The Finns commence their annual search for their Eurovision entry tomorrow. Uuden Musiikin Kilpailun is a four week affair. Three heats, the first of which takes place tomorrow night, followed by a final on February 27th.
Each heat has six songs, with three songs from each heat progressing to the final.
Here are the six artists and songs that will be competing in Heat 1;
Saara Aalto – No Fear
(Saara Aalto, Riku Kantola, Teemu Roivainen, Matias Keskiruokanen, Tommi Vainikainen)
Saara Aalto has already placed 2nd in UMK, back in 2011. And she then went on to become runner-up on The Voice in 2012. She returns to UMK with a poperatic ballad that becomes a proper Eurovision style ethno-belter. It’s an enjoyable listen, and will probably progress to the final. We’re not sure it’s strong enough to be a guaranteed finalist at Eurovision though.
Mikko Herranen – Evil Tone
A pretty woeful rock ballad which we’re struggling to find anything positive to say about. We’re not sure what kind of a fanbase Mikko has in Finland, or how big a career he’s had, but it seems odd that anyone would have deemed it appropriate to enter a national selection for Eurovision with THIS;
Stella Christine – Ain’t Got Time For The Boys
(Stella Christine, Juho Räisänen, Juho Roslakka)
A jazz ballad with a grating lyric and unfortunately for Stella, a slightly grating vocal too. We would hope that she’s only competing for a bit of exposure. Because really that’s all she’s going to get on Saturday night.
Eini – Draamaa
(Mika Laakkonen, Janne Rintala)
An old pop legend in Finland (she’s been releasing albums since the 70s) makes her comeback with a camp synthpop number. A big chorus over a retro yet ramped up 80s beat.Naturally we love it. To the extent that it’s our favourite in this heat.
ClemSO – Thief
(Clement Ogundipe, Marcus Tikkanen, Gideon Aiyegunle)
Something a little different to anything else in this heat. A dark and brooding verse with a stark production gives way to a rather uplifting and euphoric chorus with a dramatic production. We really liked this by second listen. It sounds a bit out of place in this context, and would stand out better on its own. But we hope that it does well.
Pää-Äijät – Shamppanjataivas
(Julmari, Jaba, Jimi, Heku, Samu)
The sort of novelty dross that the Nordic everyman loves, but that we absolutely hate. Old men with rock vocals, rapping over a dance beat. In Finnish. Unfortunately this is being performed last on the night. Meaning viewers will have consumed more alcohol by the time it comes on, and will therefore be more likely to vote for it for the LOLs.
You’re probably in no doubt after reading that, but our three choices for the final are Eini, Saara Aalto, and ClemSO.