The first live show of UMK 2014 kicks off tonight. The pressure is on, but Jasmin Michaela, the winner of our fan poll,  took some time from her busy schedule to speak with Sami Luukela, our Finland correspondent and master translator. Here’s what she had to say.

Hey Jasmin! First of all, congratulations on making the top 12. How did it feel when you found out?

Thank you. At first it was shock, but also a dream come true and I couldn’t believe that I was chosen from 420 demos to the top 12. I was thrilled.

Could you tell us a little bit more about your song “Kertakäyttösydän”?

Kertakäyttösydän was born in the spring of 2013, when I teamed up with the authors of the song. We’ve built the song together since the beginning and it’s been great to be involved in composing and in arranging. Now it’s just like I wanted it to be. The demo of the song was finished in the summer and then we changed the melody of the chorus to what it is now. The demo session was quite short and spontaneous and we messed with ideas. UMK seemed like a good place to give the demo a test, but it wasn’t specifically made for the contest.

The first live show is approaching fast, are you nervous? What will the show be like on Saturday?

Sure it makes me nervous. I’m still working on my clothes together with my mom Kristiina Mäki until I get the feeling – this is it! I’ve got a great backing team and we have practiced a lot this week. The backing singers, Nelli Saarikoski, Hanne Rouvali and Liisa Seppälä, are very good and professional singers and the dancers, Ansku Bergström and Katri Mäkinen, bring more femininity and a Latin feel to the performance with the choreography, made by Marko Keränen. As a team everything’s easier and I can trust that they will do their part magnificently.

You’ve been on top of many fan charts and you recently won our poll too. How does this feel and does it add any pressure?

Oh, have I? It’s very nice to hear. I think the song takes some time to identify with and I believe it’s very divisive, but that people like it and give me positive feedback will only have a positive effect on my self-assurance as a performer and as a competitor. Big thank you to all the supporters!

Jasmin Michaela UMK 2014
Photo: Tom Hakala/

Who do you think is your biggest competitor in your heat and in the whole contest? Do you have any favorites of your own?

The level of this year’s contest is very high and the songs are very different, so it’s still hard to say who my biggest competitor is. The live show is very important. I’m sure it will be a tough battle on Saturday. I’ve been listening to the other songs a lot and few of them are already playing in my head also. My favorites are MAKEA, Hukka ja Mama, Mikko Pohjola, Hanna Sky and Softengine.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions! Do you have a message for our readers?

Greetings to everyone. It would be wonderful if you vote! Kertakäyttösydän, number 6!

 contributed this report from Finland. Follow him on Twitter @ssami_. You can also keep up with the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following on Twitter and Facebook.

Photo: Jasmin Michaela (Facebook)

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