Eurovision 2018 Review: Finland – Saara Aalto – Monsters

saara aalto monsters

Saara Aalto will sing ‘Monsters’ in Lissabon
Finnish pop star Saara Aalto has big plans for 2018. The lady with the big voice who made a career out of becoming the runner up in every competition she takes part in, is ready for more. After finishing 2nd in the Finnish version of The Voice and the Finnish Eurovision national final twice, she tried her luck in the UK participating in X Factor, again reaching number 2. Aalto gained international recognition for this and became an icon in her home country. She is now selected to (finally) represent Finland in Eurovision. After premiering three potential entries in the past weeks, the final decision was made in a national final. And the winner is ‘Monsters’!

Everyone who has seen Saara Aalto perform before, knows that she does not shy away from theatrics, drama and big vocals. That is exactly what she serves on ‘Monsters’, a big uptempo number with empowering lyrics about dealing with the ‘monsters under your bed’. The build up is very Eurovision and although the drop at the end of the chorus follows the tropical trend of recent years, the track as a whole feels more 2012 than 2018. However, there is just no arguing with that chorus, because it is massive and will refuse to leave your brain after the first time you hear it, which is a perk in Eurovision.

The performance is exacty what one would expect it to be. Saara starts out dressed in black and reveals a colourful outfit after the first chorus. Vocally the song is challenging, but Saara works her way through it like a true pro, hitting all the big notes. The only bit that might need some work is the build up to the first chorus, where her vocals sound a bit thin. It might also be a good idea to cut out the lift the dancers do with her just at the moment she is doing an ad lib; that might even be too much for a vocal powerhouse like miss Aalto. All in all, the performance does need some fine tuning, but as it stands, it is a major contender in this year’s contest. Finland is doing very well with the bookmakers at the moment and loads of Eurovision fans are backing her. It will be interesting to see if this will go down just as well with the general public, but after three years of missing the final, Finland is in with a shot and I am rooting for Saara!

Update: The bookmakers changed their minds and are currently predicting Finland to miss out on the final. I still think ‘Monsters’ easily deserves a spot in the top 10, even in the toughest of the two semi finals!

Review of Semi Final Performance:
After finishing as runner up in X Factor UK, the Finnish Saara Aalto was chosen to represent her country in Eurovision with the uptempo pop dance song ‘Monsters’. Saara loves theatrics and big shows and that is exactly what she serves on the Eurovision stage. She spins around, dances her ass off, lights fireworks and struts the stage, while hitting all the big notes with those powerhouse vocals of hers. ‘Monsters’ is incredibly catchy and there is simply no arguing with a chorus like that. The bookmakers were predicting she would miss out on qualification, but my Canadian and American friends who watched the show with me, were living for every second of her performance! They even cheered after she finished her performance with the trust fall. Saara Aalto deserves her spot in the final and I hope she sails right into the top 10 there!

Review of Final Performance:
For me personally, Finland’s result was the most disappointing of the night. Saara Aalto’s typical Eurovision pop dance tune ‘Monsters’ was one of my favourites in the contest and I sure am a big fan of her over the top staging. How did she manage to sing so well with that choreography!? Unfortunately the juries were not nearly as impressed as I was. If it was up to them, Saara would not have been in the final, finishing 15th in the semi final, but luckily televoters came to the rescue, giving her the 7th spot, which was just about enough to qualify. In the final she finished 25th out of 26 which is way lower than she deserved.

Read our other Eurovision 2018 reviews: ALBANIA – ARMENIA – AUSTRALIA –AUSTRIA – AZERBAIJAN – BELARUS –BELGIUM – BULGARIA – CROATIA – CYPRUS –CZECH REPUBLIC – DENMARK – ESTONIA – FRANCE – FYR MACEDONIA – GEORGIA – GERMANY – GREECE – HUNGARY – ICELAND –IRELAND – ISRAEL –ITALY – LATVIA – LITHUANIA –MALTA – MOLDOVA – MONTENEGRO – THE NETHERLANDS – NORWAY – POLAND – PORTUGAL – ROMANIA – RUSSIA – SAN MARINO – SERBIA – SLOVENIA – SPAIN – SWEDEN – SWITZERLAND – UKRAINE – UNITED KINGDOM

This is an update to the original article written upon the release of ‘Monsters’.

 

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