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Saara Aalto sails into Eurovision final

Finland's Eurovision representative Saara Aalto has made it into the televised pop contest's final round.

 Saara Aallon uudistettu Monsters soi Euroviisujen semifinaalissa
Saara Aallon uudistettu Monsters soi Euroviisujen semifinaalissa

Finland's representative Saara Aalto will perform "Monsters" at the Grand Final, which takes place this Saturday, May 12 in Lisbon.

Others to make the final cut are Austria, Estonia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Israel, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Albania and Ireland.

Historically Finland has rarely done well at the Eurovision Song Contest and has only won the longest-running annual international TV song competition once. The monster-costumed metal band Lordi made Eurovision history in 2006 when it became the first hard rock act and the first Finnish entry to win the contest, with its song "Hard Rock Hallelujah."

In 1973 Finland placed 6th with Marion Rung who sang Tom Tom Tom, too. However, Finland has placed last in the contest ten times and failed to reach the final seven times. This time around Aalto, who competed in the UK version of X Factor, was selected without a public competition

Though often mocked as kitsch with its campy dance routines, the Eurovision song contest is the biggest and longest-running TV show on the continent. Decades ago it was a window on Europe that brought the cultural and linguistic diversity of the continent into people's living rooms.

The Eurovision final is televised live on Yle's TV2 on Saturday 12 May from 10pm.