Saara Aalto will represent Finland at next year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, Portugal.
Finnish broadcaster YLE has revealed that they have internally selected Saara Aalto to represent them at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. Saara will compete in their national final format Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) with a total of three songs. A combined vote from the international juries and televote will decide which of these three songs she will sing in Lisbon. UMK 2018 will take place at the Espoo Metro Areena on March 3rd.
“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 Aalto is no stranger to singing competitions, as she has taken part in UMK twice, as well as The Voice Finland and X Factor UK. She took part in UMK in 2011 with “Blessed With Love”, and again in 2016 with “No Fear”. Both times she placed second. In the first season of The Voice Finland in 2012, she also finished second and got a similar result when she appeared in The X Factor UK.
For the third time, Krista Siegfrids (Finland, Eurovision 2013) will host UMK. She will be joined by Mikko Silvennoinen, the Finnish voice of Eurovision on YLE.
Finland will be hoping to reach the Grand Final of Eurovision for the first time since 2014 when Softengine qualified for the final in Copenhagen. Despite being somewhat of a fan favourite in 2017, Norma John failed to get past the semi-final stage in Kyiv with Blackbird.
Finland first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1961, they debuted alongside Spain and Yugoslavia. Finland has finished last in the contest on 10 occasions and has received ‘nul points’ three times. It wasn’t until 2006 that Finland won the Eurovision Song Contest, Lordi represented the country in Athens with the song “Hard Rock Hallelujah” scoring 292 points a record total at the time. Finland last performed in the final in 2014 when Softengine finished 11th with the song “Something Better”.