Tonight Finland will hold its Eurovision national final Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) 2022. There, seven acts will compete to represent Finland in Turin. But who should follow Blind Channel to Eurovision?
The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has assembled and listened to the seven contenders. We’ve ranked our top songs in Eurovision fashion and combined our scores to determine our absolute favourites. What entry emerged on top? Read on to find out!
7. Tommi Läntinen – “Elämä kantaa mua” (36 points)
🥉 – William
William: Tommi’s song is at once the most predictable, but also the most inspiring of UMK. The chorus bridges joy and pain as it encourages people to take a leap of faith as they let go of the past and move to the future. This man has lived and his experience imbues every note. It all feels so easy and authentic. Taken together, it’s enough to make me overlook the somewhat irritating repetition of Harley and Davidson.
Pablo: “Elämä kantaa mua” exudes such a joie-de-vivre that you can’t help but give it props. The overall package ticks many Sanremo-esque boxes — the highly-creative elder singer with an unique topic done eccentrically. It may not be one that most eurofans pay the most mind, but it’s fun and unique among the pack. I’m the most curious to see how this one will be performed life, as it gives the most “wildcard” energy out of all.
6. Younghearted – “Sun numero” (54 points)
🥈 – Lauren
Natalie: I have a real soft spot for this one. The Finnish lyrics, the surprisingly fast tempo, those charming guitar strums are all a magical combo for me. The vocals also just feel so warm and sincere to me, I want to be sucked into the story on offer. I love how the production grows and gets more magical as it goes on too, plus, needless to say the drum break and electric guitar solo at the end seal the deal for me. I hope this can pull a surprise victory in UMK this year. I think this has the potential to enchant the whole of Europe.
Padraig: It says a lot about the quality of this year’s UMK that I have “Sun Numero” second to last in my rankings. It’s a pleasant, almost acoustic number that explores the breakdown of a relationship from a fresh angle. But I’m not gripped like with most of the other entries. It takes a long time to go anywhere, and when we do get our moment, it’s jarring and feels out of place with the mood of the song.
5. The Rasmus – “Jezebel” (55 points)
🥈 – Rick
🥉 – Luis, Padrig
Luis: There’s something very familiar and kind of comforting in “Jezebel”. Which is a weird attribute for a rock number, but this song feels like a long awaited come back. And that is, indeed, what its selection at UMK would mean for The Rasmus, so in a way, it is a story that feels too well crafted not to end up happening. Although it lacks the rush and adrenaline required for a killer rock number, it does have immediacy and vigour. It’s not original by any means, but it’s just like a perfect application of an existent formula.
Natalie: Like… I’m aware that this is the favourite to win UMK, but this is 100% not for me. The instrumentation is totally unoriginal and bland, and it’s so try-hard that even the strings feel pretentious and obnoxious. The lyrics also scream red flags. He seems to be shouting about some sort of kink fantasy with some girl at a nightclub? To be honest, I don’t care enough to want to know. There are so many great songs at UMK this year, and I dearly hope the Finnish public realise that there’s much more quality on offer than this.
4. Cyan Kicks – “Hurricane” (57 points)
🥇 – Lauren
🥉 – Pablo, Rick
Lauren: I’ve been a fan of Cyan Kicks for about a year now, having found them through Blind Channel’s record label, and I’ve grown to love them for their coarse, punchy nu metal sound. That’s why I expected a much heavier song going into “Hurricane”, and was initially let down by how poppy it is. After a couple of listens I’ve managed to see the song for what it’s worth, in a nutshell. It’s an excellent pop-punk track, it’s catchy, and it’s on brand for Finland. I’m also well aware Cyan Kicks know exactly how to put on a live show, so I’m expecting a UMK winning performance from them.
Robyn: You’ve got to be careful with hurricane-related metaphors — hurricanes are wild and destructive. I’m not sensing that Cyan Kicks are thinking of death and destruction when they sassily assert “Just like a hurricane / We’re tearing down the walls / Not gonna settle for less / We know we’re powerful”. And it’s worth noting — hurricanes do settle for less. They literally take the path of least resistance! (Also, back in the ’70s Neil Young wrote the best hurricane metaphor of all time: “You are like a hurricane / There’s calm in your eye”. If you can’t top that, best leave the meteorological metaphors at home.) Musically, it’s good rock; lyrically, it’s a lot less successful.
3. Bess – “Ram pam pam” (71 points)
🥇 – Rick
🥈 – Luis, Padraig, Pablo, William
🥉 – Robyn
Padraig: “Ram pam pam” is exactly how my heart when I heard this for the first time. Fierce, feisty, fabulous, Finnish-language pop – what more could a Eurofan ask for? Bess has delivered a self-assured rock-pop number that doesn’t give a damn. That’s no easy task given that the whole song is built around a hook which, in the hands of a lesser artist, could become completely cheesy and camp. This is a foot-stomping, fist-in-the-air belter. And it’s little wonder that this is still top of Finland’s Spotify charts all these weeks after its release.
Robyn: This is a lot of fun! Bess is serving plenty of attitude with this slice of electropop. The main chorus hook does what it’s supposed to do — it’s still on repeat in my head. Even though the song is in Finnish, Bess makes clear the song’s message of walking your own path. There’s also a lot of potential for things to be taken up a notch with some wild staging — though hopefully Bess stays away from the militaristic themes of the music video. “Ram pam pam” feels like a very strong contender for Turin.
2. Olivera – “Thank God I’m an Atheist” (71 points)
🥇 – Lauren, Natalie, William
🥈 – Robyn
Lauren: My top of UMK 2022 is a mess, and for all the right reasons. Some days I could call this my favourite, some days I can call this my fifth. It’s a very well-written ballad that’s composed in a way that tugs on my heartstrings in the best way possible. I find the song very relatable and honest, and I think we’re seeing the positive impacts of the top nine of ESC 2021 including eight self-written songs. Artists feel free to bring their own art to the centre stage.
William: Olivera is a pop music philosopher. Her enchanting song tackles big ideas — like what happens after we die and whether we can create our own sense of heaven while we’re still living. Her voice cuts in multiple directions — it haunts, but it can also lift you up depending on how you interpret her message. This is pure class from start to finish and well deserving of your consideration for Eurovision.
1. Isaac Sene – “Kuuma jäbä” (72 points)
🥇 – Pablo, Padraig, Robyn
🥈 – Natalie
🥉 – Lauren
Pablo: This is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a hot minute, and hot it indeed is. “Kuuma jäbä” tackles both the retro and the modern trends in a way that no one has currently gone in the season. An icy Prince with shades of Lil Nas X more outre qualities, it’s a highly addictive, sensual tune that feels effortless, timeless, and appealing to several demographics, all while making the Finnish language sound smooth as glass. If Finland wants to set stages ablaze and cause an everlasting impression, Isaac is the ticket.
Luis: Slick, smooth and slightly dirty, “Kuuma jäbä” is a full delight. It takes the wave of male sensuality that Måneskin and Achille Lauro ride, but gives it a pop twist. If Isaac can translate the appeal of his music video to the live performance, this is going to be one to watch. However, its linear progression and lack of a clear hook makes his chances delve. The fact that it’s in Finnish just adds an extra touch to this electro pop delight.
Do you agree with our rankings? Who’s your favourite? And who do you think will win? Let us know below.