Saara Aalto was the internal choice to represent Finland in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest but her song for Lisbon was decided using a national selection, 'Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu', or #UMK18. Saara will fly the Finnish flag at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Monsters', after it won both the public and the jury votes.
Saara Aalto's participation for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest was announced in November 2017 by Finnish broadcaster YLE. Finland always held a public national selection for their Eurovision Song Contest participation, but the broadcaster has decided to change the process by choosing their representative internally.
Over the past couple of weeks, Finland's national selection, Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (Contest For New Music, abbreviated to UMK), saw Saara Aalto perform three songs composed specifically for her.
Songs for Saara
Over the past couple of weeks, YLE revealed the three songs which Saara Aalto will perform in the national final, UMK'18:
The eventual winner, Monsters, was the first song presented. According to Saara herself, "the song is about your inner monsters, the tiny little creatures which feed on your insecurities and doubts. It's about letting these things go, about being strong and not letting negative thoughts and inner demons control you. It has a deep message but it's also a very catchy song with a twist and something you can dance to - I think it's perfect for Eurovision!". Monsters is written by Linnea Deb, Joy Deb, Saara Aalto and Ki Fitzgerald. The Debs of course are members of The Family songwriting team responsible for writing Heroes by Måns Zelmerlöw.!
The second song presented finished in second place. It's called Domino, and it's written by Thomas G:son, Bobby Ljunggren, Johnny Sanchez, Will Taylor & Saara Aalto. G:son is the man behind several Eurovision hits including Loreen's winner for Sweden in 2012, Euphoria.
The third song presented, also finished third, was called Queens and was written by Farley Arvidsson and Charlie Walshe, Tom Aspaul and Saara Aalto.
Saara was born in 1987 and began participating in talent shows just over ten years ago. She finished second in The Voice of Finland in 2012 and has also participated in the national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest in Finland several times. In 2011 she finished second with the song Blessed With Love and in 2016 she also finished second with No Fear. She participated in The X Factor UK in the same year and true to form, she finished second.
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 joked.
A couple of days before the national final, Saara posted this picture on Instagram, saying: "The show on Saturday is going to be so magical & special":
Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest
Finland first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1961. The country won in 2006 with Lordi and his metal rock monsters and hosted the competition in Helsinki in 2007. Hard Rock Hallelujah is not just their only winner but the only time ever that Finland finished in the top five!
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.
Finland's Saara Aalto will perform in the second half of the First Semi-Final in Lisbon on 8th May.