UMK 2017 – Our editors review the chosen songs!

With Finland releasing their Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) songs this week, we have now had a chance to sit down and digest the selection.

The UMK final is being held on January 28th 2017,but with the release of the songs being so early we have lots of time to get acquainted with them! Do we think that Finland can break their run of 2  non-qualifications in Kiev?

Five of the ESCBubble editors have listened, commented and scored and we’ve come to a decision as to our choice for Finland! Click on the song titles to listen

We will run down he songs  from our 10th place to our favourite! And in 10th place :


  1. Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies – Caveman (7)

Knucklebone Oscar is described as a wild guitar man who has been performing for 20 years, and is joined for UMK this year by two burlesque artists. Caveman is a mix of old school blues and rock and roll elements.

Anne : This is a bit of a mess if I’m honest.  Sounds like it’s been lifted from a musical and shouldn’t be a stand alone song.  Sorry, it’s a miss for me  2/10

Kyle : This sounds like 10 songs rolled into 3 minutes and it just doesn’t work, it sounds messy and mashed together. 2/10

Ervin : This is really not my cup of tea. I’m guessing there are people who enjoy listening to this kind of music, but I dare to say that this is easily the last placer 1/10

Danny: Ridiculous lyrics aside, this one is annoying! My least favourite in the line up by some distance. Next! 1/10

Mikael : 1/10


  1. Günther & D’Sanz – Love Yourself (25)

Günther & D’Sanz have teamed up for UMK this year, Daniel Sanz is another Voce of Finland entrant and Günther  is known for previous entries in Melodifestivalen, and his hits Ding Dong Song and Teen Weeny.  The duo have said that they don’t just want to win UMK, they plan to bring Eurovision back to Finland!

Anne : This can only be described as a guilty pleasure for me. It is catchy and with Günther’s unmistakable vocals, well, it’s a heady mix and given a few gins, I’m liable to be dancing around to it at any Eurovision parties that are brave enough to play it! 7/10

Kyle :  I’m not sure many people would want to taste his potion from his tralala.  I just think this would be far better with D’Sanz on his own! The grunting towards the end from Günther is nauseating, but I still find myself bopping along to the beats! 5/10

Ervin : Oh dear… The chorus is a bit memorable, but the music in it just sounds too cheap. I’m guessing that their performance will be quite memorable though 2/10

Danny : This would come 6th in an MF semi in 2006! This seems to be the most popular one, and I can see it winning UMK but has no chance of qualifying. It’s alright but SO dated! Please don’t choose it Finland! 5/10

Mikael : 6/10


  1. Club La Persé – My Little World (26)

The group are described as a collective of avantgardists, eccentrics and fashion freaks and are sure to put on a memorable show in January!

Anne: Well …. it’s going to be interesting! There’s a decent club beat in this, but I really think that this will all be about the visuals.  5/10

Kyle : Goodness! I find myself strangely addicted to this! I can see why they mention Pete Burns as an influence, it’s like a Dead or Alive/Rocky Horror mix with hints of Army of Lovers “Rockin the Ride” from Melodifestivalen a few years ago. It will be car-crash on stage I’m sure but it will be a spectacle! 6/10

Ervin : This is completely bonkers. I can already see a glittery over the top performance, and that is what will make this song work even more. I get the same feelings as with “Laika” in last year’s Norwegian final – I don’t know why, but I love it. 9/10

Danny: Reminds me of Army of Lovers – will likely be a car crash live! Not really suited to Eurovision. 5/10

Mikael : 1/10


  1. Anni Saikku – Reach Out For The Sun (27)

Anni is 21 years old, hails from Helsinki and appeared in the Voice Of Finland back in 2014. Anni says that Reach Out For the Sun is about chasing dreams and leaving troubles behind, it’s about courage

Anne:  When you find your mind wandering to where you have heard that particular instrumental noise before (Salem Al Fakir, Melfest 2010!) then you know that you’re not onto a winner! It was pleasant enough, but even after 3 listens, I was struggling to remember it   5/10

Kyle : Promising opening to the song but sadly doesn’t really go anywhere after the first minute. The middle 8 is weak and seems almost demo-like and the lyrics don’t add anything new or unique. 3/10

Ervin : I really like the beginning of the song, and the way it builds up until the chorus. The chorus itself is a bit of a let-down for me, and it is way too repetitive 4/10

Danny : This is very NOW, catchy and very radio friendly, but would get lost in Kyiv, I feel. Still a good effort. 8/10

Mikael : 7/10


  1. My First Band – Paradise (30)

My First Band have released 3 albums since they got together in 1998 and have toured all over Europe.

Anne : Bit dull, it’s no Satin Circus for sure! No real ear-worm moment but with such a solid history, I bet this will come across well sung live 6/10

Kyle : Ignoring the fact that being paralysed is rarely a positive thing…this is rather catchy and could go either way depending on how it’s staged. Of course Finland should have really been represented by Satin Circus 2 years ago….and this does remind me a little of them with a bit of Boris Rene’s “Put your love on me” thrown in. I just don’t know if this will have the impact to go all the way and win, but a strong live performance could put them up there. 7/10

Ervin : “Kiss your Paradise”?! ooooook… I’m no lyrics expert, but I don’t understand what this song really is about. It’s memorable though, I give them that! 5/10

Danny: Decent enough, but it’s a bit forgettable and by the numbers. Has a good chance to win though 6/10

Mikael : 6/10


  1. Alva – Arrows (33.5)

Alva is 16 years old, and loves singing, dancing, acting and fitness. She released “A Grand Illusion” in Spring, and now has presented “Arrows” which she hopes will charm the Eurovision fans all over the world

Anne :  It’s a nice enough song and Alva certainly seems like a competent singer, but the song doesn’t really go where I would like it to and I worry that it would get a bit lost in the competition. 6/10

Kyle : After one listen I’m already singing it back in my head so I guess that’s a good sign, its solid if not unspectacular. Lyrically I think it is fairly well constructed until “ Open your heart and take my bow” which sounds rather bizarre. The repetitive nature may also work for 3 minutes but may grate after a few listens. Pleasant voice though. 6/10

Ervin : I think this is a well arranged track and well put together. At the same time, I think that apart from teenage girls this song doesn’t really have an audience… It’s just too sweet… 4/10

Danny : This is probably the most similar to the style of music I listen to outside of Eurovision. A catchy modern electro song, and one of my favourites! 9/10

Mikael : 8.5/10


  1. Lauri Yrjölä – Helppo Elämä (35)

Helppo Elämä translates to English as “Easy Living” and is Lauri’s first attempt as a solo performer, after being a professional guitarist for many years.

Anne: This really appeals to me! I love the Finnish language, I find it very lyrical and Lauri has some great vocals going on.  There’s a great flow to the song and as the only Finnish language entry this year, should really stand out 8/10

Kyle : The only solo male and only Finnish language song amongst the selection should help it to stand out, but it ends up being quite a generic 3 minutes on one level. It feels more like a song the contestants would dance to at the after-show party rather than in a winners reprise. 5/10

Ervin:   What a good change after the previous two songs! I love the guitar and the beats that lead this song. The only minus I find in this song is the music going all electronic in the chorus, as I expected something more powerful, and really expected the song to explode. 7/10

Danny : Shades of Justs, modern and catchy. Being in Finnish will help in UMK but not in ESC, but decent enough 7/10

Mikael : 8/10


  1. Norma John – Blackbird (37.5)

Leena and Lasse make up the indie pop duo Norma John.  They describe their music as oozing harsh Scandinavian beauty.  Blackbird is all about splitting up and the way you feel when every single thing reminds you of the past.

Anne : Oh this is so pretty! A couple of spotlights and these soaring vocals are all that’s needed so I home they don’t  go over the top on stage in January.  I’m getting Ellen Benediktson vibes from Melfest 2014 … 8/10

Kyle : The most understated and stripped back of all the entries. Lyrically I think it’s one of the strongest and most meaningful of the entries but I think it is just a little bit too subtle to have mainstream appeal. Could be very haunting live though. 5/10

Ervin : Even though I wouldn’t normally like this kind of music, there is something that is absolutely captivating. I think that this will be the most serious opponent to Club La Perse. 9/10

Danny : This is rather haunting and beautifully sung but I feel it’s probably not instant enough. 7/10

Mikael : 8.5/10


  1. Zühlke – Perfect Villain (38)

Catharina Zühlke has been performing since she was a child. She competed in Finnish Idol in 2013 and released her debut earlier this year.

Anne : Love the strength in her voice.  How on earth does she get away with name-dropping X-Men? Hoping that won’t be an issue for her if this gets the nod for Kiev!  Just gets better on each listen 9/10

Kyle : This one definitely stands out from the other female solos, its powerful, punchy and has some grit. It’s something a little different from the mould and this could stand it in good stead. Fair play on getting the kryptonite and x-men into a song though! 6/10

Ervin : I have to admit I really enjoy this song. Love its r’n’b sound, the singer’s vocals, and the theme of the song is also fun. It’s a bit predictable though. 9/10

Danny:  Now this one has plenty of sass and attitude! The chorus is excellent and really sticks in my head. I can’t see the Finns going for this one but I’ll definitely keep it on my iPod! 9/10

Mikael : 5/10


Which means that our number one, our choice for Finland for the Eurovision Song Contest in May is …..


  1. Emma – Circle of Light (40)

Emma’s style of music is described as WDM (Wooden Dance Music) and she appeared in the 5th season of the Voice Of Finland.

Anne: Love this! There’s a great mix of competent singing, ethnic sounding beats and earworms.  I’m all about the staging though and I think they could do some great things, playing on the lyrics 9/10

Kyle : Now this is a quirky little one – folksy, ethereal and catchy. She has an Emmelie De Forest-esque vocal and the song builds well throughout, I can see potential here staging wise if this gets the ticket for Kiev. 8/10

Ervin:  I enjoy the random Finnish words in this song. This is a song I’d listen to on the radio and not change the station cos it’s not bad, but I won’t remember it either cos it’s not good. Just… average. 5/10

Danny : Ooh, this is a good one, and very catchy. Kind of reminds me of a dancier Emmelie de Forrest. This should do well! 9/10

Mikael : 9/10


So there you go Finland, you know what to do! 😉

What do you think? Do you agree with us or do you think there’s a better song in there? Let us know in the comments below

Of course we will be live blogging the whole event, so come and join us here on on January 28th and we will find out together which song will be chosen by the International Juries and Televoters to represent Finland in Kiev in May 2017.


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