YLE was business as usual with separate artists and song submission calls with deadlines until out of the blue last Novembeer they announced they had selected internally Saara Aalto, angering both general public and most of all the Finnish authors and musicians whose work (around 300 submissions apparently) was thrown in to rubbish bin just like that with "it wasn't good enough".
All that put aside, tonight's the night. Saara Aalto will perform - because it's all about performances really this time around - her three foreign written songs (only one has a Finnish producer it seems) with staging and choreographies done my foreigners the way they will be done in Lisbon 2018 Eurovision song contest stage, meaning no LED wall but a lot of props.... like in the old days!
It's no secret I was not and I am still not fan of this decision and even less so after hearing the songs, but Finland could be in with a chance this year. Not because the songs, or the song (Monsters will win anyways) and its performance will stand out among all those simple acoustic numbers we have this year from all those last year's winner's copycats so maybe for once Finland has the timing right?
International juries (yes, also YLE jumps on that wagon again) and televoters will choose Monst... I mean the winner tonight in a live show from Espoo Metro Arena, with Spice Girl Melanie C as the guest star, and propably there will be some more... like Norma John in the pre-show.
Choreographies and staging: Brian Friedman with assistants Lukas McFarlane and Reija Wäre.
Joy Deb, Linnea Deb, Ki Fitzgerard, Saara Aalto
Thomas G:son, Bobby Ljungren, Johnny Sanchez, Will Taylor, Saara Aalto
Tom Aspaul, Farley Arvidsson, Charlie Walshe, Saara Aalto