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Saara Aalto to represent Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest!

07 November 2017 at 12:15 CET
Saara Aalto will represent Finland in Lisbon Ian McManus / YLE
Finland always held a public national selection for their Eurovision Song Contest participation but for the 2018 season Finnish broadcaster, YLE, has decided to change the process by choosing their representative internally. Finland will be represented in Portugal by... Saara Aalto!

Finland's national selection, Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (Contest For New Music, abbreviated to UMK), will see Saara Aalto perform three songs composed specifically for her. Of these three individual songs the viewers and international juries will get to choose the best one to be performed at the Eurovision Song Contest in May in Lisbon. The selection process will be broadcast live from Espoo Metro Areena on 3rd of March. 

Saara's journey to Eurovision

Saara is excited to represent Finland in Eurovision: “I know that this journey is going to be fantastic regardless of the results of the actual competition. I'm of course jumping right in with the attitude that I can win the Eurovision Song Contest – or at least finish in second place! That's something I've been great at, no doubt about it,” Saara jokes, as she's finished second twice in the national Eurovision selection of Finland as well as in The Voice Finland and in X Factor UK.

The three songs and music videos will be published before spring 2018. The exact timetable will be revealed at a later date. Saara says that the three songs will differ from each other and that all of them will get a spectacular, unprecedented stage show. 

“There won't be any of that “let's just throw in something” vibe. Every detail will be thoroughly thought out and delivered to the maximum. This is going to be a superb experience for the whole of Finland! I have a strong Finnish and international team with me, together we're able to make great things happen.”

Saara Aalto’s full interview in Finnish is available on UMK's website. You can also watch Docstop: Saara Aalto on YLE Areena.

Why the makeover?

The main purpose of renewing the UMK Contest is to achieve better success than in the previous years in the Eurovision Song Contest:

“We believe strongly that the luminous Saara Aalto, who is building an international music career, is our secret weapon to success. We are putting all our best efforts into having three captivating songs and shows to choose from, with the best one to be staged in May in Lisbon”, says UMK producer Anssi Autio.

This is the first time ever that a Finnish Eurovision Delegate has been selected via invitation. For the last six years Yle has held an open call for Finland’s Eurovision entry through the televised UMK Contest. An open call was held also for a spot in the limelight for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest.

“Who makes it to Eurovision and how to achieve that spot in the Eurovision Final is a mixture of various factors as Eurovision history has shown. We are confident that we now have in our hands the recipe for success,” Autio states.

The band Norma John represented Finland in 2017 with Blackbird but in a result which surprised many, they failed to qualify for the Grand Final.

Tickets for the UMK show on the Metro Areena will be available for purchase from the 14th of November. The televised live UMK show will be hosted by Krista Siegfrids and Mikko Silvennoinen on the 3rd of March 2018.