Preview: UMK Final in Finland
February starts off in style, with no fewer than seven televised events going on all around the Eurosphere on Saturday alone. Among them are two actual song/artist selections: Switzerland’s Entscheidungsshow and Finland’s Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu. We’ll also be seeing heats and semifinals in Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, and last year’s hosts Sweden. It’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s start with the goings-on in Finland.
The Barona Arena, normally home to the Espoo Blues Hockey Team, shifts its focus to music on Saturday evening as eight songs duke it out for the right to follow Krista Siegfrids into the Finnish ESC history books. Surviving a pair of heats and a Second Chance round, the songs range in style from alt-rock to folk-pop to soulful ballads to upbeat dance-pop, with two songs in Finnish and six in English. Tomorrow’s candidates are:
- Softengine – “Something Better“
- Hannah Sky – “Hope“
- MIAU – “God/Drug“
- Lauri Mikkola – “Going Down“
- Madcraft – “Shining Bright“
- Mikko Pohjola – “Sängyn reunalla (On the Edge of the Bed)”
- Clarissa feat. Josh Standing – “Top of the World“
- Hukka ja Mama – “Selja (Elder)”
The show can be watched via the Eurovision.tv live stream, starting at 20:00 CET.
It appears that many polls seem to be pointing towards a win by either Softengine or Mikko Pohjola, but it should be noted that the last three winners of Finland’s National Final (Paradise Oskar, Pernilla Karlsson, and Krista Siegfrids) have been members of the country’s Swedish community, which might signal a bit of a push for Clarissa and Josh. The decision will be made via a split jury/public vote, so we shall see who’ll carry the Finnish hopes to the other edge of the Baltic.