Live: It’s final night in Finland

Tonight is the awaited national final of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu, when Finland will choose their representative for Stockholm. From 18 finalists, three semi-final heats pared the competition down to the best nine entries, who will now battle it out to see who will carry the Finnish flag in May.

This year’s selection has seen two past favorites return in Saara Aalto (2011) and Mikael Saari (2013), who have both qualified for the final this evening. Will one of them finally take the victory?

Follow along with us tonight to find out! The show begins at 20:00 CET, and the stream can be found here.

The final lineup looks like this:

  1. Cristal Snow – Love is Blind
  2. Stella Christine – Ain’t Got Time for Boys
  3. Annica Milán & Kimmo Blom – Good Enough
  4. Eini – Draamaa
  5. Barbe-Q-Barbies – Let Me Out
  6. Tuuli Okkonen – Don’t Wake Me Up
  7. Sandhja – Sing it Away
  8. Saara Aalto – No Fear
  9. Mikael Saari – On It Goes

Follow our blog below – the newest commentary appears at the top.

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21:57 – Kiitos for following!

Thanks for staying tuned throughout the night with ESC Daily! We hope you enjoyed the blog, as well the show – don’t forget to share your thoughts with us!

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21:55 – Emotional encore

Sandhja sings it away one more time on the UMK stage, celebrating her victory.

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21:47 – And the winner is…

SANDHJA!

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21:43 – Krista Siegfrids takes the stage

Of course, 2013 UMK winner and this year’s co-host, Krista, sings a soft ballad while the televotes are being counted.

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21:40 – PKN take it to the choir

A choir of high school boys and girls serenely sing mismatched lyrics in English (a translation), which soon leads into last year’s Finnish representatives PKN and their 2 minute entry.

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21:29 – Jury vote

The 10 juries now give their votes:

  1. Sandhja takes the first 12 points
  2. Mikael Saari is awarded 12, while Sandhja takes 10
  3. This time Saara Aalto takes the big 12, and Sandhja again is awarded 10
  4. Barbe-Q-Barbies steal 10 points, and Mikael Saari bags the 12 again
  5. Sandhja still leads, taking another 12, and Cristal Snow this time gets the 10
  6. Again, Sandhja 12 and Mikeal Saari 10 – they are now the clear leaders on the board
  7. Sandhja is clearly the favorite, gaining another 12 points, and Barbe-Q-Barbies taking 10
  8. Saara Aalto takes the 12 pointer, and Tuuli gets 10
  9. The 10 goes to Saara Aalto, and 12 to Sandhja
  10. And lastly, 10 to Saara again, and Mikael Saarie takes the last 12 points

Sandhja leads with 98 points, followed by Mikael Saari and then Saara Aalto

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21:25 – Practice makes perfect

A chill dance set leads us through the back stage and what seems to be a bit of rehearsal footage of the dancers, until the performance circles back around to the stage where a small dance crew has assembled.

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21:20 – Recap and time for a chat

The results tonight will be determined by a 50/50 split between televoting and a total of 10 juries, who will cast their votes.

Host Roope speaks with contestants and each song has been recapped at least three times now.

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21:10 – That’s it for the performances!

The 9 entries have now all presented their songs, and it’s up to the vote to see who will take the night. There were several strong performances, while on the other hand there a couple off key.

Who will win? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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21:05 – Mikael Saari – On It Goes

Last, but certainly not least, is also returning, massively fan-favorite, Mikael Saari. The stage is dark, creating a strong contrast between the space and the lighted Mikael and his dance partner, who dances a contemporary routine around him. By so doing, the narrative of the lyrics is brought nicely to the foreground of the stage. As usual, the vocals are sharp and hard hitting, without missing a note.

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20:59 – Saara Aalto – No Fear

Returning this year, Saara is a fan-favorite. A total Eastern influence to the entry, the stage is serene and snowy with six male dancers who gradually pull her dress apart down to a gold-sequined unitard. The song itself is a bit flat, with no real direction or attention-catching climax, mostly consisting of the chorus repetitively; however, it’s unique Easter influence gives it a bit of an edge.

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20:52 – Sandhja – Sing it Away

Sandhja is that cool chic with the bleached bangs and the nose ring, who has a kick ass voice. Framed by some creative camerawork, a bit different from what we saw in the semi-final, the creative appeal of the number goes up. Sing it Away is a good does of power-pop that comes together nicely, sounding massive like a Kiesza tune. The energy finally arrives at UMK in full with the last two entries.

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20:45 – Tuuli Okkonen – Don’t Wake Me Up

Just over the hallway mark, Tuuli takes the stage in darker shades of black & blue, lit by an intense spotlight. Gradually the backdrop goes from a stormy looking sky, complete with rain, to bright white lights that illuminate her from behind, to finish off with golden sparks that fall along the back of the stage. Adding to the strong visual narrative, Tuuli’s voice is once again clear and powerful. Tonight she quite resembles Iceland’s Yohanna.

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20:39 – Barbe-Q-Barbies – Let Me Out

The more matured 5-piece is back with their studded leather and sick electric riffs. It could maybe be said that they are one of the strongest sets in the competition. The song is catchy and the group rocks hard, effectively involving the audience in the procession. The vocals are again strong and the harmony on point – and what would a rock song be without a few calculated screams to close it out?

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20:34 – Eini – Draamaa

A disco ball, a short fringy dress with a train that billows in the wind machine… lets call this a variation of scandi-pop, without the in-your-face energy and presentation. There are however, four sexy-styled dancers and the flourish is complete with raining golden sparks at the end. The song itself, however, is quite flat, failing to round out the (potentially) strong package.

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20:32 – A moment to catch up

Roope talks with those who have just performed in the “green room”, which is made up of tables and stools set up in front of a section of the audience.

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20:27 – Annica Milán & Kimmo Blom – Good Enough

This duo resembles Elina & Stig from last year’s Estonian entry, in terms of their use of staging and camerawork. It’s incredibly clever, with Annica and Kimmo separated by space, but using mirrors to face eachother. There’s a hint of ABBA perhaps in the underlying composition of the ballad – the vocals are strong tonight, and from those we have heard so far, they have the best shot at the title.

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20:22 – Stella Christine – Ain’t Got Time for Boys

This one has a jazzy downbeat that gives a touch of ‘spunk’ to the performance. Much more sleek and contemporary, with two dancers to the side of the stage and a simple setting of Stella and her two backing vocals, the presentation evens out the drama of the previous number. The downside to the simplicity, however, is that the song falls a bit flat compared to other entries.

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20:17 – Cristal Snow – Love is Blind

The first few notes are incredibly shaky, but he regains composure by the chorus. Set up artistically, just like the official music video, the first impression of the performance is quite good. With four red carpets, all leading to the lead man down-center, the backing vocals dressed in devilish headpieces descend the stairs as the song progresses. The energy was lacking slightly; however, Love is Blind still could have potential to become an anthem.

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20:11 – Back to reality

Krista and Roope Salminen kick off the show with all the standard host-delivered details on the show.

“Let the show begin!”

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20:06 – Hard Rock Hallelujah

Leading into performance from the video – what would Eurovision in Finland be without a little bit of Lordi?

This time they seem to be sawing host Krista Siegfrieds (2013) in half, as if a magic trick.

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20:00 – Welcome to the show!

It’s final night for UMK, and to celebrate, the show begins with a short comic video of the finalists and hosts at a snowy cabin the lovely woods of Finland.

As you would expect in staying at a remote cabin in the woods, a dark figure appears outside that night… the entries are introduced through their screams. And the dark figure, well, the shape seems familiar…