Finnish entrant Saara Aalto comes out
Saara Aalto, the Finnish Eurovision entrant for this year, has come out in an interview with UK publication Pink News.
Aalto is arguably the highest profile artist in this year’s contest (well perhaps alongside our own Jessica Mauboy) after finishing runner-up in the 2016 edition of the X Factor UK.
She told Pink News that she was seen as too flamboyant in Finland and although has been in public with her girlfriend she is now “very proud to be lesbian”.
Aalto’s song ‘Monsters’ (below) was released earlier this year and she told Pink News it was about “living life as you want, finding your strength, being brave as who you are and not being afraid to show it.”
The song immediately grabbed the attention of fans particularly for its LGBT themed video clip.
Eurovision has a well known cult following among the LGBT community with the contest itself adapting to its fan base over time. Marija Stefinovic from Serbia wasn’t out at the time of her victory in 2007 with ‘Molitva’ but came out publicly a a number of years later. Conchita Wurst famously won the contest in 2014 despite outrage from some corners of Eastern Europe and we’ve had same-sex kisses from women in 2013 and men in 2015 plus the first out and proud bisexual artist Douwe Bob performing for the Netherlands in 2016.
So could Aalto be our first out lesbian winner in 2018? Well the bookies aren’t so sure ranking her 15th in the odds to take out the contest.
But the bookies don't decide the winner and among fans she’s proving to be very popular. On the ‘My Eurovision Scoreboard’ app her song 'Monster' is ranked no.4
Regardless of success in Eurovision or not, Aalto will have an impending wedding to look forward to with her finace Meri Sopanen. She told Pink News that “It’d be very nice to have a party, a celebration where we really commit to each other. It just feels very beautiful”.
Saara Aalto will perform for Finland in the first Eurovision semi final in Lisbon on May 8. Semi final qualifiers will perform in the Grand Final on Saturday 12 May.