X Factor’s Saara Alto confirmed for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest

Saara Aalto

Saara Aalto is perform in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest.

The former X Factor star has long dreamed of competing in the continent’s biggest singing competition.

And now she looks set to achieve her dream – after revealing she has been picked to represent her home country of Finland.

The Finnish singer, who is engaged to her girlfriend, had been in talks with BBC bosses to represent the UK.

She’s now opted to sing for her country of birth, Finland, in next year’s contest in Lisbon.

Saara told The Sun: “I am very honoured and very excited to be representing Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest next year.

“Because I did so well in X Factor UK, Finland were really keen to have me.

“It has always been my dream to do Eurovision since I was a child.”

She added: “I’ve tried to get to Eurovision many times in Finland – this is my fifth time lucky.

“I have really wanted this for years so I am very, very excited and I think this is the perfect timing for it.

“All the experience from X Factor UK I can use that – I know what I’m doing on a big stage.

“It’s very exciting and it’s going to be my biggest performance yet.”

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Despite standing against the UK entry in next year’s contest, Saara is hopeful British fans will still back her.

“It’s still something I’ll do for my British fans as well as my British fans can vote for me you know,” she told the newspaper.

“They couldn’t vote for me if I did it for Britain.

“Lots of people were voting for me on X Factor UK so I’m excited we can now do it again.

“It’s like going back to X Factor but it’s even bigger because Eurovision has so many more viewers.”

The X Factor runner-up had previously been considering representing the UK, saying last week: “There have been talks with the BBC, they really want me to do it.

“I love Eurovision so I have been searching for the right opportunity to be part of it.

“It’s just whether I should do it for the UK or Finland or some other country. But the UK is my home now.

“It would be quite fun, Eurovision has always been a dream of mine.”

She might have pitched for a different country in a bid to avoid receiving nul-pwa.

The UK’s last entrant, Lucie Jones, limped home in a lack-lustre 15th place after facing a backlash for the Brexit vote.