Rotterdam 2021

๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ UMK21 final โ€“ complete review of the rehearsals

Here's how the show will go

Tonight, starting at 20:00CET, Finland will select their representative to Eurovision Song Contest 2021 at UMK21. Before the show, ESCXTRA reviews the rehearsals. Warning, there are spoilers!

Yesterday Yle released small clips of the performances, but today ESCXTRA had the chance to see the full performances from the rehearsals.

Opening act: Antti Tuisku & Erika Vikman

The host Antti Tuisku opens the show together with Erika Vikman, the runner-up of last year’s contest. The opening number is a mash-up of Antti Tuisku’s songs “Peto on irti” and “Jumalan kรคmmenellรค” and Erika Vikman’s “Cicciolina” and “Syntisten pรถytรค”.

Antti Tuisku and Erika Vikman open the show, photo: Yle/Miikka Varila

1. Teflon Brothers x Pandora – I Love You

The performance opens with an UFO being put into a microwave and after that you see Teflon Brothers in the UFO. As they look out of the windows, you can see glowing brains exposed on their heads. Pandora first appears as hologram on top of the UFO but then she is actually standing on it for the rest of the performance. Pandora also interacts with the LED screen behind her.

On the second verse the group are actually on the stage. The glowing brains are still visible and their skins are blue. Pandora’s costume looks like silvery plastic, while Teflon Brothers are in all blue.

Teflon Brothers x Pandora at UMK21 final, photo: Yle/Miikka Varila

Before the last chorus, two female dancers come out of the UFO. The dance moves from the music video can be seen only during the last chorus. At the end of the performance, yellow sticks that the group have been using as their microphone holders spray out some pyro.

Overall, the performance is quite gimmicky and probably makes you laugh by being so ridiculous. It might look like a joke act, which might not please the international juries. The song has been doing very well on the charts in Finland, but I’m not sure if Finnish people think this is what we want to send to Eurovision, especially with this performance.

2. Aksel – Hurt

Aksel opens the performance by sitting on a rock, surrounded by smoke. He wears a mustard-coloured jacket, white shirt and beige trousers. Throughout the performance Aksel moves a little on the stage, but mainly stays on the rock.

Aksel at the UMK21 final, photo: Yle/Miikka Varila

By the second chorus five dancers join Aksel on the stage. Compared to the studio version, Aksel shows a lot more emotion here. The colours of the performance are warm, orange and red, but at the very end they turn to darker blue.

The performance is very calm and focuses on Aksel and his vocals. It’s nice to see that he sings the last chorus a bit differently than on the studio version. I’m still not certain if he is able to get enough votes from the televoters, even if the juries would rank him first.

3. Laura – Play

The performance opens with Laura sitting on a huge chess piece. She wears a glittery dress with puffy shoulders. Four dancers appear before the first chorus and they look like tin soldiers or members of a marching band. The LED screens also show chess pieces.

Laura at UMK21 final, photo: Yle/Miikka Varila

The dancers again disappear on the second verse and Laura moves on the stage alone. The dancers again join her during the second chorus. We only see the dancers on top of small platforms.

While there’s not much happening on the performance, you can understand the idea behind the staging. Laura sounds good and gives some personality to the rather generic song.

4. Danny – Sinรค pรคivรคnรค kun kaikki rakastaa mua

The performance opens with Danny’s face on the LED screen and shortly we see him on the stage, sitting on a stool. The stage is filled with smoke and he is joined by a pianist, who I assume is the songwriter Janne Rintala.

We can also Danny’s face on the LED screen is being filmed through a photo frame. For a brief moment, four people are seen behind Danny, probably referring to family who will be missing him. At the end of the performance, first the pianist disappears, but you can see the keys of the piano still being played. After that, Danny has also disappeared and the performance ends with him only visible on the LED screen.

Danny at UMK21 final, photo: Yle/Miikka Varila

The performance is quite touching, but also bit confusing. The last thirty seconds are bit creepy. While Danny performs the song probably better than expected, I can’t see this doing well tonight.

5. Oskr – Lie

Oskr starts the performance in front of a glass, or a window. By the first chorus, a reflection of a woman shows on the glass. Throughout the performance Oskr stays on the same spot.

Oskr at UMK21 final, photo: Yle/Miikka Varila

On the second chorus, the woman is seen as the reflection again, this time doubled. Oskr shows some raw emotion and his vocals are very impressive. By the last chorus, some rain can be seen falling down the window.

There is not much happening on the performance and it looks a lot like a music video. Oskr performs the song well and I can see the juries liking this more than the televoters.

6. Blind Channel – Dark Side

The performance opens with someone hanging upside down on the LED screen and as we know, the song starts with the chorus right away. Both vocalists, Joel and Niko, sing the choruses and their voices blend well together. The lights turn from red to blue throughout the performance.

There is a lot of energy on this performance, but Joel and Niko still manage to sound good. There are enough of close-ups of the other members as well. Before the last chorus, Niko shows a text “join” written on his hand, referring to joining the “dark side”.

Blind Channel at UMK21, photo: Yle/Miikka Varila

The performance looks very cool, it’s fresh and the group looks good. They are not jumping all over the stage, but they look like they have everything in control. There are enough pyrotechnics and the graphics on the LED screens look very cool. On the last chorus the singers literally put their middle fingers up, which might put off some people.

7. Ilta – Kelle mรค soitan

Ilta is wearing a quite futuristic, white outfit with a long train and starts the performance by playing very special piano. Once again there is a lot of smoke on the stage. Even when playing the piano, she connects well with the cameras.

After the first chorus, Ilta moves away from the piano, but stays on the platform throughout the performance. As the song is about being lonely, it’s very fitting that Ilta stays alone on the stage.

Ilta at UMK21 final, photo: Yle/Miikka Varila

Ilta is vocally just perfect and I think she is the best singer of this year’s final. The performance is very emotional and as said before, Ilta works well with the cameras.

UMK21

The tenth edition of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu will take place on February 20 at 20:00 CET. Seven artists will compete and the Finnish public together with international juries will choose Finlandโ€™s representative for Eurovision Song Contest 2021. The televote will have more power this year than previously. Juries will only give out 25 percent of the points. The seven countries represented are United Kingdom, Switzerland, United States, Poland, Iceland, Spain and The Netherlands.

The show will be hosted by Finnish pop star Antti Tuisku. UMK20 runner-up Erika Vikman and rock band Haloo Helsinki! will also perform during the final. Mikko Silvennoinen will serve as the Finnish commentator of the show while Katri Norrlin and Jani Kareinen will be the English commentators. Swedish and Russian commentaries are also available.

Who is your favourite to win UMK21? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter@escxtra on Instagram, and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see our reactions to news in the upcoming months.

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