Finland’s UMK 2022: Your Guide to the Final!

What’s all this now? Finland are rightfully hoping to continue on the same track as their terrific result at the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, and are tonight having their national selection to find a worthy successor to ‘Dark Side’ by Blind Channel.
And how will they be doing that? By once again returning to the sucessful Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) format. Last year’s UMK gave Finnish broadcaster YLE some very pleasing TV ratings, and made big chart hits out of a respectable number of its seven songs. UMK is back again this year, with another seven artists and songs in contention.
How does it all work? They’re an efficient bunch, the Finns – electing to hold the contest over one night and one night only. All songs are performed, juries and the public vote, a winner is found, job done.
And when is it happening? 20:00 CET tonight!
How can I watch? You can tune in on YLE’s website, and even choose commentary in up to six different language options.
And what about the songs? Let’s hear ’em;

Cyan Kicks – Hurricane
(Niila Perkkiö, Susanna Alexandra, Elize Ryd)
Imagine if KEiiNO had done a song inspired by The Veronicas. Or indeed, vice-versa. That would be quite something, wouldn’t it? This is that. This is quite something.

BESS – Ram Pam Pam
(BESS, Jonas Olsson, Tomi Saario)
A self-assured banger with zero apologies to make and a similarly low volume of fucks to give. BESS isn’t the biggest name in the selection, but this song has thus fare made the biggest impact by some distance. It’s been number 1 on Spotify Finland for over a month now, and is by far the biggest hit of the lot.

The Rasmus – Jezebel
(Lauri Ylönen, Desmond Child)
Riddled with lyrical cliches, but if you can get past that, then you’re left with an arena-rock anthem that is instantly impactful. And the band behind the song need no introduction either – adored in their native Finland, and with a history of hits hit around Europe, too.

Younghearted – Sun Numero
(Reeta Huotarinen, Joonas Keronen, Vilma Lähteenmäki)
Don’t be fooled by the soft acoustic beginnings of this number – it builds and blossoms steadfastly into a big and beautiful song that is utterly relentless in its attempts to leave a positive impression on you.

Olivera – Thank God I’m An Atheist
(Katriina Ullakko, Lenno Linjama, Alpo Nummelin)
We’d featured the electro stylings of Olivera on Scandipop before, so her name was right away a pleasant inclusion on this list. The song, however, ended up being nothing like what we’d heard from her before. That hasn’t dampened our enthusiasm for her being here though – ‘Thanks God I’m An Atheist’ is a downbeat ballad that puts all its almighty strength into its powerful melody.

Tommi Läntinen – Elämä Kantaa Mua
(Leo Hakanen, Jere Marttila, Elli Haloo)
It’s an admirably diverse line-up in UMK 2022, and the inclusion of Tommi certainly does the job of box-checking for all those older viewers who adore this Finnish legend and will be sitting down for an evening’s entertainment.

Isaac Sene – Kuuma Jäbä
(Isaac Sene, Yrjänä)
Merging modern-day electronica and ’80s funk, the end result is an unmissable pop tune that – paired with the engaging performance from Isaac we get in the music video – could be strong enough to pull focus away from everything else and onto it on the night.

You can find almost all (sorry Tommi!) of these songs on our Best New Pop playlist.

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