YLE, the Finnish national broadcaster, has revealed that Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2019 will only feature artists that have been invited by the broadcaster.
Anssi Autio, the producer of UMK, said that this decision was made based on this year’s selection, in which Saara Aalto was only artist to take part:
UMK 2018 showed that through the invitation contest we will be able to invest more in performances and other content. We now continue to develop the concept from this point of view.
Autio has also revealed that the UMK team are currently in contact with record companies, producers, songwriters and artists and are keeping their options open for the 2019 contest. This means that several artists could be invited to take part in UMK 2019, or an artist could be internally selected, with UMK being used to select their song.
Finland decided that Saara Aalto would take “Monsters” to the Eurovision stage in Lisbon. The show was a special edition of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (‘UMK’), which is used annually to choose Finland’s Eurovision entry; however, this year the show was used to select Saara Aalto’s song for Lisbon, following an internal artist selection by the broadcaster, YLE.
Her participation followed two previously unsuccessful attempts to represent Finland at Eurovision. In 2011 she participated in Finland’s selection with Blessed with Love, and in 2016 she performed No Fear. Both songs finished in second place in their respective finals. In Lisbon, Saara qualified Finland for the final for the first time since 2014 and finished 25th.