Earlier this month, Finnish broadcaster Yle announced the seven artists competing in UMK 2023 — Keira, Benjamin, Robin Packalen, Lxandra, Käärijä, KUUMAA and Portion Boys — releasing their songs one by one.

In a new video on the UMK YouTube channel recorded in November 2022, we see the seven Eurovision hopefuls reacting to their fellow contestants and their songs for the first time. You can hear and read some of their thoughts below.

UMK 2021: Artists react to each others’ songs

KUUMAA — “Ylivoimainen”

All round positive comments for KUUMAA’s entry, Ylivoimainen, with artists complimenting KUUMAA’s vocal abilities and production style. 

Benjamin: Bloody hell, is it my vocal coach? It’s gloomy but dancey. Ok drama!
Portion boys: This is very Eurovision. It makes me dance. It plays in your head. It’s a good tune. 
Lxandra: It’s pretty groovy. 
Keira: It sounds like their style. It’s a banger. 
Käärijä: I thought it would be an easy win but it’s not. It’s clearly a hit. If I ever took someone home on a night out, I’d play this. The boy sings well. I’m thinking I should have written a better song. 
Robin Packalen: It’s sick! It’s also really fast. 

Käärijä — “Cha Cha Cha”

“Cha Cha Cha” is a rollercoaster of a song, and so are the artist reactions to it, with fellow artists visibly impressed and full of anticipation as the song progresses.  

Benjamin: Oh my god, it’s amazing!
Portion Boys: This is a great one. I’m really confused. 
Lxandra: Ooh, all right. 
Keira: Pretty scary. Change of genre. 
KUUMAA: This is what we listen to on our tour bus. It’s like two different songs. 
Robin Packalen: What the hell? Oh, something is happening now. 

Keira — “No Business on the Dancefloor”

Not one but two fellow artists mistook Keira for Finnish global pop sensation Alma, with further compliments on the song’s Eurovision potential and melody.

Benjamin: A lovely Eurovision melody!
Portion Boys: A great voice. It think it’s Alma? Is it not? It sounds like a Eurovision winner. 
Lxandra: Who is it? The singer has a good sound. It’s nice and groovy. 
Käärijä: A great voice with personality. Ohhh, what happened?
KUUMAA: I’m thinking is it Alma? It’s not. It’s good but who is it?
Robin Packalen: Ok! Kind of oriental vibes. I thought it was oriental, here it is!

Lxandra — “Something To Lose”

Lxandra’s ballad left fellow artists much more speechless than others, who can be seen attentively listening to Lxandra’s vocals, the song and its emotional lyrics. 

Benjamin: Love it. Goosebumps. 
Portion Boys: Ah, it’s so beautiful. I feel like crying. The tune is so good. I love it, I love it. 
Keira: I love the sound. I’m speechless. It’s a really beautiful song. 
Käärijä: Wow.  Who has a voice like this? Not me anyway. Small things can make the song sound really big. 
KUUMAA: Is it Lxandra? It’s so nice! It’s amazing. It’s sick. 
Robin Packalen: There’s something great about it, I don’t know what.

Benjamin — “Hoida Mut”

Finnish pop sensation Benjamin has had many a recent hit in Finland full of queer pop power, leading to many artists recognising him instantly. “Hoida Mut” was very well received, described by artists a sexy, 80s inspired, Finnish pop banger.

Lxandra: Is it Benjamin? It’s a good dance tune. 
Portion Boys: Benjamin Peltonen! Sexy. Dripping with sex. Go!
Keira: I already know who it is!
Käärijä: Oh my. I’d add it on my playlist. Sh*t, it’s sick! Nice little elements. 
KUUMAA: It’s Eurovision style. Wow! It could be our song. Let’s swap tunes. 
Robin Packalen: 80s vibes. It sounds amazing!

Portion Boys — “Samaa Taivasta Katsotaan”

Also familiar with competing artists was Portion Boys, will more artists recognising their distinct style. Käärijä in particular loved their entry with many positive comments about “Samaa Taivasta Katsotaan” throughout. 

Lxandra: Epic. Okay. 
Benjamin: It’s Portion Boys! Oh my god!
Keira: I know Kimi Ráikkönen. 
Käärijä: It’s so Portion Boys. Next summer, this will blow up the festivals. I can see myself partying to this at midsummer in Kalajoki. 
KUUMAA: This track is fire. It’s the bomb. It is. 
Robin Packalen: Ooo! Oh my. 

Robin Packalen — “Girls Like You”

Last but not least, Robin Packalen has also had many hits in Finland since he was a teenager, leading many artists to recognise him. However, most of his hits have been in Finnish, with artists noticing his entry’s “international sound”. Not everyone recognised him though, with Benjamin calling him the “Finnish Dua Lipa” and commenting “go girl!”.

Lxandra: Isn’t it Robin?
Portion Boys: Why does the beginning have to be so good? It’s Robin! It’s so international, my gosh. 
Keira: Great groove. 
Käärijä: It doesn’t sound Finnish. The Weeknd vibes. 
KUUMAA: Ooh. Here we go. Okay! Yes. That’s good. 
Benjamin: I love the intro. Is it the Finnish Dua Lipa? or is it Dua Lipa? So sick! 

UMK 2023

The UMK 2023 final will take place on Saturday 25 February. The winning act will go on to represent Finland at Eurovision 2023 in Liverpool. The show can be watched live worldwide on Yle’s Areena streaming service with English commentary available.

What do you think? Which UMK act is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.

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RanaLaya
RanaLaya
2 days ago

Benjamin: “You have to edit the Go, Girl! out”

That line brightened my afternoon a few days ago. Anyway, it’s great to know they are a quirky bunch of spark plugs. Love them all! lol

Pancake
Pancake
3 days ago

Kiera having a panicking fan girl moment and Benjamin asking the editors to edit out him mistaking Robin for a girl was really funny.

Ritoli
Ritoli
3 days ago

My Top 7:

  1. “Hoida mut” 10/10
  2. “Girls Like You” 8.5/10
  3. “Cha Cha Cha” 7/10
  4. “Something To Lose” 7/10
  5. “Samaa taivasta katsotaan” 6/10
  6. “Ylivoimainen” 6/10
  7. “No Business On The Dancefloor” 4/10
Leendert Jan
Leendert Jan
3 days ago

I thought I couldn’t fall in love with UMK any more, but it did just happen. And kudos to Yle for making everyone root for a Finnish win really soon.

Stian F
Stian F
4 days ago

Amazing reaction video! Just so much love for the Finnish selection this year! Great songs and amazing artists. Love!

aevgav
aevgav
4 days ago

q:
why was keira screaming as if she was in a thriller?

Beñamin
Beñamin
4 days ago
Reply to  aevgav

Such a big fan 😀

Karl
Karl
4 days ago
Reply to  aevgav

Because it’s thrilleeer thriller niiiightt!!

XOOOD
XOOOD
4 days ago
Reply to  aevgav

imagine being in the same room with your idol, I bet you’d scream as well.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
4 days ago
Reply to  XOOOD

When I met Aleksander Walmann, I stuttered for about 30 seconds and I could hardly breathe. It was embarrassing, but he and my cousin helped to calm me down so I could talk.

aevgav
aevgav
4 days ago

aww benji’s cute egay insticts took over him ( not in an offensive way ) I mean he thought it was a girl singing ‘girls like you”

Sol Stevia
Sol Stevia
4 days ago

I hope they keep doing this every year. Such a cute idea.

Nicomro
Nicomro
3 days ago
Reply to  Sol Stevia

They do it since 2020 and the return of UMK with multiple artists (:

Pat
Pat
4 days ago

Benjamin saying “go girl” and not realizing it was Robin Packalen totally made my day ?

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
4 days ago

I watched this last night. It was really fun and in-keeping with the spirit of UMK.

vetrina
vetrina
4 days ago

Käärijä’s video has-by far-the most views. I love his song and his energy!

ANDREW BROWN
ANDREW BROWN
4 days ago

What good sports.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
4 days ago

That was so cute.

Sabrina
Sabrina
4 days ago

This video of the UMK’s contestants reacting to the opponents’ songs became a permanent highlight of the Eurovision season, right?

And how good this lineup is! Can’t decide between the ones I want to win and even those I don’t want to win would be strong contenders for my votes if competing in different national finals.

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
4 days ago

I really love how UMK has been building up itself as a contest so far in the season, the entries are great and the way we were introduced to them was awesome!
Now we get to see this dynamic where the artists react to each other’s entries and I had fun watching them and liked their reactions. Also, Keira finding out that she’s competing against Robin and Käärijä’s modesty are my highlights 🙂
Btw, when will Dayana’s interview be uploaded? I’m really looking forward to what the acts told her just before the reveal 😀

The Voice of Reason
The Voice of Reason
4 days ago

Käärijä acts like a winner.

Jamie
Jamie
4 days ago

He was clearly being sarcastic, jeez…

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
4 days ago
Reply to  Jamie

So “The Voice of Reason” is actually “The Sound of Sarcasm.” Ooo that’s gonna make a good lyric; can I use that? 🙂
Also, pronouns: To declare or not declare, that is a question. (Hides from the backlash.)

Nikita Zhukov
Nikita Zhukov
4 days ago

Not Käärijä saying “I should’ve wrote a better song” after the very first entry he heard lol
Such a humble legend, does he even realize he’s probably winning

I love all of the artists supporting and actually recognizing each other
UMK is probably the friendliest national selection out there, and it’s one of the strongest, too
Eurovision needs to happen in Finland again

Ritoli
Ritoli
4 days ago

Benjamin’s reaction really made me laugh.. he’s great! His song is the only song I listen to every day, it’s just great!

TMay
TMay
4 days ago
Reply to  Ritoli

me with Kuumaa

Jimmy
Jimmy
4 days ago

Cute video, always nice to see this kind of engagement. The UMK team have done a great job so far, and I hope that momentum continues with their selected winner.

I particularly liked how gracious Käärijä is about all the other entries. He’s easily the top choice of this selection for me.

Josh
Josh
4 days ago

One of the many highlights of UMK, love it!

finnished
finnished
4 days ago

Poor Robin realizing his sing isn’t competitive

Andy
Andy
5 days ago

Keira’s reaction is understandable , she was born in 2005 and Robin has been a HUGE Finnish star since 2012. And he was described as the Finnish Justin Bieber , so yeah.

sam
sam
5 days ago

keira crying when she found out she’s competing against robin packalen is adorable and so funny, she probably grew up as a fan of him

TMay
TMay
4 days ago
Reply to  sam

Ironic as she has a more competative entry

Kosey
Kosey
5 days ago

Can I just say that the Finnish marketing team need some sort of award, this is such an amazing idea and delivered expertly. First you can see each artist dying inside when they hear how good their competition is, then there are the shady comments behind the smile, and finally you get a genuine sense of their respect for their fellow artists, leaving the viewer with a sense of endearment for their favourite artist.

Voila! This is perfect marketing, someone needs a raise!

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
4 days ago
Reply to  Kosey

It would be amazing for Finland to win again, and I think enough time has passed that the time is now or soon. If we’re going to have another Nordic victory, let it be a country that hasn’t won in a while like Finland or Norway (although it will be 10 years since Denmark last won, but I can’t see them being a contender this year) or maybe Iceland will finally win for the first time, if they have the songs to do it.

Doggy Bark
Doggy Bark
4 days ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

If it’s gonna be a Nordic win, let it be Iceland.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
4 days ago
Reply to  Doggy Bark

To be fair, I actually agree with you. The next Nordic victor should be Iceland because they haven’t won before, But that depends on what they’ve got in their selection. They could have any material or they might be terrible we will have to see when they release the songs.

Yes, Finland has won eurovision before, but it’s been 17 years since their only Victory. I’d say that’s more than enough time to pass to not mind a second Finnish victory for me.

Whisker
Whisker
5 days ago

This is the highlight of my festival season! I’ve been obsessing over it for days now! What a nice surprise! I LOVE IT!

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
5 days ago

My favourite video of the year so far. 😀

Jimmy
Jimmy
4 days ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

The UMK team have done a good job 🙂

Jonas
Jonas
5 days ago

Weighing up the competition. They seem most afraid of Robin.

microfibertowel
microfibertowel
5 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Keira had a fan girl moment lol

XOOOD
XOOOD
4 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

meanwhile Benjamin ….

Tibor
Tibor
5 days ago

UMK does everything right. I love their little videos, be it the ominous presentation videos they have done now the second year in a row, or be it these clips, where they listen to each other’s songs. It’s always so good-hearted and funny. Danny was a little grumpy, but it was on brand, I guess.