After returning to the classic version of its national final Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2020, Finland has decided on its act for Eurovision 2020. Tonight’s national final winner Aksel Kankaanranta will represent Finland in Rotterdam with the song “Looking Back”.

Six acts competed in the grand final of UMK 2020: Aksel Kankaanranta, Catharina Zühlke, Erika Vikman, F3M, Sansa and Tika. But in the end, only one could win the ticket to Rotterdam. That honour went to Aksel Kankaanranta with his song “Looking Back”.

Aksel Kankaanranta came to fame on the 2017 series of The Voice of Finland, where he was the series runner-up. He’s also known for singing on the hit Finnish rap song “Jättiläinen” (Giant) in 2018. He says that while he’s naturally shy, he is attracted to performance as a way of evoking “deep emotions and reactions in people”.

The song “Looking Back” is a song about celebrating life. The songwriters describe when they were younger and wanted nothing more than to be grown-up — then reaching adulthood and realising their teenage years were gone. Songwriter Joonas Angeria says, “Living in the moment is really important.”

Aksel faced stiff competition from Erika Vikman whose feminist anthem “Cicciolina” finished in second place with 157 points. In third was Tika, whose classic ballad “I Let My Heart Break” earned 127 points.

UMK 2020 – Grand final results

  1. Aksel Kankaanranta – “Looking Back” (170 points) 🏆
  2. Erika Vikman – “Cicciolina” (157 points)
  3. Tika – “I Let My Heart Break” (127 points)
  4. Catharina Zühlke – “Eternity” (66 points)
  5. F3M – “Bananas” (84 points)
  6. Sansa – “Lover View” (36 points)

UMK 2020 jury vote results

  1. Aksel Kankaanranta – “Looking Back” (76 points)
  2. F3M – “Bananas” (64 points)
  3. Erika Vikman – “Cicciolina” (58 points)
  4. Tika – “I Let My Heart Break” (50 points)
  5. Catharina Zühlke – “Eternity” (42 points)
  6. Sansa – “Lover View” (30 points)

UMK 2020 televote results

  1. Erika Vikman – “Cicciolina” (99 points)
  2. Aksel Kankaanranta – “Looking Back” (94 points)
  3. Tika – “I Let My Heart Break” (77 points)
  4. Catharina Zühlke – “Eternity” (24 points)
  5. F3M – “Bananas” (20 points)
  6. Sansa – “Lover View” (6 points)

International juries from eight different countries took part. Each jury consisted of four people: a chief juror, who acted as the spokesperson in Tampere, and three other jurors back in their home countries.

This year’s jury spokespeople included three Eurovision alums: Poli Genova from Bulgaria, Laura from Estonia and Lucia Perez from Spain. It also included our very own editor-in-chief William Lee Adams, who has covered Eurovision for publications like Billboard and the New York Times, and Melodifestivalen 2015 alum Elize Ryd.

Read more Finland Eurovision 2020 news here

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Fatima
Fatima
6 months ago

Hearing this song and listening to the words, it could almost be about looking back on what life was life before coronavirus. Of course, it was never intended to be that way, but that’s the feeling I’m getting in these dark times.

Fatima
Fatima
6 months ago
Reply to  Fatima

I’m sorry you feel like that Bart, but that’s what came to mind. I love the song anyway.

Safiya
Safiya
6 months ago

I am so sad for Erika 🙁 I can see why some people complain about her vocals, she was not flawless but she was not awful and the performance was still very entertaining and pleasant to watch. She may not be this type of diva who belts out high notes but she can sing well, too. Let’s not forget that Eurovision is not a voice contest, it’s a SONG contest. You need a good memorable song. Cicciolina would be iconic on Eurovision stage – it would be legendary, one of these acts that everyone will remember in 10 years. Some… Read more »

Alex
Alex
6 months ago

Erika sang well, she was moving around wearing latex, try it please and let me know how you sound! Since when singing plays major role in ESC? Did Luca sing well last year? Cicciolina was the most interesting and catchy tune in the final, it is a HUGE hit in Finland at the moment having 1,6m streams on Spotify alone and charting in national charts unlike other songs including Aksel’s. I am curious to know how come she didn’t have a bigger lead in televoting. At the end of the day, who’s voting in national finals and who’s voting in… Read more »

blaablaa
blaablaa
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex

I just looked radio list and its not even in 100 list. Its huge hit only in your dreams and public voting show its not even any kind of hit. Streams does not count how many different people have listened it, 1 fanatic can listen same song 10 000 time. Many think that song was horrible and would have voted it last, it was embarrassing in every possible way.

Meo
Meo
6 months ago

This is too similar to James Bay – let it go

Sorry Finland

Jose
Jose
6 months ago
Reply to  Meo

I hope Finland changes to Cicciolina not this plagiarised song! Aksel had a trash song but it’s just a boring basic ass ballad that won’t do well in Rotterdam lmao

Tom Ripley
Tom Ripley
6 months ago

This is beautiful. Very beautiful lyrics and his interpretation is good.

Sami
Sami
6 months ago

There are few factors imo that contribute to these national final results. A lot of people are voting based on the singer’s voice bacause they are used to shows like X Factor which Eurovision is not. It is a song competition. As long as the singer is not completely out of tune I would advice voting for the best song ( the most likely to do well at esc). This applied to both Sweden and Finland yesterday. Also people are not informed enough about the probable outcomes of their voting choices. It was crystal clear for anyone who follows the… Read more »

Una
Una
6 months ago
Reply to  Sami

What? What? Re: 100% televote. Didn’t Lordi win on 100% televote?

Sami
Sami
6 months ago
Reply to  Una

So you think Lordi as a joke entry?

Una
Una
6 months ago
Reply to  Sami

Not necessarily. They were quite an established act in Finland when they went to Eurovision, weren’t they? That rock is right up my alley. The presentation with the masks was quite an event hence the possibility that most people will consider it a joke act. Not even niche/outside mainstream. Their presentation was well impactful. The song was strong. The vocals were strong. Close to Turkey 2010 (a fave of mine) but different in presentation.

noone
noone
6 months ago
Reply to  Una

They would have never won if there were juries back then. Juries would downvote it and it would end up third or so. Facts

Sleimok
Sleimok
6 months ago

At this point it’s just too many ballads in the competition.

Oyoy
Oyoy
6 months ago

For me, Finlands entry is one of the best this year. Touching lyrics, simple but harmonic melodylines. This will certainly dpo great in Eurovision, Aksel is a person most people can relate to, ESC doesnt need more of these slick types with bedroomlooks !;)

Oyoy
Oyoy
6 months ago
Reply to  Oyoy

Can`t really understand why this is being down-voted, but OK, everybody in entitled to have their own opinion;)

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
6 months ago
Reply to  Oyoy

I upvoted you. Indeed, it doesn’t make sense to downvote praise. I mean, would they upvote a slating? – No, they wouldn’t. It seems personal to the commenter to me, and that’s a bad thing.

Frank Arthur
Frank Arthur
6 months ago

Too much ballads ,Lithuania, Iceland, Spain, Israel coming up in my list. from the ballads I love Switzerland,Italy and Netherland

Tom Ripley
Tom Ripley
6 months ago
Reply to  Frank Arthur

I thinks we stand 50:50 and medtempo songs are not ballad.

Tiago
Tiago
6 months ago

The dutch guy from the jury… So hot!

Donkey
Donkey
6 months ago

I think what countries should do is base how much power juries have based on their past results and reactions from the public. Also not bring any international juries. For example, the juries ruined Erika’s chances yet the televote ruined Jaagup and Dotters chances. Its hard to say really as it is a tricky subject because depending on the country, juries can be the best or the worst thing that has ever happened.

Colin
Colin
6 months ago
Reply to  Donkey

Juries can really limit themselves nitpicking about “vocal excellence” and marketability of the song. Televoters can vote based on the artist’s popularity or an instant liking / catchiness. Both have been responsible for various ESC injustices. I think people tend to be angry at juries more because they should know better. Sometimes, it turns out they are literally paid to do a superficial job and ruin country’s chances.

Teddie
Teddie
6 months ago

2020. The year ESC got Duncaned to the core and ballads were all the rage. This is how I will remember it. Coronavirus? More like Balladovirus!

Andrei
Andrei
6 months ago

International juries are no fools. Of course they wouldn’t let a good song to Eurovision, I mean…it’s competition! They voted for rather bland songs, so their countries have more chances (it applies in Finland, Sweden, and in all the national finals that are using international jurors). Finland, this will cost you the qualification…

Somebody
Somebody
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrei

Agreed. Austria also shot Dotter by giving only 2 points and Mamas 6.

Indiana07
Indiana07
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrei

No, you can’t automatically make a conclusion that they want to sabotage everybody and everything. Why did the international juries put Me Tana first in Albania? Why did they put Euphoria first in 2012 Melodifestovalen etc? I think that Cicciolina is the song that the juries generally don’t like. It can do well in the televote but juries often underrate retro type songs. Also, some of the juries definately thought the staging was too extravagant.

Sofie
Sofie
6 months ago

Is no one going to talk about the fact that Erika obviously can’t sing very well? Sounded terrible

Tibor
Tibor
6 months ago
Reply to  Sofie

Some people did already point it out. But it’s not as if this song is mainly about vocal excellence.

Indiana07
Indiana07
6 months ago
Reply to  Sofie

I think juries would ruin Cicciolina’s chances at Eurovision too

Tiago
Tiago
6 months ago
Reply to  Indiana07

Agreed!

Colin
Colin
6 months ago
Reply to  Indiana07

Sure, juries dislike dance songs, schlager, national langages and provocative imagery. Literally everything about Cicciolina screams low jury rating. However… it would have been a televoting magnet like Norway 2019 or Poland 2014. It would probably finish top 10 on televoting alone. Looking Back will be appreciated by the juries way more, but unless he is their top 3 choice (and in a semi with Switzerland, Bulgaria and several other great ballads I can see him lower), it’s in a danger of being like Malta 2017 – great ballad, but NQ due to not being as immediate. Personally, I’d like… Read more »

Tibor
Tibor
6 months ago
Reply to  Colin

That’s a bold assumption, Colin. We will never know, if Erika Vikman would have finished “top 10 on televote alone”. All we know is, she won the Finnish televote by 5 measley points. How can you be so sure this would have been different, if it was not an only Finnish, but a European audience?

Colin
Colin
6 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

You are right, Tibor. There are no absolutes in ESC and anything may happen. Still, I have a huge gut feeling based on it’s online reception in the last month that this would’ve been huge for Finland. Extra high televoting accompanied with quite low jury score, still resulting in overall 7th-12th place. There’s no way of proving it now. I wish Aksel all the best. He will probably be very high on *my personal* list. This is still their best entry since Blackbird, but we all know people weren’t as receptive even then.

Tibor
Tibor
6 months ago
Reply to  Colin

But the great online reception only led to a close televote victory – even in Finland. I have a gut feeling that this song wouldn’t have made a huge impact on the Eurovision stage – Europe wouldn’t have understood the lyrics, she isn’t the best vocalist and the song is apparently divisive even in Finland. But of course I know I will never convince its avid fans. 😉

Colin
Colin
6 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

Maybe, but you might be forgetting that Salvador Sobral lost a televote in FdC 2017 before his ESC win. I also believe that Erika’s vocals were definitely past *good* territory and the finesse above isn’t something many viewers tend to dissect, especially in dance uptempo songs. For it being divisive… good! Many successful entries are. Ones will hate them, others will passionately vote. The worst thing for ESC result is being ”fine” by everyone. Just my 2 cents. I am open of being wrong in this. And moreover, we’ll never know for sure, since it did, in fact lost. 🙂

Jonas
Jonas
6 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

Yeah, I could easily imagine it going the way of Saara Alto. A song that came third in the fan club poll, but eventually flopped – and that was in English!

We’ll never know, so nobody is right and nobody is wrong.

Colin
Colin
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Saara Aalto qualified, though. So, not a total flop.

Jonas
Jonas
6 months ago
Reply to  Colin

That’s true. I guess I was comparing against initial expectations.

Tibor
Tibor
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

No, we’ll never know for sure. But based on _what_ we know, I think it’s fair to say that top 10 in the televote wouldn’t have been guaranteed, and that’s what I was reacting to. If we’re now talking about a chance of qualifying and finishing 25th like Saara Aalto, that’s a whole different story. 🙂

Milan S
Milan S
6 months ago
Reply to  Sofie

I think Finland has just saved itself one big embarrassment, and is sending a credible act instead. Respect!

Tino
Tino
6 months ago
Reply to  Milan S

You said it.

Pierre
Pierre
6 months ago

We are swimming in Pop ballads. not good for the final.

Tibor
Tibor
6 months ago

I have liked this song since I first listened to it. Aksel has a great voice, the lyrics are relatable and the staging was very thoughtful. And it’s not as if Erika Vikman won the televote by a landslide. So I really don’t see a reason for all this overblown outrage.

KarmaLeon
KarmaLeon
6 months ago

A very Nice song from finland this year.i can see this easily reaching the final and give them their best result since a long time you will see 😉

Toto Mex
Toto Mex
6 months ago

William Lee Adams,,, I wonder who that person can be…

Whisker
Whisker
6 months ago
Reply to  Toto Mex

Someone with very good taste in music.

Una
Una
6 months ago
Reply to  Toto Mex

LOL. Your are reading and commenting on his website.

Teddie
Teddie
6 months ago
Reply to  Una

Just wow, Una. A master class in r/woooosh!

Una
Una
6 months ago
Reply to  Teddie

Nope dude. Their comment is clear enough. Why bother making it? It’s obvious he knows who WLA is.

Michael B
Michael B
6 months ago

A good song and very good singing. Wouldn’t hurt if he loosened up a bit. Finns may have preferred Erika but the people abroad will vote. I’m from Germany and I didn’t like Erika’s song at all.

I S
I S
6 months ago

I was rooting for Looking Back and actually the best song won. Finland should be proud! This track is for all of us who listen to music with our ears, not with our eyes.

And BTW the song Cicciolina sounds like the soundtrack of a 1980’s movie that the real Cicciolina would love to make. The staging was all over the place. So glad it failed. Now I just have to deal with one bad song in the competition – it’s about fire, desire, higher, wire… (rolleyes)

La la love
La la love
6 months ago

No. Just no.

xohxoh
xohxoh
6 months ago

Another bland ballad. I…

Leo
Leo
6 months ago

Finland 2019: Look Away
Finland 2020: Looking Back
What phrasal verb could win in 2021?

La la love
La la love
6 months ago
Reply to  Leo

Look somewhere

Leo
Leo
6 months ago
Reply to  La la love

Hahahaha 😀

Sergod Legendzarev
Sergod Legendzarev
6 months ago
Reply to  Leo

Look Forward

Wildcat612
Wildcat612
6 months ago
Reply to  Leo

Look Foolish

Una
Una
6 months ago
Reply to  Leo

Leo and all, this is so funny. Coming here from Sweden and finding these gems. LOL! 🙂

Leo
Leo
6 months ago
Reply to  Una

Finland keeps ‘Looking Up’ for 2021

Keep On Looking
Keep On Looking
6 months ago
Reply to  Leo

2019: Look Away
2020: Looking Back
2021: Look Ahead
2022: Looking Forward
2023: Look Up
2024: Looking Through

Thorula
Thorula
6 months ago

There were only 5 points between Erika and Aksel in the televote, so don’t blame the jury it’s not like they made a gap of 40 points between both songs. And I’m very dissapointed but hey that’s fair, everybody knew the rules

Kata
Kata
6 months ago
Reply to  Thorula

But Erika was Finnish people’s favourite!

Tino
Tino
6 months ago
Reply to  Kata

Not all of ours.

Kosey
Kosey
6 months ago
Reply to  Thorula

Still doesn’t stop the rules smelling real bad.

Nils
Nils
6 months ago

Imagine Lordi were an unknown band and participated in yesterdays show with their new released song “Hard Rock Halleluja” . I am 100% sure they would not go to Eurovision nowadays because there would be a jury downvoting them.
This is the weakest ?? Song since 2015.
Why do they always wrong??!!

Yerevan is calling
Yerevan is calling
6 months ago

Finland has just repeated what Ukraine did with Maruuv:)) What a waste of a good entry.

brad
brad
6 months ago

Bad image, but a goodish song…well done Finland .a decent enough entry.

Una
Una
6 months ago
Reply to  brad

Black bird don’t sing …

Pineaple
Pineaple
6 months ago

If you don’t like Aksel’s song, then that’s fine. That’s your opinion and your opinion is valid. What isn’t valid is straight up personally abusing him just because your favourite didn’t win a national final. For christ sake the ammount of disgusting comments aimed personally at Aksel is absolutely ridiculous. This guy has done nothing wrong. He entered the competition just like everyone else and he managed to win. It’s not his fault that your favourite isn’t going to Rotterdam. This happens every single time a fan favourite doesn’t win a national final. Everyone goes absolutely bananas and begins hating… Read more »

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
6 months ago
Reply to  Pineaple

finally someone said it

Escf
Escf
6 months ago
Reply to  Pineaple

I just thought when Mary Sue like this will show up and teach others how to behave in their’s passive-agressive manner. People have right to be dissapointed and I didn’t see here any comments which attack Aksel PERSONALLY. No one here is mad at him personnally, it’s not his fault. But I see comment here calling Erika ”crazy flower lady”.

Fatima
Fatima
6 months ago
Reply to  Pineaple

” I don’t understand what is going on in the Eurovision fandom”
I think part of the problem Pineaple is the jury and public votes are instantly revealed these days, so if they don’t match, there’s twice as much to complain about. I feel we should go back to 2015 and have a single number.

NickC
NickC
6 months ago

I agree that Erika would have been the better choice as it is more memorable, I am not too upset about this. I think Aksel will do just fine, honestly.

Tom
Tom
6 months ago

I throw my finnish sauna, i am done ….

Dennis
6 months ago

I’m so fucking ashamed of our choice. For once we had a quality song in finnish that would’ve absolutely stood out amongst the crowd and we send bland english ballad no. 25 instead. Or well, the juries did. Us Finns would’ve chosen Erika.

Honestly? At this point I just wish we’d take a few years break from Eurovision. For once I’d like to enjoy the contest to the fullest without being constanly ashamed of my own country…..

Tino
Tino
6 months ago
Reply to  Dennis

Not all of us would chosen Erika.

Dennis
6 months ago
Reply to  Tino

But she did win the televote did she not?

jim
jim
6 months ago

#finlandisoverparty

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
6 months ago

I’m watching Finland on playback now. 🙂
(I know it’s 2:17am, but I can’t sleep before watching them all!)

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
6 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Owh wow. Okay, Erika has the outfit and the bears, but Aksel’s song has something I like even more: Interrupted Cadences! 🙂
At the risk of getting downvotes, I actually like Aksel’s ballad. However, none of the first three were my favourites going into this. (Tika was my favourite.) So I’m gonna watch the rest of it now…

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
6 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

What a surprise!
“Bananas” was a lot of fun. Sansa had excellent pitching and staging. Tika had overly ambitious choreography, but the song was still powerful. 🙂
The rest of the final is definitely worth watching.

mio
mio
6 months ago

Maybe some countries should experiment with only having a jury every other year.

...
...
6 months ago

I have fear for Finland. Semi 2 is so-called the weaker one and they pick an unmemorable ballad. He’s an amazing singer, but the song…

Wildcat612
Wildcat612
6 months ago

The jury results are absolutely ridiculous. (This is not to say that all the juries were whack.) Cicciolina comes third because it’s basic (I assume?), yet F3M comes second? Tika has the best voice of the night and comes fourth? The most current song comes last, despite arguably the best staging of the night? Literal nonsense. I feel bad for all involved, but especially Aksel. This is not how you want to win. And when he NQs, which seems quite likely, there’ll be the extra heartache of “Erika would have qualified.” Finland, next time stick with local juries… some of… Read more »

Wildcat612
Wildcat612
6 months ago
Reply to  Wildcat612

I’ll add: perhaps don’t select such an imbalance between men and women in your NF! You’ve gotta diffuse the votes of the teeny-bopper demographic.

Film
Film
6 months ago
Reply to  Wildcat612

The thing with Tika is that they ruined her performance which cost her points for sure. Its uploaded fixed in youtube, but live her head was not in the shot probably for a whole minute.

keith mawson
keith mawson
6 months ago
Reply to  Film

I noticed that too How vert weird it looked.

Eagle
Eagle
6 months ago
Reply to  Wildcat612

Your comment deserves a lot of upvotes in my opinion. I couldn’t agree more with you! Amazing comment

Ohi
Ohi
6 months ago

So the problem with this song is that the chorus is actually a prechorus …

Puff
Puff
6 months ago

I predict Aksel will give his place away to Erika. He’s a sensitive guy, I don’t think he can handle all this hate and he understands how big of an impact Cicciolina had on the Eurovision community.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
6 months ago
Reply to  Puff

Whaaat? Are you being serious or making a joke?
(Ultimately it would be up to him, the broadcaster and their contract.)

Tom
Tom
6 months ago
Reply to  Puff

Lets do this, also Elsa or whatever her name is and The Mamas should give up and give Dotter and Barbara chance to go at ESC

Bella
Bella
6 months ago
Reply to  Puff

Right, lol… Because as in every healthy competition, cyber-bullying is more important than the rules to decide who the winner is #smh

Jose
Jose
6 months ago

Erika Vikman really robbed. I hope Finland fails to qualify! And that means Justice for Erika! And I hope she comes back next year with a Finnish bop! We would loved to see Cicciolina and Finnish at Eurovision!

Tom
Tom
6 months ago
Reply to  Jose

She said after show, she would not come back probably, cause the international jury always playing save

Koto
Koto
6 months ago

No more juries!

Film
Film
6 months ago

Deserving winner. This was the best performance for me as well and i wasnt a fan of any of the songs before i saw them live. I know its really unpleasant when your favorite didnt win, but please dont be hateful towards him and his song. He won fair and by the rules. Good luck to him and Finland.

JJ Abrahames
JJ Abrahames
6 months ago

so glad that another terrible wiwi favorite flopped, i told you that since day one and you disliked me, who is laughing now)
Also Axel’s song has such meaning and deep lyrics, everybody can relate

Kosey
Kosey
6 months ago

William has got a lot to answer for when he gets back to the UK.

Dennis
6 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

Why? UK gave Erika a full 12 points so he’s one of the few juries you shouldn’t point the finger towards.

Kosey
Kosey
6 months ago
Reply to  Dennis

Because he is propagating the disaster that are international juries.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
6 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

Ahaha! Well I hear he gave Erika 12 points, so I dunno about this. But if I ever get to meet him and not burst into tears with excitement, I have a list of other things to ask about. LOL

Miguel
Miguel
6 months ago

Aksel is a decent performer. The song is nice-ish. It has a nice melody, some impact but is not very memorable…
I am gutted Cicciolina didn’t win. I really like it.

Polegend Godgarina
6 months ago

finland has two choices for 2021: either remove the juries from umk (the sole reason behind a lot of their failures), or just retire from eurovision. i can’t believe they thought it was appropriate to send that song that will get lost in a sea of ballads, when they had a clear standout.

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
6 months ago

Okay so I didn’t follow this national final or listen to any of the other songs but….jeez is this a boring song. I’m assuming either the wrong choice was made, or the entire national final sucked.

Denis
Denis
6 months ago

I sort of like it. I could see it picking up votes here and there. I don’t love it but it’s better than many other ballads this year. There is always room for that polished Nordic ballad in ESC.

keith mawson
keith mawson
6 months ago
Reply to  Denis

It would sound great if it was a rockier entry done by Softengine like band.

Matt
Matt
6 months ago

Non-qualifier

Aran
Aran
6 months ago

Finland has a song that will surely reach the Top 10 in the final.
They choose a song that probably won’t qualify…

Film
Film
6 months ago
Reply to  Aran

How can you surely know that? Please dont speculate. Many people were saying top 10 for Verona as well and in the end it didnt even qualified.

MALTESER
MALTESER
6 months ago
Reply to  Film

Please shut up. There is no comparison between Verona and Cicciolina.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
6 months ago

Shocking.