YLE has sort of apologized the mess they created late last year when they threw away the UMK2018's 300 submissions and chose internally Saara Aalto out of the blue angering the Finnish musicians and authors, and most of the public as well. Not very fair indeed. But YLE says they got fed up."Last year we had a great song, performance and artist and it failed. Like many times before."
YLE promises in the future this won't happen: it will be clear from the start: internal choice or business as usual next year. "People have been asking us big names in UMK, but the big names don't want to participate. Maybe they are afraid of losing. Or then winning and failing in the main event and Finns can be cruel afterwards. We knew Saara Aalto wants to do this and she has experience of big stages so why not?"
YLE's Antti Autio still believes they did nothing wrong and there's a weird case of blaming one person, Finnish Musicians association's boss Aku Toivonen (that YLE's boss Ville Vilén had to come out and apologize) for all the negative comments as "90% of the population supports YLE's choice". Really? That's not what I hear at work and among friends and people who know I'm following Eurovision and have opened their hearts and shared their thoughts about the whole affair. None has been happy about her selection but then again, maybe they are just not her fans?
"We are getting a lot of positive feedback!" he says. Yes, Saara Aalto fans are thanking you. YLE also blindly believes various Eurovision fansites forgetting Eurovision fans live in a bubble while the real world that votes makes up about 95% of the votes come May. Those 12 points from UK YLE is taking for granted won't take her that far....
But it didn't end there. Now people are not so happy for the fact all her song are written by foreigners.
Autio also tells there were 23 songs for Saara in the end, half of them Finnish written. Yet they chose those three, two of them from the Swedish Eurovision factory and clearly not their best efforts. And in my opinion rather bland and unimaginary, and most of all underlining Saara's struggles so very familiar already from tabloids, and the performances - at least the videos and I'm afraid even more the staging - showcasing tired drag queens and LGTB stereotypes. That would have been cool and innotative around 1995. But maybe it still works in the bubble? What do I know?
I can only wish YLE and Saara luck and hope and pray I'm totally wrong and she brings home if not the victory but at least the 2nd place.... and that next year's selection will be clear from the start.