Blackbird, blackbird don’t sing to me. But do spread the word: YLE is launching its search for its Eurovision 2018 star on September 1!

As in previous years, they’re sticking with the Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu selection format. The exact details of the show are still under wraps, but the UMK 2018 song submission period runs from 1 September at 09:00 to 4 September at 21:00. That’s four days for Finland to keep its fingers crossed that a magical song lands in the YLE inbox.

So, what are the rules and regulations? In addition to the standard Eurovision guidelines, UMK has some rules of its own. At least one of the songwriters and the lead singer(s) must be a Finnish citizen or live in Finland permanently. Singers can send only one song as a solo artist, but can be part of more than one group.

After receiving the submissions, YLE’s expert panel will determine which acts advance to the UMK selection show. Once again the winner will be chosen by a mixture of public televote and juries. It’s still unknown whether we’ll see panels of road workers or taxi drivers once more, or an international panel of music professionals as last year.

This will be the seventh edition of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu. Since 2012, it has helped Finland qualify for the final twice. Alas, the country has remained in the semis for the last three years.

The show is always filled with surprises, with pre-contest favourites (like Satin Circus, Siru and Emma) frequently coming up short on the night.

The contest mixes serious and outlandish. Last year Emma sang in a circle of fire, while Club La Persé delivered a memorable performance that pulled the 80s club kid into today. Günther, along with singing partner D’Sanz, wore a pornstache as his provocative dancers slid down slides. An LOL and WTF moment for the ages!

Norma John ultimately won in a landslide with their touching and atmospheric ballad “Blackbird”. To the shock of many, it failed to reach the Eurovision final in Kyiv.

Norma John at Eurovision 2017

Are you excited for the return of UMK in 2018? Who would you like to see enter? Let us know in the comments below.

READ MORE FINLAND EUROVISION 2018 NEWS

Leave a Reply

21 Comments on "UMK 2018: Finland’s YLE launches search for its next Eurovision star"

avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Alexander Dahl
Guest

It’s interesting to see that since Yle changed the producers of UMK in 2015, they didn’t manage to qualify for the final. I feel like there is not much left of the initial UMK concept (2012-2014) where they focused on new and experimental music. Now UMK has become such a random national final with lots of cliche and joke entries. 🙁

Mattias Sollerman
Guest

If they are going to have an international jury they should aim for a representative sample. This year half of the 10 juries were Nordic or Baltic. Although it might be fun to know what your neighbors think, this is clearly counter productive in terms of obtaining results at Eurovision. Especially since they’ve already got a proxy for the nordic/baltic vote in their televote.
I know it’s a minor detail, but oversampling a certain demographic can have dire consequences, as was seen in Melodifestivalen 2010.

AngieP
Guest

Finland, please do your best!
I’m still not over their non-qualification this year!
Hope they come up with sth really good!

Kimmm
Guest

Finland – it is METAL! Send metal/rock/punk group please!!!

Jo
Guest

I don’t see problems with Blackbird, except that they (jury) killed it off to make someone else go trough.

Desfolhada
Guest

I agree with you!

thespb01
Guest

Apparently, the jury performance the night before the SF was a disaster for Norma John – she went out of sync with the backing track. The EBU need to find a way for the juries and televoters to vote based on the same performance – had the juries voted on the actual semi final, Finland probably would have gotten through over Greece.

Jo
Guest

It can’t have been worse than Demi’s performance. She went twice on the stage and made clear that she couldn’t sing those high notes.

thespb01
Guest

I highly doubt Greece would have gotten through if Cyprus, Armenia & Georgia hadn’t been in the semi.

Jo
Guest

…and Montenegro…

Hersi
Guest

If Cyprus wasn’t in semi final 1 Greece would come 11th and Georgia would qualify instead. Cyprus gave Greece their full 24 points and without them Tamara would have qualified.

Bartosz
Guest

UMK needs to go back to the system they used in 2013 and 2014. They qualified those years and they unnecessarily changed the system the following year.

Azaad
Guest

The international juries sure helped. Norma John didn’t make the final, but Finland was one of the few countries the entire ESC fandom agreed on being better in 2017 than in 2016- and NJ were borderline rather than outright non qualifiers.

Emma’s more immediate song might’ve got them into the final though.

Geo
Guest

Finland must pick Mikael Saari, he’s a genius!

CookyMonzta
Guest

BINGO! You beat me to it! He is long overdue to hit the big stage. If they hadn’t given his spot to Sandhja in 2016, they might have had their first top 5 since Lordi.

Speaking of which, is Softengine still active? Are they seeking new members to replace the 2 they have lost since finishing 11th in 2014?

esc freak
Guest

All Finland needs to do to get back to the final is make the right decision. That’s what they failed to do the past 3 years and as a result, they got stuck in the semi. Siru, Mikael and Emma would all have qualified.

thespb01
Guest

Emma definitely wouldn’t have qualified if her performance was as disastrous as in UMK. Even if everything went perfect, I still wouldn’t be sure – it had a “Hear Them Calling” vibe, and we all know what happened there.

azaad
Guest

To be fair, Emma was the victim of technical difficulties. Her jury performance was supposed to be much better and that’s why her jury score was a lot higher than her televote score.

Greta’s non qualification, while still undeserved, was down to her dress and the poor camera angles.

thespb01
Guest

It wasn’t just technical difficulties, though – Emma’s voice was pitchy at times, and she went out of sync with the backing track. This makes it sound like I hated it, which I don’t – it’s a very good song and I hope Emma tries for UMK or Melfest next year. It’s just that if Norma John didn’t get through, Emma wasn’t going to either.

Mark
Guest

Finland needs to change something in order to get back to the final

beccaboo1212
Guest

Ok, but let’s just hope they don’t raise the minimum age to 18 or 21. 😉