Back in September, Finnish broadcaster YLE confirmed that the 2019 edition of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) would again only involve one artist performing a number of different songs. But unlike last year — when Saara Aalto was announced in early November — YLE has been keeping quiet.
But the broadcaster has now revealed that the act for UMK 2019 will be announced on 29 January — just three weeks away.
YLE set the date through a social media post, that promised Eurovision fever would begin on 29 January at 13:00 EET. At that time, the Finnish Eurovision representative will be revealed.
To all fellow international Eurovision fans: We will announce Finland’s entry on January 29th 2019. Put your party hats on and have your monster masks ready! ?? #UMK19 #eurovision #ESC2019 pic.twitter.com/Pf3JTXwVgY
— UMK (@Yle_UMK) January 8, 2019
YLE has already confirmed the date of the UMK 2019 grand final. It will take place on 2 March, however the venue for the event has not been announced yet. The broadcaster will also reveal details about the host venue on 29 January.
Following the format of UMK 2018, which saw X Factor UK runner-up Saara Aalto perform three songs — the 2019 national final will also include on act performing a number of different songs. The winning song will be most likely selected by jury vote and televote.
So who is the singer for UMK 2019?
To say there has been discussion about the identity of the act is an understatement. Speculation has been rife, with many of Finland’s leading stars getting named as potential acts — or just fan wishes. Let’s take a look at some of the names.
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.”
Finnish singer Alma — the neon-haired hitmaker known for her single “Chasing Highs” — had praise for Eurovision. However, she confirmed that she wasn’t interested in Eurovision, saying that having done Finnish Idol she wasn’t interested in another competition.
A tantalising tweet from French-Finnish folk-pop duo Eva + Manu caused hype ripples in the fandom in November. But it turned out that the teased spring project was just their new album.
Recently Harriet Hägglund — the lead singer of the Finnish alternative metal band Passionworks — made a cryptic Instagram post declaring “False start towards Eurovision victory 2019”. It’s not clear what this means, but that #Eurovision hashtag is always an attention grabber.
Fans have also been requesting UMK 2017 finalist Emma. The singer was a finalist in San Marino’s 1 In 360 and most recently submitted a song to Spain’s Eurovision gala selection.
There’s also support for UMK 2016 finalist Mikael Saari. While some have noted he doesn’t have the broad popularity to be a headline act at an event held at 2018 venue Espoo Metro Areena, the broadcaster has not yet confirmed where UMK 2019 will be held.
However, despite all the rumours, YLE has not dropped any hints as to the identity of Finland’s act for Tel Aviv. It could be one of the above or it could be someone completely different. All will be revealed on January 29!
Who do you think should be Finland’s act for 2019? What sort of song should they send to Tel Aviv? Tell us in the comments section below!