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XTRA Preview & Review: Finland — Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) 2018

Today five countries will choose their entry for Eurovision 2018. Finland is one of the countries to choose their entry on March 3rd, as the final of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2018 is going to take place in Metro Arena!. We’ve taken a look at the entries and the procedure below, so here is the XTRA Preview & Review!

XTRA Preview: Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2018 – Final

Yle opened a search for the songs for Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2018 right after the contest in Kyiv last May. However, in November, they held a press conference where it was announced that Saara Aalto was internally selected to represent the country.

Saara Aalto will sing three songs, made by international teams. Two of the songs have Eurovision-winning composers behind them. Saara herself has been involved with all the three songs as well.

XTRA Review: Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2018

“Monsters”

Sami: “Monsters” sounds like an international hit, but it still has that Eurovision feel to it. Saara uses her voice very well and in different ways and I am sure it sounds even better live. I’m still worried if this is bit dated and too much made for Eurovision.
Score: 8/10

Luke: Come on, how can this not win? It’s one of the best songs of this season so far and an amazing start for Saara. It’d be an easy top 5 in Eurovision, and the message behind the song is so empowering and different. Absolutely perfect.
Score: 10/10

Matt: I’m nailing my colours to this mast! ‘Monsters’ has the more interesting vocal and a lot more going on aurally. In a way, it has the best elements of each of the other tracks in the selection. It strikes an emotional chord like ‘Domino’ but delivers the attitude of ‘Queens’. Of the 3 songs it is the most Eurovision friendly and I believe it could deliver a top 5 finish, all going well.
Score: 8.5/10

Dominik: Before I heard it the first time I already read some of the fan reviews and everybody was se song is good and solid. I like it, but I would not say, that it’s one of the best NF songs overall this year.
Score: 7/10

“Domino”

Sami: Saara’s vocals are amazing, but I expected a much stronger ballad. This feels bit plastic and even it’s well produced, it lacks emotion. I’m also pretty sure I would guess that it’s by G:son and Ljunggren without knowing it.
Score: 4/10

Luke: After the amazing start with Monsters, this is a bit of a let down. It’s a perfectly fine ballad and I can imagine the staging for this being breathtaking, but the song itself doesn’t do much for me and has very little replayability. It’d still do well in Eurovision…but for me, it’s definitely the worst of these three songs.
Score: 7/10

Matt: I can’t ignore how much like Kylie Minogue Saara sounds on this track! As a single or an album track composed to be heard on the radio, great! But staging a Eurovision winning performance? Not really. It’s not as memorable as the other options and the ‘domino’ symbolism feels well worn and lazy. Solid song, not for Lisbon.
Score: 7.5/10

Dominik: Super catchy and I love the production for this. With a good performance this could do very well. I think this song fits best for Saara. Can’t wait to see her performance.
Score: 9/10

 

“Queens”

Sami: This is by far my favourite song from these three. This has most personality and I’m pretty sure it would stand out in Lisbon, especially with a great performance. First I thought this wasn’t catchy enough, but I found myself humming to it quite soon after listening to it for the first time.
Score: 9/10

Luke: Another amazing song….damn it, Finland, why’re you doing this to us – only one of these can go to Eurovision! It’s extremely catchy and fun, and it still has something different to it. If Saara does the same dancing that she does in the music video on stage, then this could be another easy top 5 in Lisbon. Personally, it’s not as good as Monsters….but wow, it’s still fantastic.
Score: 9.5/10

Matt: Given the significant push with PR on this song, it is perhaps the ‘preferred’ choice of Team Saara, and again it’s a really solid pop song. My question here is what the staging will look like? I can’t put my finger on what is missing from the track but I’m looking for a greater hook. This is why staging is key, especially as we could be very close to ‘style over substance’ territory. I’d put this in 2nd out of the 3 songs.
Score: 8/10

Dominik: Love the verses. The chorus could be stronger tho. I totally could imagine this song in a musical. I already can imagine this on stage. Will look fab. I’m sure about this. If this wins, the song should get a revamp.
Score: 6/10

Who do we want?

The XTRA Jury, this time consisting of Sami, Luke, Matt and Dominik has spoken. Below you can see the average each song achieved. Their favourite for tonight’s show is “Monsters”!

  1. Monsters: 8.4
  2. Queens: 8.1
  3. Domino: 6.9

Which of these three do you like best? Make sure to let us know who you like by commenting!

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Sami Luukela

I started watching Eurovision back in 2006, when I was only 10 and couldn't stay up to see Lordi winning. I attended my first contest in 2013 in Malmö and been to all the contests ever since. I'm studying journalism and I love music — you will probably never see me without my headphones on.
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