The Scoop

Saara Aalto makes The Independent’s Pride Power List 2019!

On the morning of the Pride in London march, The Independent has published a list of the UK’s top 100 most-celebrated LGBT+ figures. Alongside the likes of Sir Ian McKellen and Clare Balding OBE is Eurovision’s very own Saara Aalto! Despite hailing from Finland, the star has been embraced in the UK for the past few years following her success in X Factor UK.

Over the past few years, Finland’s Saara Aalto has established herself as a household name in the United Kingdom. Her career in the UK began when she finished second in the X Factor. She went on to release her international debut album Wild Wild Wonderland. Earlier this year, she returned to British TV as a participant in Dancing On Ice, finishing third. Last month, it was announced that her single “Dance Like Nobody’s Watching” was chosen to be the official song for Pride in London 2019!

The list seeks to showcase “the members of the LGBT+ community in the UK who have made the greatest positive impact in the past year in the fight for the equality and inclusion of LGBT+ individuals”. As a proud, openly-gay woman, Saara has used her platform to represent her community. As such, she has ranked 14th on the Pride Power List, which received over 50,000 nominations.

You can read the full list here.

Saara Aalto at the Eurovision Song Contest

As a solo artist, Saara unsuccessfully attempted to compete in the contest on two occasions, in 2011 and 2016. In 2011, she participated in the qualifying rounds in the Finish national final, placing second to Paradise Oskar. In 2016, the tried her luck again by participating in Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu. Despite winning the televote, the jury vote pushed her down to second place, behind Sandhja.

After numerous attempts at representing Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest, Saara finally had her wish granted when YLE internally selected her to represent Finland in Lisbon in 2018.

After performing three songs at UMK: Saara Aalto, the jury and the public selected ‘Monsters’ as Saara’s entry. She placed 10th in her Semi-Final, thus bringing the country back to the Final after three years of non-qualification. She placed 25th overall in the Grand Final with 46 points.

Congratulations Saara! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter@escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates!

Costa Christou

Ever since I saw Helena Paparizou's triumph at Eurovision in 2005 (at the tender age of 6), I have been crazy about Eurovision. From the regional native language bops and shrieky female-led balladry to the sophisticated avant garde pop songs and chart-friendly EDM, I love everything about this cultural phenomenon. I'm currently working as a Delivery Manager in a software development team.

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