29 year-old Finnish singer Saara Aalto rose to fame during her run on the X Factor UK in 2016, but fell short of winning the title to winner Matt Terry.
While she nearly went home before the live show, she ultimately made it back as Sharon Osbourne’s wildcard act.
Saara’s face was familiar to avid talent show fans in Europe, since she made multiple appearances on various talent shows. Some fans may remember her from when she represented Finland in the Eurovision singing contest in 2011, when she came in second in Finland’s Got Talent 2007, or her appearance on The Voice of Finland in 2012. She has also released five albums.
When Saara was chosen by Nicole Scherzinger as a wildcard she said,
“I’m so happy to get the wildcard from Nicole. She understood me from the first audition. This is the point that can change my life and I know I have so much to give.”
Even though she didn’t win The X Factor, she did come in a commendable second.
Here are some of the special performances during her run:
In October 2016 The Sun reported that Saara had booted her boyfriend, Finnish producer Teemu Roivainen, after a nine year relationship and began dating a female super-fan Meri Sopanen.
Finland just recently legalized same-sex marriage and Saara took to Twitter with this message:
Despite the breakup of their 9-year-long relationship, Saara and Teemu remain good friends, evidenced by the fact that he flew to England to support her in The X Factor final.