Home / Song Reviews / Eurovision 2018 / Finland: Saara Aalto – Monsters

Finland: Saara Aalto – Monsters

Finland broke from tradition this year to internally select perennial bridesmaid, Saara Aalto. The UK X-Factor runner-up performed her three entries, each with its own distinctive staging concept mixed with Saara's rather deranged zeal. The jury and Finnish public settled on Monsters, which will be performed in the second half of semi-final 2. Avid UK X-Factor viewers will have known what to expect from Saara. The problem is that more than half of the population spent the last month under the collective delusion that Monsters would somehow challenge for the Eurovision win. Admittedly, boasting Joy & Linnea Deb and Thomas…
Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal

Monstrous

Saara is still trapped in the body of an X-Factor novelty act, rather than the 'next international superstar' people assume she is. 

User Rating: 3.33 ( 27 votes)

Finland broke from tradition this year to internally select perennial bridesmaid, Saara Aalto. The UK X-Factor runner-up performed her three entries, each with its own distinctive staging concept mixed with Saara’s rather deranged zeal.

The jury and Finnish public settled on Monsters, which will be performed in the second half of semi-final 2.

Avid UK X-Factor viewers will have known what to expect from Saara. The problem is that more than half of the population spent the last month under the collective delusion that Monsters would somehow challenge for the Eurovision win. Admittedly, boasting Joy & Linnea Deb and Thomas G:son among her writers made even us cold, ruthless gamblers sit up and take notice. However, both writing teams have been on the slide over the last few years as they produce one generic, derivative song after another. Monsters is another such musical bowel movement.

The one element able to elevate this song was Saara’s vocal and Brian Friedman’s staging. Unfortunately, Friedman directed his efforts to showcasing Saara’s eccentricity in what is a garish, colour-vomiting mess. It’s a Poundshop PNAU neon concept that fails on the sophistication front and instead plays to the stereotypical rainbow fanbase. Essentially, Saara is still trapped in the body of an X-Factor novelty act, rather than the ‘next international superstar’ people mistake her for.

That superstar vocal also failed to show last night. All three songs suffered the sort of tuning issues that would guarantee nil-points from most Eurovision juries. So with the favourite song selected, where does this leave Finland’s chances?

Luckily for Saara Finland are drawn in the more open half of semi-final 1, so she at least has luck on her side. Nevertheless, as I mentioned in the Cyprus review, expectations are huge for Saara, whereas they are already near rock-bottom for Eleni Foureira. I trust Cyprus to stage a song more than I trust Finland or Saara and my current thought is that only one of these trashy-bangers will make the final.

Will it be another case of ‘close but no cigar’ for Saara?

About Gavster

Owner & Chief Editor   I’m a qualified designer and the official geek in the crew, dedicating most of my free time to keeping the ESCtips show on the road. My family routes allow me to support the UK, Ireland and Italy.

12 comments

  1. That performance was bad.. Like really bad

  2. It’s the best of the three but that’s not saying much, a really disappointing selection of songs which Finland are in danger of compounding with poor staging. There’s a lot of work for Finland if they want to get the good result they appeared to want. The best this can achieve is probably just out the top ten. Based on tonight’s performance however this is borderline to qualify and not much better than 20th if it does.

  3. If I was judging Monsters on the video alone I would say that this is a potential ESC winner. The song ticks all the Eurovision boxes and the tropical house beat gives it a modern flavour. My main reservation about the song is this is the sort of entry that would have won three or more years ago, but maybe the contest has moved on.

    Then we got the live performance. The staging was too dark, particularly the first minute. Saara’s vocal was fine but the sound mix wasn’t right or maybe live it loses some effect that they can only do on the studio recording. They didn’t or couldn’t reproduce the children’s voices which is a big loss. And, generally, the performance, while by no means a car crash, felt that it lacked energy. In this last regard I was reminded of Triana Park last year and Molly’s Children of the Universe in 2014, and look what happened to them in the voting.

    As others have said, the staging for Lisbon needs a major rethink. I imagine that Monsters will continue to have its fans come what may and this may make it one to oppose in the betting.

  4. How deluded are the ESC fandom, seriously do they actually hand on heart believe this can win, also how haven’t the odds for this not crashed on the bookies?

  5. The staging wouldnt get past the artistic director at a caravan park club.Terrible.Song is decent,but i very much doubt they can get it to come across right.The staging has a bit of potential,but needs a complete re-work.Iv always thought she was hugely over rated though so il probably be over harsh on her,but a jury should give very little to this.

  6. I think Azerbaijan really could kill it off if Cyprus fails to, Azerbaijan isn’t brilliant but it does a hell of a lot more than Cyprus and Finland and I trust Aisel much more than I trust the other 2! Unless there is significant improvement Saara will need a huge televise as I don’t see any reason why a jury would rank this high.

  7. I’ve noticed that this page is constantly against Finland. You didn’t take into account the statement that straight after UMK it was announced that they are changing the staging from scratch

    • Nobody is against anyone sharkan,mostly ruthless gamblers on here who only care about finishing up with more money than they started with.As such you go with what you see,and what i see is poor.It just does not work.I actually think this is the worst entry in the genre this year for lots of reasons.Cyprus kills it for starters.

  8. I think her performance at the Lithuanian national final is a step in the right direction. Staging more simple and improved vocals. She at least has a chance of qualification is she continues down this route I reckon.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxaMpD0DUzA

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