I don’t DISLIKE this song, but I just find there are other stronger entries. It has energy, Catharina has AMAZING vocals. With a rework and the right place in the running order it could be jaw-dropping, but it isn’t quite there for me yet.
Kyriakos: I am a sucker for a great ballad, which switches to banger mode. I honestly wouldn’t mind if ‘Eternity’ was selected for Eurovision. Catharina has a unique voice. Though overall it could come across generic, the chorus really makes the song and is filled with emotion.
3rd Sansa – Lover View (55 Points)
Highs: 12 points from Guy
Lows: 2 points from Mike
Dale: Love the studio of this, great bit, nice production – I’m just not sure of this as a live song and think it will struggle in that department.
Laura: This is probably the most chilled, laid back sounding song in UMK, filled to the brim with slick Nordic production and electronic synth beats. As a result, it sounds refreshing, but I fear it will get lost in amongst the heavy-hitting dance floor anthems and power ballads of the selection.
Mike: Lover View what does that even mean? The confusing title matches this song. The tempo is middle of the road and it is all a bit middling. Could go by on a playlist and I wouldn’t remember it.
Emma: Dreamy radio friendly pop indie track. This is the kind of music I enjoy listening to but sadly I don’t think it stands out enough to do well.
Steven: Cool electro-pop with, I feel, fairly clear Sia/Robyn influences. I enjoyed listening to this, but it just didn’t grab me. Plus, the title confuses me. What is a “lover view”?
Fleur: This is enjoyable. This reminds me of the sort of Scandi-pop that I loved listening to in the early 2000’s. I would not be disappointed if this was chosen. However, as with a lot of heavy electronic songs I do worry how it would sound live.
Jess: I enjoy this song, but I feel that with the number of electro, dance songs in the selection this year, this is the one that doesn’t stand out to me.
Kyriakos: This is song is right up my alley when I would love to play something easy listening in the background when I am working. But I am struggling to see how this would translate live on stage. It doesn’t seem to have a moment, it just cruises along the same pace and tone for the whole 3 minutes. It is a very pleasant song though.
4th F3M – Bananas (54 points)
Highs: 10 points from Laura and Jess
Lows: 2 points from Emma, Kyriakos and Steven
Dale: Very mid 2010s Little Mix sound here, but that’s not a bad thing. Simple, repetitive but fun and it works.
Laura: When I heard that this song was about women kissing each other at the club, I was bracing myself for the usual disclaimer that comes along with it of the act being for male attention or pleasure (hello Katy Perry). Then I listened to the song and was relieved to hear that there was none of that - it’s just a song about a few girls having a great time on a night out. This bombastic pop anthem certainly gives a new meaning to girl power! While the main theme of the song is not new or original, the spin that FEM have put on it is novel, and for that I give them credit.
Mike: This sounds like every girl group from the 2000s. It’s kinda fun and that chorus slaps, but I can’t take it seriously.
Emma: I enjoy the tune but the chorus lyrics are so cheesy, this sounds like a song any self respecting girl group would have rejected. We already have an all girl trio from Serbia...I don’t think there’s room for two in the competition.
Steven: A high-energy, bold, girl band pop song. It’s fairly catchy but the choice of title? Now, THAT’s bananas! In a strong field of songs, I can’t see this making much headway. Having said that, I don’t dislike this entry.
Fleur: 1990’s girl-band throwback. It’s a fun entry that would stand out at Rotterdam. I do wonder how this would sound live, they seem to harmonise well. I really like it.
Jess: EXTREMELY cheesy, a little dated, but I love it so much. I question how well it would do at Eurovision, but it has certainly made its way onto my playlists.
Kyriakos: Great to see a girl band, but they aren’t Hurricane. It reminds me of the girl band manufactured pop of the late 90’s and early 00’s. Unfortunately it doesn’t grab me, I am not going bananas over this one.
5th Aksel Kankaanranta – Looking Back (52 points)
Highs: 10 points from Mike and Steven
Lows: 2 points from Laura, Fleur and Jess
Dale: That chorus is a KILLER. The only male in the group will get a lot of love. Probably the most contemporary of the songs, I do just find the verses can lack somewhat compared to that top notch chorus. Also staging, is he just going to stand and sing? Not sure that will cut it. We’ll wait and see!
Laura: Aksel has a nice voice, but this song sounds more like a radio-friendly hit rather than a Eurovision showcase. The prechoruses and chorus are very repetitive, and the song seems to coast along without going into that ‘wow factor’ moment that many listeners are searching for in Eurovision. Much like the song’s lyrics, unfortunately, it felt like I didn’t know what I was listening to until it was over and I was looking back at the repeat button.
Mike: The studio to this has a great vibe to it. The production is good and it has a hook that sticks. The song lacks a little variation in tempo and sort of plods towards the end. I’m interested to see the live performance.
Emma: Vocally, Aksel reminds me very much of our own Dean Lewis. I really enjoy this song but we already have plenty of males in the competition with similar style songs so it may get lost in the crowd.
Steven: A nostalgic song in which Aksel reminisces about the good old days and how they weren’t fully appreciated at the time. Aksel’s recorded vocal is strong, the song’s narrative is clear and the lyrics are well-crafted. This could be a strong contender / surprise winner on the night.
Fleur: This is sung well and I like his voice. Unfortunately, it just is not memorable for me. Would not stand out at Eurovision.
Jess: This song is extremely forgettable, and among a strong line-up of songs, does not compare favourable for me. Would not sound out of place on a regular radio rotation though.
Kyriakos: Wow this song is quality with Aksel’s voice being the highlight. I can’t help and get some slight Duncan Laurence vibes from the song as a whole. It is probably not as catchy as the other songs. It would be a song I would personally add to my Spotify playlist though.
6th Tika – I Let My Heart Break (46 points)
Highs: 8 points from Steven and Jessika
Lows: 2 points from Dale and Guy
Dale: The fact this is my ‘last’ song shows the quality of these entries. This is a really solid competent power ballad that I think will lift live if she can nail those vocals.
Laura: This is one of the biggest power ballads I have heard throughout the entire 2020 National Final season. The sparse minimalist production showcases Tika’s vocal ability, and therefore it will be those vocals which will define her chances in UMK 2020. There are parts in the lyrics where the stresses of words fall in the wrong places to a native speaker’s ear, and the lyrics end up sounding cliched at times. ‘I Let My Heart Break’ is very Eurovision-by-numbers, right down to the obligatory key change. There is a very delicate line that Tika treads between singing powerfully and over-singing/shouting. That being said, all of those elements combined make for a very memorable song that sticks in the mind from the first listen.
Mike: A soaring ballad that will let Tika show off her vocal. It’s a nice enough song, but not near the quality of what we’re seeing head to Rotterdam already.
Emma: Tika has a gorgeous vocal tone but this is your fairly standard Eurovision ballad which is probably too similar in theme to Roxen’s Alcohol You to stand out.
Steven: A power ballad breakup song reminiscent of tracks by some of the world’s biggest divas, with just a touch of Bond theme about it. The lyrics are fairly simple but will nevertheless resonate and most likely appeal. If Tika can hit those high notes live, then I reckon she also has a chance at taking out the UMK crown.
Fleur: Sadgirl music. This does sound dated but it is sung competently. Tika has a good voice but she does not sound convincing, she does not display the emotion that this song requires. I’m just not feeling it.
Jess: With strong vocals and good staging, this could really stand out from all the bangers. I could see this as a dark horse if done well.
Kyriakos: Now I love the emotion Tika brings to this song. I can picture this on the Eurovision song. It has great build up and how she takes it to the next level in the last chorus. This is one I can’t wait to see live in the final.