21 February 2021
Blind Channel put their middle finger up to the entire competition to demolish a high quality field and win Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2021. The self-described “violent pop” ensemble tore up the stage with their high octane Dark Side to be Finland’s representative at the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam.
Blind Channel won both the Finnish public and the international jury with a combined 551 points, including 470 from the public, which had a 75% say. That more than doubled Teflon Brothers x Pandora in second place on 180 points, with Ilta next on 149. These three were personally the best on the night, while Oskr in fourth was also excellent and, ironically for a slower song, brought the most life and passion to our TV screens.
01 Blind Channel – Dark Side (551pts, 72+470)
02 Teflon Brothers x Pandora I Love You (180pts, 30+150)
03 Ilta – Kelle Mä Soitan (149pts, 48+101)
04 Oskr – Lie (115pts, 62+53)
05 Aksel – Hurt (108pts, 56+52)
06 Danny – Sinä Päivänä Kun Kaikki Rakastaa Mua (60pts, 22+38)
07 Laura – Play (13pts, 4+9)
01 Teflon Brothers x Pandora – I Love You
A totally unexpected theme with the group dressed as aliens sitting in a spaceship and Pandora standing on the top doing… nothing! For a dance song, it was craving for some dancing. It finally arrived at the end. The song is still so damn catchy, and was able to overcome its fifth place after the jury vote to leap into second overall. 8/10
02 Aksel – Hurt
One of three solo men, Aksel got buried a bit, despite a decent song and impressive vocals. The presentation, while aesthetically nice, was nothing compared to last year’s winning effort, and that’s where he lost. 7/10
03 Laura – Play
Laura can come off cold and stiff at times, and sadly that was the result here. Nothing overtly wrong with the song or the presentation (except for sitting on a chess piece of a defeated queen, not the king!), it was just a bit flat, the song didn’t reach any highs, so viewers looked elsewhere. Curiously, in the interview before her performance, Laura said she liked Play immediately and wasn’t interested in exploring other options. 7/10
04 Danny – Sinä Päivänä Kun Kaikki Rakastaa Mua
The large and obtrusive microphone and stand looked ridiculous for a song that’s meant to reflect an old man gently telling a story about life. He should have been at a table, wearing a head mic, then stand up at one point. The song itself was interesting and well appreciated, and the presentation worked, especially the end. 7/10
05 Oskr – Lie
The best of the three solo males thanks to a compelling and passionate performance. It was always a great song and I only had it seventh in my preview because someone had to be there. Fourth overall is about right. 8/10
06 Blind Channel – Dark Side
It lacked a bit of cohesion and the band got lost among all the crazy lighting, reducing the action and intensity to just the two guys at the front of stage. Of course, the pumping song and powerful vocals was always the strength here, and it proved so on the night. 8/10
07 Ilta – Kelle Mä Soitan
A well deserved third place with a beautiful ballad and even more beautifully sung. The presentation was incredibly beautiful too. Perhaps, if I want to be picky, a more simple dress and piano would have sufficed. I don’t really want to pick. Ilta was wonderful. 8/10
My Top 3
It’s exactly as the final results. Blind Channel first, Teflon Brother x Pandora second, and Ilta third. Also, Oskr in fourth. From there I’d disagree and promote Laura two spots to fifth, and drop the other two a spot each.
The average score of 7.6 must make UMK 2021 the highest rated national final ever, and even blitzes the highest rated Eurovision show ever. That was the first semi final of Malmo 2013, which scored 6.9. The only show to come close to UMK 2021 is last year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest, which scored 7.3.
Last year’s runner-up, Erika Vikman, opened the show with host Antti Tuisku with a medley of songs, including Cicciolina.