For the past week, in the run-up to tonight’s third heat of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) 2015, the Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — has rated the six competing songs. Tonight the last three finalists chosen and we have our favourites. Ida Bois with her song “Kumbaya” finished on top, followed by Solju with “Hold Your Colours” and Järjestyshäiriö with “Särkyneiden sydänten kulmilla”.
Below you can see the average score that each act received out of 10. If you click on their name you can read an interview or watch a video message. If you click on their song you can read our reviews in full. Do you agree with the result?
You can watch the third heat live tonight on YLE Areena from 20:00 CET.
1. Ida Bois – “Kumbaya” (6.5)
The Positive: “I personally think that “Kumbaya” is the dark horse of UMK this year. It’s got a great anthemic feeling that I adore, and the electric instrumental breaks throughout the song would give the crowd a great opportunity for a dance or a vigorous flag wave. And much like ‘”Mustelmat”, I’m all for a song sung in its native tongue. I like this a lot.”
The Negative: “Yeah, electro-pop songs with instrumental choruses are trendy right now, but it’s not something that’s going to work with the singer-centric world of Eurovision. What does the singer do on stage when the instrumental chorus hits? Jig about a bit while the DJ pretends to twiddle his knobs?”
2. Solju – “Hold Your Colours” (6.1)
The Positive: “With the right staging, this song could really take flight. It’s cleverly structured and makes room for interesting folk elements, whilst retaining its pop roots. Solju could use some choreography to tone down her upper body movement. It’s slightly too flouncy for a song that requires one to breathe, feel, uncover and connect with one’s inner colours. However, that is minor. The major deal here is that “Hold Your Colours” is UMK’s hidden treasure.”
The Negative: “Motion, lotion, ocean — I’m not always sure what she’s saying. But I do know that I prefer the parts where the woman in indigenous costume is dropping it gutteral style. The message, it seems, is that people should protect their culture. It’s slightly patronizing, but I’m glad Modern Woman is kind enough to give tribeswoman a hug for her glossy video, which presumably wasn’t shot in the village. It’s well-meaning but just a tad repetitive and boring. Nice vocals though.”
3. Järjestyshäiriö – “Särkyneiden sydänten kulmilla” (5.8)
The Positive: “If Softengine can nab the UMK finals, emerge as 2014’s victors and roll out a successful music career, then in theory, there is nothing stopping the Jarjestyshairio this year. They look good, sound good, but serve up a bland platter of quiche. “Särkyneiden Sydänten Kulmilla” is like lounge music. This track needs to capture you in the right mood.”
The Negative: “It is just boring. This song has nothing special about it: no memorable melody, no climax — it doesn’t even make you smile. They almost seem as bored as I am.”
4. Heidi Pakarinen – “Bon voyage” (3.6)
The Positive: “There’s dated, and there’s retro. This is totes retro, and retro is chic. Dramatic but upbeat, it keeps me interested and ready to sway and bop along to the 1970’s beat. Not a winner, but still a good filler and not a bathroom break.”
The Negative: “This is just too painful to listen to, I’m afraid. It’s very dated and you’d probably only hear this on a French cruise. I wouldn’t want to be on that cruise. I honestly cannot stand listening to this song. Sorry Finland, but this song is hopeless.”
5. Angelo de Nile – “All for Victory” (3.3)
The Positive: “Scandinavia is the world’s epicentre of metal, so it’s great to see the genre represented at UMK. This song has an ’80s style and seems strongly inspired by Queen’s anthem “We Are the Champions”. It’s a very flamboyant production, which would surely suit some grand staging.”
The Negative: “I honestly cannot stand this song and I hope it doesn’t qualify next week (sorry Angelo de Nile). It will probably give me nightmares, and I don’t want that!”
6. Aikuinen – “Kyynelten lahti” (2.1)
The Positive: “I feel like he had a super upbeat dance song, but then swallowed a bag of barbituates, leaving us with dance in slo mo. It’s strange, but I like it. It’s electro-happy, y’all! I love the visuals, I love his styling, and I actually like the song on repeat.”
The Negative: “Sorry Aikuinen, we are in 2015, not in 1985. ‘Kyynelten lahti’ is just weird and it’s got a bizarre film clip to match. I had to stop watching after 90 seconds because the excessive tongue kissing made me feel really uncomfortable. I guess someone has to come last?”
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Photo: Anton Sucksdorff