Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Finland: Suddenly UMK is working
The biggest problem has been a lack of pace. While the finals have been lavish and entertaining, they have been preceded by endless semi finals and presentation shows where the entries were performed over and over without any substantial action taking place.
Last year, five tv shows were used to relegate four songs. That won't do and this year the team had one big hard re-think.
This year every semi contains six songs that will mercilessly be cut down to three. If you don't engage and vote, your finalist could be out and it will be your fault. The shows have also been taken into the Yle studios where it is much easier to make a production that looks good on tv.
There is still too much time to fill - the shows could easily be at least 20 minutes shorter - but the new hosts Roope Salminen and Rakel Liekki found a good tone and feel altogether appealing and likeable. Like they are your new best friends and you want to hang with them for next couple of weeks.
In short, the entries are more than ok but suddenly UMK is working as a proper tv show. You certainly won't find any entertainment show on Finnish television that would clearly be better than this. If there's any justice it will also mean the ratings will be the best in years. And that Roope Salminen gets offered a show of his own when this one ends.
As for the songs, I predicted two finalists out of three. The third one happened to be the song I rated lowest out of all six and I still stand by that rating. On the night I would have preferred Hans on the Bass to make it, but you can't have it all.
If only Satin Circus can find a way of connecting more with the cameras and come across as more energetic, we might even have found the song to send off to Vienna already.
Satin Circus - Crossroads (Finland NF 2015)