Tonight, Finland will choose its entry to the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest. It’s a one-night affair, with seven songs lined up to compete for the votes of the Finns.

When is it? 20:00 CET this evening.
How can I watch? This year, Finnish broadcaster YLE has been kind enough to offer English commentary to its international fans. You can stream the show with English commentary right here.
How does it work? Seven international juries will be responsible for 25% of the vote. The remaining 75% is all down to Finnish voters.
Can I listen to the songs now? All songs are available – with music videos – to watch here.
What else have YLE got planned for the evening? One of Finland’s biggest popstars – Antti Tuisku – will be on hosting duties. He’ll be performing an opening number with last year’s fan fave Erika Vikman. And for the interval act, Haloo Helsinki will be performing – for the first time in two and a half years, which is quite a big deal. YLE have put together a strong show all in all, and so we’d expect tonight’s broadcast to get even better ratings than normal. And more votes!
And who’s competing? Here are our seven artists and songs;

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Teflon Brothers x Pandora – I Love You
Total Eurotrash excellence. It’s set out to be utterly ridiculous and it’s achieved it tenfold. This will be delivered tonight with tongue firmly in cheek. It’s already in on its own joke, and it’s going to be inviting everyone to join in with the chaos. And we can’t imagine many people are going to say no to such an invitation. Last year’s UMK taught us that streaming numbers mean nothing when it comes to the vote. But if they did, ‘I Love You’ would be winning by quite a margin.

Aksel – Hurt
Last year’s UMK winner, who sadly missed out on the prize of heading to Eurovision to represent his country. So it makes sense that he’s back a year later to give it another go. Last year, his song managed to stand out amongst a line-up of wonderful craziness. But this year, the crazy is in the minority, and Aksel’s style of mega-ballad is ten-a-penny, or rather four-a-UMK-line-up. He’s definitely got more of an uphill battle in 2021, though the goodwill that people have towards him could surprise if it’s translated to votes.

Laura – Play
A country-tinged pop effort that doesn’t really feel like it’s in any sort of contention to win. There’s a strong chance that Finns watching this tonight will view it as little more than a guest performance from the visiting Estonian popstar.

Danny – Sinä Päivänä Kun Kaikki Rakastaa Mua
A song in which the 78-year-old pop legend *checks notes* mentally plans how his own funeral is going to go. Let’s just leave it there, shall we?

Oskr – Lie
Another sad-boy ballad? We know Finns have a reputation for embracing the emo side of life, but at this point they’ll be pining for something big and bold to happen. Which brings us to our next song in the line-up.

Blind Channel – Dark Side
The gargantuan rock song has arrived. No Nordic national final is complete without one, particularly a Finnish final. ‘Dark Side’ manages to rise to its task so well, that it even has Scandipop dot co dot uk rooting for it. The rock song. Scandipop. Rooting for the rock song. Beneath the noise, the screaming, the growling, the canine-like grunting (!!!) is what’s quite simply a brilliant tune with an undeniable chorus. And really, that’s all we’re looking for in life. If Finland do select this – and we think they’re quite likely to – it could well give Finland their first top-ten finish at Eurovision since 2006. Hell, it might even go so far as to give them what would only be their second top-five finish in Eurovision history. We genuinely believe it’s that strong.

Ilta – Kelle Mä Soitan
And closing the show is Ilta with what we would say is the by far best of the many ballads on offer tonight. It’s the one that serves us the strongest melody, and that has in turn been paired up with what’s a beautifully atmospheric production. If either of the two titans – ‘I Love You’ and ‘Dark Side’ – fall shy of the win tonight, it’ll be because Ilta has snatched it from them. And although it’s our distant third-favourite of the night, we can’t say that such a result wouldn’t be deserved.

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