FINLAND – In a surprise announcement which was suppose to be for the 2018 UMK participants, YLE announced Saara Aalto as internally selected for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. Krista Siegfrids and Mikko Silvennoinen hosted the press conference and a video tribute to Sara was also aired. Sara was excited for the announcement. Her song will be decided through a revamped Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK).
Saara Sofia Aalto is a Finnish singer, songwriter, and voice actress. She placed second in the first season of The Voice of Finland in 2012. Aalto also competed in the Finnish national selection to represent Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest twice, with self-penned songs; first in 2011 with “Blessed with Love” and then in 2016 with “No Fear”, placing second both times. She has taken part in musicals on stage and has done a great number of dubbings for feature films and foreign television series. Saara Aalto is the voice of Princess Anna in the Finnish version of Disney’s animated movie Frozen. She has dueted with Adam Lambert, and had concerts together with Andrea Bocelli, José Carreras and pianist Robert Wells. She has published 5 albums with her own record label Yume Records.
In 2016, Aalto came runner-up in the thirteenth series of The X Factor UK, which gained her worldwide recognition. Every fourth Finn watched The X Factor final. Aalto was the most googled person in Finland in 2016. Tabloid newspaper Iltalehti readers voted Saara Aalto as Finnish person of the year 2016. Following the show, she was signed to both Sony Music UK and Finland. In June 2017, Aalto announced via social media that she will be a judge on season two of X Factor Suomi. Four months later, Aalto announced she had left Sony Music for Warner Music Group, citing that her previous deal did not feel like the “right team.”