Monday, May 15, 2017

FINLAND: MEDIA ATTACKS YLE AND UMK WITH A NEW FORCE AFTER PORTUGAL'S WIN

There were a lot of media fingers pointing at YLE and especially UMK as a failed production (here, here, here and here). After Portugal's win the discussion has heated up again, and some are even demanding those responsable for UMK to resign, producer Anssi Autio especially.
It has been noted out also that Portugal proved all the Eurovision mynths wrong: 

1) You don't need a Swedish written/produced song to win, 
2) You don't have to sing in English, 
3) You don't need to do promotional tours and events, 
4) You don't need a fancy and expensive video, 
5) You don't need a voting block, 
6) You don't need props and special effects on stage and 
7) certainly you don't need fireworks and windmachines. 

The Portuguese staging must have been the simpliest and cheapest since 1960's.  And all this right after when UMK people have been putting all their future effort in making huge stagings.
IL clearly points the finger at UMK and its insanity. The Finnish Eurovision fate turned right after UMK was introduced. UMK gives the artists a simil forum to shine. In the end they are left to the mercy of the record labels, and YLE does no effort creating a hype and support for the winning entry. Apparently it is looking for new fresh faces and voices giving them a spotlight and chance to make it. This blogger asks again: How many UMK artists and hits can you name? 
But Eurovision is a serious business, the place for the biggest stars and best artists. YLE is responsable for the product aka the presentation in the international final paid by the taxplayers so it should be only the best. If the national ice hockey team fails big time in World championship the coach is fired or has the sense of resigning himself. The same should go for the Eurovision. We can't send likes of Sandhja and Waldo's People to the stage looking unprepaired and amateurish. And certainly it's not right to send Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät. 
In short: Stop the amateurish hobby like approach! We need to hire the best artists, songwriters, producers and choreographers to make an export product we can be proud of and that has a real chance among the best of Europe. (And that's what apparently YLE is doing as Autio said they're "in talks" with top writers and producers for 2018. One lives in hope!)
Let's go back eleven years. says IL as well.  Back then YLE invited 12 recording artists (aka no newcomers and inexperienced nobodies) with two songs. First they competed against themselves when people voted one of their songs to the final. Then those 12 became six and eventually we had the winner. And we all know how that ended. The same system went on until 2011 and Finland failed the final only once, being 11th in the semifinal. It was working so YLE decided to change it to UMK (a very stupid name that most people still don't recognize after all these years. A fact) and Finland has reached the final only twice since. 
YLE keeps telling it's a question of money, and the same time refuses to reveal the budget for UMK. There are certainly countries with smaller budgets around and still doing a good job. Another Finnish broadcaster MTV3 is also EBU member - if YLE can't put the effort, why not letting them do it? concludes IL.
This blogger wants to have faith in YLE and UMK, we can make it work. And I have nothing against the winning artists, but I think tkere should be more names to remember than the winners in six years. Pernilla dropped her singing career the moment she came back from Baku and PKN doesn't exist anymore. Krista is doing great and Softengine had an amazing future ahead untile they were dropped from their label and and started dropping their band memners. Shit happens. I expect a lot from Sandhja and Norma John, but do they have any label support?
But a new approach is needed and ... can we get rid of the name? Go back to Euroviisut, so people know what it is all about. If UMK hasn't sunk in in six years there's something wrong with the promotion and branding. 

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