Taste a little honey and you want the whole pot. So it goes for Finland, who are hoping for even more success at Eurovision 2014 following Softengine’s success in Copenhagen. Starting on Monday, September 1, new talents can send their songs to Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) 2015. There’s not much time as the application period closes next Sunday, 8 September. Not everyone can send their songs in though – at least one of the writers and one of the lead singers has to be a Finnish citizen or live in Finland permanently. Full rules can be readen from YLE’s UMK site. The final of the contest will be held in March and this time the winner will be decided by the Finnish public.
This is fourth time Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (Contest for New Music) is being held. The format of the Finnish selection changed in 2012 when producers did away with Euroviisukarsinta. The new format was intended to find the best Finnish song, not merely the best song for Eurovision. As such, UMK targets new talents and younger artists than the old format did. But in UMK’s inaugural year not all went to plan as the winner sang a typical Eurovision ballad “När jag blundar“. Pernilla Karlsson disappeared from the public eye pretty quickly after failing to reach the grand final in Baku. The jury’s favorite was bronze medalist Stig with his folk song “Laululeija“. Taking part in the contest wasn’t so worthless for Stig, as he is now one of the most popular artists in Finland. The winner doesn’t take it all…
The second season of UMK saw some big improvements and the quality of the songs was also much higher. Finalists included Arion, a heavy metal band with “Finland’s Justin Bieber” as its soloist, Finnish Idol winner Diandra and Mikael Saari. Yet again the winner was a typical Eurovision song. Krista Siegfrids brought her Team Ding Dong to the stage and won the final by a huge margin. Although Krista placed only 24th in the grand final of Eurovision 2013, she got lots of love from Eurovision fans and is now a big star in Finland.
In 2014 YLE received 420 demos for the third season of UMK. Twelve songs were selected to semifinals of which eight artists reached the big final. MIAU, punk-rock girl group, finished third with “God/Drug” while Wiwi Readers’ favourite Mikko Pohjola placed second with beautiful pop ballad “Sängyn reunalla“. The winner was the young rock band Softengine, who later rocked Copenhagen and placed 11th in the grand final.
Do you think Softengine’s good placement will attract more people send their demos in the contest? Who would you like to see taking part in the contest? Tell us in the comments section below!