‘X Factor UK’ Standout Saara Aalto, Queen of Singing Competitions

Justin Jenkins
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The X Factor star Saara Aalto rose to fame during her run on the UK version of the hit show back in 2016. The singer ended as the runner-up, losing to Matt Terry. Viewers were stunned by her performances and her powerful voice. Some would say that Saara was already a seasoned vet when it came to singing competition shows. Before hitting The X Factor stage, the singer was the runner-up on Talent Suomi, Finland’s version of Got Talent. The singer also came in second place on The Voice of Finland Season 1. She also placed second during the qualifying rounds for Eurovision in 2011.


Saara could arguably be considered the queen of singing competitions. It does not matter if she has been the runner-up multiple times, Saara has proven herself time and time again. Many found it odd that the singer auditioned for The X Factor in 2016. Saara had already released five albums and seen modest success.

The singer earned three yeses from judges Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, and Nicole Scherzinger after her flawless rendition of Sia’s “Chandelier.” Saara was mentored at bootcamp by judge Sharon Osbourne. During bootcamp she performed Donna Summer’s “On The Radio.”

After the six-chair challenge Saara was sent home by Osbourne for her lack of connection. The crowd was not happy. After the quick uproar, Saara was given another chance, but she dropped the ball with her song choice. The same crowd that wanted her to stay, turned on her. Saara had a third chance to compete as Scherzinger’s wildcard pick.


Saara had a rollercoaster ride during her time in the competition. She found herself in the bottom three multiple times. Saara needed to be saved by the lifeline vote and she didn’t win the public vote until the quarterfinals.

Saara Aalto’s Career

After coming in second on The X Factor UK, Saara signed a five album recording deal with Sony Music UK and Sony Music Finland. Challenges continued to face the singer when she left Sony Music in 2017. Saara had dreams of being a big theatrical artist, and unfortunately did not feel that Sony Music saw the same vision. This did not stop the powerhouse singer.

After leaving her label, Saara went back to compete in Eurovision Song Contest, representing Finland. She did not make much of an impression this time on the show. Saara’s career came full circle when she was asked to be a judge on the second season of Finland’s version of The X Factor. Saara proved that she was more than just a singer on competition shows, her mentee actually won the season. In 2018 the singer released her first album under her new deal with Warner Music Group.


It hasn’t been all about the music for Saara. The singer is a mother, and married Meri Sopanen in 2020. Her wife was once a fan. The couple currently lives in London. Saara’s career has seen her perform in front of 700 million people at Shanghai’s International Film Festival, to the stage performing some of music theaters biggest hits. Fans are eagerly awaiting for her follow up album to her 2018 project, Wild Wild Wonderland. In the meantime they can watch her 2020 video, “When The Sun Goes Down.”

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