Suomi has a winner! After a bloody battle for the all-expenses paid trip to Rotterdam, it was Blind Channel who won Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2021 in Tampere, Finland, beating six worthy opponents in one of the best-staged editions of UMK ever. They’ll sing “Dark Side” at Eurovision 2021.
Blind Channel wins UMK 2021 with “Dark Side”
Blind Channel stole the night, finishing first with both the international jury and the televote. They made the stage look enormous, giving it the feel of a proper rock concert with strobes and plenty of on-stage charisma. Rock on!
“Dark Side” is an anarchic anthem to parties in the dark, so say Blind Channel before adding that it perfectly condenses the core of the group. “We want to show that even if life is darker and harsher, you can still have fun. This song is for all those who feel outward and inadequate, who have sometimes made up their minds to raise the middle finger and shout. We claim that there are many such people in the world, and Eurovision is a celebration of unity, in whatever form!” There won’t be a live audience at UMK, but Blind Channel created the track with one in mind. “We wanted this song to hook me up immediately and get the listener to the fair”.
The group describe the sound as “violent pop”. And indeed, “Dark Side” is littered with many disturbing references. The most notable is the 27 Club. This is a list of notable musicians, artists and actors who have died at 27. It includes Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse.
The field of competitors was diverse, as to be expected. Teflon Brothers X Pandora opened the show with a bang, microwaving a set of dishes that resembled an alien spaceship before performing euro-pop on a spacecraft of their own. Last year’s golden boy, Aksel, changed the pace with an emotional song called “Hurt”, singing in front of a rocky landscape and accompanied by slow-moving dancers (who didn’t particularly dance, but walked). And Estonia decided to outsource their Eurovision queen Laura Pöldvere over to their neighbours. She straddled a giant golden chess piece, a playful take on her song “Play”. Not like we’re complaining!
Finland, as per usual, offered us a glamorous show. Even without regular host Krista Sigfrieds, who just had a baby, the show was warm, bright and filled with gorgeous musical moments. Finland’s most popular pop star Antti Tuisku — loved for his occasionally raunchy flair — stepped up to host, proving once again to be performer par excellence. One of our favourite moments was when he oversaw the points segment wearing his own take on Dana International’s bird-of-paradise encore look from Eurovision 1998. With the help of UMK´s queen of 2020, Erika Vikman, he opened the show with a magnificent mash-up song performance, of course including the ever so unforgettable “Cicciolina”.
UMK 2021 – Grand final results
- Blind Channel – “Dark Side” (551 points)
- Teflon Brothers x Pandora – “I Love You” (180 points)
- Ilta – “Kelle mä soitan” (149 points)
- Oskr – “Lie” (115 points)
- Aksel – “Hurt” (108 points)
- Danny – “Sinä päivänä kun kaikki rakastaa mua” (60 points)
- Laura – “Play” (13 points)
UMK 2021: Jury results
International juries from seven countries outside Finland contributed to 25% of the overall score. Each national jury consisted of four people. Their individual points were added together to determine the country’s overall points, which their head juror then read out on TV. The jurors included Klemens from Iceland’s Hatari and our founding editor William Lee Adams for the UK. Here is how the jury ranked the seven songs.
The seven international juries were: United Kingdom, Switzerland, United States, Poland, Iceland, Spain, and The Netherlands
1 Blind Channel – “Dark Side” (72 points)
2 Oskr – “Lie” (62 points)
3 Aksel – “Hurt” (56 points)
4 Ilta – “Kelle mä soitan” (48 points)
5 Teflon Brothers x Pandora – “I Love You” (30 points)
6 Danny – “Sinä päivänä kun kaikki rakastaa mua” (22 points)
7 Laura – “Play” (4 points)
UMK 2021: Public vote results
1 Blind Channel – “Dark Side” (479 points)
2 Teflon Brothers x Pandora – “I Love You” (159 points)
3 Ilta – “Kelle mä soitan” (101 points)
4 Oskr – “Lie” (53 points)
5 Aksel – “Hurt” (52 points)
6 Danny – “Sinä päivänä kun kaikki rakastaa mua” (39 points)
7 Laura – “Play” (9 points)
View this post on Instagram
Photo: YLE / Miikka Varila
You should save your embarrassment for Norway.
This wasn’t my first choice, but after the live performances this and Ilta had the best performances to offer. I don’t usually listen to this type of music, but this is the reason why I watch Eurovision; you get exposed to that type of music that isn’t normally what you’d just go for.
I can see this going to the final, only thing I’d leave is the showing of midlle fingers.
Am I the only one who was reminded of Jedward’s Lipstick choreography?
Absolutely awful. They are obsessed with heavy rock- since Lordi. It gets boring
Lol it’s what Finnish people likes! It’s not until Lordi that Finns are obsessed with heavy rock! Do some research!
It’s not really my kind of music, but I have to say that I like this song much more than I expected. Good Luck for Finland in Rotterdam
I love it cause this is my kind of music and we dont hear rock anymore these days, but objectively it’s a bit generic, a bland copy of limp biskit without personality…
I don’t hear the Limp Bizkit similarities. It feels somewhere between Linkin Park and modern Bring Me the Horizon, with the aggressive guitars but pop melodies. It lacks the sonic experimentation that Wes Borland has on guitar.
Good choice Finland! This is the kind of entry i’d expect from Finland and i think a lot of people do. This will qualify easily. Welcome to the final!
You can all hate me as much as you want but I LOVE IT! Yeah Finland, way to go. This is my favorite so far. Hell yeah…
Much better choice for Finland then Teflon Brothers.
Still, sorry for not see Aksel on ESC.
No doubt, for me this is currently the best national final this year for several reasons: – All songs are well made and none are something that makes me want to go to the bathroom. – Opening performance etc. were amazing, Haloo Helsinki! for example was superior. – Although backtrack is allowed in Eurovision this year and many selections are using them to make it all look more polished, Finland didn’t allow themselves to go that road, which allowed people to see how well these songs would be performed with clear live vocals. – That stage was in all of… Read more »
The result will be like AWS’s.
I don’t necessarily agree. AWS had Hungarian lyrics, not many people could relate to that, even though it was a decent theme and deep meaning behind it.
Finland is the land of rock and metal, and people accept songs like this with more of an open mind if it comes from such a background.
This may win semi 2 and give Lithuania and France a run for their money, me thinks.
Uhhh….France doesn’t do semis?
He meant win semi 2 and then in the final…
I think Finland, Iceland and Sweden could bring it. Denmark and Norway…questionable.
Finland will easily qualify and will make the top 10 in the final IMO.
They won the international jury vote as well.
My winner was the Teflon Brothers and Pandora but this is expected of Finland, so big congratulations to them and a big good luck to The Blind Channel
Teflon brothers and Pandora were my favorite song overall, but that live performance was awful. Pandora’s vocals were off and what the heck’s with the alien theme? I was hoping for the video game theme
Teflon Brothers x Pandora was my favourite too, but the live performance didn’t go as well as I would have liked it to be. The music videos videogame theme would have suited better, since it was a lot simpler!
Anyway I’m happy with this winner. I’m getting Hatari vibes
I think I expected more movement on the state, it was very “walk here, point there”. They should have brought the energy from the music video. That being said, it probably would still not had been enough, Blind Channel won over a lot of voters.
This is not my usual kind of music, but I admire its gumption and standout nature. Finland needed something like this to stand out at Eurovision and it could work for them. It won’t top my personal ranking but I wish blind Channel Good luck.
lovely laura has not deserved that harsh punishment!
last years song was very good but weak on stage – this year her song was surely below 2020 but very good singing and staging = same result.
i have expected the low televoting but not the very low juryvoting…ok not true – one juryvoting i have expected. ;
Well it leaves an impact, and Finland haven’t done that for a few years now so this is good
They saw how a harsh/edgy sound saved Iceland from semifinal hell in 2019 and got them a good result and then realized the same might work for them. And it will.
Going in I preferred Teflon Brothers, but Blind Channel absolutely blew me away with their live performance. I’m glad they went through, and I’m still happy to be able to listen to “I love you” outside of Eurovision.
ok – linkin park 2 has won in finland – could make the top10 in rotterdam.
the top 3 was my top 3 pick to win
I can see the appeal that it causes if you like this kinda stuff, just not for me. I would say it has good chances to do well at ESC.
well deserved winner, unfortunately Pandora and Teflon brothers were not that good at live performance. so great choice finland
Yeah think Finland choose the right song but it needs better visuals for Eurovision. Some of that stageing tonight was a treat, Aksel sitting on his rock, the guy with the lame looking rain on his window were just priceless.
Not my type of song, but congrats to those who like it 🙂
Just YES to this one!! This is the music I listen to outside of Eurovision, so obviously my winner so far 😉 also the best one Finland could have chosen tonight. Good luck Finland, you’re in my final top 5 for sure!!
Definitely the best song in the lot and the obvious winner going into tonight. I do feel bad for Aksel as he is, as of now, the only 2020 participant required to compete in a NF again and lost (Estonia and Sweden are still TBD). I do think YLE could’ve still done a UMK this year, but follow what they did in 2018 and 2019 where the artist was predetermined and multiple songs competed.
I was surprised he even came back. I thought he wasn’t going to participate again.
It’s not really my kind of music, but not surprising that this won.
Ahahahaha! Okay, so, well done to Blind Channel. It seems that Finland enjoys showing its Dark Side at Eurovision, so in a way this was easy to see coming. I watched the performances back and, I felt that Blind Channel seemed rather tame for what is supposed to be heavy metal rap; Maybe ask them if that’s because there are certain rules for TV that must be obeyed, otherwise I’m not sure. I felt their performance could have been darker; that’s what I’m trying to say. My sympathies go to Aksel, Oskr and Ilta for all delivering great performances but… Read more »
I like this entry a lot, finally something thats not an 80s renaissance song but a y2k! I breathed this genre when i was a kid, I hope it will do well in May! ?
Anyone from Finland here who can explain how the mood during the last weeks changed so much in favour for Blind Channel? Weren’t Teflon Brothers supposed to be the big favourite back in the Middle of January?
They were always favourite in the booking odds by quite a lot.
Teflon bros’s forte is twisting and riming finnish language. Excellent song, but the lyrics just don’t translate well 😀
Teflon brothers have been very popular in finland for years and when people heard such a big name entering Umk they were excited. But what I have read and heard from other finns they said that they like I love you very much but recognize that their style of music probably doesn’t translate well to audiences outside of finland. When Blind channel came along I strated seeing an overwhelming wave of support towards them. Mostly because heavy music is what finland does best and people saw that blind channel had the best chances at eurovision.
The Finns have their heads screwed on right!
I like this song! Good luck, Finland! ^^
This is sooo bland. It sounds like a thousand other songs of this genre. Nothing innovative, nothing original.
Damn I love when some ppl use the same phrase nothing inovative,original for every song they hear
What do you ppl expect… another Toy,Uno,Think about Things… now tell us what do you think Finland should send then
And in your opinion all the ballads we hear every year are innovative and original,eh? :D:D This Finland’s entry is like a fresh wind in Eurovision.
Not sure how I feel about this. It’s not too bad but still pretty weak. In 2000 this would have sounded like a poor attempt at copying a song that was too bland to make it to a Linkin Park album. 21 years later, it still sounds like that but also dated.
Finland is the bravest ESC country who are never afraid of taking risks. Others should follow.
Azerbaijan is not a brave, daring Eurovision country. If they were so brave, they’d actually send something in their own language at least once.
what about Ukraine?
I live for Ukraine most times in Eurovision, and coming from a Finnish person who doesn’t like Russia that much.. Though SirGay should have won over Jamala and Ani Lorak over Dima Bilan.. and TaTu was robbed ??
wow a country actually good at picking, great job Finland! rooting for u!
I admit I wasn’t fan of their song at first, but tonight they changed my mind.
They’re super talented musicians and well deserving the win!
Great choice from Finland – 8/10
I’m actually down bad right now. I’ve watched Eurovision since I was six years old in 2011. Last year, Eurovision didn’t happen, and this Eurovision will be the first Eurovision that I won’t enjoy. I just realized that Eurovision 2019 was the last Eurovision that I will enjoy during my childhood. The next Eurovision I’ll enjoy will be when I’m adult. It’s very somber actually.
Don’t worry – you can still enjoy things when you’re an adult. Even when you’re in your 30s. IMAGINE
Yeah, it’s just that it’s like another chapter of my childhood that has closed.
How so? We still have over 30 songs still to come. I am 100% positive that you will find something that you like. Keep hanging in there and don’t get too down.
Alright, I’ll try. Thank you for actually understanding.
Bruh I’m the exact same. I’m only 14 but still. The esc season this year is thing really badly. My favourites in all the national selections didn’t win. Nina from Croatia, Gebrassy from Lithuania, Andriamad from France, Imerika from Norway and now teflon bro’s x Pandora from Finland. Just hoping now that eu.clides or Pedro Gonçalves win for Portugal and that Ireland’s song is amazing
people say that every year
Hey, let me tell you something: When there’s a really awesome Eurovision edition, just like the ones you enjoyed so much… you’ll probably be 25, 32, 48, 51 or 67 …and you’ll realize you are enjoying yourself as if you were 6, 10, 12, 15 or 17!!! You’ll remember my words…
Thank you, it means a lot to have your support.
Your favourites, if you have any sort of individual taste, will more often than not, not win NFs. Just something you have to accept. Make a playlist or a video of the songs that you love and keep coming back to them. In the years to come, if you’re like me, you’ll listen/watch this playlist/video more than the actual Eurovision songs.
Music is art. It doesn’t disappear just because it wasn’t picked. You loved it, don’t forget it and try not to get upset over it, even if it feels hard right now.
Thanks for the tip.
I know what you mean MaelleForFra. We never know what we have until it’s over and we’re looking back.
Haha. Good pun.
Next year you will be 17 that’s not the adult period imo sorry to tell you and even so ESC is a thing for all the generations so don’t be a drama queen!
My head wanted Blind Channel but my heart wanted Aksel. My sympathies to Aksel but this was the best song on the night.
I kinda like it, although it’s dated…
but it has potential
They performed well (although I wanna see even more show and fire in Rotterdam, please) and it’s well deserved. Tbh Teflon Bros x Pandora shocked me live, I love the music video, but what was that staging and the vocals?
Anyways, I still don’t understand what should be “fresh” about rock from Finland if they won with a rock song 15 years ago – even though well deserved!
Yaaass we need EXPLOTION !!!
Though “Dark Side” wasn’t my favorite, I believe Finland made a good choice. It will possibly be the only rock entry in Rotterdam, it has great energy, it’s catchy as hell and everybody will remember them when voting opens. I won’t lie that I have a problem with the juvenile angst in the lyrics, but at least they fit the urgency of the melody. I keep reading that people want uplifting dancing songs to forget the pandemic, but I also believe many people want to show a middle finger to everything that is happening.
Also I think people love a good throwback. This song makes me feel like I’m twelve again, and I mean that in the most endearing way possible.
Also true! I didn’t have a Linkin Park phase, but I know many people that had and they may feel nostalgic about easier times of their lives.
I can, but I won’t. 😛
I agree that it feels a bit childish. I’ll give it time to grow on me. My personal favourite was Aksel.
Mine was Oskr. But I would be fine with Aksel, Ilta or Blind Channel too.
Actually think this could reach Lordi level. Not that it could win but do really really well. Top 10 for sure!
Those saying the bad, dated rock song will make the top 10 are delusional, lol ?
You will see come May that we will be proven right. This has the potential to be top 5 in the televote in the final.
Those saying the awful and dated rock song will make the top 10 are delusional, lol ?
Excellent choice, Finland!
Is this normal? I’m getting seizures by anger of this winning instead of Ilta.
No, it’s not normal. I would try some deep breathing exercises and definitely reach out for support if they don’t stop.
I would go outside for once if I were you
Well, I would love to go meet my friends but I actually obey to corona restrictions.
As a Finn I am so happy yet surprised. Yes, Blind Channel was the clear favorite early on, but we tend to unexpectedly select mediocre underdogs like Aksel or Sandhja.
Finland has had such bad fortunes at Eurovision looking at our results, so at least a spot in the grand final would feel like a victory.
Overall, I thought it was the best ever UMK, especially when you compare it to the editions in 2016-2019. Ilta was my second choice and would have been happy with her as well.
Thank god Finland picked a good song, the Norway nightmare almost spoiled my night