Category Archives: Finland

“Something Better” for Finland

There we have it!  After seven weeks of introductory shows, a pair of heats, a semifinal/second-chance round, and an exciting final, Finland has declared a winner in 2014’s Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu, or UMK.  Once the say of the four-member professional jury and the vote of the viewing public were tallied, only one song out of the eight in the running could take the title, and with it the right to represent the country in Copenhagen this May.

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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. Read the rest of this entry

Finland has Decided: it’s Krista Siegfrids!

For the second year running, Finland has selected its entrant for Eurovision via the Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu.  This year, eight finalists took the stage, all hoping for the ticket to Sweden.  After a closely-fought final, where three entrants were deadlocked after the jury weighed in, it took the Finnish public to decide a winner. Read the rest of this entry

Preview: Finland’s Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu Final

Saturday’s Nordic extravaganza continues with the Final of Finland’s Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu, or “New Music Competition”.  YLE has shown a number of introductory programs, semifinals, and a “second chance” round, which narrowed twelve songs down to eight.  Seems a bit inefficient in terms of winnowing down the list of finalists, but it really helped to familiarize the public with the songs that could potentially represent Finland in Malmö this spring. Read the rest of this entry

Finland has decided: it’s Pernilla Karlsson!

After a long, sometimes confusing National Final process, Finland has picked the winner of this year’s “Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu”.  A six-song final and three-song superfinal were held, and the winner was finally crowned: 21-year-old Pernilla Karlsson, with her heartfelt ballad, “När jag blundar”: Read the rest of this entry

Weekend Semifinal Round-Up

This weekend marked the start of the semifinals for Estonia’s Eestilaul, as well as the third heats in Sweden and Lithuania, and the continuation of the Finnish selection process.  Furthermore, we’ve gotten more clarification on the songs that Spain will be choosing from for Pastora Soler.  Let’s take a look at what happened this weekend: Read the rest of this entry

Twelve Finalists Revealed in Finland

The Finnish Top Twelve (or, arguably, Fifteen) were revealed today on national broadcaster YLE, after a jury had whittled down the 540 nationwide applicants to a worthy few.  Twelve songs were handpicked by a jury consisting of musical professionals, but a thirteenth song will be up to the decision of the viewers of this year’s “Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu”.

The twelve jury-selected entries are: Read the rest of this entry

Eurovision 2011: The Best of the Rest (Part 2)

Continuing on through our tour of the 2011 Preselections, we move straight on from Bulgaria to…

Croatia: Few people who were in the Press Center in Düsseldorf will soon be able to forget Daria Kinzer’s “Celebrate“, complete with two costume changes and a special appearance by a creepy Willy Wonka impersonator.  But only the most hardcore of ESC fans remembers that the lovely Daria had some serious competition in this year’s Dora: Jacques Houdek.  Daria and Jacques went head-to-head on three songs, with a public televote and jury vote selecting the best option for each singer.  The interesting thing about this, however, was that the scores were tied after the jury and televote was added together during the song selection, with the public favoring “Stotinama Godina (A Hundred Years)” for both Daria and Jacques (by a landslide), and the jury selecting “Lahor/Break a Leg/Celebrate” for the two.  Most national finals used the public vote as the prevailing factor, but Croatia deferred to the jury.   The uptempo number seemed better-suited for the lovely Daria, and so Jacques’ fate as runner-up was sealed.  But we were tantalizingly close to having this, instead:

“Stotinama Godina” reminds me of the classic Croatian ballads of years past: songs like “Neka Mi Ne Svane“, or “Nek’ ti bude ljubav sva” (which, interestingly enough, Jacques performed during the national selection process).  It’s hard to say if this would have made it into the Final (I’m sure that some would have argued that it sounded “dated”), but I personally preferred it to “Celebrate”.  As for Jacques, I wouldn’t count him out.  In a commercial for this year’s UK version of “X-Factor”, eagle-eyed viewers can catch a quick glimpse of Houdek auditioning for the show that introduced the world to Jedward.  Brace yourselves, my friends.
Skipping Cyprus, which chose its song internally, we move on to:

Denmark: “New Tomorrow” by A Friend in London brought the Danes their second consecutive Top Five placement, and may have given Jedward and Poli Genova a bit of competition in the “Best Spiky Blonde Hair” category this year.  But the runner-up at this year’s Dansk Melodi Grand Prix was no slouch, either.

Anne Noa’s “Sleepless” felt like a breezy blend of Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez, and could have easily been a worthy follow-up to the youthful puppy-love of Lena’s “Satellite”.

Estonia: Once again, some of the best songs this year came to us from Eestilaul, and it’s really tough to pinpoint an absolute favorite.  Getter Jaani’s “Rockefeller Street” was a fun, bouncy, vaguely surrealistic number that people in the press center either lauded or loathed, but there were definitely a handful of songs that could have gone to Germany in its place.  Fans of “Oida Taunz!” might have gone for the Argentinian-born Elmayonesa’s “Kes Ei Tantsi On Politsei (Whoever Doesn’t Dance is a Policeman)”, while on the opposite side of the musical spectrum, we have Marilyn Jurman’s sweet “Veel on Aega (There is Still Time)”.  This year’s runner-up, “I Wanna Meet Bob Dylan” by Outloudz, is a wonderfully wistful track that I am predisposed to love (both as a resident of Dylan’s home state of Minnesota as well as a fan of 80’s-style New Wave), but my personal favorite still remains 2011’s fifth-place finisher, Ithaka Maria’s “Hopa’pa-Rei!”:

How can you argue with those cellos, that attitude…that YODEL?  It’s exceedingly difficult to not sing in English at Eurovision, yet still have everybody singing along with your hook (just ask Magdalena Tul)…but I’m pretty sure that Ithaka Maria would have had Ruslana fans (and many others, for that matter) absolutely eating out of her hand.

Finland: Paradise Oskar may have “Da Da Dam“ed his way to Düsseldorf, but he had to defeat a fairytale princess and a former monster to get to the top of the heap.  Finland’s runner-up this year was Saara Aalto’s saccharine-sweet “Blessed with Love” (if Eurovision’s rules had allowed animals on stage, I’m pretty sure we would have seen Bambi, Thumper, and Tweety Bird singing backup…but then again, with the LED screen, I’m sure anything would have been possible).  If sweetness isn’t quite your thing, how about the glam-rock of Stala and So.’s “Pamela”?

Lead singer Sampsa Astala is the former drummer for Lordi, who famously took the Eurovision crown to Finland for the first time back in 2006.

Next up: Georgia, Germany, Greece, and Iceland!

Follow Up Single Time, Part 3

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a whole bunch of new and recent releases from all over the Eurovision world.  Let’s see what we’ve got…

One of the more highly-anticipated songs from the post-Düsseldorf boom comes, of course, from the irrepressible Jedward.  The Irish twins, who are planning on releasing their new album, “Victory”, in August, have already gone to the top of the Irish Charts with their new single, “Bad Behaviour”.  Featuring Hollywood blogger Perez Hilton (who, incidentally, happens to be the namesake of the Grimes Brothers’ parrot…), both the song and accompanying video keeps the high-energy, frenetic pop vibe of “Lipstick” going strong.  The pair are currently touring the UK, Ireland, and Germany.


Jedward – Bad Behaviour (Official Music Video) HQ from xeaaasy on Vimeo.

San Marino’s Senit has also released her next track, entitled “Through the Rain”.  At this point, however, it is only available through the Italian version of iTunes.  This upbeat, danceable track seems to be more in line with Senit’s previous releases than the sweet, subtle “Stand By”, and it even clocks in at less than the Eurovision-standard three minute mark.  Could this have been the mysterious other track that SMRTV had considered sending to Eurovision?

Following “Rusinka”, (FYR) Macedonia’s Vlatko Ilievski has just released his next video, for “Moja Tamna Rijeko”.  Call me crazy, but I prefer this softer side of Vlatko over the man we saw in Germany.  It might not be as catchy as “Rusinka”, but at least we can hear him singing this time around!  What are your thoughts?

Last, but certainly not least, Finland’s Paradise Oskar (Axel Ehnström) has released his second single, “Sunday Everyday”. 

Axel took home the Marcel Bezençon Press Award from the accredited journalists in Düsseldorf after his performance of “Da Da Dam”, and if you were a fan of his sweet, introspective, acoustic-driven style, his album “Sunday Songs” might be just your speed.  It’s hit the Top Five in the Finnish charts, and he’s touring actively throughout the summer. 

Another chat with Paradise Oskar…

If you’re a fan of “Da Da Dam”, go and check it out!  🙂