Finland: UMK 2023 – Preview & My Top 7

24 February 2023

After great editions of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu the past two years, guess what? We have another strong year, perhaps not quite as strong as those recent years, with Finland’s representative for the Eurovision Song Contest to be decided on Saturday night local time, on 25 February 2023. Again, it’s seven songs, all of them appealing, and it’s an even field. Four are in Finnish, which makes it all the more interesting. I’ve shuffled my top 7 around quite vigorously – and often – since the songs were released a month ago, and given another month, it could all change again. Of course, there’s a point in time that I must settle on an order, and that time is now.

The artists of UMK 2023 - Finland - Preview - Eurovision Song Contest
The artists of UMK 2023

The Final

The playlist of my UMK 2023 Top 7

1 Robin Packalen – Girls Like You
2 Kuumaa – Ylivoimainen
3 Käärijä – Cha Cha Cha
4 Keira – No Business On The Dancefloor
5 Benjamin – Hoida Mut
6 Lxandra – Something To Lose
7 Portion Boys – Samaa Taivasta Katsotaan

My Top 7

7 Robin Packalen – Girls Like You

A big star in Finland, Robin finally gets his chance at UMK glory after a career of over 10 years. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with Girls Like You, to me it’s a bit bland and derivative, and derivative to a style that doesn’t particularly excite me.

6 Kuumaa – Ylivoimainen

A soft rock style of song, and very radio friendly. It’s one that got stuck in my head at times, and been up and down in this top 7 like a yo-yo. Currently it’s in the down phase.

5 Keira – No Business On The Dancefloor

Full name Keira Lundström, and with a fascinating African, Indonesian and, of course, Finnish (born in Espoo) background, this is Keira’s first single after already grabbing national attention by reaching the final of The Voice of Finland. This is a catchy dance song with some ethnic influences, and yes, a great voice too!

4 Lxandra – Something To Lose

The only ballad this year, and it’s a beautiful one! A delightful and interesting voice that’s equally matched by Lxandra’s hairstyle. At one point I had Lxandra as my second pick, before promoting others above. Yes! I’ve only promoted others, not relegated her. Something To Lose has not lost anything.

3 Benjamin – Hoida Mut

The top 3 had their own mini game of shuffle and just today I’ve switched places between two and three. Benjamin brings a hyper energetic dance song, with an entrancing vibe that will soon cause you to yell out “Hoida Mut”. Be careful where and when you yell it, because it means “Just do me”.

2 Käärijä – Cha Cha Cha

Cha Cha Cha! Käärijä gets a bump due to it being the most interesting and creative song this year, and that “cha cha cha” is so hypnotic and memorable. It’s a mix of dance, rap, and rock, and it builds and builds. It could blow up the stage!

1 Portion Boys – Samaa Taivasta Katsotaan

A song that has a strange way of expressing European unity. Mentioning all the stereotypes like British sipping tea, Netherlands possessing windmills, Bucharest and Dracula, the Acropolis in Greece, and it’s always better in neighbouring Sweden! Even though Finns are quiet and humble, like all Europeans, they still look at the same sky, and they won’t give up catching up with Sweden. This is all wrapped in a high octane, powerful and catchy song. Yes, you did hear the name of Formula 1 champion Kimi Räikkönen and the sound of a Formula 1 car. Kyllä!


I can’t wait for Sunday morning. This will be a classic UMK, just from the perspective of the potential performances. The top 3 will especially be interesting, and Portion Boys likely bonkers. The betting markets have Käärijä the overwhelming favourite, with Robin Packalen and Portion Boys leading the rest. Those latter two artists are already highly popular in Finland, so that betting edge could be more to fan allegiance, especially for Robin. The remaining four songs are essentially tied.

Given the small field, starting position doesn’t really matter. Finns get 75% of the say in the result versus 25% for the international jury, so let’s hope they’re brave at the crucial moment to send something bold and distinctly Finnish to Eurovision, unlike the situation with Erika Vikman and Cicciolina in 2020.

Make sure to watch this video. It’s the artists reacting to each other’s songs, and it’s so funny, all the way through. It also emphasises the quality of this year’s entries. English captions are available (click the CC icon), as with all videos that UMK provide, and English commentary will be available for UMK itself (link below). With the great song selection too, it all makes UMK the most compelling national final to watch each year.

Finland: The Rasmus win UMK 2022 with Jezebel

Read more about the artists and songs

Watch UMK 2023 in English


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s