Finland – Saara in a spin


It’s time for Saara Aalto, and for us to see whether she’s improved the dog’s dinner of the presentation in the Finnish UMK. She has an illuminated, geometric shape with a highlighted decahedral design atop a double-sided set of steps that takes an age to set up. As they’re setting up Henrik says something about a waterfall! What are we going to get in this?

As it starts she’s behind the design, facing away from the stage. Here we have the spinning upside down element from Domino, the steps the promised element from Queens. Her dancers emerge just as she gets stuck mid-rotation, arse over-tit, but it’s only a momentary lapse. Her dancers emerge, and it transpires that the monsters they’re representing appear to be S&M Nazis. They’re in grey suits with calf-length jackboots and leather harnesses. It’s uncannily Third Reich. Has she heard of Godwin’s Law?

There are two male dancers – different from the scrawny pair she had in her London show last week – and two female, who also take up singing duties parade around her. At the end she mounts the steps again and falls backwards from it into the waiting arms of her male dancers. On the final run through we get a golden shower of pyro, plus three hand-held pyro flares. This gets an extra whoop from the assembled throng.

Despite the fact she’s been spun around and has potentially offended most of Europe, this is less busy, and far better, than in UMK. Saara’s voice has been given more of a starring role, and the flim-flam toned down. It’s working for me, and I’d say she’s back in the certain zone to qualify. Phew! Not sure if she has enough to win, but then isn’t Saara making a career out of coming second anyway?

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