saara aalto monsters umk live

She has built up a lot of hype as she released three impressive entries throughout February. Now, Saara Aalto knows which song she will perform in Lisbon in May. Following the final of UMK 2018, Finland has chosen “Monsters” as Saara’s song for Eurovision 2018.

Saara Aalto — “Monsters”

Click here to watch live performance

UMK 2018 performances

“Monsters” takes us on a journey from darkness to light. The performances begins with Saara veiled in black, signing in a box that represents her isolation and fears. Her skin looks white, her expressions cold and it’s all very Goth. But as the song progresses she breaks free and into an explosion of colour.

She dances with liberating angels — black wings, firm abs — and at white point she falls into her back and into their arms being lifted into the air. There’s a thin line between Halloween and high fashion, but thankfully she fell on the right side.

“Domino” is a pure song with a simple message — and the staging accurately captures that. Saara stands before five larger-than-life dominos with red lighting along the edges. At various times they fall while she remains strapped to the one at centre. The climax comes when her Domino rises into the air and flips 360 degrees while she still sings.

The “Queens” video was bonkers and over the top …and so is this. Saara works with an illuminated staircase, stomping her way down and up and to and from her throne. Of all the performances this one feels the most X Factor.

Light it up, @saaraaalto ??? #umk18 #eurovision #eurovision2018

A post shared by wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) on

We were also treated to a performance by Melanie C of the Spice Girls. Sporty Spice performed her song “I Turn To You” as the interval act while voting took place.

UMK 2018 results

The results were determined by a combined jury and televote. In the end, both the jury and televote gave their support to “Monsters”, with “Domino” a clear second ahead of “Queens”. Our poll was right, y’all!

saara aalto monsters umk 2018 full result

UMK 2018 international jury

The jury consisted of eight members from eight countries, including our very own William Lee Adams for the United Kingdom.

Estonia — Leena Kuurma (singer, represented Switzerland as part of Vanilla Ninja in 2005)
France — Edoardo Grassi (head of delegation)
Iceland — Hera Björk (singer, Eurovision 2010 representative)
Italy — Kabir Naidoo (head of press)
Norway — Stig Karlsen (head of delegation)
Portugal — Suzy (singer, Eurovision 2014 representative)
Switzerland — Reto Peritz (head of delegation)
United Kingdom — William Lee Adams (editor, wiwibloggs)

UMK 2018 Jury Results
What did you think of Saara’s live performances? Did the right song win? Let us know in the comments below.

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110 Comments
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Ellsonearth
Ellsonearth
3 years ago

Hmmm, I think “Monsters” lacks something.

Stormby
3 years ago

Absolutely love this song! It’s going to do well 🙂
Put together a mix for it of course!
https://soundcloud.com/stormbyofficial/saara-aalto-monsters-stormby-mix-edit

Mel
Mel
3 years ago

Brian Friedman has pretty strongly hinted that the performance will be redone for Lisbon. While I’m sure there are severe time and budget constraints I don’t think it’s undoable, as the thing most obviously needed is decluttering. Put Saara in a better outfit, stop lifting her around and compromising her vocals, do away with the awkward dance moves (she’s simply not a good dancer) and the unnecessary gimmicks (flags, weird stuff coming from her sleeves etc.), bring back the “chipmunk choir” parts somehow (earlier in the process it was implied that all the special vocal effects in the songs had… Read more »

jim
jim
3 years ago

i like the studio version but her live vocals were terrible, i didnt expect that and im not sure what went wrong since she has proven that she can sing in xfactor

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 years ago
Reply to  jim

Yes, I noticed that too. Three possibilities:
1. Cheap microphones.
2. Live streaming audio quality.
3. Saara’s nerves.

Kalle
Kalle
3 years ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

I think it was live streaming audio quality. In this video her’s vocals sounds much better. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3-HGSZx7Qo

Jaska Jokunen
Jaska Jokunen
3 years ago

People! If you’re disappointed with Monsters performance and you’d love it to match the potential of the song please sign this petition so that they’ll change the stage show. Almost 100 people have signed already. Check this out:
https://www.change.org/p/yle-saara-aalto-s-monsters-show-needs-to-be-changed-saara-aallon-monsters-esitys-muutettava

dabamba
dabamba
3 years ago
Reply to  Jaska Jokunen

I don’t agree with every suggestion so i won’t sign 🙂 Althought i agree something needs to be modified but it could be as simple as just changing the camera angles.

Matt C
Matt C
3 years ago

Performance was so 2010. This is something Lady Gaga would do, just the cheap version of it. Domino was SO much better, showcasing her amazing range whereas Monsters leaves a lot to be desired. She also looks very scary/uncomfortable while singing, she should definitely improve on that.

what next
what next
3 years ago

What happens when Finland miss final?? Likely next step is give up or offer melodifestivalen second possibility to represent Finland in eurovision. That is tax money what they are spending and few people obsession about eurovision does not have large support. To Saara aalto that result possible also means end of singer career.

Bandido
Bandido
3 years ago
Reply to  what next

What next Hope YLE/UMK organizers will resign and leave it to other’s like record companies, since we’ve seen they are pure amateurs, without even Basic knowledge needed to Eurovision.

quite harsh thinking end of her singer career? Look flopped K. Siegfrieds, who’s still desperate hanging in public allowed messing around hosting NF with nothing musical merits or even simple hosting skills. 🙂

Mika
Mika
3 years ago
Reply to  what next

I agree. This song / performance will never make it to the finals. Finland will be qualified at the semi-finals again. All the fuss for nothing. Lost opportunities for FRESH young singers or song writer talents.
Saara Aalto is NOT supported by everyone in Finland. Fair and free competition would have been the way to go.

AndersP
AndersP
3 years ago

The staging needs some serious editing, it’s just all too much and loses the sassiness of the video. There are too many visual components, angels, cloaks, neon – all feels a little bit like a drag race challenge gone wrong. If they can simplify it and make it more grounded and cool, this could do very well. As it is, it could be the fan favourite of 2018 that stays in the semis.

Bastian
Bastian
3 years ago

What a big let down this was. If she has nerves already, then i do not want to know how she’d feel performing on that stage in Lisbon. Monsters is a great popsong, ofcourse it will qualify and im sure they will change the act, but i predict it wont be enough for her to win. Theres just something missing in this package. I guess she’ll be the forever #2 😀

Moikkelis
3 years ago
Reply to  Bastian

I agree

duckhunter
duckhunter
3 years ago

good choice, good luck Finland

Mexx
Mexx
3 years ago

As a Finn I’m bitterly disappointed. The performance did’nt have the soul she had in British X-Factor. The song was sorta okay, thou.. I really hope they’ll do something about the stage act!! Domino was much better!

Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga
3 years ago

Never liked any of her 3 options. Finland, you got a good vocalist & what you’ve given her are generic songs from the early 2010’s (me & Kesha want our songs back, lol). If she makes it to the finals, fine. If she doesn’t, it’s ok too. I’m indifferent to this

dabamba
dabamba
3 years ago
Reply to  Lady Gaga

In my understanding Finland didn’t give these songs to her 🙂

AurelianTamisan
AurelianTamisan
3 years ago

All the waiting, all the effort, the rising on the betting odds… for this?! A generic as hell entry? I wonder if she will be able to put it right live. Let’s see if this reaches the final, cause a top result is out of contention in my opinion.

lasse braun
lasse braun
3 years ago

monsters is definetly the right choice but the live performance from yesterday is still not available at youtube!
WTF???

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
3 years ago

Domino was amazing.
Seriously, that could have won Eurovision (or at least got close). Everything worked. Not saying Monsters can’t do well but they have a lot of work to do to improve it.

MTD
MTD
3 years ago

The hell is that?

Ughhh, just saw the performance – shockingly below average, and maybe not even there. Lower. This is a fan-flop written all over.

This is not top 10 material, this even may not enter the Final, this is Australia 2017 kind of a mess. Wtf?

Big no! And Finland better drift off the top 15 in the bookies because babes, this ain’t even lovely.

And LOL to all the (gay drama) escfans hyping this to death. Wake up!

Nanek
Nanek
3 years ago

I’m still in shock about “Queens” coming up 3rd! I just don’t understand how you all didn’t saw that Saara was pushing so hard this song and with it’s message, vocal performance and staging it could’ve been a clear winner at Eurovision 2018! 🙁 Wish her luck but I know that she wanted “Queens” at the Eurovision stage! 🙁 Anyway, good luck Saara!! ????

Gav
Gav
3 years ago

Winning song but not a winning performance. 🙁

iosa
iosa
3 years ago

Never heard of her until this morning, then YouTubed her British XFactor stuff – what an unbelievable voice!! Dominos came across better tonight than I thought but best song won. Hopefully the staging and low notes can be improved! Very likeable performer!! Would love her to win in Lisbon

Craig
Craig
3 years ago

This girl can sing, but I thought the first half of that was a bit messy to be honest. The vocal was a bit off and the staging a bit all over the place. Once she got up on the higher stage and the fluro flags appeared, she brought it and slayed!

Jake
Jake
3 years ago

This performance was a bit of a mess. Her voice is always on point. The song is also solid. I don’t think Brian Friedman has this figured out…the dark angels have nothing to do with the neon colors — it feels a little too much thrown together. This needs a bit more finesse and attitude in the staging. Lots of thoughts going on and it makes it all too messy. Someone save Saara. This needs epic staging.

meylll
meylll
3 years ago

Monsters studio version was just amazing but live version is not good. She was my favourite before we hear the live version but now my 2 favourites are Estonia and France

dabamba
dabamba
3 years ago

I liked the performance till the black robe was taken off. Also the darkness part where the suit was glowing was good. Also i liked the backsingers. Bit disappointed to the dress, wasn’t so good looking like the preview photo showed.

It’s bit funny that even jury liked Monsters over the others althought the stage arrangement was the most basic one among these three.

Isa
Isa
3 years ago

Just heard the live version. Mark my words, this song will not go past the Eurovision semi-finals. All about this song is bland. Saara’s voice is very shouty in this song (Domino suited her voice better). Be wise, Saara and choose another song!

Zuzu
Zuzu
3 years ago
Reply to  Isa

I think its gonna be in the final so it can flop there

Boy
Boy
3 years ago

Estonias Song its not a orgiginal Song, i have heard IT so many Times’ before

Kyna
Kyna
3 years ago
Reply to  Boy

And Saara’s song is not? Monsters is one of those generic overplayed pop songs that doesn’t impress that much anymore, lmao get a grip.

Bandido
Bandido
3 years ago
Reply to  Boy

Boy Like Sarah Brightman’s vibes I got it; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWt0fS8BM7I and that’s good and sad song.

duckhunter
duckhunter
3 years ago

Saaaaara delivering the fanflop of the year.

MrmrG
MrmrG
3 years ago
Reply to  duckhunter

Not surprised at all to read a comment like this from you. Troll factory… But you need your sick satisfaction 20 times a day. Have a nice o**asm for that comment…

AngieP
AngieP
3 years ago

It was a great show!
The best song won. So happy for Sara.
I’m sure this will qualify!
Good luck Finland!

Gav
Gav
3 years ago

Would love to see a picture of you. You better be perfect or book yourself in for a facelift.

Oh wait! Another superficial who can’t see beneath the surface.

Rory
Rory
3 years ago
Reply to  Gav

And beneath Saaaara sirface – plastic fantastic!

Gav
Gav
3 years ago
Reply to  Rory

Geeze… people on here have bitter and twisted outlooks. ?

Mika
Mika
3 years ago
Reply to  Gav

I don’t think it is fair to judge anyone by the looks. She is a talented singer, but lacks some charisma and personality.

Mattias Sollerman
Mattias Sollerman
3 years ago

Many strong concepts in this performance, but the story telling devices are too literal for my taste. Cut some ideas, infuse some Kalevala clarity, and let the song and Saara speak for themselves. It’s a simple song, to my untrained ears, and the staging should reflect that.
In any case, as they say, sincerely happy for all the Nordic and semi-Nordic decisions tonight. The winter has hit hard up here, but our kinship will keep me warm tonight.

Ariso Light
Ariso Light
3 years ago

Yay yay yay yay yay! This is my new favourite! 11/10! Helsinki 2019! 😀

davve
davve
3 years ago

If Saara gets her stage performance a bit more worked it will be fine.

I think Saara is a certain qualifier.

Boy
Boy
3 years ago

Yeaaa Finland. The best Song this year. Estonia gonna flop, a big flop

Jo
Jo
3 years ago
Reply to  Boy

You talk like Trump.

Zuzu
Zuzu
3 years ago
Reply to  Boy

Apart from X factor fans and wiwibloggs, Saara won’t find that much support, mark my words – this will flop in the grand final..cute song but there are already at least 10 more appealing entries than this one

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
3 years ago
Reply to  Boy

Keep trying to convince yourself. If you say it enough times, it might happen. 😉

irish esc
irish esc
3 years ago

monsters is a great song but the whole performance was awful : (

moran
moran
3 years ago

She could have done better

Peter M
Peter M
3 years ago

I like Saara a lot and she has a great voice but it really is a very generic, pop song. That may get her to the final but she’s definitely not going to be anywhere near winning Eurovision.

Rory
Rory
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter M

She way even miss the Final, seeing how strong is her Semi.

George
George
3 years ago

Basiiiiiiic

Sami
Sami
3 years ago

In Finnish news outlets they are saying that Saara wants to change staging for Monsters and they will have a discussion about it next week.

Dew
Dew
3 years ago

The live performance was far from an Eurovision winner. She has so much to work on.

West
West
3 years ago

I am not impressed by her live vocals – she’s not bad, but she definitely doesn’t improve that bland song.

Leo M
Leo M
3 years ago

Monsters was certainly the best choice but in my opinion, it’s pretty much just a standard pop song. Definitely not a guaranteed qualifier but I reckon it is probably enough to reach the final. I think semi-final one is going to the much tougher semi.

Lola
Lola
3 years ago
Reply to  Leo M

That’s my thought exactly! I like the song, but it doesn’t scream winner to me atm like it does for many people… Maybe if she changes the staging a bit I will change my mind, but I would not vote for her, because all my favourites are in semi 1. She might do well with Eurovisionviewers who listen to the song for the first time. I also agree that semi 1 is looking like the tougher semi right now. A lot of countries have stepped up their game, I like it!

Anja
Anja
3 years ago

I had great expectations from here but she looked anything else except of a super popstar. She needs a better staging to pass the semis, this was really dated, something that we could have seen in 2005. Now, it’s official, Foureira is the #Queen of ESC 2018!!

Rory
Rory
3 years ago

A mess.

Saaaaara delivering the fanflop of the year.
Stay tuned.

Bandido
Bandido
3 years ago
Reply to  Rory

She could also do ‘Blanche’ of 2018, who pulled herself complete together for the final.

Roxy
Roxy
3 years ago

Monsters is the best song but Domino had the best performance tonight. Overall, the whole show seemed like a cheap X-Factor staging. Maybe my expectations were very high. Nothing met my expectations tonight. I hope it will improve until May.

Joe
Joe
3 years ago

Yay! They chose right! Here’s hoping the other four finals go as well today.

Lightdark
Lightdark
3 years ago

Another light vs dark song, boring. It could pass to the final, but I don’t see it in any Top 10 or anything.

Michèle
Michèle
3 years ago

So disappointed in the Eurovision so far this year – very poor songs. This one sounds so dated. Things can only get better I suppose…

Ari
Ari
3 years ago

I’m just throwing this out there: As a fun contrast, YLE could internally select Mikael Saari next year and make him perform three songs as well. I for one would love that.

Colin
Colin
3 years ago
Reply to  Ari

I second this idea!

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 years ago
Reply to  Ari

This would be awesome. 🙂

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 years ago

I still can’t feel a thing while listening to “Monsters”. It’s plays too safe, the lyrics are lifeless. OK, it’s the dance pop song that many were expecting but it still seems to me as a waste of Saara’ skills. I appreciate that they tried to give it a dynamic staging but there’s a fine line between being dynamic and creating a mess. If you want to make a pop act like this to work, you need to make it fun to watch. Maybe they could seek for inspiration on the video that was quite good. There’s potential, because she… Read more »

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 years ago

I saw the performance of Monsters. It was dark, but surprisingly meaningful and moving. Well done to everyone involved, including William on the jury! 🙂

Anna
Anna
3 years ago

At one moment with the singers at the front I had Lena 2011 vibes. Great performance!