On the same day that the EBU revealed that Eurovision 2019 will be held in Tel Aviv, Finland‘s broadcaster YLE also confirmed more details about the 2019 edition of their national selection, Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK).
YLE reported that the UMK final will be held on March 2 2019 — one of the “Super Saturdays” of the 2019 national final season.
The broadcaster has also confirmed more information about the format UMK 2019 will take. The show will use the same concept as 2018: one artist will perform a number of songs and the entry for Tel Aviv will be chosen by the national final vote.
In June, YLE announced that the competition will stay as an invitation-only contest. This decision was made because YLE wants to invest more in the experience of the show.
UMK producer Anssi Autio said on the official UMK web site, “The UMK of 2018 showed that through the invitation contest, we will be able to invest more in performances and other content. We”ll continue to develop the concept now and from this point of view.”
But why limit the national final to just one artist? The broadcaster isn’t saying why, but that format means they can attract a big name to the contest without worrying about the pressure of competing against other local artists.
YLE introduced the format last year when popular singer Saara Aalto was confirmed for UMK 2018. In the national final, she performed three songs, with “Monsters” being the favourite with both viewers and the international jury. However, in Lisbon the song place second-to-last in the grand final, with just 46 points.
So who is the singer for 2019?
Despite the announcement of the UMK grand final date, it is still unknown who the mystery artist is. In June, a lot of speculation gathered around the Finnish queen of rock and metal music, Tarja Turunen, due to an Instagram post where she told fans that she is involved in a “secret” mission in Finland.
Finnish bands Sunrise Avenue and The Rasmus have also kept fans guessing. The Rasmus told Aamulehti last year, “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.”
Yesterday, when YLE published the date of the national final on the UMK Instagram account, some fans requested that Emma — who competed at UMK 2017 with the song “Circle of Light” and was a finalist n San Marino’s 1 In 360 — be the invited artist.
YLE will reveal more information about UMK 2019 in coming weeks, so stay tuned!
What do you think? Who would you like to see represent Finland at Eurovision 2019? Tell us in the comments section below!