Live report from Saara Aalto’s song selection show in Finland

Will it be ‘Monsters’, ‘Domino’ or ‘Queens’? Tonight, Finland decides which of these three song will be the entry that Saara Aalto will perform for them in Lisbon at Eurovision 2018.

The show has a very simple format: Saara Aalto, UK’s X-factor runner-up, will sing three songs and the best one goes to Lisbon. Steef van Gorkum provides live commentary.

You can watch the show HERE.

18:03 – Krista Siegfrids Portugal Medley

We start the show with a Eurovision medley by Krista Siegfrids. Including Portugal’s Eurovision song from 2014. Suzy did not qualify for the Grand Final back then, and I’m wondering why this song gets so much attention right now.

18:11 – 90 minutes for 3 songs

This show is set to last 1.5 hours, with only three songs taking part. And that means we will get a lot of talking in Finnish…

18:18 – Song 1: Saara Aalto – Monsters

Interesting visuals at the start of the song, as Saara starts in a black cape and hoodie, filmed from closeby, in a dark cage with black curtains on all four sides of her. She makes some vocal errors in the first verse, but the chorus sounds solid and after it, she escapes from her cage. Now she is without the cape and hoodie, but she still wears a black outfit with red stripes on it. I like the visual dark setting with green and red blacklight effects. Vocals solid after the shaky start. Four backing dancers lift Saara up after chorus 2, but she continues singing live – impressive.

18:22 – Interview with composers

“Monsters” was written by Swedish composers, the people who also wrote “Heroes” for Mans Zelmerlöw.

18:29 – Song 2: Saara Aalto – Domino

Eurovision legend Thomas G:son co-wrote this ballad. Surprise surprise: there are five huge domino stones on the back of the stage. The stones are black, the numbers are white and the rest of the stage is predominantly red with a lot of dried ice. At the end of the first chorus, the domino’s fall. Later in the song, Saara Aalto is tilted upside down, again while she keeps singing. Vocally strong again. This ballad could profit from being different from the other two songs.

18:32 – Thomas G:son’s birthday

Apparently, the big man has his birthday today and the presenters are singing Euphoria for him.

18:41 – Song 3: Saara Aalto – Queens

Much like the video clip, pink is the main colour for this performance. Saara starts on a substage. Lots of wide shots. Again, backing vocalists lift her off the stage and tilt her upside down while she sings. That move has been in all three performances, so you bet it will be in Eurovision as well. Saara’s pink robotic outfit seems a bit of a mismatch, and the staging for this song falls flat.

18:50 – Extended voting period

We have almost half an hour left in this show, so I guess Finland will have a long time to vote!

18:55 – Mel C

Of course, how could I forget… There has to be plenty of time for Mel C’s guest appearance. She sings “I turn to you”.

19:01 – International juries

  • Wiwibloggs William gives “Monsters” 12 points as part of the UK jury.
  • Hera Björk votes for “Domino” on behalf of Iceland.
  • Edoardo Grassi (France) votes for “Monsters”.
  • Estonia, Portugal and Switzerland vote for “Domino”.
  • Italy and Norway vote for “Monsters”.

“Monsters” is now in the lead, “Domino” is only a few points behind.

19:15 – Televoting results are in

Here we go! Which song for Saara Aalto? “Queens” is already out of the race.

19:19 – “Monsters” wins televote and goes to Lisbon

Saara Aalto will sing “Monsters” in Eurovision 2018 in Lisbon!