Saara Aalto will be flying the Finnish flag in Lisbon. And tonight, Finland will choose which song Saara will sing at Eurovision 2018. This year’s edition of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu — rebranded as UMK 2018: Saara Aalto — features Saara performing three songs. The winning song will be the one Saara performs in Lisbon in May.

Saara Aalto revealed her potential entries one by one throughout the month of February. Up first was the upbeat and empowering “Monsters”. Then came the ballad “Domino” which showcases Saara’s vocal range. The last entry was “Queens”, which showed off Saara’s versatility and personality. With three very different songs on offer, Finland has a tough decision to make.

This week, the Wiwi Jury sat down to review all three songs. There were a wide variety of opinions but the Wiwi Jury had a clear favourite. “Monsters” was the standout performer.

Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2018 reviews and rankings

1. Saara Aalto — “Monsters” (8.96)

The best: I am absolutely serious — my wig was snatched at 00:05 of the song! ”Monsters” for me it is like a hymn. They should play it in every school in Finland. Perfectly produced, every time I listen to it, I feel like I’m becoming stronger and stronger. I love when a song makes me feel like this because it’s so motivating. I can easily imagine what the staging could be if they choose ”Monsters”, and of course this can absolutely win the whole thing and bring us back to Finland after 11 years. Saara, keep slaying, honey — you are an amazing vocalist! (Cinan, 10/10)

The worst: “Monsters” is the only option for Finland. While it’s nothing new, Saara handles this song perfectly, and she elevates what otherwise would be a slightly dated entry. The good thing about “Monsters” is that, apart from being a bop, it’s cross-generational. There are reminiscences of this decade and the three previous ones, so it makes it really accessible to everyone. The Finns shouldn’t have trouble qualifying with this one. (Luis, 7.5/10)

2. Saara Aalto — “Domino” (7.36)

The best: Love ballads aren’t always good news at Eurovision, but “Domino” works. It creates a sweet, loved-up feeling and Saara seems to tap into genuine emotions (awww…). The weakest part of the song is the chorus lyrics, with evocations of Miley Cyrus’ wrecking ball and the tired stutter style of “domino, domino”. But Saara elevates the song above those lyrical cliches. This isn’t my favourite to go to Lisbon, but if it did, it wouldn’t be a bad choice. (Robyn, 8/10)

The worst: There’s nothing to dislike about “Domino” — Saara and Thomas G:son have gone right for a classic mid-tempo pop song structure, and Saara’s powerful voice only lifts the track. Having heard such similar songs at Eurovision before, though, I’m doubtful whether even the gold glitter or woman-on-woman affection in the music video could make this memorable among 25 other songs. Nobody remembers a “safe” entry — go big or go home! (Raphael, 6/10)

3. Saara Aalto — “Queens” (7.29)

The best: “Queens” has a very similar message to “Monsters” without quite packing the same punch. This is still an incredible song and any other national final would be lucky to have “Queens” in the mix. It has the same anthemic potential of “Monsters” with a slightly less gripping hook. My biggest criticism of “Queens” is that it does get a bit repetitive but when a song is this good, that’s not a bad thing. It might not have the big impact of “Monsters” but “Queens” matches Saara’s personality best of the three songs. If Saara’s forming a nation, get me a passport. (Antranig, 9/10)

The worst: “Queens” is the biggest letdown from a project with zero originality. The verses build up a tension that just collapses like a house of cards in the chorus. It’ll probably have a memorable staging though – and I can see this a dark horse in the UMK final. But still, Finland deserves better than this. (Barnabas, 4.5/10)

Which song do you think will win UMK tonight? How will Saara fare at Eurovision? Let us know in the comments below.

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AngieP
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AngieP

Hope “Monsters” wins! It’s the best of the three!

Rory
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Rory

Same.

duckhunter
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duckhunter

wiwi, you get money for promoting the Saara Aalto??

Timo1962FI
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Timo1962FI

Do you get paid from some troll factory for every negative comment you write on Saara Aalto. Pathetic. Get a life dear.

eurovision6
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eurovision6

Disgusting fanwank music without purpose, just hearing these 3 songs make me want to vote 100 times for Hungary in the final

Rory
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Rory

Same. LOL

Datme
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Datme

I had a dream last night in which Saara performed the song Monsters in a black dress.

Mel
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Mel

There’s a snippet from rehearsals on Instagram and it looks like she is wearing a black dress/cape thing. I guarantee she’ll be in the striped leotard by the end, though.

Dan
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Dan

I hope that naked cat in the Queens video appears on stage in her performance, haha! Is there a rule re: animals at ESC??

Ari
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Ari

I belive live animals are explicitly forbidden at Eurovision. The 2016 Belarussian guy wanted to bring a wolf with him, didn’t he?

Noel Hoffmann
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Noel Hoffmann

Domino <3 <3

halk
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halk

I wish you guys cared about other countries as much as you care about Saara. Another day, Another Saara-related post on wiwibloggs. It’s becoming really annoying.

Mattias Sollerman
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Mattias Sollerman

They always post a “[Country X]: “[Song Y]” is the Wiwi Jury’s favourite song in [Competition Z]” article, regardless of country.

Juslin
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Juslin

A poll about the favourite song for The Netherlands would have been nice, but it didn’t happen. Saara can’t really help it, but I’ve had enough of her already.

Colin
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Colin

Saara announced her songs weeks early, while Waylon announced the last one yesterday. There was no time to do the poll.

Juslin
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Juslin

24 hours is not much time, but I think it would have been possible.

Notyouraveragegayguy
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Notyouraveragegayguy

Using the LGBT appeal to win votes at Eurovision is so cliché and so overused. Conchita was the last one but it went well because it was musically good and it had a wow factor. Whereas the type of entry Saara wants to sell to us goes nearly to the point of being cringeworthy I would say. The over-the-top cheesy and sugar coated “Born this way” message is so worn out. Move on. It’s 2018. Gay rights are not denied anymore so votes out of pity won’t work anymore. I know all shirtless lady gaga grindr guys in gay clubs… Read more »

Roy Moreno
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Roy Moreno

Well, gay rights are still denied at some places and her songs are actually great

Ari
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Ari

I agree with every single word you said! Although I like “Monsters” and “Domino” as songs, without the visuals. The first one can be seen simply as leaving one’s past behind and the second one is purely about being in love.

Mark dowd
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Mark dowd

Well said….

Another gay guy, ESC nut case.

eurovision6
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eurovision6

Notyouraveragegayguy

Agree with everything, except I didnt even enjoy Conchita. As you say its just cringeworthy for other people.

Ari
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Ari

I am so glad I am not the only one. I was hoping for The Netherlands to beat my own country until the bitter end, in 2014.

The Anders
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The Anders

I am a big fan of “Calm After the Storm”, and I was cheering for it to the bitter end. Because that was the best song, and the entry as a whole was about the song – “Rise Like a Phoenix” was more about the statement. Probably an OK song after all, but too bombastic for me. And I still think Eurovision should be about music most of all.

The Anders
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The Anders

Moreover these entries often reproduce some very clichéd stereotypes of gay culture instead of stressing that gay people can be just as different as everyone else. You don’t have to look and act a certain way just because of your sexual orientation.

Notyouraveragegayguy
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Notyouraveragegayguy

Apparently for the wiwi universe, you have to be fabulous to be gay.

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Testing. (Replies filtered six times now).

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

I’m afraid I have given up trying to send the reply. I re-wrote it six times and it still wouldn’t send! 🙁

Colin
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Colin

Is there a chance that despite the lukewarm reception online, they’ll push for Queens anyway? Monsters would have a chance at my top 10, even if neither of the three beats France, Germany or Italy. But maybe we have set out expectations way too high on Saara.

Andy
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Andy

Finland’s televote has shown very unexpected results before so it wouldn’t be surprising if there were any surprises…

dabamba
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dabamba

I’d feel pretty surprised if televoters wanted another song instead of Monsters. I think jury might be more interested in Domino/Queens. But well, it depends still a lot how’s the live show will be, it can change little bit the odds.

Mattias Sollerman
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Mattias Sollerman

Katja claims YLE is pushing for Queens.
Is this true? And if so, can YLE be sued for crimes against humanity?

Frisian esc
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Frisian esc

Sorry but who is katja?

Mattias Sollerman
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Mattias Sollerman

Literally just some person on Twitter.

Ari
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Ari

Surely, YLE can’t be that mind-numbingly stupid, can they?

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Yes. Another source has told me this, so it may be true (pinch of salt).
No, they can’t be sued for that.
But yes, they might be sued if they fixed the audience vote and there was evidence, hypothetically. But the suing would have to be done by those who spent money on voting, and let’s face it, they probably don’t care enough.

Mel
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Mel

My secret combination it’s a mystery for you
use your imagination i’m not easy but i’m true
My secret combination boy you have to try hard
to win a destination in the center of my heart

I miss Kalomira, where are those songs? Only Saara Aalto, Doredos, Eleni, will bring the good old days flavor.

Y tho?
Guest
Y tho?

Most probably Monsters will will.
And even more probably it will flop in May.

Y tho?
Guest
Y tho?

will win*

Timo1962FI
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Timo1962FI

No, it will slay. Never underestimate her capacity to create very good shows, as shi did in the X Factor UK 2016. People are voting for a phenomenom, not just a song.