Earlier this month, Finnish broadcaster Yle announced the seven artists competing in UMK 2021. Throughout January, the acts — that’s Aksel, Blind Channel, Danny, Ilta, Laura, Oskr and Teflon Brothers x Pandora — released their tracks one by one. Now, it’s time to weigh up the competition.
In a new video on the UMK YouTube channel, we see the seven Eurovision hopefuls reacting to their competitors’ songs. You can hear and read some of their thoughts below.
UMK 2021: Artists react to each others’ songs
Oskr – “Lie”
Positive words all around for Oskr’s powerful yet intimate pop track “Lie”. Ilta suggests that he is her strongest competition. Could Oskr be a contender for the crown?
Aksel: The lyrics are really good.
Blind Channel: Touching. Makes a grown man cry!
Danny: It’s a bit like last year’s winner.
Ilta: If he’s a really good looking, charismatic guy… I have competition!
Teflon Brothers: Oh my god. So good. Can we come back next year?
Laura: It has a really nice positive vibe. Makes you want to smile.
Teflon Brothers x Pandora – “I Love You”
The UMK artists show great enthusiasm for Teflon Brothers x Pandora’s dance track “I Love You”. Ilta has one word – “confusing” – as she spends the rest of her time throwing shapes. Although, Danny says it reminds him of Finnish duo CatCat’s 1994 Eurovision entry “Bye Bye Baby” — which placed 22nd with just 11 points.
Aksel: It’s like a neo ’90s song. Really strong Gunther vibes.
Blind Channel: Why don’t we have synthesisers like this?!
Danny: It reminds me of CatCat.
Laura: It’s a totally happy song. Friday night. Wow, her voice is really nice.
Oskr: It works. Five out of five.
Danny – “Sinä päivänä kun kaikki rakastaa mua”
The stars immediately recognise Danny’s legendary vocals on his track “Sinä päivänä kun kaikki rakastaa mua“. Danny’s participation at UMK 2021 marks the eighth time he’s tried to represent Finland at Eurovision. Could this finally be his year?
Aksel: A funeral song, in a good way.
Blind Channel: Is it Danny? Yes, it’s Danny! Danny goes Coldplay.
Ilta: It’s the kind of voice you want to delve into. What a lovely song!
Laura: I get the goosebumps. This voice is full of knowledge.
Oskr: I lose myself in listening to what he says.
Teflon Brothers: It sounds like Johnny Cash, American recordings.
Laura – “Play”
A change of pace with Laura’s country-influenced pop track “Play”. The Estonian Eurovision star has twice represented her home country, first in 2004 and again in 2017. Could she be going to Rotterdam for Finland this year?
Aksel: The pronunciation is fun, very odd for a Finn.
Blind Channel: It reminds me of Anastacia.
Danny: A catchy rhythm and good singing.
Ilta: You can create good choreography to this.
Oskr: Guitar and singing always works.
Teflon Brothers: This is horse riding music.
Aksel – “Hurt”
Next up is Aksel with “Hurt“. The acts are mesmerised by the returning champion’s vocals, though one competitor said it lacked energy. Could Aksel make it two in a row?
Blind Channel: It’s from a Hobbit movie, with those guys who look like you (gestures to bandmate).
Danny: This one doesn’t make you go wild either. But again, it’s produced and sung well.
Ilta: What a good voice. Everyone is so good these days.
Laura: Wow, what a voice. Took my breath away, like his singing.
Oskr: Aw, what a melody.
Blind Channel – “Dark Side”
Blind Channel’s “Dark Side” — the current favourite to win — hooks the listeners with its unique “violent pop” sound. A return to the familiar Finnish hard rock sound of the late 2000s could be on the table.
Aksel: I can see pyrotechnics and black leather robes on stage.
Danny: Dedicated singing and interpretation, a good chorus.
Ilta: The production is awesome. Sick.
Laura: Wow, I think this song is full of surprises.
Oskr: It works for me as a 21st-century teenager.
Teflon Brothers: It’s nice to have some angst.
Ilta – “Kelle mä soitan”
Last but not least is Ilta’s “Kelle mä soitan“, which the acts liken to a song from a Disney movie. Could the UMK newcomer take the crown?
Aksel: Rasp. I like the voice breaking a bit.
Blind Channel: Ilta is the next Anna Eriksson!
Danny: The artist focuses on the lyrics in a great way.
Laura: Reminds me of the times my grandmother used to read me the fairytale books. Takes me back to those days.
Oskr: I’m absorbed in the lyrics.
The grand final of UMK 2021 will take place on Saturday 20 February. The winner will be chosen by a mixture of public and jury votes. Rather than the usual 50/50 split, the public holds 75% of the power. The winning act will go on to represent Finland at Eurovision 2021 in Rotterdam, where they will compete in the second semi-final.
What do you think? Which UMK act is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.
Blind Channel 8/10
Teflon Brothers & Pandora 7/10
What an adorable group of people! I’m glad they’re doing these fun videos, and even more glad to see some English subtitles 😀
I like Ilta’s song, I think Europe needs to hear some Finnish again, it’s a bit boring having most songs in English.
On the other hand, as a big Linkin Park fan, I really can’t resist the Blind Channel song and I wouldn’t object if they were to represent Finland.
Blind Channels lyrics suggesting making fun of suicide really hits me the wrong way though (like the 27 club, headshot, gonna die young or something like that. Basically, suggesting suicide)
I understand your point of view. I don’t think they are making fun of it, I think someone might have experienced suicidal thoughts and they wrote it in the lyrics as a coping mechanism, like some sort of therapy. The lyrics “don’t wanna cry, so I gotta get paralyzed” suggest sadness and perhaps a hopelessness that keeps them numb. Maybe that’s why they resist change, thinking it can’t get better, but it could get worse, so “like the 27 club headshot, we don’t wanna grow up”. They are very direct about their experience, but I think that’ what makes the… Read more »
Oskr’s song Lie has really struck me gotta say..
I loved all of their reactions but my favorite has to be when Blind channel are reacting by to I love you and one of them says “All that’s missing is Pandora singing or something” Little do they know Pandora is singing
Blind Channel’s song doesn’t really make me feel anything, I don’t see myself listening it outside of Eurovision context. Kinda worried that since it’s Finland whose known as the only winner with Rock entry it gets such a hype and fans are screaming that Finland + rock is pure perfection. Let’s look back to the previous rock entries from Finland 2006: Lordi / Final – 1st 2007: Hanna Pakarinen / Final – 17th 2008: Teräsbetoni / Final – 22nd 2014: Softengine / Final – 11th 2015: Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät / Semifinal – 16th (last) The only songs 06, 07 and… Read more »
Finland = Blind Channel. There are no doubts. Lithuania = The Roop. The same. We will see what happens in other national rounds.
Hope that Blind Channel will win! for me they have the best potential to generate a good score for Finland
Estonian and Finnish might be part of the same language family, but they are not quite as mutually intelligible as you think they would be. There’s a video on YouTube from langfocus that actually compares Estonian and Finnish
For me Ilta is the best, (reaction and song-wise)
Good Luck Ilta and Finland!
I think Laura’s song was rejected from Estonia
Didn’t the rules state that any song that enters UMK can’t enter any other selection to keep rejected songs *cough*Milanov*cough* outside
Finland made it part of the rules that any songs submitted to them couldn’t be submitted to anyone else
Voli from Teflon Brothers is so cuuuuuuuuute
a question for Estonians/Finnish.. I found it strange that Laura didn’t speak in Finnish? I thought it was like Spanish/Portuguese where you pick up the language real quick, or is it much different like for example like Croatian and Serbs can’t talk Macedonian or Slovene (even though Slovenes and Macedonians can speak Croatian(Serbian)) ?
Finnish is my mother tongue and it isn’t very easy to understand Estonian. If I read Estonian, I can pick up some words, but often the meaning is not directly the same (but something similar). Spoken Estonian in particular is very tricky to understand at all.
Laura explained in a Eurovoxx interview that while Finnish and Estonian are related, certain and similar-sounding words they have in common may have different meanings and contexts when spoken. She’s learning to speak Finnish, she says, and I assume that in her line of work, she may have to use it very often so immersion wouldn’t be impossible.
No idea to a what degree Estonian and Finnish are similar, but to a completely untrained foreign ear, they sound very, very similar. While Serbian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Bosnian are basically about 98-99% the same, I can tell you that Macedonian and Slovenian are somewhat different. Macedonian is actually quite similar to Croatian / Serbian in it’s core, but it’s cases and tenses are very different. So, we mostly understand the basis of the word, but to us, it feels grammatically quite unusual. Slovene is more different, but it’s very similar to Croatian Kajkavian dialect, so for those speakers, it’s… Read more »
May I ask you where you are from? I thought that you were from an English speaking country, since your English is perfect. 🙂
I am from Croatia. Thank you for this comment! 🙂 Where are you from?
I’m from Germany, but I’m Turkish 🙂
And, you are welcome.. just said the truth.
Your English is perfect..you have a large vocabulary.
Whenever I read your comments and those of some other users here, I always ask myself if you are all native English speakers or not.
Congrats on that.. you should be proud of yourself! 🙂
All of Laura’s comments are so sweet
Members of Blind Channel band are really cool ! Especially the guy in the middle is hoooooooot