One of the big fan favourites, and everyone’s favourite Finn, the lovely Saara Aalto finally makes it to Eurovision and she hasn’t wasted the opportunity, giving us a big party banger for the Eurofans to bop along to. Finland’s non-qualification for the final last year was widely regarded as one of the biggest travesties of last year’s voting – can Saara return Finland to the final?
Well, as you can probably tell from how high I have placed this, I certainly hope it will. Saara is a real icon for fans, not only is she a big Eurovision fan (since the age of 10!), she’s also an out gay woman and engaged to marry – so a great role model to boot. She’s had a habit of finishing second in several things she’s entered – runner up in The Voice Finland, runner up in the Finnish national final for Eurovision in 2016, and most recently runner up (but much loved) on the UK’s X Factor. So it was such wonderful news to hear she’d been given the opportunity to represent her home country this year.
They still held a national final, with the choice of three songs and it’s not surprising that “Monsters” romped home from those three. I think I’d have also been happy with “Queens” but the song selected is bound to be one that will be played a lot in bars and clubs in Lisbon over the coming fortnight and at Eurovision nights like Eurofest in the future. It also has a message underpinning it – awareness of and dealing with mental health issues. Something Saara and so many of us have done and do go through.
I’ve been lucky to see Saara twice in the last few weeks – at London Eurovision Party and at her own event “Eurovision Wonderland”. At both venues she did great sets, and she’s looking confident in her delivery of Monsters.
I obviously want her to do well so I will be keeping fingers crossed that this will march into the final, even with being in the so-called semi-final of death. Estonia is in this semi, in terms of likely televotes, and the UK also votes in this one, so I’m hoping she will be remembered by the British public (she still lives in the UK as well) and they will give her a big support. I’m feeling confident that this will go through, especially if the delegation don’t overcomplicate the staging, and Saara continues with her strong and engaging live performances.
Official music video:
Live at London Eurovision Party:
Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest:
First entered: 1961
Appearances (excluding this year): 51
Best result: Winner 2006
Last year’s result: 12th in semi-final (did not qualify)