Now we’re ready to feel it! National final season is well and truly upon us. Over in Finland, UMK 2020 is getting in on the fun. Complete with a new format, Finnish broadcaster YLE is looking for a song to take them to the grand final. Today, the names of the Finnish hopefuls have been released — and on the list is UMK 2017 runner-up Catharina Zühlke.
The broadcaster confirmed the competing acts and their song titles in a special press conference. And while the names have been revealed, we’ll have to wait a little longer to hear the songs. The songs will be released over the coming day, one per day.
UMK 2020 competing artists
Tika – “I Let My Heart Break”
Release date: Friday 24 January
Tika was the winner of the 2018 series of the X Factor Finland, where she was mentored by Saara Aalto. Her speciality is power ballads and she says her biggest idols are Whitney Houston and Celine Dion. The UMK jury described her song as being “at home in the latest James Bond movie.”
Erika Vikman – “Cicciolina”
Release date: Monday 27 January
Erika’s song is enticingly described as an “energetic Finndisco piece, where no attempts are made to hide sexual freedom.” The jury also thinks it may become a staple of Finnish bachelorette parties. Erika typically sings in Finnish and “Cicciolina” is no exception.
Aksel Kankaanranta – “Looking Back”
Released: Tuesday 28 January
Aksel is a 2017 alum of the Voice of Finland. He says he’s shy, but that won’t stop him performing in front of an audience of one million, saying, “I want to transmit emotions with my singing.” His song is described as a “sensitive song telling about world-weariness, love and the feeling of inadequacy.” The UMK jury compared it to a hit song from an artist like Sam Smith or James Arthur.
F3M – “Bananas”
Release date: Wednesday 29 January
Three-piece girl group F3M are made up of Viv, Baby O and Miara. Their song is described as a “catchy and dance-inspiring pop song performed with an anarchistic touch.” The UMK jury says the song’s production “has ensured that each second is packed with strong pop hooks.”
Sansa – “Lover View”
Release date: Thursday 30 January
Established musician Sansa has an electronic style via an indie-folk background. Her song for UMK is described as a “cool and sensual piece of electropop.” The UMK jury describes the song as” classic Nordic pop at its best” and compared the track to something from Swedish pop icon Robyn.
Catharina Zühlke – “Eternity”
Release date: Friday 31 January
Fans may remember Catharina Zühlke from UMK 2017, where she finished second with “Perfect Villain”. Now performing with her first name as well, her song is described as being about “the power of love”. Zühlke says she “got a strong feeling that [her] song has a greater meaning.” The UMK jury doesn’t hold back, describing the song as a “potential world-beater at the Eurovision Song Contest.”
Finnish national final UMK 2020
The final of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2020 will take place on 7 March in Tampere. Hosted by Mikko Silvennoinen and Eurovision veteran Krista Siegfrids, the winner will be decided by televote and an expert jury.
In the past two years, Finland has internally selected its artist and utilised UMK to select their song. This year, YLE has abandoned the internal selection and UMK will feature six different artists vying for the right to represent Finland in Rotterdam.
The songs will all be revealed in the next two weeks, with one song being released on Saturday 25 January. The remaining songs will follow with one daily release from Tuesday 28 January onwards.
Are you excited about the artists competing at UMK 2020? Are you happy with the change of format? Let us know in the comments below.