After failing to qualify last year, Finland are back with their national final, UMK (Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu). Six artists are taking to the stage, but there is one fan favourite that looks likely to take the crown. All songs are listed below in running order…
Catharina Zühlke – Eternity
Catharina Zühlke brings a dynamic song to the competition, which begins as a gentle ballad but evolves into upbeat track. There is a clear emotional purpose behind the song, which could connect with televoters. ‘Eternity’ isn’t particularly polished, however. This could make receiving a high jury score difficult. It’s entertainment and surprise factor are definitely it’s biggest strengths.
Erika Vikman – Cicciolina
Undoubtedly the favourite coming into Saturday, ‘Cicciolina’ is a throwback to the days of ‘Schlager’ music. Eurovision is known for this kind of music, though, so it would fit perfectly in Rotterdam. Bookmakers are giving this entry a 50% chance of winning, and it has been a fan favourite since the UMK songs were released. This will likely win the televote, but convincing the jury with a relatively strong vocal performance will be key. Being the only song in Finnish could also help its chances of victory in the national final.
Aksel Kankaaranta – Looking Back
‘Looking Back’ is a well produced song that likely has a broad appeal. Aksel possesses a great control of his voice, moving seamlessly between notes. To elevate this entry in the national final, a slick stage show will be essential to move it up another gear. This has an outside chance to win UMK.
F3M – Bananas
As the only group of UMK this year, F3M bring us an upbeat and fun entry. The song does come off as slightly childish, particularly with the lyrics. Nonetheless, it’s inoffensive and some lighthearted fun. With colourful staging and polished vocals, there is no reason why this can’t do well. The repetitive nature of the song may not help its chances, though.
Sansa – Lover View
‘Lover View’ brings a relaxed party vibe to UMK, with a catchy beat holding the song down. However, the song doesn’t progress melodically, and could fall flat on a live stage without eye catching visuals. This entry feels like it lacks the x-factor to encourage people to vote for it, and may not stand out amongst an interesting national final.
Tika – I Let My Heart Break
This entry is a ‘by the book’ ballad, and is executed well by Tika. The live performance will be the biggest test, with these kind of entires either rising or fading depending on the live vocal ability of the singer. With a number of ballads already selected for Eurovision this year, it is hard to see this entry standing out in Rotterdam. Whether this will be a strategic factor for voters is hard to tell, but it could influence the result.