This year the UMK show has come back! Last year the Finnish broadcaster YLE made an internal choice. But the result was that DJ Darude came last in the Semi Final in Tel Aviv. Then YLE started a survey and 53% of the Finnish public wanted the UMK back. Out of six finalists Aksel Kankaanranta could receive the highest votes from the jury and the second highest votes from the televoting, that was enough to beat Erika Vikman with her extraordinary performance “Cicciolina”. In a strange way the interval act had better and up-to-date Finnish music e.g. Mikael Gabriel than the six entries which should represent Finland in front of a 200 million audience. With such an entry Finland could have achieved a Top 10 placing.
The 21-years-old singer Aksel Kankaanranta was born in Turku in 1998. He became well-known in Finland due to his participation in “The Voice Finland 2017”, he came 2nd here. Aksel also had a number one hit in Finland together with the rapper Pyhimys: “Jättiläinen”.
The song “Looking Back” is an emotional ballad with a beautiful message:
“But we never know what we have Until it's over and we're looking back”
Aksel said “We set all kinds of milestones for our lives. Are they actually of any value, and does achieving them really make us happy? I want to make people understand that they should seize the day”, which means we should live now and appreciate what we have right now and not looking back. Sometimes we only realize what we had in live when we look back. The stage show at the UMK was really nice, but would this have been enough to achieve a top placing?ü
The Finnish broadcaster YLE has confirmed that they won’t select Aksel internally in 2021, he must take part in the UMK 2021.
Finals: 45 (8 since 2004)
Top 10: 12
Chances for Top 10: 22%
Chances for Final: 47%
If the Eurovision Song Contest would have taken place this year, it would have been the 54th time for Finland in this contest. Finland has joined quite late in 1961 and had to miss out some years between 1995 and 2003. Due to bad placings Finland had to pause for a year. Over all the years Finland’s reputation in regards of success has suffered. Even if Finland has send songs of outrageous quality quite often and there were great evergreens, but the points did not flow as for other countries and therefore Finland was often found on the bottom of the scoreboard undeservedly. Three times Finland received not even a single point. Maybe this was due to the language issue or it has just been the wrong choice of the Finnish entries for Eurovision or a too strict judgement by the juries. Nowadays every country could chose the language of its choice and the Finnish entries are mostly sung in English.
After all the years of waiting the hard rock band Lordi came with “Hard Rock Hallelujah” in 2006 and Finland had its first fulminate victory in history which was overdue for a long time. The entire country was in Lordi-fever and a long-cherished wish came true. A wonderful and unforgettable contest has been held in Helsinki a year later.
At least Finland is quite often passing the Semi Finals, eight times out of sixteen Finland has made it into the Grand Final with the utmost different styles from hard rock, ballads pop up to folkloristic songs. Last time Finland has been seen in the Grand Final was with Saara Aalto and “Monsters” in Lisbon 2018. Last year the popular Finnish DJ Darude made a last place in the Semi Final.
1x 1st place “Hard Rock Hallelujah” | Lordi (Athens 2006)
1x 6th place “Tom Tom Tom” | Marion Rung (Luxembourg 1973)
4x 7th place “Tipi-tii” | Marion Rung (Luxembourg 1962) “Laiskotellen” |Lasse Mårtenson (Copenhagen 1964) “Old Man Fiddle” |Pihasoittajat (Stockholm 1975) “La Dolce Vita” | Anneli Saaristo (Lausanne 1989)