Blind Channel YLE Mikka Varila

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

  1. Blind Channel – “Dark Side” (551 points)
  2. Teflon Brothers x Pandora – “I Love You” (180 points)
  3. Ilta – “Kelle mä soitan” (149 points)
  4. Oskr – “Lie” (115 points)
  5. Aksel – “Hurt” (108 points)
  6. Danny – “Sinä päivänä kun kaikki rakastaa mua” (60 points)
  7. 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

 

A post shared by William Lee Adams (@williamleeadams)

Photo: YLE / Miikka Varila

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Srdjan Savic
2 months ago

You should save your embarrassment for Norway.

Yohio
Yohio
2 months ago

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.

AM2PM
AM2PM
2 months ago

Am I the only one who was reminded of Jedward’s Lipstick choreography?

Jay
Jay
2 months ago

Absolutely awful. They are obsessed with heavy rock- since Lordi. It gets boring

Eero
Eero
2 months ago
Reply to  Jay

Lol it’s what Finnish people likes! It’s not until Lordi that Finns are obsessed with heavy rock! Do some research!

Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago

What an assertive victory in Finland! Congrats to Blind Channel and well done to everyone! What a great idea, the English commentary, I hope other broadcasters will follow suit. It shouldn’t be technically difficult, it’s like having commentary in the ESC. 

Ria van de Velde
Ria van de Velde
2 months ago

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

Florence Petit
Florence Petit
2 months ago

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…

Phil
Phil
2 months ago
Reply to  Florence Petit

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.

ESCLightworker
ESCLightworker
2 months ago

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!

Stephanie
Stephanie
2 months ago

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…

Tom Ripley
Tom Ripley
2 months ago

Much better choice for Finland then Teflon Brothers.
Still, sorry for not see Aksel on ESC.

Darren
Darren
2 months ago

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 »

Honesty
Honesty
2 months ago

The result will be like AWS’s.

Una
Una
2 months ago
Reply to  Honesty

No, it will be better.

Stella
Stella
2 months ago
Reply to  Honesty

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.

NickC
NickC
2 months ago

This may win semi 2 and give Lithuania and France a run for their money, me thinks.

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
2 months ago
Reply to  NickC

Uhhh….France doesn’t do semis?

DonutLover
DonutLover
2 months ago

He meant win semi 2 and then in the final…

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
2 months ago

I think Finland, Iceland and Sweden could bring it. Denmark and Norway…questionable.

Srdjan Savic
2 months ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

Finland will easily qualify and will make the top 10 in the final IMO.

Pancake
Pancake
2 months ago

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

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
2 months ago
Reply to  Pancake

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

Benji
Benji
2 months ago
Reply to  Pancake

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

Stella
Stella
2 months ago
Reply to  Pancake

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.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
2 months ago

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.

Last edited 2 months ago by BadWoolfGirl
lasse braun
lasse braun
2 months ago

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. ;

Jake
Jake
2 months ago

Well it leaves an impact, and Finland haven’t done that for a few years now so this is good

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
2 months ago
Reply to  Jake

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.

ESCFan31
ESCFan31
2 months ago

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.

lasse braun
lasse braun
2 months ago

ok – linkin park 2 has won in finland – could make the top10 in rotterdam.

Who?
Who?
2 months ago

the top 3 was my top 3 pick to win

Seraphine
Seraphine
2 months ago

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.

Tibor
Tibor
2 months ago

Well done, Finland. I was rooting for Oskr and Aksel, but UMK was the show that put me in such a good mood tonight even though they didn’t win. Every entry was staged so thoughtfully, YLE had arranged for an endearing English commentary and the whole show was just so wholesome and well put together, I was honestly moved. And even if Blind Channel weren’t my favourites, I like the song an think they will do very well in Rotterdam. Finland deserves a good result. Cheers!

Lena
Lena
2 months ago

well deserved winner, unfortunately Pandora and Teflon brothers were not that good at live performance. so great choice finland

Dalth
Dalth
2 months ago

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.

Jenny
Jenny
2 months ago

Not my type of song, but congrats to those who like it 🙂

Lola
Lola
2 months ago

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!!

Josh
Josh
2 months ago

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.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
2 months ago
Reply to  Josh

I was surprised he even came back. I thought he wasn’t going to participate again.

Leendert Jan
Leendert Jan
2 months ago

It’s not really my kind of music, but not surprising that this won.

Last edited 2 months ago by Leendert Jan
Purple Mask
Purple Mask
2 months ago

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 »

Zsófi
Zsófi
2 months ago

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! ?

Shift_key
Shift_key
2 months ago

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?

Jamie
Jamie
2 months ago
Reply to  Shift_key

They were always favourite in the booking odds by quite a lot.

PaWe
2 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

Teflon bros’s forte is twisting and riming finnish language. Excellent song, but the lyrics just don’t translate well 😀

Ravencrow Neversmiles
Ravencrow Neversmiles
2 months ago
Reply to  Shift_key

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.

Joe
Joe
2 months ago

The Finns have their heads screwed on right!

BeepBoop
BeepBoop
2 months ago

I like this song! Good luck, Finland! ^^

Shift_key
Shift_key
2 months ago

This is sooo bland. It sounds like a thousand other songs of this genre. Nothing innovative, nothing original.

Vytautas
Vytautas
2 months ago
Reply to  Shift_key

Perhaps you’re right, this is not the kind of genre I listen to so I cannot compare it well, but it’s pretty rare to see such acts on the ESC stage. ESC is mostly dominated by pop/club songs and ballads. So if some countries take a risk and send a rock, rap, jazz, or country song, I’m all in even if I don’t listen to one or other type of music. We def need more variety in ESC, so it’s a welcome gest from Finland.

DonutLover
DonutLover
2 months ago
Reply to  Shift_key

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

Last edited 2 months ago by DonutLover
Sirage
Sirage
2 months ago
Reply to  Shift_key

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.

Bella
Bella
2 months ago

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.

Okt
Okt
2 months ago

Finland is the bravest ESC country who are never afraid of taking risks. Others should follow.

Kirby
Kirby
2 months ago
Reply to  Okt

Baku calling…

Joe
Joe
2 months ago
Reply to  Kirby

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.

Max
Max
2 months ago
Reply to  Okt

what about Ukraine?

Niksa
2 months ago
Reply to  Max

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 ??

zach
zach
2 months ago

wow a country actually good at picking, great job Finland! rooting for u!

RennyWest
RennyWest
2 months ago

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!

Mr X
Mr X
2 months ago

Great choice from Finland – 8/10

MaelleForFra
MaelleForFra
2 months ago

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.

Paul
Paul
2 months ago
Reply to  MaelleForFra

Don’t worry – you can still enjoy things when you’re an adult. Even when you’re in your 30s. IMAGINE

MaelleForFra
MaelleForFra
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Yeah, it’s just that it’s like another chapter of my childhood that has closed.

Kosey
Kosey
2 months ago
Reply to  MaelleForFra

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.

MaelleForFra
MaelleForFra
2 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

Alright, I’ll try. Thank you for actually understanding.

Fionn
Fionn
2 months ago
Reply to  MaelleForFra

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

Max
Max
2 months ago
Reply to  Fionn

people say that every year

Kirby
Kirby
2 months ago
Reply to  MaelleForFra

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…

MaelleForFra
MaelleForFra
2 months ago
Reply to  Kirby

Thank you, it means a lot to have your support.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
2 months ago
Reply to  MaelleForFra

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.

MaelleForFra
MaelleForFra
2 months ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

Thanks for the tip.

Fatima
Fatima
2 months ago
Reply to  MaelleForFra

I know what you mean MaelleForFra. We never know what we have until it’s over and we’re looking back.

MaelleForFra
MaelleForFra
2 months ago
Reply to  Fatima

Haha. Good pun.

DonutLover
DonutLover
2 months ago
Reply to  MaelleForFra

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!

Lance
Lance
2 months ago

My head wanted Blind Channel but my heart wanted Aksel. My sympathies to Aksel but this was the best song on the night.

Jo.
Jo.
2 months ago

I kinda like it, although it’s dated…
but it has potential

ESCFan2009
ESCFan2009
2 months ago

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!

Niksa
2 months ago
Reply to  ESCFan2009

Yaaass we need EXPLOTION !!!

Sabrina
Sabrina
2 months ago

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.

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
2 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

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.

Sabrina
Sabrina
2 months ago

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.

Tibor
Tibor
2 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

You can listen to Linkin Park at every age, Sabrina. 🙂

Sabrina
Sabrina
2 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

I can, but I won’t. 😛

Thanos
Thanos
2 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

I agree that it feels a bit childish. I’ll give it time to grow on me. My personal favourite was Aksel.

Sabrina
Sabrina
2 months ago
Reply to  Thanos

Mine was Oskr. But I would be fine with Aksel, Ilta or Blind Channel too.

Denis
Denis
2 months ago

Actually think this could reach Lordi level. Not that it could win but do really really well. Top 10 for sure!

Ninanajna
Ninanajna
2 months ago

Those saying the bad, dated rock song will make the top 10 are delusional, lol ?

Srdjan Savic
2 months ago
Reply to  Ninanajna

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.

Ninanajna
Ninanajna
2 months ago

Those saying the awful and dated rock song will make the top 10 are delusional, lol ?

...
...
2 months ago

Excellent choice, Finland!

MaelleForFra
MaelleForFra
2 months ago

Is this normal? I’m getting seizures by anger of this winning instead of Ilta.

Kosey
Kosey
2 months ago
Reply to  MaelleForFra

No, it’s not normal. I would try some deep breathing exercises and definitely reach out for support if they don’t stop.

MaelleForFra
MaelleForFra
2 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

Thank you.

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
2 months ago
Reply to  MaelleForFra

I would go outside for once if I were you

MaelleForFra
MaelleForFra
2 months ago

Well, I would love to go meet my friends but I actually obey to corona restrictions.

viinaaperkele
viinaaperkele
2 months ago

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.

Last edited 2 months ago by viinaaperkele