The victory of The Rasmus felt clear in advance and the performance is certain, writes Juuso Määttänen, the cultural editor of Helsingin Sanomat.
Finnish it is a pleasure to follow the joy of a musician, especially at a time when there have been exceptionally few pleasures.
When I came to Turku to watch the finals of the New Music Competition (UMK), I was absolutely certain that The Rasmus would win the race and be elected Finland’s Eurovision Song Contest. So overwhelming for their favorite band was on the betting pages and the Eurovision Song Contest.
The presuppositions came true when Lauri Ylönen led by a band won JezebelUMK, even with a clear difference from other competitors. The band scored 310 points in the final, almost a hundred more than second-place Cyan Kicks, whose balance was 221. Come third Bess scored 204 points.
From these points of view, I was cynical about Rasmus’ victory. The band has set out to get a new boost to their career at UMK, but how excited was the band of veteran musicians to be about their obvious victory?
Cynicism was useless. When Lauri Ylönen, Eero Heinonen, Aki Hakala and recently joined the band Emilia “Emppu” Suhonen came to the press conference after their victory, the face of the quartet conveyed genuine joy. The team said they were seriously excited about scoring, and it certainly was. When Ylönen said that the band was almost on the verge of breaking up the previous year and had now got a fresh start, the movement was heard.
The Rasmus clearly wanted Eurovision and is passionate about his role as Finland’s visa representative. It remains to be seen what it will be enough for.
Can not to avoid the idea that the Finns who voted in the UMK ended up voting for The Rasmus as the safest choice – and at the same time the most boring.
The Rasmus was a sure performer in this year’s competition in every way. In preliminary interviews, Lauri Ylönen had described the other author of the song, the American veteran producer Desmond Childia “Perhaps the toughest singer in the world”.
Of course, there is a child’s career Livin ‘On a Prayer and I Was Made For Loving Youn like this, but this time Ylönen had created a basic rock song with the toughest nikari in the world. It has a catchy riff and a chorus that stays ringing in the head, and those ingredients get a long way. Yet nowhere in the song has I aroused joy in myself.
Rasmus’ performance in the UMK final was equally certain and unexpected. The special feature was a curtain tuned in front of the stage, which was used to bring the female character Jezebel at the center of the song to the stage.
Unsurprisingly, there is the danger of The Rasmus’ Eurovision success. Finland has previously trusted that Eurovision will succeed an artist whose existing international reputation can be utilized in the competition.
Hopefully no one voted for The Rasmus for Eurovision, at least because a couple of years ago Daruden the performance in Tel Aviv is proof that mere fame does nothing if the song doesn’t work.
Jezebel may work. It is equally possible that Jezebel will eventually remain just such a basic and easily forgotten performance that grabs a place in the final but does not cause a huge Finnish intoxication comparable to last year’s Blind Channel.
So I cannot help but regret how many other opportunities Finland would have had this year.
UMK has already succeeded in making the biggest hit of the beginning of the year: Bessin Ram pam pam has collected more than three million listens on Spotify and has remained at or near the top of Finland’s Top 50 list since its publication. Before the UMK evening, I hoped that the Finns would make the choice they wanted and send a Finnish-language, outgoing and fun pop hit to Turin.
Maybe Bess’s fate ended up being that the live performance of the song wasn’t quite at the level of the song. There was a lot on stage: dancers, sparks, bounces and explosions. Maybe even so much that the thing felt a bit confusing and the focus was missing. For some reason, the song remained a bit louder than the studio version as a cult.
I still think that the weaknesses could have been honed before the Eurovision Song Contest and that Bess would have been a fresher and more interesting solution for Finland’s Eurovision Song Contest.
There are others there were good options. Isaac Senen Hot ice snuff Ram pam mentin way that it didn’t sound as good to the public as the studio version. On the other hand, there was a reason for the mix of the whole show: the confusingly many songs sounded very tumultuous, even to the extent that it was difficult to figure out the songs. Sen had this problem the most, and it’s a shame because the sex-infused homoerotic show was the best thing of the evening.
The most positive surprises of the evening were Olivera and Cyan Kicks, who left a loud feeling at the time the songs were released. Oliveran Thank God I’m an Atheist was an insanely great sensitization piece, for which Eurovision Song Contest would have been the perfect place.
HurricaneCyan Kicks, who competed on the track, got a nasty stamp in the footsteps of Blind Channel as the next band in the pre-trial, but at UMK, the band showed that it is not a copy of Blind Channel, but a tough rock band. Cyan Kicks ’live performance worked, and it’s easy to see why it aroused great intoxication, especially among young people.
This the UMK of the year was held at a very exceptional time.
Just a day before the final broadcast, Yle had time to announce that Finland will not send an artist to Eurovision at all if Russia is involved. The reason was Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine. That same evening, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced that it had excluded Russia from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. On Saturday, major Russian media companies announced in a joint statement that they would suspend their membership in the EBU.
It is obvious that the war in Ukraine has also been in the minds of UMK performers, as evidenced by the artists’ comments before the final at the press conference. At the same time, one can agree with the artists’ view that in the midst of endless anxiety, it is good to focus for a moment on something completely different than war news. That does not mean that we do not care about the extremely serious situation in Ukraine.
This year’s UMK was worth watching – despite the fact that last year’s magnificent cannon was not surprised this year. More could have been hoped for from the stage performances.
There were a lot of good things too. Paula Vesala and Miisa Rotola-Pukkila acted excellently as hosts of the evening, and Vesala’s interim show was the best single moment of the evening, a testament to the artist’s top talent. Something about the significance of UMK is also shown by the fact that the biggest hit band of the last decade, JVG, will be gaining visibility for their new single. VamosThe show, built on the song, was surprisingly entertaining. I would have liked such creativity and stupidity for the competition performances themselves.
The most important thing however, is how much the UMK has developed over the last couple of years. The audience in Turku was genuinely excited about the singing competition, and there were plenty of young hyper-eager fans in the day’s general rehearsals.
And maybe The Rasmus will surprise me and other skeptics and bring Finland a historic success from Turin with its basic performance at the end of the spring.
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