Will Finland go for ‘Violent Pop Music’, or does Aksel get another chance?

Blind Channel at Wacken Open Air 2014 photo: P. Schwichtenberg

On Saturday in the final of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2021 Finland will select the successor of Aksel, who won the competition in 2020. He is one of the seven participants again this year, but not the favourite to win.

Aksel won in 2020 with the song ‘Looking back’ and returns to UMK with the song ‘Hurt’ this year. He is the third favourite of the bookmakers in the line-up of this year, behind the rock song ‘Dark Side’ by Blind Channel. This group describes their style as ‘violent pop music’ and we understand why. The number 2 of the bookies are the Teflon Brothers & Pandora with the song ‘I Love You’. Two time Eurovision-participant Laura (2005 and 2017 for Estonia) is also taking part, but is found on bottom place.

The seven songs in UMK 2021 for Finland

Let’s take a look at all seven songs that are taking part in Finland this year, in order from the favourite act to win, to the one with the least chance (Sorry, Laura!)

Blind Channel – Dark Side

WOO, WOO, WOO! Even the dogs are barking during this song by Blind Channel, which takes us back to the succesful days of Linkin Park at the beginning of this century. Some dubious lyrics, but this where this band is known for. Finland has a history of sending in rock songs, sometimes even in Finnish, to Eurovision. ‘Dark Side’ looks to be the next song in that genre for the Nordic nation. IF they can also give a convcing live performance, because we have seen acts struggling with that in the past. Think about the group Lovex, for example.

Teflon Brothers & Pandora – I Love You

Don’t be fooled by the song title, this song is the Finnish language, with rap sessions by the Teflon Brothers. The chorus is in English, but it is mainly just a repetition of Pandora singing ‘I Love You’. In the 90’s we witnessed a lot of these songs with a cheesy chorus during the Happy Hardcore era. In this song, it’s more the synthesizers that are taking over. With good staging, I can see this work as a fun act and song.

Aksel – Hurt

For us Eurovision fans, Aksel is of course a well-known name that is taking part. He won last year but got robbed of his Eurovision experience. He was a surprise winner, with Erika Vikman being the big favourite. Could he do that trick again? His song is in the same style, a low-tempo pop-ballad, added with some acoustic guitars to give it a singer songwriter vibe. Third place in the odds seems to be a bit low.

Ilta – Kell mä soitan

A lot of Finnish songs in the line-up of UMK in 2021. This ballad by Ilta is another example. A pretty blonde woman, putting in a lot of emotions in her performance. Kell mä soitan can be translated as ‘Who do I call’. ““You could be in the middle of a crowd and still feel incredibly alone. It’s one of the most difficult feelings any person can have,” she said about her song. A good and strong ballad, but probably not the winner.

Oskr – Lie

Some poetic lyrics by Oskr in this song ‘Lie’. Oskari Ruohonen, his real name, is trying to make a name for himself as a solo artist, after being the lead singer in a band before. It’s a radio friendly pop-ballad, most likely not suitable enough to win a music competition.

Danny – Sinä päivänä kaikki rakastaa mua

Melanchology +2 in this song by Danny. This song is about the deep and serious message that life is like a gift, but you never know how long it will last. For Danny it has lasted a while already, as he has been active in the Finnish music industry since the 60’s. For the tabloids, Danny has been in a relationship with Erika Vikman. We are not making this up!

Laura – Play

Laura represent Estonia in 2005 as part of the group Suntribe and in 2017 in duet with Koit Toome. Now she tries to go solo for Finland, something she has tried in Eesti Laul before a couple of times as well. And we have to be honest, this is not her strongest song to date. A bit cliché in the build-up and lyrics. We expected better from Laura!

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We can’t wait for the conclusion of UMK 2021 and find out who will sing for Finland in Rotterdam. You can follow the action with us this Saturday in our special liveblog of all the shows on that night!