It has been now little over two months since Finland‘s broadcaster YLE reported that UMK will continue as an invitation-only contest. UMK viewers have also previously spoken out with what they’d like to see in the 2019 edition of the national final. Now YLE has confirmed that it will reveal details about UMK 2019 sometime in September.
Fans of the show could have details in as little as two weeks. Anssi Autio, the producer of UMK, told the Finnish newspaper Iltalehti, “We will have something to tell by the end of September, possibly already in two weeks. Pieces are starting to click into right places.”
The producer doesn’t want to reveal anything yet and he advises people to wait for September.
As Iltalehti reports, it is still not known what format the show will take. In 2018, UMK moved away from a classic national-final format. Instead, UK X Factor star Saara Aalto was invited to participate. She performed three songs, which the public and jury voted on.
Earlier this year, UMK producer Anssi Autio confirmed that the invitation-only format would remain. At that stage, it had not been decided if the contest would again involve only one competing artist, or if several artists would be invited to compete.
The speculation about who will represent Finland continues to grow. One option could be the famous singer Tarja Turunen, the former Nightwish member. In June, Turunen told fans on Instagram that she is involved in a “secret” mission in Finland. But Tarja is a busy woman and this doesn’t necessarily mean she’s doing UMK.
Finnish bands Sunrise Avenue and The Rasmus have also pulled a lot of guesses from the public. The Rasmus said to Aamulehti last autumn:
“Well, there has been contacts and questions, but we will see. It is not our first goal right now but the 200 million Eurovision viewers are quite tempting.”
UMK 2016 finalist Mikael Saari is a favourite amongst Eurovision fans, but others have noted that he isn’t nearly as well known amongst the Finnish public as Saara Aalto and wouldn’t have the star appeal to base a UMK show around.
However, one thing is for sure. Alma, the popular Finnish singer, who was one of the most requested people to represent Finland next year, told Iltalehti earlier this year that she will not be seen at Eurovision because it is not her thing.
What format do you think UMK 2019 should take? Who would you like to see enter it? Share your thoughts below!