Back in March, Finland‘s broadcaster YLE was among the first to confirm their national final would return in 2021, with the next edition of UMK. Now the broadcaster has released the contest rules as it looks forward to celebrating the tenth anniversary of its national final.

YLE is sticking with the revamped format of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK). This follows two less successful years where the artist was internally selected and the song chosen via the national final.

As YLE announced earlier in the year, the song submission period for UMK 2021 will open on 1 September. The broadcaster has now confirmed that the submission period will run until 7 September, giving interested artists and songwriters one week to get their entries in.

The UMK entries must comply with the EBU’s standard rules for Eurovision, but the Finnish broadcaster also requires that at least one songwriter and at least one lead vocalist must have Finnish citizenship or permanent residency.

There is no stipulation of what language the song must be sung in. Typically, Finland selects English-language songs for Eurovision, however in the past decade, Finland has also sent a Swedish ballad and a Finnish punk rock song. At UMK 2020, the Finnish-language “Cicciolina” won the televote and placed second overall.

The UMK rules also require that entries must not be sent to song selections in other countries. They’re looking for unique UMK entries, not generic hand-me-downs rejected from other national finals.

YLE are continuing their collaboration with Finnish youth radio network YleX. The station came on board for the revamped UMK last year and following the successful 2020 edition of the national final, the partnership will continue, to help attract top Finnish musical creatives.

Will Aksel return to UMK 2021?

The rules also confirm the selection process of UMK 2021. From the submitted songs, an expert panel led by YleX’s music manager Tapio Hakanen will select a number of entries to compete in the national final. The finalists will be announced in January 2021.

The grand final of UMK 2021 will be broadcast at some point in February 2021. The winner will be selected by a combination of public televote and expert jury vote.

Earlier in the year, YLE confirmed that 2020 winner Aksel Kankaanranta would not be granted an automatic place in the 2021 competition. However, the broadcaster said that Aksel was welcome to submit an entry for consideration. In April, Aksel confirmed his intention to enter, saying he was working on new music for the contest.

What do you think? Who would you like to see enter UMK 2021? What sort of song should Finland send to Rotterdam? Tell us your thoughts below.

Read more Finland Eurovision news here

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Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
1 month ago

I think they should have a rule that the singer has to be of Finnish origin rather than to have a Finnish citizenship. This way even Greek could represent Finland if lives in Finland.

Last edited 1 month ago by Eurovision fan
Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago
Reply to  Eurovision fan

And that would be bad because …?

Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
1 month ago
Reply to  Tibor

Would you be happy if the foreigner represented your country?

Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago
Reply to  Eurovision fan

Why wouldn’t I? On the other hand, I’d be deeply offended if a racist represented my country.

Eurotrash
Eurotrash
1 month ago
Reply to  Eurovision fan

Ben Dolic wants to know your location

Jofty
Jofty
1 month ago
Reply to  Eurovision fan

Or San Marinese…..

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago

Did they explain why they don’t give Aksel an automatic place? #befairnotcruel

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago

Robyn = the voice of reason. Thanks!

Finnish
Finnish
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

They do want to be fair, that’s why Aksel is starting from the same line as other artist trying to compete in UMK 2021

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Finnish

I would assume that Aksel’s new song would be at least as good as the 2020 one so in that sense I think it would be fair he gets an automatic place, but at the end of the day/year, who knows what happens until the 2021 song is there. I wish him the best tho, he seems lovely and has a great voice.

Mary Jane Poland
Mary Jane Poland
1 month ago

When I read „Finnish punk rock song” my first thought was „but 2008 wasn’t punk rock”. Then I remembered

Last edited 1 month ago by Mary Jane Poland
Mary Jane Poland
Mary Jane Poland
1 month ago

When I read „Finnish punk rock song” my first thought was „but 2008 wasn’t punk rock”. Then I remembered…

Hrvatska
Hrvatska
1 month ago

unlikely but I hope to hear a song in Finnish someday

Una
Una
1 month ago

“The UMK rules also require that entries must not be sent to song selections in other countries. They’re looking for unique UMK entries, not generic hand-me-downs rejected from other national finals.”
THANK YOU, FINLAND!!!

Pontus
Pontus
1 month ago
Reply to  Una

Excuse me but almost all songs are generic. Fuego for example, 1000 versions of it and people loved it so your original talk is overrated No one is original anymore, Everything had been done.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Pontus

At least we’re certainly getting a song yht is actually made in Finland, regardless of results.

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Pontus

I won’t argue that. You’re right. I think there is a degree of “generic” when music is closer to mainstream or pure mainstream. That’s not necessarily bad. That “generic factor” can be on both sides of the same coin.
But considering we’re talking about a song contest with a fundamental visual aspect there is more that meets the ear. A “generic” song can be uplifted a lot with good visuals. Or not. I think it’s a bit hard to come up with something that can be original and successful like in winning Eurovision. Too many variables there.

Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago
Reply to  Pontus

There’s practically no originality in the narrow sense of the term anymore, but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that are more interesting or surprising than others. Furthermore things can be not original in a narrow sense and nonetheless not generic, it’s not a binary opposition.

Jofty
Jofty
1 month ago
Reply to  Una

Great rule! Funny though that Denmark 2010 and 2018 were hand-me-downs yet went on to do better than the country (we know which one!) from which rejected ?

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Jofty

Hahaha, yes. Good for Denmark 🙂 Yet I think that since the broadcasters participate with the country flag out there, we need to maintain the essence and keep it to some degree of exclusivity to the country and not use the “song” element as a mere token. Otherwise we risk loosing our Eurovision for the benefit of “names” and “results”.

Jofty
Jofty
1 month ago
Reply to  Una

Sadly yes and some more guilty than others. Bizarre that a track originating in 2016 in Bulgaria dusted off and represents Malta in 2020, in the interim having been slung out by Croatia? In the recent past some of these cast offs have appeared in the Irish finals.

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Jofty

Irish finals? Please explain? Ireland have been doing internal selection for ages. Last time I remember a sort of “final” or at least something the public could choose from was 2014 when they didn’t qualify in Copenhagen. Great song, bad aesthetic and staging, sadly NQ.   I don’t find it that curious that songs would be written and presented to broadcasters years after. Nor that the songs would suffer changes. But if the German selection from this year is something to consider – apparently the song had been changed a few times to please the pannel or pannels? What does… Read more »

Jofty
Jofty
1 month ago
Reply to  Una

“I Wish I Could Pretend” re-routed from Latvia in 2009, finished 2nd

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Jofty

Great. Thanks.

Jofty
Jofty
1 month ago
Reply to  Una

No worries! There was also a “lady from Europe” (you have to be so careful!) singing Fashion Queen. Can’t remember what year and whether she was parachuted in from somewhere else. Not forgetting Ralph Siegel; don’t know if he had tried to foist the song – River Of Silence – on someone else first. That was of course before he set his sights on San Marino and probably where all this nonsense started. Seems it was a ? polite No from Bosnia! Bye Bye I Love You, Luxembourg 1974 probably my favourite Siegel entry, I think his first! We Can… Read more »

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Jofty

Thanks very much!! Some research needed. More excitement. Love the subject – some serious research and a bit of trivia at the same time.

Jofty
Jofty
1 month ago
Reply to  Una

Sure. More trivia – one of Milli Vanilli was a “backing vocalist” for Germany in 1987. I think it was more poncing around than “singing” ?

Generic Eurovision Fan
Generic Eurovision Fan
1 month ago

I think it’s really bad that they are just selecting another artist to go to a competition when one was picked and will probably miss out

Una
Una
1 month ago

Maybe Aksel will participate again with a song. I would love it if he participated next year or sometime soon. 🙂