Saara Aalto
Saara Aalto
Contestant Profile
Birth Date 2 May 1987
'Age 31
Hometown Helsinki, Finland
Occupation Singer
Voice actress


Category Over 25s
Mentor Sharon Osbourne
Placement 2/12
Saara Sofia Aalto (born 2 May 1987) is a Finnish singer from Helsinki who competed in Series 13 of The X Factor as part of the Over 25s mentored by Sharon Osbourne. Initially eliminated at the Six Chair Challenge she was chosen as a wildcard by Nicole Scherzinger. She reached the final, finishing as runner-up to Matt Terry.


A self-proclaimed "snow fairy", Saara began writing songs at the age of five and participated in several talent shows in her teens. She finished as runner-up in the first season of The Voice of Finland and as runner-up twice in the national finals for Eurovision. However, she failed to secure a record deal since record labels did not want her to sing in English. Together with her ex-boyfriend, she established her own label and funded her own releases. She decided to apply for The X Factor in the hope of boosting her career outside of her home country.

The X Factor

As Sharon Osbourne was absent during her audition, she impressed the remaining three judges with her rendition of Sia's "Chandelier" and successfully made it all the way through bootcamp and to the Six Chair Challenge. However, her performance underwhelmed the judges and the audience and she riled everyone up when she attempted to do a second song in French. She was eliminated at this stage but was given a second chance when Nicole Scherzinger selected her as a wildcard for judges' houses as part of the Over 25s category mentored by Sharon Osbourne. She was picked as one of her Top 3 for the live shows.

In Week 1, she landed in the Bottom 3 with Bratavio and Freddy Parker.  After Freddy was saved via the lifeline vote she faced Bratavio in the sing off but was saved 3-1 by the judges.

In Week 2, she again landed in the Bottom 3 with Freddy Parker and Ryan Lawrie. After Ryan was saved via the lifeline vote, she faced Freddy in the sing off and when the judges' vote was deadlocked, Freddy was eliminated.

She safely made it through the next two weeks but in Week 5 she landed in the Bottom 3 for the third time, this time alongside Four of Diamonds. She was saved 3-1 by the judges.

With the eliminations of Relley C in Week 3 and Honey G in Week 8, she is the last remaining act in her category.  She has also made history by being the first-ever act it to the semi final stage of the original show after being in the sing off in the first week.

After her performances in the semi finals, bookies made her the new favorite to win the series, overtaking Matt Terry who had been the favorite from the beginning of the live shows. She reached the finals along with Terry and boy band 5 After Midnight. She safely made it through to the second night of the final along with Terry and eventually finished as runner-up with only 8% separating the two finalists. Voting statistics published after show revealed that she had topped the vote on the first night of the final, marking the first time in the show's history that a competitor had topped the vote on the first night of the final but failed to go on to win the series.


Episode Theme Song Result
Audition Free choice "Chandelier" Advanced
Bootcamp Group performance "On the Radio" Advanced
Six Chair Challenge "I See Fire" Eliminated
Judges' houses Free choice "The Winner Takes It All" Advanced
Week 1 Express Yourself "Let It Go" Bottom three
Week 2 Motown "River Deep - Mountain High" Bottom three
Week 3 Divas "It's Oh So Quiet" Safe
Week 4 Fright Night "Bad Romance" Safe
Week 5 Girlband v Boyband "Sound of the Underground" Bottom three
Week 6 Disco "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" Safe
Week 7 Movies "My Heart Will Go On" Safe
Week 8 Louis Loves "The Winner Takes It All" Safe
Contestant's Choice "Diamonds Are Forever" / "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend"
Week 9: Semi Finals Christmas "All I Want for Christmas is You" Safe
Songs to get you to the final "Chandelier"
Week 10: Final Free choice "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" Safe
Celebrity duet "Bohemian Rhapsody" (with Adam Lambert)
Song of the series "It's Oh So Quiet" Runner-up
Contestant's Choice "I Didn't Know My Own Strength"

Post The X Factor

Following the final, Adam Lambert and British electronic group Clean Bandit expressed an interest in working with her.

On December 20, she confirmed in a press conference held in Helsinki that she had signed a joint deal with Sony Music Finland and Sony Music UK and hopes to collaborate with Sia. In early 2017, she embarked on her first solo tour, with X Factor winner and friend Matt Terry appearing onstage with her in Finland.

In summer 2017, she was confirmed as a judge on the Finnish version of The X Factor. In October, she confirmed that she had left Sony Music and signed a deal with Warner Music.

In November 2017, it was announced that she would be representing Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, making her the fifth 'X Factor UK' participant to take part in the Contest, following Andy Abraham, Jedward, Ruth Lorenzo and Lucie Jones.  In March 2018, it was announced that 'Monsters' would be the Finnish representative and she confirmed via social media that it would serve as her international debut single. At Eurovision, she reached the Grand Final, breaking Finland's three-year non-qualification streak, but only managed a 25th place in a field of 26.

On 27th April 2018, she released her debut international album Wild Wild Wonderland.



2017 "Monsters"

Series 13 Finalists
BratavioEmily Middlemas5 After MidnightFour of DiamondsFreddy ParkerGifty LouiseHoney GMatt TerryRelley CRyan LawrieSaara AaltoSam Lavery