Tonight was the final of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) in Finland. The national selection saw 10 competing entries fighting for a ticket to Ukraine next May. At the end of the show Norma John was chosen by the international juries and the public, to represent them on the Eurovision stage.
The national selection had a big change compared to last year. Instead of three semi finals, there was just one final for the 10 entries to compete.
Emma – Circle Of Light
The show started of with the pre-contest favourite. The video background had the forest that features in the official video. Fire burned in circles all over the stage, with its very medieval feel. Vocally perfect, it is hard to see how this modern ethnic song can be beaten. Emma was dressed in an old grey Viking like smock and fire was the key element here. The dancers appeared to be part of the background video. Perfect.
Alva – Arrows
Sixteen year old Alva just needs a little more experience, This teenage love song had Alva dressed in black with a pink jacket. A male dancer joined her and then was later joined by two female dancers. The song is a very modern pop song which would have been a good entry for Finland as well. The vocals paled compared to Emma.
Günther & D’Sanz – Love Yourself
With a totally white background, the duo were accompanied by four dancers. The artists dressed in black and white, also gave a good performance, very reminiscent of the Real McCoy. A circular platform in the background was used to great effect. The dance number was perhaps a little too nineties dance music, but was pretty good. The video wall was put to good use, with the faces of the artists appearing all over them.
Anni Saikku – Reach Out For The Sun
Dressed all in black, Anni appeared in the middle of an illuminated structure, centre stage. This power ballad was sung very well, while five faces of Anni were projected in the background. This was a very melodic song but probably doesn’t stand out enough.
Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies – Caveman
This is an old fashioned rock novelty type number, that Finland has been guilty of sending in the past. Dressed in a black waistcoat, the Knucklebone was accompanied by two lovelies in red hot pants. This was a screeching noise of a song, seen once, seen enough.
Norma John – Blackbird
This is a very bleak song but very appealing at the same time. A simpler feel to it than the other songs, this makes it stand out. Dressed in black, the female singer stood at the front of the stage, very Adele like. Her male partner accompanied from a distance behind, on the piano. Red lights flashed in the background. Very stylish and classic. Beautiful.
Lauri Yrjölä – Helppo elämä
The only song sung in Finnish tonight, which will either make it stand out or will be its downfall. The very catchy pop dance type song was sung very well again. Dressed in white T-Shirt and blue jeans, Lauri sang accompanied by five male backing singers and dancers, with very limited choreography. The music sounds a bit like Heroes in places.
Club La Persé – My Little World
This electronic dance song was performed in an array of colours. Verging on novelty, the group were dressed in an array of strange costumes, like a performing circus. One dressed like a clown with a king’s crown and a big white robe and another with a green pigs nose, it’s hardly what you see everyday walking down the streets. A blue wooden rocking horse and a girl in a bird cage joined the chaos. However the performance was very memorable.
Zühlke – Perfect villain
This was another good attempt at something a little different. A very gritty pop song sung with some angry sounding vocals. Fire featured heavily again, with buildings set on fire, and at one point it looked as if Zühlke would go up in flames. Sewn into a black leather costume, two unnecessary dancers writhed behind her. Very powerful singer.
My First Band – Paradise
This five piece band is the closest to a current pop act tonight. The catchy up tempo pop song has an instantly likeable tune and the band played it straight tonight. The title was flashed on the video wall. The lead singer was dressed in a tan leather jacket. Very Maroon 5 like.
The national final of Finland was held at the Espoo Metro Arena in the city of Espoo. The host for the night was Krista Siegfrids. She represented Finland in Eurovision back in 2013, in Sweden. In 2016, she also hosted the national selection, but was absent from one of the semi finals, because she competed in Melodifestivalen with her entry Fallen. She opened the show in a black bikini and light blue fur singing the rap song UMG Bitch, accompanied by a multitude of dancers. Afterwards she changed into what looked like a pink wedding dress with white lace sprouting every where.
Each act was introduced by a video. Krista used the break to change into a number of dresses. Several trips to the green room left those who cannot speak Finnish, lost. After all the songs had been performed, the audience were treated to two reprises of the songs.
Norwegian teenage heart throbs Marcus and Martinus were the interval with their songs Bae and Girls, appealling to many screaming girls in the audience.
This year an international jury and the public chose the winner. In that panel, juries from France, Iceland, Estonia, Spain, Sweden, Latvia, United Kingdom, Norway, Israel and Ukraine voted in this final alongside the televoting.
|Günther & D’Sanz||2||10||8||6||8||2||1||37||45||82||5|
|Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies||1||2||1||1||5||13||18||10|
|Club La Persé||4||1||10||6||21||29||50||9|
|My First Band||6||10||6||2||8||1||12||45||52||97||4|
Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest
Finland debuted in 1961 and is a country, along with Norway, that has finished last many times in the contest. The country has finished last on ten occasions most recently, they came last in their semi final in 2015. On three occasions they have scored nil points.
However Finland has managed to win the contest once, in 2006. They won with a hard rock song by Lordi called Hard Rock Hallelujah scoring 292 points. Finland is the only country to have won the contest with this type of song.
Since the start of the semi final qualifications, Finland has missed the Final six times overall : 2004, 2005, 2010, 2012, 2015 and last year with Sandhja and her entry Sing It Away.
Enjoy this years Finnish entry Blackbird by Norma John below.