Unexpectedly, the Finnish broadcaster YLE has made an internal selection of the singer this year. The choice felt to the popular singer Saara Aalto. The UMK show, which normally is the format to determine the Finnish song for the ESC has been a “one-woman-show”. Three songs were in the battle and the public was able to vote by 50% for their favourite song, the other 50% was determined by an international jury. Everything was totally different than before. Nevertheless, the Finnish song is called “Monsters”.
Saara Aalto was born in Oulunsalo (Oulu) in 1987, the same year when Vicky Rosti sang “Sata Salamaa” for Finland in the ESC. Saara grew up in a family for which music means a lot, she learned to play the piano and composed her first song in the age of five! With 11 years Saara won the a children festival with her own composed song. She went to a music school in the USA and returned to Helsinki to study music and singing at the Sibelius Academy. Saara became popular in Finland when she uploaded a video singing the title song “Frozen” from the Disney animated film. The video has been viewed over 3.5 million times on YouTube. Later on she sang that song in 15 languages.
In 2011 Saara also took part in the Finnish national final with “Blessed With Love” and came 4th. Her career really went ongoing when Saara took part in The Voice Finland 2012, where she came second. Her second attempt at the Finnish national final with “No Fear” where she came second. She moved to London with her girlfriend and there she even entered the UK version X Factor in 2016. This year she was directly asked by YLE to represent Finland in Lisbon, she confirmed this immediately.
The song “Monsters” is a really catchy and danceable entry. Even if the title of the song doesn’t sound quite optimistic, the melody is strong and does not go out of your head. The song is about to face the fear and to defeat it with a strong optimism. This song has been produced by the same composers who made Måns Zelmerlöw the winner of the ESC with “Heroes” in 2015. These are really good preconditions to have a strong entry, which will definitely shape up very well.
Good luck Saara!
Finals: 46 (7 since 2004)
Top 10: 12
Chances for Top 10: 23%
Chances for Final: 47%
For the 52nd time Finland is participating in the Eurovision Song Contest. Finland has joined quite late in 1961 and missed out some years between 1995 and 2003 because of the rules and bad placings countries had to pause for a year. Over all the years Finland’s reputation in regards of success has suffered. Even if Finland has send songs of outrageous quality and many great evergreens, but the points did not flow as for other countries and therefore Finland was often found on the bottom of the scoreboard undeservedly. Three times Finland received not even a single point. Maybe this was due to the language issue or it has just been the wrong choice of the Finnish entries for Eurovision.
After all the years of waiting the hard rock band Lordi came with “Hard Rock Hallelujah” in 2006 and Finland had its first fulminate victory in history which was overdue for a long time. The entire country was in Lordi-fever and a long-cherished wish came true. A wonderful and unforgettable contest has been held in Helsinki a year later.
At least Finland is quite often passing the Semi Finals, seven times out of fifteen Finland has made it into the Grand Final with the utmost different styles from hard rock, ballads pop up to folkloristic songs. Last time Finland has been seen in the Grand Final was in Copenhagen 2014.
1x 1st place
Lordi | Hard Rock Hallelujah (2006)
“Varjoon-suojaan” | Fredi, Rank 12, Vienna 1967
“Kuin Silloin Ennen“ | Jarkko and Laura, Rank 12, Madrid 1969
“Päivä Kahden Ihmisen“ | Kari Kuivalainen, Rank 15, Bergen 1986