In the beginning of summer the Finnish broadcaster Yle announced that Uuden musiikin kilpailu (UMK) will continue as an invitation contest in 2019. Right after this announcement Finnish Eurovision fans and media started to speculate which artist or artists will get the invitation to UMK 2019. Speculation grew even bigger last week, when Yle announced more information of the contest: The final of UMK will take place in March 2nd 2019 and only one participant with several songs will take part of the competition.
In this article I’m going through my personal favourites of the artists who have been mentioned as potential Finnish representatives by the Finnish Eurovision fans or media. During this autumn we’ll know if one of these artists will carry the Finnish flag in Tel Aviv!
One of the most popular names in speculations is Tarja Turunen.This 41-year-old classical-trained soprano has over two decades of career behind her and she has fans from all-over the world. Turunen became famous as a vocalist of the Finnish heavymetal band Nightwish. After Nightwish and Turunen went in their seperate ways in 2005, Turunen has created a successful solocareer in both Finland and abroad and she definitely is one of Finland’s most internationally known artists.
Turunen has also shown interest towards Eurovision. Back in 2000 Turunen participated in the Finnish national final for Eurovision with her former band Nightwish. Their song Sleepwalker was public’s favourite, but because of the jury votes Nightwish didn’t get the Eurovision ticket. Instead Finland sent Nina Åström and her song A Little Bit to ESC.
This is how Turunen and Nightwish sounded like in Finnish national final in 2000:
When Yle opened an ideabox in UMK’s website in the beginning of summer and asked Finnish people to tell their ideas and thoughts about UMK, many writers mentioned Mikael Saari as their favourite candidate for UMK 2019. Mikael Saari is 30-year-old indie folk singer-songwriter and actor, who’s had many roles in Finnish musicals. Many Eurovision fans of course remember Saari as an UMK-contestant: In 2013 Saari was UMK runner-up when Krista Siegfrids took the victory and in 2016 he finished third after the winner Sandhja and runner-up Saara Aalto. It is clear that Saari is interested in UMK and Eurovision, but time will tell if he is the Finnish representative in Tel Aviv.
In UMK 2016 Saari made a performance like this:
A Finnish poprock-band Sunrise Avenue is very popular not only in Finland but other parts of Europe as well, so it is understandable that the name of this band has came up in speculations. With hit songs like Fairytale gone bad, Forever yours and Hollywood hills Sunrise Avenue has built a huge fan-bace especially in Central Europe during the last decade. Samu Haber, the lead singer of the band, has also been one of the coaches in The Voice of Germany in many seasons of the show. For now, Sunrise Avenue hasn’t shown interest towards Eurovision, but many Eurovision fans in Finland hope that the band would consider entering the contest.
24-year-old Diandra Flores is a young woman with an amazing voice and a lot of talent. After winning the 6th season if the Finnish Idol in 2012 Diadra participated in UMK 2013 with her song Colliding Into You finishing third after the winner Krista Siegfrids and runner-up Mikael Saari. Although Diandra has all what it takes to become international superstar, she hasn’t had her big break yet. Maybe Eurovision could be the big step she needs?
This is how Diandra sounded like in UMK 2013:
If Yle would like to sent something totally different to Tel Aviv, sello-rock group Apocalyptica would get the invitation to UMK 2019. Apocalyptica was founded over two decades ago and the group has sold 4,5 miljon albums worldwide. This band has made about one thousand concerts in about 50 countries and has performed in many big festivals in Europe and United States.
If Apocalyptica would represent Finland in the Eurovision 2019, it wouldn’t be their first time on Eurovision stage. The group made an amazing intervall act in Eurovision final 2007, when the contest was held in Helsinki:
CHISU (My personal wild card)
My personal wild card to this list is Christel Sundberg, better known as Chisu. Chisu has became one of the most successful Finnish artists over the last decade. This multi-talented woman writes and produces all her own songs and does music for many other Finnish artists too. All of Chisu’s four albums have been big success and she’s had numerous hit songs in Finland, such as Mun koti ei oo täällä, Sama nainen and Baden-Baden. Chisu sings her songs in Finnish, and it would be interesting to see, if she would continue in Finnish also in the Eurovision.
Who do you thing should follow in Saara Aalto’s footsteps and represent Finland in Tel Aviv? Let us know in the comments below!