In June Finland’s YLE revealed that it will keep Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu as an invitation-only contest in 2019, selecting the artist or artists it wants to see compete (and without an open call to the public). Now attention has turned to precisely who YLE will choose and how they’ll stage the competition.

As they think about UMK 2019, it’s clear the broadcaster is looking back at UMK 2018. Over the summer YLE raised a question online, asking viewers to let them know what they thought about the national selection and their thoughts for the future. We’ve gone through the responses and pulled out some clear themes.

Too many format changes

Most of the commenters seem to agree that UMK has lost its original purpose and suggested the ever-changing format of the show is confusing.

User Silja wrote: “If UMK stays as a show that chooses the entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, YLE should absolutely decide some form for UMK and stick with that form for longer than one year at a time.”

“It’s not in anyone’s best interest if people don’t know how the next year’s entry will be chosen by the time the previous contest ends.”

Nostalgia for the old new music competition

Many of the viewers seem to miss the old days, when new artists arrived with incomplete songs that eventually developed into winners. Such was the case when Softengine won UMK in 2014.

The user Ampiainen said: “I liked the way UMK was made in the year when Softengine won. There were a lot of different demos that developed into a Eurovision song during the show. There were so many good songs that year, many of them could have won. The song doesn’t need to be ready in the beginning — instead it would turn into a great song with the help of music professionals during the show.”

Chill out a bit

Many discussed how UMK was more independent and felt separate from the Eurovision Song Contest back then. They suggested that Eurovision is taken more seriously now, adding a huge amount of stress to proceedings.

“For the year 2019 I hope that we learn to take the competition in a more relaxed way and without the stress of success,” writes user Monsteri.

“We have a habit of holding on too tight when we have tried to get a victory. Like Portugal’s winning song showed, small can be beautiful. If we are continuing UMK, it would be great if we could try to find truly good new music instead of trying to find that ‘perfect Eurovision song’.”

Less is more

Many users said that rather than trying so hard, UMK should focus on making the show more simple, and investing in cameras, lighting, styling and choreography.

Viewers also think that stripping things back could give the show a bit more class. Some of them are done with curse words and indecent jokes: ”Entertainment is not a synonym for vulgarity”, a user named Haavisto Simo wrote in the comments.

Mikael Saari, please

Viewers also talked about who should represent Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. Finnish bands like Sunrise Avenue and Apocalyptica drew a lot of comments, but the most requested person to represent Finland next year was UMK 13 and UMK 16 contestant Mikael Saari.

The user Justice said: “UMK 19: Mikael Saari edition: three ballads, the best one wins.”

Should Mikael Saari get his chance now? Do you like UMK the way it is or do you want to see it changed? And how so? Let us know down below!

Read more Finland Eurovision news

28
Leave a Reply

avatar
21 Comment threads
7 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
20 Comment authors
MyNameJuan CenaAngiePLonely SovuschkaJo. Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
MyName
Guest
MyName

Please send us ROCK again next year Finland! Anything is better than Saara Aalto. But rock is what you do best, and succeed most with. Real quality music never goes out of style

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

I agree with most of what the public suggested. A simpler format will be easier for people to follow and vote for their favourite song. We also need new artists and not only the established ones. Sometimes a good song can come from a new talent. Just like Softengine in 2014 (I still listen to that song). They shouldn’t take it so seriously. Have a good selection process, bring some good songs to the table (in this case on the stage) and let the people decide, or together with the juries. And as for Mikael Saari, I’m all for it.… Read more »

Lonely Sovuschka
Guest
Lonely Sovuschka

after such an obvious failure this year? Saari will bring top 10 result for sure

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

He’s good and his songs are fine, but he still needs something stronger to succeed at ESC.

Geo
Guest
Geo

I love him! His ballads were amazing both in 2013 and 2016, especially in 2013, instead of that horrible “Marry me” who represented Finland…

MyName
Guest
MyName

Marry Me was OK. it was the performance which was horrible….

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

They need to stop trying to make him happen. His songs are BORING.

MyName
Guest
MyName

I agree! Not original music at all. Boring standard ballads. We need some more quality and distinction from Finland. They can be so good when they do something truly unqiue and uncompromised…like in 2015

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

If not Mikael Saari, how about Sara Forsberg?

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

About time! He tried at least twice. In 2013 he finished 2nd to Krista Siegfrids, and she finished near the bottom in Malmö; and in 2016 he was 3rd as Sandhja went to Stockholm and flopped. “On It Goes” surely would have finished in the top-half, maybe top 10.

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

@Joey: Really? #WeGotLove!

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

@What?: No, but why you have to dislike someone who has not done something bad to you? I don’t understand haters. That is all. Let’s be tolerant and make love not war! 😀

srulik
Guest
srulik

Finand has so many rock bands and artists but the hardly ever try to send a rock song. i’m not saying rock equas grat success but they shoud try it from time to time, Lordi can serve as an inspiration. i have to say i like saara aalto and monsters(the staging was a mess) but saara screamed during most of the song, so it is important not only to chose the right artist but to work with them as well.
the ramus for 2019!

Lanti
Guest

Though I’m happy that Finland finally qualified this year and was thrilled that Saara Aalto finally made the ESC stage, I missed the genre diversity from 2013-2017 UMK’s.

Eastman
Guest
Eastman

Bring back the asphalt constructors! In 2016, that jury gave Mikael Saari 12 points, while most other juries inexplicably liked “Sing it Away” the most. I don’t care if Finland’s roads end up all wrecked and pot holed – take those men off the roads and get them busy selecting a song for Mikael Saari to take to Israel.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Since Saari or Aalto should have won in 2016, it’s a great idea. However, they should give him a song worthy of his talent.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Finland’s selection process is always tricky. It seems to struggle to come up with its own identity without resorting to vulgar entertainment. The plus side is that YLE’s music videos have been really excellent in recent years. The live performances have been improving from what they used to be too. There is a lot of talent there, ready for a more consistent format.

olvrfin
Guest
olvrfin

I want Diandra!!!!

Why wouldn't be Russia or everybody else?
Guest
Why wouldn't be Russia or everybody else?

In 2018
1st and 2nd places are women uptempo
3rd and 4th places are men ballads
I guess this will be a pattern next year.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Since when is Austrian song a ballad? No wonder ESC fans keep complaining about too much ballads when they miscredit so much entries.

Juan Cena
Guest
Juan Cena

“Nobody But You” was definetly uptempo, but I believe it’s still considered a ballad.

srulik
Guest
srulik

take the televote results and you will see there is only 1 ballad in the top ten, that being Germany which got 6th place with the public. 2017 resulted with a quiet and ambiant song(not a ballad) winning. you can’t say what type of song wins ESC2019.

Jana
Guest
Jana

Oh dear, no, definitely not!

Ilo
Guest
Ilo

Mikael Saari is still quite unknown in Finland. I hope Yle could send Sunrise Avenue, Isac Elliot or Nightwish. Some kind of bigger names.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Isac Elliot? Lmao that kid has zero talent or originality. At least mention someone talented like Robin Packalen if you want them to send a twink

Ilo
Guest
Ilo

Have you ever seen him live? Isac is amazing on stage. 🙂

Mako
Guest
Mako

Yaaas ! Mikael for Finland please !

Joe
Guest
Joe

Never heard of this Mikael Saari before. I see why the fans like him!