Aksel Kankaanranta, the winner of Uuden musiikin kilpailu (UMK) 2020 didn’t sent a song to UMK 2021. He told this in the interview he gave to the Voice.fi. Earlier Kankaanranta told that he could take part in the Finnish national selection also in 2021. This is what Kankaanranta told in the interview:
I was about to send an application, but in the end, I didn’t. I’ll have to see if I could apply again some day. I’m really not saying I wouldn’t like to participate ever again, but let’s see some day.
The uncertainty that Covid-19 is causing had some impact to Kankaanranta’s decision:
Maybe in the certain way there was that if Eurovision will be held at all next year either, when the horrible situations are still on.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has announced that Eurovision will be held in 2021 in some way, although the details aren’t known yet. When the search for UMK 2021 was open in the beginning of September this wasn’t announced yet.
In some countries the winner of the national selection 2020 was offered a chance to represent their country in Eurovision 2021 or a place in the national selection in 2021. The Finnish broadcaster Yle decided that Kankaanranta won’t get a direct place in the final of UMK 2021. Kankaanranta has some mixed feelings towards the direct place in the final:
Maybe I would have participated if I’d gotten an automatic place. In the other hand, it is fair that a place in the competition isn’t just given directly. I don’t want any special treatment.
Kankaanranta says that he wasn’t disappointed when he found out that he wouldn’t get a direct place in UMK 2021. He says that UMK was a positive experience in spite of everything.
Earlier this autumn Yle announced that they received 278 applications to UMK 2021. The UMK jury has chosen 7 finalists, which will be announced in January 19th 2021. The final of UMK 2021 will be held in February 20th 2021 in Tampere, Finland.
Here you can watch Aksel Kankaanranta’s winning performance in UMK 2021: