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
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Fatima

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
Guest
Fatima

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

Safiya
Guest
Safiya

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
Guest
Alex

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
Guest
blaablaa

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
Guest
Meo

This is too similar to James Bay – let it go

Sorry Finland

Jose
Guest
Jose

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
Guest
Tom Ripley

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

Sami
Guest
Sami

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
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Una

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

Sami
Guest
Sami

So you think Lordi as a joke entry?

Una
Guest
Una

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
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noone

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
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Sleimok

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

Oyoy
Guest
Oyoy

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
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Oyoy

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

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

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
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Frank Arthur

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

Tom Ripley
Guest
Tom Ripley

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

Tiago
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Tiago

The dutch guy from the jury… So hot!

Donkey
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Donkey

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
Guest
Colin

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
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Teddie

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
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Andrei

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
Guest
Somebody

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

Indiana07
Guest
Indiana07

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
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Sofie

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

Tibor
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Tibor

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

Indiana07
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Indiana07

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

Tiago
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Tiago

Agreed!

Colin
Guest
Colin

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
Guest
Tibor

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
Guest
Colin

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
Guest
Tibor

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
Guest
Colin

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
Guest
Jonas

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
Guest
Colin

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

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

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

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

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
Guest
Milan S

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

Tino
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Tino

You said it.

Pierre
Guest
Pierre

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

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

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
Guest
KarmaLeon

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
Guest
Toto Mex

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

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

Someone with very good taste in music.

Una
Guest
Una

LOL. Your are reading and commenting on his website.

Teddie
Guest
Teddie

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

Una
Guest
Una

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

Michael B
Guest
Michael B

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
Guest
I S

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
Guest
La la love

No. Just no.

xohxoh
Guest
xohxoh

Another bland ballad. I…

Leo
Guest
Leo

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

La la love
Guest
La la love

Look somewhere

Leo
Guest
Leo

Hahahaha 😀

Sergod Legendzarev
Guest
Sergod Legendzarev

Look Forward

Wildcat612
Guest
Wildcat612

Look Foolish

Una
Guest
Una

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

Leo
Guest
Leo

Finland keeps ‘Looking Up’ for 2021

Keep On Looking
Guest
Keep On Looking

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

Thorula
Guest
Thorula

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
Guest
Kata

But Erika was Finnish people’s favourite!

Tino
Guest
Tino

Not all of ours.

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

Still doesn’t stop the rules smelling real bad.

Nils
Guest
Nils

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
Guest
Yerevan is calling

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

brad
Guest
brad

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

Una
Guest
Una

Black bird don’t sing …

Pineaple
Guest
Pineaple

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
Guest
Ashton Schier

finally someone said it

Escf
Guest
Escf

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
Guest
Fatima

” 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
Guest
NickC

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
Guest
Tom

I throw my finnish sauna, i am done ….

Dennis
Guest

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
Guest
Tino

Not all of us would chosen Erika.

Dennis
Guest

But she did win the televote did she not?

jim
Guest
jim

#finlandisoverparty

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

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

Purple Mask
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
mio

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

...
Guest
...

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
Guest
Wildcat612

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
Guest
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
Guest
Film

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
Guest
keith mawson

I noticed that too How vert weird it looked.

Eagle
Guest
Eagle

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

Ohi
Guest
Ohi

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

Puff
Guest
Puff

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
Guest
Purple Mask

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

Tom
Guest
Tom

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
Guest
Bella

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

Jose
Guest
Jose

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
Guest
Tom

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

Koto
Guest
Koto

No more juries!

Film
Guest
Film

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
Guest
JJ Abrahames

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
Guest
Kosey

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

Dennis
Guest

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

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

Because he is propagating the disaster that are international juries.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

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
Guest
Miguel

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
Guest

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
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

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
Guest
Denis

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
Guest
keith mawson

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

Matt
Guest
Matt

Non-qualifier

Aran
Guest
Aran

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

Film
Guest
Film

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
Guest
MALTESER

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

Jimmy Smit
Guest
Jimmy Smit

Shocking.