It's official: Finland will be sending Saara Aalto to Portugal in May to sing 'Monsters' at the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2016 Aalto was a runner-up in the thirteenth series of The X Factor UK, which gained her international recognition.
Due to her success in the UK, Aalto was considered a shoe-in to represent Finland in the 2018 song contest, and three different songs performed by her were in the running. On Saturday, March 3, the song 'Monsters' was chosen over her other two songs 'Domino' and 'Queens' by both an expert panel and a vote by TV viewers at home.
Aalto told the Finnish public broadcaster Yle that 'Monsters' has everything people have come to expect from a Eurovision song. It is easy to dance to, it has beautiful vocals and it has a good twist. The singer says in this case the twist is a lot like herself: a little strange, with a mystical theme.
Like with many hit songs these days, 'Monsters' is the result of international teamwork. Aalto worked with Joy and Linnea Deb from the Swedish song writing group The Family, and with the English producer and songwriter Ki Fitzgerald to create the finished product.
Eurovision 2018 is the 63rd edition of the song contest, broadcast annually since 1956 on TV. An audience of between 100 and 600 million has tuned in in recent years, which makes it one of the most watched non-sporting events in the world. Since 2000, the contest has also been broadcast over the internet via the Eurovision website.
Portugal won the contest for the first time last year, which means it will be hosting the performances of the 43 countries that will be participating this year. The contest will be held at the Altice Arena in Lisbon and will consist of two semi-finals on 8 and 10 May and a final on 12 May 2018.