Moi Suomi! Today, on December 6, Finland celebrates its 99th Independence Day. To join in on the celebration, we’ve compiled a list of nine songs that didn’t win Finland’s Eurovision selection Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) but remain in our hearts — and on our playlists.
1. Mikael Saari – We Should Be Through (2013, second place)
Krista Siegfrids was the clear winner of the second edition of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu in 2013, earning almost 39 percent of all televotes. But Mikael Saari came second with his self-penned and touching ballad “We Should Be Through”. The song remains one of the most-loved Finnish national selection songs ever. And there’s no wonder why. Mikael delivered his song with lots of emotion and pitch-perfect vocals.
2. Mikko Pohjola – Sängyn reunalla (2014, second place)
Mikko Pohjola brought one of the most beautiful Finnish ballads to Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu in 2014. He finished second with both the jury and the televote, and had to watch as the winner Softengine went to Copenhagen to represent Finland. The Wiwi Jury described “Sängyn reunalla” as “subtle and haunting”.
3. MIAU – God/Drug (2014, third place)
Finland is known for its rock music — and three-piece girl group MIAU represented the genre well at UMK. This experiential rock number finished third behind entries from Softengine and Mikko Pohjola. The Wiwi Jury compared MIAU to Scandinavian electro divas Robyn and Oh Land and British electronic duo Goldfrapp.
4. Clarissa feat. Josh Standing – Top of the World (2014, unplaced)
2014 was a strong year for UMK, with songs that wouldn’t feel out of place on airwaves abroad. Perhaps the most international song came from Clarissa who was accompanied by British singer Josh Standing. This dance floor filler didn’t make it to the top three of the final, but was a great addition to the final line-up. After UMK, Josh auditioned for The X Factor as part of boy band “The First Kings”.
5. Satin Circus – Crossroads (2015, second place)
Satin Circus was the favourite among wiwibloggs readers to win Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu in 2015. And they were also the favourites of the UMK juries in Finland. But Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät — the world’s best-known punk band made up exclusively of artists with Down Syndrome — won the televote to secure victory. PKN scored a lot of media attention…but failed to qualify for the final. “Crossroads” still got lots of airplay on Finnish radio stations and finished fourth in the OGAE Second Chance Contest.
6. Opera Skaala – Heart of Light (2015, third place)
Opera Skaala mixed opera with EDM (a first for UMK) with “Heart of Light”. The song was the Wiwi Jury’s favourite to win the UMK final, but eventually the group finished third. Even so front woman Essi Luttinen remains one of the most iconic Eurovision divas of recent years.
7. Siru – Mustelmat (2015, unplaced)
The Voice of Finland winner Siru was one of the early favourites to win Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2015 and her Wiwi Jury score (9.7) remains one of the best ever. Sadly, her live performance didn’t measure up to the studio version and Siru crashed out in the semifinals. Even so it remained one of the most loved national finals songs of the season.
8. Saara Aalto – No Fear (2016, second place)
Saara Aalto is making it big in the United Kingdom right now and will compete in the X Factor final on Saturday. But earlier this year she took part in Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu with “No Fear”. Saara earned the most points from the televote, but the juries pushed Sandhja to victory. Maybe that was a good thing, as Saara Aalto is now making her international break-through in Britain.
9. Mikael Saari – On It Goes (2016, third place)
Mikael Saari made his UMK comeback in 2016 with another stunning ballad. “On It Goes” was the favourite of wiwibloggs’ readers to win Finland’s national selection this year, but eventually it placed third. The song also represented Finland in the OGAE Second Chance Contest 2016.
Finland will choose its representative for Eurovision 2017 in the final of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2017 on January 28. The ten acts were revealed a couple of weeks ago. You can vote for your favourite(s) to win #UMK17 here.
What are your UMK favourites over the past few years? Let us know in the comments section below!