Seven acts will compete at Finland’s upcoming Eurovision national final UMK 2021. Today broadcaster YLE confirmed the number of competing acts, whittled down from 278 entries. And while fans will have to wait until January to find out exactly who is competing, YLE promises a versatile lineup.

Broadcaster YLE confirmed the number of competing acts with a post on social media. The total of seven grand finalists is one up on the six who competed at UMK 2020.

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UMK21-finalistit on nyt valittu! ? 278 hakemuksen joukosta finaaliin pa?a?si lopulta seitsema?n biisia?. Kappaleet valittiin ja?lleen YleX:n musiikkipa?a?llikko? Tapio Hakasen veta?ma?n UMK-ammattilaisraadin toimesta. "Biisien ja artistien taso oli mieletto?ma?n vahva ja olen varma, etta? meilla? on tulossa keva?a?lla? 2021 kaikkien aikojen kovatasoisin UMK. Olen todella iloinen ja kiitollinen joka ikiselle kappaleensa Ylelle la?hetta?neelle muusikolle." Ta?ma?n vuoden tapaan mukana oli laaja joukko Suomen lahjakkaimpia ja menestyneimpia? biisintekijo?ita? ja tuottajia. Lisa?ksi UMK:hon hakeneiden artistien tunnettuus on kokenut ison harppauksen eteen- ja ylo?spa?in. Na?ytta?a? silta?, etta? niin uudet ja nousevat kuin kokeneet ja tunnetut artistit na?keva?t UMK:n hienona mahdollisuutena. Hakijoiden joukossa oli mm. useita menneiden vuosien euroviisuedustajia, Emma-gaalassa palkittuja kestota?htia?, Suomen ta?ma?n hetken potentiaalisimpia musiikin vientitoivoja, Vain Ela?ma?ssa? na?htyja? artisteja, energisia? rock-ba?ndeja? seka? kriitikoiden ylista?mia? vaihtoehtomusiikin kuumia nimia?. La?hetettyjen kappaleiden monipuolisuus na?kyy myo?s lopullisessa seitsema?n kappaleen kattauksessa, Hakanen hehkuttaa. Finalistit paljastetaan tiistaina 19. tammikuuta. Kilpailukappaleet julkaistaan ja?lleen yksi kerrallaan pera?kka?isina? arkipa?ivina?. #UMK21 ?: @shotbywarila / Yle

A post shared by UMK21 (@uudenmusiikinkilpailu) on

The songs were selected by a jury of industry professionals, led by radio YleX’s music manager Tapio Hakanen. He had praise for the applicants, saying, “The level of the songs and artists was incredibly strong and I am confident that we have coming in the spring of 2021 the toughest UMK of all time. I’m really happy and grateful to each and every musician who sent a song to Yle.”

The broadcaster notes that UMK 2021 has attracted both new and upcoming acts, as well as established artists.

Former Eurovision acts among applicants

And while the UMK team won’t yet say who will be competing, they have revealed some clues about the sort of acts among the 278 applicants.

Sending in applications were Emma-award-winning acts, upcoming Finnish artists with international potential, stars of Finland’s version of The Best Singers, enegetic rock bands, hot alternative acts and — this is where we pay close attention — “several Eurovision representatives from past years”.

Among the 278 applicants is likely to have been UMK 2020 winner Aksel Kankaanranta. Earlier in the year, YLE confirmed that Aksel 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, he confirmed his intention to enter, saying he was working on new music for the contest.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether any of these acts have been selected for the grand final, but Hakanen promises that the final seven offers a versatile line-up.

The seven competing acts will be revealed at a press conference on Tuesday, 19 January. Their songs will then be released on consecutive week days. The grand final of UMK 2021 will be held on 20 February 2021 at a television studio in Tampere.

What do you think? Who would you like to see competing in UMK 2021? Which past Finnish Eurovision stars should make a second attempt? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more Finland Eurovision news here

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Zander25
Zander25
1 month ago

a lot of good promises but then final judgement rely on foreign intruders juries 🙁 No wonder artist like Erika won’t compete anymore to this stained selection.

Janro
Janro
1 month ago
Reply to  Zander25

The point of UMK is to pick a song for an international music competition, in which the only people who can’t vote for Finland are Finnish people, so it’s perfectly understandable why they choose to include national juries as it gives them some insight into what will work outside of Finland as well as within it. I think people really need to stop going on about Erika Vikman now. Yes, her song was popular among Finns and the hardcore Eurovision community, but outside of that it’s clear based on the jury vote Aksel had more appeal. She only won the… Read more »

Finnish
Finnish
1 month ago
Reply to  Zander25

Erika is currently performing a bit here and there and doing new music so she simply doesn’t have the time for UMK or Eurovision in 2021, but she is positive about UMK comeback though

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

everyone needs to know: IS ERIKA BACK?

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago

I wish there was a semi-semi-final situation for UMK this year. Just because we have so little national selections so far (only 10 confirmed to happen), I was hoping for more songs to compensate. Oh well

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  Ashton

Likewise, but we still will have some. FdC confirmed 20, I think that Israel will have 16, MGP presumably continues with 25, DMGP with 10, Melfest with 28, Dora presumebly with cca. 16, Eesti Laul with 16-24, Sanremo with 20, FiK with at least 16 and unknown count from France and Germany. I am appreciative of all we can get and I’ll try to rank them all when the time comes. As for UMK, I really enjoyed their 2020 slot, so my expectations are high. Any of these artists would be welcome back. I’d also like to see Krista back.… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Colin
Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

Germany won’t have a NF tho

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  Erasmus

So, another internal pick, then? In that case, why didn’t they just go with Benjamin? Especially since his song was rather popular and likely would’ve got Germany on the left side of the scoreboard. Well, good luck to whomever gets picked. I am really rooting for Big Five not finishing last for once. It’s been 8 years now.

Last edited 1 month ago by Colin
Azaad
Azaad
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

I think Ben not being a big name or not having a tight connection to Germany meant that on his own he wasn’t an attractive pick- if Milanov can’t write them a song this time, no point in keeping him. We’ve seen France and Cyprus drop their internally selected acts.

IHPIESC
IHPIESC
1 month ago

I want Erika

Denis
Denis
1 month ago

Why only 7 though? Why not choose 10 acts, especially if they are that good..

Finnish
Finnish
1 month ago
Reply to  Denis

Yle doesn’t have a huge budget for UMK

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago

I look forward to UMK 2021, however, if the level was that high, why didn’t they go for more than 7 entries?

ESC8
ESC8
1 month ago

As mentioned below, I believe as well that the 7 finalists that we are getting means that Aksel got some kind of a direct pass to UMK 2021. Hopefully his song will be a good one, but was not a fan of Looking Back. I really hope that there will be winning material songs, maybe it’s time for a second finnish win, 15 years after Lordi. As long as they indeed have a really good song I’m all for it but I also really hope that we will get diversity in terms of songs, not just pop. Surprise us Finland!

HarpyDarper
HarpyDarper
1 month ago

I remember Osmo Ikonen from the selections in 2009 and 2010 (where he was robbed!), and I’ve always hoped he try again, wonder what music he’s made since (or if he’s still interested)

Alo
Alo
1 month ago

I hope Finland will give us good and better acts this year.
(Maybe they should go more alternative and less pop like in 2020 national final)

I honestly don’t remember this year song..

Neil
Neil
1 month ago

I wish Aksel was one of the seven acts,
because one, it’s fair and two, he was kinda underrated….
Still wondering who that UMK 2020 rep was tho, probably
between Erika Vickman and Aksel
Good Luck Finland!!

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago

DAMN, I really hope that this radio-man speaks the truth! Really excited tbh. Hope they deliver something good, Aksel’s song last year was quite underrated!

Una
Una
1 month ago

Yeessss Suomi!!

Esc lebanese fan
Esc lebanese fan
1 month ago

The fact that they selected 7 songs instead of 6 leads me to believe that they may have given Aksel a direct pass after all. I hope that is case personally, as I loved his song for 2020.

Last edited 1 month ago by Esc lebanese fan
Azaad
Azaad
1 month ago

I doubt so. Aksel was an unpopular choice from an ESC fan perspective (no shade to him, UMK 2020 was a very strong national final, especially when compared to the usual Finnish NFs). Erika had a monopoly on fan favourite status that not even Dotter, The Roop or Jaagup enjoyed (maybe Elvana, but Arilena enjoyed significant support in Albania and the fan bubble. Her not winning was seen as a Margaret 2016 level outrage (probably more so, considering she actually gave a good live performance). It would probably be fair to give an automatic spot, but given the previous two… Read more »

Azaad
Azaad
1 month ago
Reply to  Azaad

I meant to say Erika not winning was akin to Margaret, not Elvana/Arilena

Deven O'Kearney
Deven O'Kearney
1 month ago

It’s all well and good having a diverse lineup but it is a show to select the song and act for a song contest, and the whole point of entering a contest is to win. Obviously a diverse national final with several potential Eurovsion winners is ideal (look at Sweden in 2012, 14 and 15 for the proof), but I would rather see Finland pitch seven mainstream, potential Eurovision winners than seven mediocre or even bad songs just for the sake of diversity, for which Finland, unfortunately, has form.