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