The Finnish broadcaster YLE has announced that the competing artists for next year’s UMK, Finland’s Eurovision selection show, will be announced on Tuesday 7th November.
YLE officially announced this morning that the participants of the 7th edition of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) will be announced at a press conference to take place on 7th November from 12:00pm CET. As well as covering the competing artists for the 2018 contest, the press conference will also discuss the general details of the show.
The event will be hosted by Finland’s representative at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest, Krista Siegfrids (who has also hosted the past two editions of UMK), alongside Finland’s Eurovision commentator Mikko Silvennoinen. You can follow the press conference on YLE’s official live stream at yle.fi/umk, and also on their Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram accounts. The event can be followed on social media through #UMK18.
Speaking to YLE, Krista and Mikko affirmed that they have not heard any of the competing entries as of yet, but expressed what they hope to hear from the selected acts. Mikko in particular claimed that he would like the competitors to forget that they are entering a song for Eurovision, and to dismiss any stereotypes and connotations they may have of the contest. He added that this is an opportunity for artists to launch their careers, citing Sweden’s 2016 representative Frans as an example of Eurovision providing performers with a platform to gain an international hit:
In some ways, in Finland, the word (Eurovision) is characterised by a strange style that is no longer true… we should… think about what you listen to on Spotify and takes references from there. A couple of years ago, Frans’ “If I Were Sorry” was a Spotify hit throughout the summer in Finland and how many knew that it it was (a Eurovision song)
As of yet, no details of the start date for UMK 2018 have been confirmed, and such details can be expected to be announced at the press conference. It also has not been confirmed whether YLE will continue with the new, 1 show format as debuted last year, or whether they will return to the previous semi-final formula.
The winner of UMK 2018 will go on to represent Finland at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, and will hope to qualify Finland for the grand final for the first time since Softengine represented the country in 2014. In recent years, Finland has experienced a run of poor results with last year’s participants Norma John finishing in 12th place with their entry “Blackbird”.