Aksel UMK 2021 Finland

He’s the 22-year-old singer that was supposed to represent Finland at Eurovision 2020. However, Aksel’s dreams were dashed in March when the contest was cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

He received a further blow when Finnish broadcaster YLE confirmed that its UMK selection format would be returning and Aksel, while welcome to submit a song, would not be guaranteed a place in the TV spectacular.

But the lyrics of his song “Looking Back” are all about living in the moment and not dwelling on the past.

And, taking his own advice, Aksel has confirmed that he will enter UMK 2021.

Aksel will enter UMK 2021

Aksel revealed his intention to compete in the Finnish selection in the second episode of Eurovision Home Concerts on Friday 10 April.

After dialling in performances of his own 2020 entry along with Alexander Rybak’s 2009 winner “Fairytale”, Aksel said:

“Even though I’m sad that Eurovision was cancelled, I am happy to announce that we are working on new music and we are going to audition at UMK. Let’s see where that goes.”

Skip to 57:43 in the episode to hear the comments for yourself.

Finland at Eurovision 2021 — UMK will return

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 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.

Are you happy that Aksel is trying again? Are you excited to hear his new entry? Let us know in the comments.

Follow all of our Finland Eurovision 2021 news.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
18 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Friedenau
Friedenau
2 months ago

I think Looking Back is one of the most underrated songs this year. I didn’t care much about cicciolina (the live performance was terrible), but when I heard Looking back i felt in love. The melody is very sweet and emotional, and he’s a great singer. It was in my top 5 indeed.

Jo.
Jo.
2 months ago

I kinda understand that countries like Sweden or Denmark can’t just select their 2020 acts for ESC 2021, but Finland? I mean, couldn’t they just arrange a NF of songs, like they did for Saara Aalto and Darude?

Don Juan
Don Juan
2 months ago
Reply to  Jo.

They literally point out that the reason they’re not gonna make it a single artist NF is because UMK was so much more successful when they didn’t do that.

Jo.
Jo.
2 months ago
Reply to  Don Juan

yeah, I know, but this is a “special case” so they could make an exception. And UMK wasn’t really very successful with that format. In recent years, they only succeed in 2014 and then flopped really hard until Saara Aalto got selected.

Jo.
Jo.
2 months ago
Reply to  Jo.

It’s just empathy. But don’t worry, I wouldn’t expect that from you anyway.

Thanos
Thanos
2 months ago

I really liked Looking Back and I hope that he will come back even stronger next year!!!

Africavision
Africavision
2 months ago

He is such a great guy. No bitching and moaning for the unfortunate hand he’s been dealt. No feelings of grandeur, despite being the reigning UMK champ. Even without any special treatment from the broadcaster, he remains positive and upbeat. He’s just doing what an artist should be doing… Making music, not “looking back”, and trying again to reach the goal. Bravo, Aksel. Great spirit. Hope to see you on the Eurovision stage very soon.

Erasmus
Erasmus
2 months ago
Reply to  Africavision

agree, love his personality! Very humble. And imo a deserved winner, though I love Erika.

Finnish
Finnish
2 months ago
Reply to  Africavision

I wouldn’t call him such a great guy. After his victory he was trash talking Erika and spreading some lies that she had bought herself some attention on newspapers here

Dawid
Dawid
2 months ago
Reply to  Finnish

Can you quote something? I mean, it’s easy to state things like this and claim that they’re true

Nina
Nina
2 months ago
Reply to  Dawid

It is more likely that Erika was spreading lies about Axel, as she was the loser one lol

Finnish
Finnish
2 months ago
Reply to  Finnish

I forgot to say this: if you’re on phone disable javascript so you’ll be able to see all of the comments, no need to download the app

eurovisionaire
eurovisionaire
2 months ago
Reply to  Finnish

I thought Aksel was a great person…

Gongo
2 months ago
Reply to  eurovisionaire

He is still, one comment doesn’t make u a bad person

Gongo
2 months ago
Reply to  Finnish

He is a very nice guy. He was just joking on social media. The ESC-fans are sending much hate to him just because Erika lost. No wonder he roast back to the haters. Don’t spread this please, instagram comments are not such a big deal.

Finnish
Finnish
2 months ago
Reply to  Gongo

If he would be a nice guy i doubt he would call some eurovision fans narcistics, just because he wasn’t their preferred choice as the UMK winner.

These comments about Erika on instagram were not on Aksels, but the official UMK’s insta and people only were asking “where’s Erika” as they were surprised for her not winning? He could have just ignore those comments where people were talking about her.

PIZZA
PIZZA
2 months ago
Reply to  Finnish

yes yes its not a big deal, Aksel is nice, just a small mistake by him.