Monday, December 12, 2016

FINLAND: THE SAARA AALTO STORY - THE ETERNAL RUNNER UP

A star is born. Steve Brookstein, Leon Jackson, Matt Cardle... and Matt.
Or  is it better end up like Olly Murs, One Direction, Fleur East, Eoghan Quigg...

Saara was born in May 1987 in north of Finland.
(Photo from Aalto family album/Iltalehti)
Coming from a musical and artistic family she wrote her first songs at the age of five, and at 11 she won her Kotkan Merilaulukilpailu (whatever that was) with self written song. She spent her teenage summers singing in weddings.
2004 she was backing Heidi Kyrö in the Finnish Eurovision selection
2004 she represanted Finland in Romania's Cerbul de Aur festival. No awards won.
2007 she finished second in Talent Finland. She didn't manage to get a record deal after that.
2008 she was backing Hanna Marsh in the Finnish Eurovision selection
2008-2009 she did High School Musicals 1 & 2 in Helsinki City Theater
2009 she was backing Riikka in the Finnish Eurovision selection
2010-2011 she did musical Wicked
2011 she participated in the Finnish Eurovision selection with Blessed with love and finished second
2011 she released her self produced debut album Blessed with love with singles Out of sight, out of mind and Cage bird besides the title track. It was a commercial flop.
2011 she also released a self produced Christmas album Enkeleitä - Angels
2012 she took part in The Voice of Finland, finishing second and failing to secure a record deal
2012 she did a Christmas tour based on the album with Tomi Metsäketo
2013 she released her third self produced album You had my heart. It appeared in the charts at #43 becoming her debut (and so far only appearance) in charts. However it failed to enter the radio playlists. She released the title track also in Chinese and Japanese. 
2013 she performed in China with Jose Carreras, and later again in the Shanghai Film festival to the audience of 800 million. 
2013 She released her album in Chinese, Ai de zhu fu, featuring songs in Chinese from her albums. She recorded a tv-show in Svenska Teatern in Helsinki and Chinese LeTV broadcasted it later.
2013 she toured Finland and later redid the Christmas tour with Tomi Metsäketo and her sister Suvi Aalto.
2013 she also dubbed and recorded Anna's role and songs in Frozen in Finnish.
2015 she released a duet album with ex-boyfriend Teemu Roivainen. They were togerher for years before Saara met her current girlfriend, a fan who contacted her. Teemu isn't the "number one pop star in Finland" as labeled in some British media but one of the rare Tango Kings (an annual tango singing contest hugely popular n Finland) who hasn't made it that big after his win. His debut - and so far only album - made it to the charts for four weeks peaking at #30.
2016 she took part in UMK, the Finnish selection for Eurovision song contest and finished again second with No fear.
2016 she took part in X Factor UK and despite rocky start went to the final and
became the highest ranking ever after being in the bottom 2 in the first episode.
But in the end she finished second again.
Her comecoming gathered some 10.000 people in Helsinki's Senate's Square while the hype was at its highest a week before the final. Finnish tv channel Sub broadcasted the last two weeks of X Factor live in Finland. The semifinal peaked at 0,8 million viewers and the final pushed over one million - the channel's all time record.
The president of Finland sent her a message before the final in his public FB page.... The eternal runner up has finally made it?
In this case it might be better not to win perhaps?
This said, it seems X Factor UK has been struggling with the vanishing audience for the past years and the season 2015 was considered very poor, and 2016 haven't been any better and in fact this 13th season could be the last.
At least Saara won't go down the history books as the last winner....
And like said, maybe it's better not to win this....?

UPDATE: Just over one million viewers watched the Saturday night X Factor in Finland, and making Sub channels's all time record. That was broken already on Sunday when the final got over 1,3 million Finns watching her finish second again.....


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