Since news of the cancellation it has been a question on many minds.

Will national final winners be internally selected next year? In Finland we have our answer.

That’s because broadcaster YLE has confirmed song submissions for UMK 2020 will open as normal on September 1.

In the announcement, YLE also said that UMK 2020 winner Aksel Kankaanranta is welcome to submit a song, but a pre-jury will decide which songs make the live stage of the competition.

UMK 2021 submissions open September 1

UMK Producer Anssi Autio is clear from the outset:

“A year is a long time for any song and Eurovision has new music. Aksel may choose to participate in UMK next year, but the jury of professionals will select the contestants and ultimately the voters will make the selection.”

But the decision has also clearly been influenced by UMK’s success this year.

Autio adds:

“The finale attracted the largest UMK audience for years, with a record number of young people in particular. Similarly, the public vote was the liveliest since 2015. In addition, the interest and positive reception towards this year’s competition reinforced our view that open competition will continue.

“We also received positive feedback from the finalists after the competition, which we are particularly pleased about. Next year is the tenth UMK and I believe it will become a state-of-the-art contemporary music show.”

The competition drew over 400 submissions for the 2020 edition and featured contributions from Finland’s top songwriters.

It came after two years of the show acting as a single artist, multi-song selection. That format produced mixed results. Saara Aalto did make the final, but placed 25th overall. Last year’s duo Darude and Sebastian Rejman ended last in their semi-final.

What do you make of the news? Are you excited for UMK 2021? Let us know in the comments below!

YOU CAN GET MORE FINLAND NEWS HERE

Photo Credit: YLE

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KevininDC
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KevininDC

Choosing TV ratings over what is fair to a human being? I find that sad. Unless Aksel wins next year I hope Finland stays in the semis. Same goes for any other country who doesn’t show a sense of justice for this year’s artists. Aksel for 2021 and hopefully Erika for 2022!

James
Guest
James

For public television networks, getting healthy ratings help pay the bills.

Finnish
Guest
Finnish

I agree with this. This years UMK had biggest ratings ever and it got the most media attention of all editions. UMK has had it’s tries with different formats and now that there’s a good format to go with they really want to keep it and not change it every year

keith mawson
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keith mawson

Umk 2015 and 16 , possibly even 17 were by far the best.

Jai
Guest
Jai

I wasn’t happy when Aksel won but he was robbed of his chance to compete at Eurovision and should be the representative for Finland in 2021.

Katariina
Guest
Katariina

Kind of mean to Aksel but the best choice for us if we’re looking for results.

Robert
Guest
Robert

Unfair decision! He earned the right, we can all act high and mighty and say ‘he wouldn’t have won anyway’ and ‘can’t imagine him writing a winning song and winning Eurovision’.. Pfff annoys me, this guy won the final.. He must’ve done something right.. Sometimes you need to be fair.. He should at least get a pass to the final..

Lily
Guest
Lily

Poor Aksel, doomed from the start..

lola
Guest
lola

Probably for the best.. Why would they send an act again that is just not gonna win.. (if this man writes a winning song next year Ill eat both of my shoes) In the end that’s what delegations want right? the win? Yes its unfair but he wasn’t gonna do well and made name for himself in finland.. it wasnt gonna be much more than that.. If he takes action I can already imagine all the comments of yall telling him to let it go blabla.. Its his choice to join again next year, he can turn this around and… Read more »

Saskia
Guest
Saskia

If that was the reason why they’re not sending him, then why not internally select someone else? Doing another national final will possibly put them into the same situation next year when they can’t control who’s winning.

Thanos
Guest
Thanos

Bad and unfair decision, they should at least make him an automatic qualifier to the final. I really liked his song. In my opinion, the reason why they decided to do what they did is because all of our community IMMEDIATELY after he won started to bury him alive because Erika didn’t win. I am sure that if he had been a fan favourite he would have been directly to next year’s final. That’s why my fellow Eurofans we should stop acting like babies when our favourite doesn’t win a NF and embrace every performer whether we are going to… Read more »

GIOLO
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GIOLO

In my opinion, if he was a fan favorite, they woulde have internally selected him (as Saara and Darude)

Robert
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Robert

AMEN!

OatMilk
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OatMilk

It was an easy decision for Finland as they lost their final spot to eurovision already in UMK. I feel like Sweden feels the same, they couldn’t qualify the winner song so it’s easy just to being out a new song with new artist. Melodifestivalen is also a bigger thing than actual Eurovision competition there. Kinda sad for Lithuania, Iceland, Germany, Russia, Bulgaria etc. Because they had actually a chance to be in the top 5 or win.

Tajikistan
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Tajikistan

Ok I kind of get Portugal and Sweden doing this because they have long established shows relatively independent of Eurovision but Finland really? They basically cancelled it for two years in this format, I don’t get why they’re so desperate to carry it on and screw over their artist…

James
Guest
James

If ratings improved from the last two years, it would make sense to build on that for the following year. That and because UMK will turn 10, that would certainly be a big draw for viewers.

deli
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deli

UMK changed the format few times but the brand remains the same. And also as it was said. There were great ratings this year.

Finnish
Guest
Finnish

The ratings were biggest ever for UMK in 2020

dxi
Guest
dxi

So sad :c I really liked Aksel’s song and I hope he’ll participate again next year!

Sesil
Guest
Sesil

If he sends a good song, then there’s nothing to worry about, making him a straight qualifier might mean sending a possible not good song to the final.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Yes, but even with a bad song, he should be able to get a chance. If his new song isn’t as good as Looking Back, he just won’t win and that’s it. Every year there are very bad songs in various national finals anyway. He should still be highlighted as the rightful 2020 winner and representative by being an option.

Jakub
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Jakub

I’m afraid of him with a bad song and then winning UMK thanks to “pity votes”. So it’s better like that to have new NF

Fionn
Guest
Fionn

That’s so unfair poor aksel I honestly loved his song and he seems so sweet. I do love erika tho and those bears were iconic I hope she’s back next year

Mr Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr Vanilla Bean

All of you whining about boycotting are so ridiculous. Not even a single one of you will miss these national finals next year, you are all going to follow them and you know it. Boo-hoo.

MrAlex2803
Guest
MrAlex2803

Shame on you Finland. Give this man at least a place in the final.!!

Disgusting!

Diane
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Diane

I am devastated that Finland won’t even let Aksel get a free-pass to the final of UMK.

Gabriel
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Gabriel

Very happy with that, maybe Finland can make a better decision this time.. I miss entries like Softengine..

Riri
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Riri

I think Aksel had the right to at least go staright to the final. But I kind of understand why this decision was made. The one artist selection was widely criticized, boring and unsuccessful. After going back to the open contest and having it be so popular, they said that they don’t plan to have an one artist selection ever again. And now this situation came. Also adding to that I think they were afraid to choose Aksel again because of all the people taking their anger about Erika losing out on Aksel and his song, which gave the impression… Read more »

uwu vision
Guest
uwu vision

This is honestly heartbreaking. I hope he appeals against this decision or something.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

this just ain’t fair, especially considering umk was just an internally selected artist with three songs in 2018-9. it’s not like finland’s selection is known for its quality or for the hype it creates every year, so… they could’ve gotten a better look by just selecting him for this time.

Vincent Kinder Bueno
Guest
Vincent Kinder Bueno

This is unethical. I hope Aksel takes action against this.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr Vanilla Bean

Hopefully, Mr No Bueno is the next to get axed (not expecting it, though. They’ll probably keep him and be happy with another dire song) Aksel can always take action by entering this open competition.

Vincent Kinder Bueno
Guest
Vincent Kinder Bueno

I’m not a fan of Vincent either (I was not allowed to post as ‘Pooverphonic’) but it’s at best ethically questionable to ax him after he’s been promised a chance to perform at Eurovision. Same goes for Aksel, Uku and every other person who’s work has been trashed by the EBU.

xohxoh
Guest
xohxoh

Disgusting and disgraceful. We’re boycotting all the countries that refused to send 2020 artists.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr Vanilla Bean

lol I bet all those countries are shivering at the boycott of 0,000000001 people.

Jai
Guest
Jai

Why are you so happy to see other people fail?

Riri
Guest
Riri

Honestly this decision was expected and understandable. They just got rid of the unsuccessful one artist selection and all the people hating on Aksel because Erika lost gave the impression that he wouldn’t be successful in the competition.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr Vanilla Bean

Well, I’m glad that there’ll be open national finals in 2021. Leaves room for some Mikael Saari greatness or other greatness unbeknownst to me.

Alexis
Guest
Alexis

Definetely not a big lost at all.

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

Poor Aksel.
He came across as the quiet outsider. In his interview on here, he seemed very down to earth, not at all slick and polished like some performers. He sounded like someone who would really benefit from this chance. What a shame.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Considering how Saara was expected to finish top 10 and ended-up as 24th and Darude finished last in the semi, I cannot say I can blame them from having open submissions again. Having an Aksel-oriented UMK would also be a reasonable option under the circumstances, but as I said before, all options have a toll now when it comes to national finals. But THE LEAST they could’ve done is assuring Aksel has a reservation among the finalists. PS. I still do not believe that one person UMK was necessarily a failed *concept*. What was it’s downfall was probably the lack… Read more »

Mr Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr Vanilla Bean

The downfall was that the music just wasn’t good (enough). An open NF is much better. Of course, it won’t help to have great entries when you still end up making an incredibly wrong choice, like in 2016.

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

I mean Saara’s selection of songs was fine, Darude wasn’t good at all. And in Finland I think open proces works much better, the only nordic country I want to have an internal selection is Iceland tbh, for all the others it would not work.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr Vanilla Bean

Söngvakeppnin needs to be kept. It had its dire years, but also great ones a couple of years ago. There’s always the possibility of something special in Iceland. 2018 was hard to swallow, but things are getting better again.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Considering how Saara was expected to finish top 10 and ended-up as 24th and Darude finished last in the semi, I cannot say I can blame them from having open submissions again. Having an Aksel-oriented UMK would also be a reasonable option under the circumstances, but as I said before, all options have a toll now. But THE LEAST they could’ve done is assuring Aksel has a reservation among the finalists.

cheese
Guest
cheese

what’s the point of voting though when the jury actually decides the outcome -_-

Colin
Guest
Colin

Aksel was also the second one in televote. If he had been 5th or 6th, he definitely wouldn’t have won. Both jury and televote have an equal say in deciding the winner.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

the thing is, when it comes to choosing your national representative, there shouldn’t even be a jury imo (unless it’s a national selection of course). it should be what the people want as their representative, good or bad.

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

I mean in a way you’re right, but tbh juries at least in Eurovision have usually way better results than the public… (the mix of them is perfect imo)

Safiya
Guest
Safiya

I really wanted Erika to win but I still think that Aksel deserves his spot in the final or even his own selection (one artist and three songs to choose from).

Andrew H
Guest

That’s just sad.?

At least Uku Suviste has a direct pass to the final. The Mamas and Aksel need justice lol, it is not their fault they aren’t participating this year. Such disgrace to the hard working artists, their dreams crushed and having to start over again… hopefully more artists from this year will get to perform next year.??

mad-professor
Guest
mad-professor

I thought Uku only had a pass to the semi final, not the final?

GIOLO
Guest
GIOLO

Linus, what would Swedes think about the possiblity to internally select The Mamas, but still holding Melodifestivalen next year?