Finland, Saara Aalto, 1

The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rank and review the 43 songs competing in Eurovision 2018. Next we head to Finland and UK X Factor 2016 star Saara Aalto and her song “Monsters”. Did we find anything lurking under our beds? Read on to find out!

Saara Aalto – “Monsters”

“Monsters” reviews

Sebastian: “Monsters” is fast food – A-grade wagyu served on a golden platter, fit for a queen. Saara delivers an anthemic, inspiring motivational track that actually has a powerful meaning behind its pop-banger veneer. Let’s face it – Saara’s performance of “Monsters” at the UMK national final was underwhelming, to say the least. But Saara is a consummate professional who will no doubt get it right with staging and, hopefully, some strong backing vocalists, in Lisbon. “Monsters” is an anthem for many years, and many Euroclubs, to come.

Score: 9.5/10

Luis: The only positive thing about “Monsters” is that Saara seems comfortable singing it. The rest is such a disappointment: this song feels directly brought from 2010 rather than allowing her to shine, it makes Saara Aalto come across as a random shouty singer. The performance in UMK was a hot mess and a roster of topics, from the dancers dressed as dark angels, to the neons and the banners. As it stands, it’s at risk of not qualifying.

Score: 6/10

Cinan: This song will become a hymn for all those who feel different or somehow marginalised. The pulsating beat and uplifting lyrics make me a stronger person with each listen, and the message of empowerment motivates you to tackle your greatest challenges. Saara Aalto is an absolutely great singer and I’m sure she will make Finland — and all her little “Monsters” —  feel proud in Lisbon.

Score: 9.5/10

Antranig: “Monsters” has a nostalgic touch to Eurovision of a decade ago with a completely current sound. Do not get it wrong — this is an absolute LGBT empowerment anthem. “Monsters” is befitting of Saara Aalto as a performer and more importantly, as a person. The staging overhaul that she has promised is much needed to give it the wow factor on stage that it has in the studio version. Saara Aalto is an absolute star who will light up the Lisbon stage — “Monsters” is truly an incredible song.

Score: 10/10

Steinunn: Saara is a diva. “Monsters” is an anthem-like club banger with a great message. It’s weird and dark and awesome. But for some reason, the live staging at UMK 2018 was a bit underwhelming. Maybe the hype around the song had clouded my expectations. But I choose to believe that Saara will bring something epic to the stage in Lisbon.

Score: 8/10

William: During the national final performance she journeyed from Gothic darkness to Technicolor fabulous. It was bold and visionary…but ultimately a bit of a mess. Vocally Saara seemed slightly pitchy in the first two-thirds of the song — and her backing vocalists struggled to harmonise in their role as electro cherubs. It was only in the final third of the song that the vocals came together. And while that all gives me pause for concern, the studio cut reminds me of the song’s immense potential — it has an airy tropical feel, rhythms that make you move and a message so uplifting and powerful that it could scare the Boogeyman back under the bed. I’m keeping the faith that a cleaner stage show will match the strength and power of the studio cut. And that Saara will have placed her voice more solidly within the track.

Score: 8/10

In the Wiwi Jury we have 20 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:

Angus: 8.5/10

Anthony: 8/10

Bernardo: 7.5/10

Bogdan: 7/10

Chris: 6.5/10

Deban: 8/10

Jonathan: 9.5/10

Jordi: 7.5/10

Jovana: 6.5/10

Kristin: 7/10

Padraig: 8.5/10

Renske: 8/10

Robyn: 8/10

Ron: 9.5/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 6 and a high of 10.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 8.06/10

What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!

See all our Eurovision 2018 reviews and rankings

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164 Comments on "Wiwi Jury: Finland’s Saara Aalto with “Monsters”"

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Adam
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I choose to believe Saara will bring something exciting to the ESC stage. Her UMK performance was a mess, but she’s getting there. Her latest performance at Amsterdam showed that she has compensated well to her UMK one. You are entitled to your opinion about her song being overrated, and I stay with mine: This song WILL qualify and it is not overrated. She also hasthe UK, Ireland, Estonia and Iceland voting for her in the SM, and now, she only needs to pull her performance off in the SF and that will do the trick! She has already had… Read more »
Sabrina
Guest
The hype is the monster under this bed. It’s nice to see that Saara is so beloved by her fanbase. I totally can see why, since she’s clearly talented and seems to have a loveable personality. But this doesn’t justify blind adoration. The song is beneath her skills and pointing that is not attacking Saara. It’s the opposite, it’s believing she deserves better than that. It’s also believing that Eurovision can be popular and groundbreaking at the same time. This is something that bothers me on some pop music fans, not just the Eurovision ones: you don’t need to settle… Read more »
Tibor
Guest

Finally, your last review has appeared! And you’re right: Everybody should like what they like. But it should be rather about the music than about everything else. Sure, you can be successful with a mediocre song and a great performance, but is that really what a song contest should be about?
And now I can’t wait for the shows to begin. 🙂

Sabrina
Guest

Misson accomplished, finally! I really wish Saara had a better song. It would be great for the contest to have a winner with a devoted fanbase like hers. But I feel that Netta killed her chances and everything could be different if she also had an unique sound to present. Can’t wait for the shows either, Tibor. Though I’m already stressed about what can happen on the bloodbath semi.

Anita
Guest

I don’t know how to survive watching SF1 😉
And I feel helpless because I can’t vote.
Sabrina and Tibor which are the 10 songs you would vote for to qualify?

Tibor
Guest

Oh, it will be fine. We can always tell ourselves afterwards that we are the ones with the superior taste 😉
If I could choose I’d let the following entries advance to the final: Israel, Albania, Macedonia, Ireland, Armenia, Greece, Bulgaria, Belgium, Cyprus and Austria.

Anita
Guest

Thanks Tibor for your reply.
At least we can get nostalgic about entries that we loved and didn’t qualify.
In reminiscence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ufba0nOz0fQ

Sabrina
Guest

Anita, my opinion about the last qualifiers change from time to time, but today I would pick Albania, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Greece, Israel and Macedonia.

Anita
Guest

I also think a song contest should not be about €65,000 dresses – and Lisbon is inconsistent about their aiming for simple staging but than allow countries to bring their own expensive LED etc.

Sabrina
Guest
The hype is the monster under this bed. It’s nice to see that Saara is so beloved by her fanbase. I totally can see why, since she’s clearly talented and seems to have a loveable personality. But this doesn’t justify blind adoration. The song is beneath her skills and pointing that is not attacking Saara. It’s the opposite, it’s believing she deserves better than that. It’s also believing that Eurovision can be popular and groundbreaking at the same time. This is something that bothers me on some pop music fans, not just the Eurovision ones: you don’t need to settle… Read more »
Briekimchi
Guest

Sorry but in my opinion, those ratings don’t actually match the song that was put out there. Saara Aalto is good but this song is just ok. She is performing it better than it was but she is not elevating it enough. I think this appeals to Eurovision year-round fans due to a) the type of music it is and b) who is singing it, hence this level of pre-contest hype. To a mainstream public, I think this is a borderline qualifier/non-qualifier. It is just not memorable.

Ben005
Guest

This is so overrated that I am not sure will it even qualify. Waiting to see her live performance.

Jo
Guest

5.0/10

Timo1962FI
Guest
Love. love. peace, peace people now! Saara doesn’t deserve all those harsh comments you are vomiting from your mouths here! For me it is an anthem for daring to be different, living one’s own life, not giving a s*hit what the others are thinking. And yes, I am not giving a damn to the haters. This is beautiful, fresh and empowering. Never underestimate us, the LGBT-people who can see and hear the message – this is what pride is about. For the rest of the entries – I would like to see Denmark, Bulgaria, Austria and Belgium in the top… Read more »
Rhingo
Guest

I am fine with Israel, Belgium, Bulgaria as top 3 but definitely not with Finland. This is so forgettable despite being upbeat song… I don’t remember anything no melody, no chorus in spite of listening to it in all of those youtube top lists -.-

Timo1962FI
Guest

You don’t remember anything of it? Maybe something wrong with your memory? This is just one of the few entries that remains in one’s head after the first listening. Structurally this is one of the most clever melodies of all this year. But you may have your opinion. It is yours alone.

Rhingo
Guest

Rather than problem with my memory I have better explanation for the curious phenomenon – trashy song does not deserve a place into the long term memory so into one ear out from the other one 😉

Alex
Guest

LOL Jury is a joke. This song no more then 6/10

Timo1962FI
Guest

Into your opinion, maybe yes. But it is just your opinion.

Alex
Guest

I actually going to change it to 5/10 🙂

lasse ruud
Guest

There are not so many gay people in europe, so Finland by by. But Here is Norway taking the first place.

Timo1962FI
Guest

Have you counted them, each and everyone? Never underestimate the power of LGBT-community. REF: Austria 2014, Ukraine 2007, Israel 1998 and so on.

Vote for Finland
Guest

Saara Aalto is the best singer in ESC. She is much better than Netta, she won the X Factor UK (2). But many people have a bad taste. Cyprus and Czech Republic are very trash and overrated. I think it is underrated and it should go to the final. This semifinal is so bad, vote for Finland.

Jose
Guest

NO thanks. The glass microphone belongs to Saara Aalto!

Hexular
Guest

Wiwibloggs clearly has a favoritism towards even the most generic sort of bop like Azerbajian and Finland and Australia. There is no way that any of those songs deserve THAT high of a score.I do agree with the rest of the top 10 so far though .

Jose
Guest

Um no

Sabrina
Guest

So today my comment was the one held hostage by the queue. Robyn, please help me as soon as you can!

Ts80
Guest

I see Antranig loves all these cheesy and trashy songs. Right?

Ts80
Guest

Overrated!
I hope it will flop.

Jose
Guest

ITS not overrated

Timo1962FI
Guest

How can it be overrated if this song is loved by many, many ESC-fans? And no, it won’t flop, for your enorm irritation. Deal with it, honey.

Andrea
Guest

-Standard electronica.
-Hyped more for the singer’s appearance than for her voice.
-Nothing special vocally.
-Dance club fare. LGBT anthem.
-May make it to the final

My first reaction when I heard it was a big, long, yawn. It reminded me a bit of 2016’s entry, which was as different from the image of Finland as this one. Honestly speaking, I think Finland excels at rock, more than electronica.

M_K
Guest
It’s undeniably a little trashy, but it’s the kind of trash that comes right from the heart. Besides, the song has one of the most beautiful melodies in this year’s contest and while the lyrics have a rather basic message, there are some clever lines (“at my worst I found my army strong”). I love it! My personal ranking: 9/10 (5th overall) My prediction: 6-10 in the first semi final, 16-20 in the grand final ______________ 1st FR (10.0) | 2nd AL (10.0) | 3rd PT (10.0) | 4th NL (9.5) | 5th SF (9.5) | 6th CZ (9.0) |… Read more »
rykke
Guest

your top stinks.

Jose
Guest

It’s his top you crybaby.

M_K
Guest

Sorry to hear that. Who are your favourites? 🙂

M
Guest
This is by far the entry this year that has the most artist identity, if that makes sense. All about this feels so distinctly Saara Aalto, and I love it. From second one of the song, I was completely captivated, cus I knew I was in for something, and boy is it something. That opening is probably the best opener of any song in the contest, and that’s something that could really catch viewers’ attention and keep them invested. The beat on the chorus is infectious and the hook of the song gets stuck in your head for hours on… Read more »
Colin
Guest
FINLAND – For me, this is certainly the best “generic cousin” of the year, even if it is one nonetheless. The hype over Saara Aalto representing Finland is very high and for some, it’s impossible to rate this song separate from the beloved performer. Saara is a talented and charismatic singer and she shines on stage. Monsters is a catchy and well produced pop song about self-empowerment. It’s esentially not a dark song, even if it cleverly uses dark images to also gain votes from the lovers of edgy stuff (but, as it seems, she’ll have to fight off quite… Read more »
Roelof Meesters
Guest

I grew way too tired of it, yeah its a nice and catcy entry but it doesnt reinvent the weel and will struglle to qualify because semi 1 has so many similar entries. Dont get me wrong, I like this entry quite a bit but the hype around it is surreal and a litlle bit because its Saara Aalto. BUT i can see why all the hype is centered on her, she is one hell of a performer and gives this song live. For now, it’s a 7,5/10 for me.

Tibor
Guest
Okay, I’m gonna say it: Gloria Estefan called from the 90s and wants her fake steel drum and conga sounds back. I often like Finnish entries, regardless if they’re calmer like last year or more upbeat like Softengine. But once in a while they bring in something like this. The chorus sounds like a children’s song just going up the scale in a rather predictable way, and the lyrics and the occasional childrens’ choir backing vocals do nothing to dissipate this impression. Vocally it’s either very high or very loud, so nothing there to soothe my ears. Tu sum it… Read more »
Weißbrot
Guest
I really still don’t get the Hype at all. For me it’s just a Club Sound we’ve heard a hundred times before. It’s okay, Saara is usually an outstanding singer, but I’m just so bored of it. The drop after the Chorus is really weak and disappointing. The song seems atmospheric and even good in the Video, but it just doesn’t translate well to the stage… The song seems empty all of the sudden. Still, not bad at all… Just nothing I really care for. And I think that this may be the shock non-qualifier of 2018. 6/10 Is anyone… Read more »
Colin
Guest

Blackbird was my second, so I feel you. 😉

L'oiseau
Guest

Absolutely! I know I am said about it. One of the unfairest disqualifyers ever!

Tibor
Guest

I loved Blackbird.

Ana
Guest

Blackbird’s fan here!

Rimig
Guest

Yeah! I was so sad about Blackbird not qualifying! I just couldn’t believe it!

Sabrina
Guest

Count me in as a Blackbird fan! I still sing it on the shower.

Anita
Guest

Wonderful song with a strong performance.

Poseidon.
Guest

Every single one of the reviews (except Luis’) reads as:

“We’ve all heard this one before and the staging wasn’t good at all so take a nearly perfect score: 8, 9 or 10”

Finland seems interesting but out of the Cyprus/Czech Republic/Finland/Israel group, two of them will likely be killed by the others (in the semi or final) and, as of now, Finland and Cyprus look like the weak links.

Héctor
Guest
I was in love with this song when it came out, but the live performance dissapointed me. Too shouty and annoying. I love the studio version though. Hope the live performance is different in Lisbon. I’m not sure about Finland’s qualification. It depends too much on the live performance and it could flop. Finland is in my 6th place: 1. Germany (9)| 2. Albania (8.75) 3. Spain (8.5)| 4. Austria (8.25)| 5. Belgium (8)| 6. FINLAND (8)| 7. Ukraine (7.5)| 9. Portugal (7.25)| 10. Bulgaria (7.25)| 11. Italy (7.25)| 12. France (7)| 13. Lithuania (7)| 14. Denmark (7)| 15. FYR… Read more »
Filip
Guest

If a beautiful song like Black Bird from last year couldn’t qualify why on earth would this succeed. This is what I call typical Euro trash and not in good way. For me it doesn’t deserve to qualify buy it probably will due to the fact that there a lot of people out there really like this what I absolutely respect.

AngieP
Guest

I have to say it’s a little high for me. I like it and I think it will qualify. According to your score, it’s the 2nd best song after Belgium, which is not right for me. Of course, you have your own taste and I respect it.
Anyway, for me it’s a 7/10.

esc freak
Guest

Great pop song, I’m loving the empowerment message. Saara is a fantastic singer. I did not like the UMK performance, dodgy backing vocals and too many gimmicks, I would prefer something similar to the performance in the Lithuanian national final. I am worrying about Finland’s chances to qualify but I fully support Saara and wish her the best.

8.5/10

Darren
Guest

A lot do people here are saying it won’t qualify….I’m not too sure, Saara Aalto is quite an established name in United Kingdom and Ireland not to mention neighbourly love from Estonia and cultural love from Iceland in her semi before we even talk about the actual song.
The song genre has mass appeal, it has a strong message and it’s quite catchy. She may not win the semi, or finish in Top 5…but she’s definitely going through. No doubt about it.

Kyna
Guest

Yea I know that. If UK wouldn’t be voting, then I’d say she’d struggle to qualify. Let’s be real here, she’ll probably get the most support from them. She’s not that well known in other countries (yet?). The song is not that strong to consider it as a definite qualifier, especially when you’re in the first semi.

Vogzal Odessa
Guest
This song is a solid example of its genre, I would call it Eurovision disco pop. I guess we will continue seeing/hearing such songs just as much as we will keep seeing colour, feathers and sequins on gowns worn by ladies in beauty contests. I must say however that this song comes accross as a rather childish and immature attempt to “say something”. Therefore, I do not understand the hype. She may end up like that Icelandic Loreen-esque act from a couple of years ago, that is, staying in the semis. Based on her solid vocal performance only, I give… Read more »
Jj Cta
Guest
Finland, Finland, Finland…. What can I say? Last year you brought a song that had goosebumps raising all over Europe but it was nowhere near enough. This year we get Aalto and a pop song that could get them through. However in a tough semi-final 1 that is saturated with favourites, we may see it be forgotten for the likes of Bulgaria and Israel. That being said, the song is catchy and upbeat so if there was a song that could stand up to the heavy hitters it’s this one. Staging again is crucial with this one, it is with… Read more »
jim
Guest

the song is nice, but she cant sing it live, the live version in umk was painfull

kai
Guest

you should watch her performance in the lithuanin selection she did great

vangelis vt
Guest

She needed something closer to musical theatre which fits her voice and personality much better. Pretend Mykonos gay bar banger feels extremely forced on her.

As for the wiwijury’s high points, they are usually the kiss of death 😛

Ferr
Guest

My gosh! Overrated as hell! Lady Gaga’s filler song in 2010-2011.

Frau Loch
Guest
Saara Alto has become a fan darling and the high score shows this and I wonder if she is not overrated. The bookmakers have her down as a borderline qualifier… There are four pretty ladies with an up tempo popsong., Azerbeidzjan, Cyprus, Australia and Finland. Australia and Cyprus have JeanBaptist as a stage designer and Cyprus can perform last in her semi, if we compare that to Saara’s place in the running order and the car crash that her UMK staging was I fear she will could miss out on a spot in the final as Azerbijdan will even qualify… Read more »
Pablo
Guest
And here are the Finnish big guns, the one who they culled a national final for. It doesn’t seem any secret that Finland is putting all hopes in their starlet homegirl, an A+ team in all areas, and the best song was selected. It harks of a throwback, but it’s still decidedly now, pulling Saara out of the dreary ballads and into a song that is decidedly her. The worry with this song is to steer it away from kitsch territory and figure out the best stage show for Saara. The NF didn’t work, the Lithuanian interval showed much improvement,… Read more »
Please
Guest

She has a great song and good Stage presence. now she shouldn’t try too hard. i wonder what she‘s gonna do on stage,cause that can backfire really easily.

Mattias Sollerman
Guest

By far my favorite song of the year. Can easily listen to it for hours on end. Regrettably, I’m not a fan of Saara as a performer, and the UMK space opera made me wonder how attuned Friedman is to Eurovision. This would have been fine had I belonged to those who vote on the merits of the song alone, but unfortunately I’m not.

Ana
Guest

It’s quite funny that being “dated” here is treated as an advantage – in opposition to some other songs… 😉
Anyway! “Monsters” has grown on me and it’s really pleasant to listen. I like the message too. Still, it’s “just” a good pop song and I’m not sure how long it’ll stay with me after the finals. I didn’t like UMK’s performance (but it won’t affect my rate) and I hope Saara will improve it till Lisbon.

7/10

Timo1962FI
Guest

Just a friendly request to the team Wiwi. Remove F u’s insulting “comments” and block him and his IP from this comment section. He’s not well. Thank you.

GiavK
Guest

I really don’t like the song I like the singer though.However I always had a feeling for this that it will stay in the semis.Now I am almost sure.And even if it qualifies it will probably end up between 18-26

Hanna
Guest

A clear case when a singer totally outshines a song. She truly elevates an average to good song to the point of contending for even a top 5 position.

If I look at the danceable up-tempo songs of the year (Israel, Czechia, Sweden, Norway, Finland) I have no doubt in my mind that Finland is gonna get the best final position, only Norway coming close to it. (Both top 10 probably)

Never understimate the importance of a quality performer.

Mark
Guest

This will stay in the semi’s. Unbelievable you rank it so high.

Timo1962FI
Guest

Unnecessary to arrange an expensive show and semis as there seems to be a bunch of people who already know the results, dear EBU, just ask them which 20 entries are going through. LOL.

esc freak
Guest

Lmao slay!

TK
Guest

I adored this at first, but the more I hear it the more underwhelmed I feel. I really like Sarah. I like the theme. I like the early 2010’s feel of the song but I don’t know, something is fading.

I hope she brings her A game, I hope she slays, I hope she brings the club kids. But, part of me hopes that if her performance is sub par she doesn’t take the place of say Macedonia.

Good luck Finland

Francesca
Guest

I like this song. Do I think it’s top two material based on its studio version? No. But I think it has the potential to at least get there with the right staging and flawless vocals. Yes, her performance in UMK was messy and out of the place, but if you watched her performance in Amsterdam, she had one of the best performances (behind Ukraine and Albania). She has a great stage presence, which can very well translate to the screen.

L'oiseau
Guest
I am still heartbroken about Finland last year. I guess YLE even more so. So, they decided to go the right opposite direction. Which is fine, but it didn’t work out for me. The song starts very interestingly and the melody is actually very interesting. I really like the story Saara is telling of facing your demons. It is a dark narrative, not necessarily a crowd pleaser, but it does reach me. Saara’s artistic personality is still in the making, I believe, but she has all the right resources. What really bugs me about this, is the musical arrangements, full… Read more »
Anita
Guest

You said it, the first minute of the song is very promising and than: “They do not elevate the song, they bring it down.”

L'oiseau
Guest

Thanks… Yeah, I think that is the whole problem with that song. Would they have chosen a different more sophisticated beat, (see Sweden or Bulgaria) I think it would be a completely different story… Cheers

Purple Mask
Guest

^You got deleted, so there’s no point coming back. You’ll just get deleted again.
And putting on the Mask isn’t going to help you either.

Purple Mask
Guest

^Another hate comment. This is unacceptable.

Esctime
Guest

Pff.. I was sure that wiwibloggs will place this boring pop so high!

jay
Guest

Fast food but not good fast food. Unlike songs like Dance you off and Fuego, this one gets boring after a few listens. Doesn’t bring anything new to the table and if Saara dances as awkwardly as in the nf, Finland is staying in the semi.

LCH
Guest

Wow. There really is no accounting for taste. Dance you off and Fuego are at two completely different ends af the spectrum for me. Sweden this year makes me go “Meh… next” whereas Cyprus and Finland are among my favourites (and much more likely to get me dancing).

But hey, maybe that’s good news for Cyprus.

Roby8
Guest

Same I really dislike dance you off but I find Monsters and Fuego to be very effective and catchy songs I like a lot…
So no comparison… I like Fuego a bit more than this one though

LCH
Guest

Me, too! 🙂

Demetrio
Guest

And here we have the ”Verona” of ESC 2018. ”Monsters” will be the surprise from the 1st semi which stays there! Anothere fan favourite which flops..I like it too to be honest, but no, it’s not by any means the 2nd best package of the year as Wiwi tells us.

Ugnius
Guest

It won’t be a surprise if Finland would fail to qualify, just look at bookmakers’ odds 😀

Demetrio
Guest

You ‘re right 😉

Princess cara
Guest

Totally agree with you. Actually it’s the first time that I agree with the bookmakers. If you think about all the chances and the strong entries that compete in sf1, Saara will stay in the semi.

Hexular
Guest

So much of this! It gives off the exact types of vibes that Estonia gave last year: kind of trashy song that a good part of the fandom likes but that doesnt resonate with the mainstream audience. There is definently a chance of it qualifying but probably as 8-10th entry. It would probably be midtable in the final.

Jamala
Guest

Finland’s song is so underrated. I expected 10/10 not 8.06/10 :/