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Saturday, 09 February 2013 18:34

Finland: UMK 2013 Final - LIVE

In 2006, the dynamics of the Eurovision Song Contest were set to completely change due to the fact that the longest competing nation without a victory, in the form of Finland, finally managed to overcome their issues and triumph with the track Hard Rock Hallelujah performed by Lordi. Since then, they have managed to qualify on four out of six occasions, including a third place finish in the semi-final in 2011, with Paradise Oskar and his entry Da Da Dam. They have been carefully rebranding the process and have come up with the system known as Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu which gives space to new and upcoming talent in the nation.

YLE, the broadcaster behind the changes to the selection procedure has been very intrigued about the element of promoting vocal talent, whether solo, a duet or a group and in any genre deemed accessible by the internal jury, people from the music industry with years of experience. They take the role of mentors and evolve the demos to entries which could go onto represent the country at the Eurovision Song Contest, with the hope of receiving success. There has been a lot of positive acclaim for this years' process and some entries are thought to be strong contenders as they head onto the neighbouring country of Sweden, next May. The official website of the Eurovision Song Contest will be offering live streaming of the show live as it commences at 20:00 CET.

After a relatively strange opening act the artists are introduced on stage and they walk on the catwalk one by one. The hosts come on and welcome all the visitors watching tonight's grand final. Both of the hosts are in black attire which look rather classy and one should expect a great show tonight from the Finns. The hosts introduce and speak to the jury of the night who will decide tonight's winner with the public at home - earlier in the week it was announced that in case of a tie the public vote will be the decisive vote. 

Running Order

Lost - Arion 


We start of proceeding with a strong rock song from the band Arion. It is something which will surely go down with the Finns and I believe that this song will have also a strong appeal to the European audience. The band give a strong vocal rendition and I wouldn't be surprised if the country goes for this. All the members seem to have had a blast performing and this is surely one to watch out for tonight - after all Finland is known to be the country of Rock. 

He's Not My Man - Elina Orkoneva


The singer is accompanied on stage by six band members, oops that is one more than the stipulated number that the EBU allows. She is in a long red glittery dress which suits her cabaret number. I think it is a good effort and a strong entry but possibly not strong enough to leave the desired effect at the Eurovision Song Contest. She gives a very strong vocal rendition, the song is good fun and the singer seems to have enjoyed it too. 

Dancing All Around the Universe - Lucy Was Driving


Another band with a mature pop rock entry this time round. I like the importance on the lyrics and how the music compliments this. It has a great arena feel which I am sure will go down well at the Eurovision Song Contest with the audience clapping along to the strong beat of this entry. It is performed to perfection and the audience seemed to have loved this. Quite a strange band name but overall it is another great entry.

Marry Me - Krista Siegfrids


Cheesy pop is in the mix and althouth it is cheesy, it damn catchy and I am sure Katy Perry would have accepted this song in a heartbeat. Too many people on stage though and if this had to win the performance itself will suffer drastically as there are around eleven people on stage . The song is catchy and although the vocals are not perfect, they are still good. She performs in a wedding dress and the audience go crazy for this one. This is tonight's dark horse.

Saturday Night Forever - Last Panda


Another pop rock entry from the band Last Panda.  Not so keen n the vocals but the song is another catchy one and you can easily clap and nod along to its beat. Not sure on the popularity of these bands but their votes might be split considering all of the songs are strong. Pyros on the performers' hats, hmmmm quite an interesting trick. Seems to remind me a bit of Summer of 69 though. Still another strong entry. 

We Should Be Through - Mikael Saari


No words can really express how great this song is - it is simply a master piece. The music is simply excellent, the voice blends in perfectly and his strong rendition make this entry magical. The competition is great but this entry is even greater. Something that will go down really well if this is chosen to represent the country. One would expect it to score as well as Suus and Kuula, if not even better. It has to be my personal favourite by far and if it wins will surely top my list for a very long time.

Flags - Great Wide North


A rockish hairstyle and a weird suit. The song genre falls under rock but I must admit it is not as strong in comparison to all the previous entries we have heard. The vocals are good though and the audience gave them a good applause too, but not as big as the previous one. Quite a middle of the road song and I don't see this doing well tonight and probably won't do well at the Eurovision too if chosen even though the title is a strong one for such a competition. 

Colliding Into You - Diandra


A strong favourite for tonight and I can understand why. It is a very strong entry which is very current and will not only do well at the Eurovision Song Contest but can easily be successful in the charts across Europe. The singer performs it with ease and the live backing aid in the performance of the entry. I am not sure on the dancers because sometimes they look like a distractions but this along with Mikaelis should fight for victory tonight. Another great one.

The Show - Part Two

After the weird opening act, we desperately needed a weird interval act. I can't really get what is going on now on stage with an Egyptian themed routine. Thank God the competition was magnificent because the only good thing about this interval act is probably the half naked men. Oh well, that normally goes down well with the Eurovision audience so probably they just wanted to attract as much viewers as possible. This must be the craziest result ever. The jury just voted and the results are super tight with three songs in the lead. These are 'Marry Me', 'We Should Be Through' and 'Flags'. The others follow closely and the result is going to depend on who the public want to see carrying the Finnish flag.Finally something decent for an interval act a we get a number of female vocalists singing popular songs in relation to Sweden - these include last year's Eurovision winner and some ABBA hits amongst others. 

The top three songs are shortlisted before the final result is announced. The three songs are: 'Colliding Into You', 'We Should Be Through' and 'Marry Me'. 'Colliding Into You' is the first song out of the competition and after some tense music the winner is announced! Finland has chosen 'MARRY ME' for Malmo with 'We Should Be Through' sadly in second place. A good cheesy pop song that should do well at the Eurovision Song Contest. She was the third favourite for victory but she managed to surpass her competitors Diandra and Mikael to take away the crown. Great final from the Finns with a good winner, well with a selection this strong they couldn't really go wrong.

Saturday, 09 February 2013 05:10

Finland: UMK 2013 Takes Place This Evening

YLE, the national broadcaster responsible for the participation of Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest reinvented their selection process last year with the hope of promoting brand new talent on an international stage and whilst their efforts were well noted, they came up short of qualification with När jag blundar performed by Pernilla Karlsson finishing in twelfth place. This time round, there has been more effort put into the whole spectacle and some of the songs are being touted as contenders at the actual competition. The final will be taking this evening through YLE 1.

The official website of the Eurovision Song Contest will be offering live streaming of the show live as it commences at 20:00 CET and people are noting that it could prove to be quite the evening as another track competing in the first half of the second semi-final alongside Malta is decided. Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu started at the end of the summer months when the broadcaster had announced that it was receiving entries for the selection process and by the end of the submission date, they had received over 470 demos in total, which was a clear increase from the amount received in the previous year. Ultimately, twelve (12) entries were competing to reach the final stages and this evenings' final, will be featuring eight (8) in total.

  1. Lost - Arion 
  2. He's Not My Man - Elina Orkoneva
  3. Dancing All Around the Universe - Lucy Was Driving
  4. Marry Me - Krista Siegfrids
  5. Saturday Night Forever - Last Panda
  6. We Should Be Through - Mikael Saari
  7. Flags - Great Wide North
  8. Colliding Into You - Diandra
There is a great feeling surrounding this years' Finnish selection and this is mostly because, one has to denote that the expectations were remotely low but now, they are presenting a suitable line-up which could see them success in Sweden. The final will will be covered LIVE on escflashmalta.com by Emil Calleja Bayliss, our Head of Press who is very much looking forward to hearing the final versions of the tracks as performed in a large arena. As previously mentioned, the chosen track will be competing alongside Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and penned by Dean Muscat with the performer being none other than Gianluca Bezzina.
Source: YLE, Eurovision.tv

Thursday, 17 January 2013 18:15

Finland: First Two Finalists Chosen

YLE, the host broadcaster of the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2007 is eager to succeed at the internationally renowned competition following the victory of neighbouring country, Sweden and it seems that this years' preselection process is offering quite an intriguing amount of possible representatives who would definitely do the country proud and would most likely achieve a positive result with the right staging. This evening will mark the official beginning of the live shows noting that six (6) artists will be performing their respective entries live to the public, this time within the new versions that they have presented following consultation with the jury over their demos. Two entries will be going directly to the final whilst another three songs will get the opportunity to qualify to the same show within another show which is set to take place in a couple of weeks time. Marcella Busuttil will be on hand to cover each show on Thursday evenings' as we unravel the participation of Finland in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.

The jury who have also served as consultants are renowned experts in the music industry and include Toni Wirtanen, Redrama, Aija Puurinen and Tomi Saarinen. The hosts for the whole selection process will be Ile Uusivuori and Anne Lainto. The Finnish broadcaster is offering a live webcast through their official website which you could access here, whilst the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest is also offering a steam of the show through this link. Two of the main contenders, regarded as the best hope for Finland in this years' Eurovision Song Contest will be competing in this heat and therefore, it is going to be remotely difficult to get through this evening considering their strength in terms of entries and fan bases. The show is set to being at 20:00 CET but there will be a behind the scenes sort of format added to the show which thus makes it commence at around 19:40 CET. Marcella Busuttil from the editorial board of escflashmalta.com will be covering the show LIVE.


 01. Iina Salin - Last night

Lina Salin wears a gold dress that matches well with her blonde hair. she is accompanied with three (3) men; completing a band. As a performance is quite strong and I see this on the Eurovision stage.


02. Last Panda - Saturday night forever

Now it' time for a rock song. last panda uses a blue background on stage. the lead singer is playing the guitar, and reminds me of Roman Lob of Germany 2012. He is wearing a red cap. They give quite a good performance and a good response from the audience.


03. Mikael Saari - We should be through

Mikael Saari sings a ballad  The stage colour is blue. He is wearing a brownish suite. He is accompanied with a pianist and 3 violinists. This song is very well produced and the piano has the most important role in this song. An amazing performance that leaves you speechless. An amazing song.


04. Ilari Hämäläinen -  Sytytä mut vaan

Ilari gives us another rock song. The first one in Finnish. The stage is red. Three of the members of the band have long hair. quite a heavy rock song. I am not sure if this will do well at the Eurovision Song Contest.


05. Rautakoura - Ilmalaivalla

Pekka Pysalo gives us an old style of song but still nice. four men are set at the front of the stage; one plays the guitar; a smaller guitar; a drum and viola. The sound of this song is quite interesting and this song is another amazing one.


06. Diandra - Colliding into you

Diandra is wearing a black suite with gold sleeves. she is accompanied with 2 dancers. The background of the stage is blue. She reminded me of Rihanna; in the way she presented the song. As a performance she had strong vocals. A good song.


The Show (Part 2)

The entries have all been presented this evening and therefore, it is time to await the results. The hosts are seeming bringing the first part of this show to an end as they introduce a recap of the respective entries. All of the artists are currently being interviewed in the greenroom as they await to know their faith. Following the votes of the juries which left Mikael and Diandra in the first two positions, we have a special guest in the form of Ansi Kela. The tele-voting results should be rather interesting. It has just been announced that We Should Be Through by Mikael Saari is through to the final alongside Colliding Into You performed by Diandra. In the meantime, Ilari Hämäläinen head out of the competition completely.

Tuesday, 01 January 2013 17:15

Finland: Twelve Entries Presented in Full

Finland are one of the longest competing nations in the Eurovision Song Contest and they eventually let Portugal take the crown of the longest participating country without a victory following their sensation triumph at the 2006 event with Hard Rock Halleluljah performed by Lordi. Their results in the meantime have improved but in two of the past three years, including in 2012, they failed to make an impact on the semi-final and their entry entitled Nar Jag Blundar performed by Pernilla Karlsson did not qualify, finishing in twelfth place. YLE nevertheless decided to build upon their national selection format and that is the reason why the competition coined as Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu is returning for the second consecutive year despite the shortcomings. The full tracks for the competition were officially released today, on New Year's Day as 2013 officially kicks off.

It is quite interesting to note that the final versions of the songs that will be vying to represent Finland at the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest will be worked upon by producer Jukka Immonen who will also be a co-writer at the event noting that one of his older tracks known as Love Kills will be representing Belgium. The twelve songs which will be performed in two hears are written by a mixture of local and foreign songwriters including the successful Sharon Vaughn who is an escflashmalta.com contributor and has worked with Delta Goodrem, Jedward, Agnes, Sara Evans, Kenny Rogers, Reba McEntire, September, Charlotte Perelli, Joe McElderry, and Brian Kennedy amongst others. Below you could see the way that they have been drawn into heats and clicking onto the song-title will lead to the audio file of each respective entry. Two Acts from each heat will qualify to the final direct whilst another four acts will then be chosen from the songs that are left in the competition and who will ultimately compete in a semi-final. 

Heat 1: 17 January 2013

Diandra - Colliding into you (Patrick Sarin, Leri Leskinen, Sharon Vaughn, Janne Oinas, Leri Leskinen)

Iina Salin - Last night (Iina Salin, Tommi Gröhn)

Ilari Hämäläinen - Sytytä mut vaan (Just light me up) (Ilari Hämäläinen)

Last Panda - Saturday night forever (Henry Tikkanen, Aapo Immonen, Last Panda)

Mikael Saari - We should be through (Mikael Saari, Kai Poutanen, Tuomas Vertanen)

Rautakoura - Ilmalaivalla (On an airship) (Lauri Häme, Rautakoura)

Heat 2: 24 January 2013

Atlético Kumpula - Paperilyhty (Paper lantern)(Kyösti Salokorpi, Atlético Kumpula)

Arion - Lost in the woods (Iivo Kaipainen)

Elina Orkoneva  - He’s not my man (Orkoneva, Arlin, Hasan, Jämsä, Lähteenkorva, Mäntylä)

Great Wide North - Flags (Kaj Kiviniemi, Mika Kiviniemi, Great Wide North)

Krista Siegfrids - Marry me (Krista Siegfrids, Erik Nyholm, Kristofer Karlsson, Jessika Lundström)

Lucy Was Driving - Dancing all around the universe (Lucy Was Driving, Otso Koskelo)

Source: YLE