|Birth Date||2 May 1987|
|Occupation|| Singer |
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 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.
|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 fourth 'X Factor UK' participant to take part in the Contest, following Andy Abraham, Jedward 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.
|Series 13 Finalists|
|Bratavio • Emily Middlemas • 5 After Midnight • Four of Diamonds • Freddy Parker • Gifty Louise • Honey G • Matt Terry • Relley C • Ryan Lawrie • Saara Aalto • Sam Lavery|