By Neil Durham
WHEN?: Saturday 25 February 2023
HOW DO I WATCH?: YLE
Finland’s Eurovision selection show UMK continues to be 1 of the season’s highlights and there’s a lot of quality here in the race to succeed internationally-renowned rock band The Rasmus who represented the country last year, finishing 21st.
- Read on for reasons including Robin Packalan, Benjamin and Käärijä
12 points: Keira No Business On The Dancefloor (Teemu Brunila, Axel Ehnström, Jason OK)
As we write, this is our favourite Eurovision 2023 possibility along with Agoney in Benidorm Fest. Grateful to the lyric video (see above) for clarifying the capitalisation in the ‘Bring out your Cardi’ Cardi B reference rather than to more age-appropriate (for us at least!) upper body garments. Not sure about the Harry Potter reference or slightly ill-advised title but it’s the current dancefloor swagger of the song and Eastern-influenced repetitive instrumental break that has us hoping this will win the Finnish ticket. ‘Can she perform it live?’ is the only question on our lips.
10 points: Robin Packalen Girls Like You (Robin Packalen, Joonas Parkkonen, Zoë Moss)
Child star Robin found fame as a 13-year-old singer in 2012 and this is a hugely likeable, uptempo, summer-sounding radio hit that has none of the 80s flourishes or rock vibe of much else in this selection.
8 points: Benjamin Hoida Mut (Take care of me) (Atso Soivio, Benjamin Peltonen, Iivari Suosalo)
Think Maniac by Michael Sembello from Flashdance and you’re halfway there although the lyrics are in Finnish. We love an uptempo 80s-influenced Scandi stormer but 1 of our recent favourites Fyr Og Flamme crashed and burned when trying something similar in a Eurovision semi.
7 points: Käärijä Cha Cha Cha (Aleksi Nurmi, Johannes Naukkarinen, Jere Pöyhönen, Jukka Sorsa)
Its simple title is a bit of a red herring because there is a lot going on here with a number of genres at play including rock, pop and electro. Likely to find its fans in the more hardcore Eurovision element of the fandom we would imagine.
6 points: Portion Boys Samaa taivasta katsotaan (We look at the same sky) (Mikael Forsby, Mikko Tamminen, Raimo Paavola)
A big rock song with 80s influences and some universal nonsense international lyrics.
5 points: Kuumaa Ylivoimainen (Overpowered) (Aarni Soivio, Johannes Brotherus, Jonas Olsson, Jonttu Luhtavaara)
Similarly rock and 80s influenced as its predecessors but boasting a bit more of a melodic and more contemporary Coldplay vibe.
4 points: Lxandra Something To Lose (Alexandra Lehti, Amy Kuney, Belinda Huang, Minna Koivisto)
This is slow, downbeat and introspective and likely to suffer in comparison to the big bluster of its competition but rounds out this selection nicely and offers a bit of much-needed variety.