Over the past few weeks, escXtra has been following Saara Aalto’s journey on the UK version of The X Factor and we have been engaging with you all via our Facebook page and our Twitter feed (make sure you have liked and followed us!). Seeing as today is still just Throwback Thursday, let’s recap Saara’s X Factor journey so far as she approaches the halfway point of the live shows phase this weekend.
The Early Rounds
Eurovision fans are familiar with Saara after she twice finished second in Finland’s Eurovision national selection. In 2011, Saara performed Blessed With Love and in 2016 she returned with No Fear. When Saara turned up at the X Factor auditions which were broadcast throughout August and September, many Eurovision fans were delighted. After dramatic events at the Six Chair Challenge, Saara was reinstated into the show via a wildcard. She then successfully navigated her way to the live shows after impressing her mentor Sharon Osbourne in the “judges’ houses” phase of the competition.
The First Live Show: “Express Yourself”
In the first live show, the theme was for the artists to “express themselves”. Saara, who had previously dubbed a lead character for the Finnish version of blockbuster movie Frozen, chose to cover Idina Menzel’s Let It Go. It is a song she can sing in over 15 languages but, for The X Factor, she changed things up by using a brand new darker arrangement that still showcased her powerhouse vocals. Unfortunately for Saara, she struggled to get the public on side. She found herself in the bottom two where she had to sing-off against Bratavio. However, the judges and the audience were wowed by her sensational cover of Sia’s Alive and Saara was chosen to progress to the second live show.
The Second Live Show: “Motown”
The second live show had a Motown theme, and Saara covered the classic Ike & Tina Turner track River Deep, Mountain High. Despite another fantastic vocal performance where it was obvious how much Saara was enjoying performing for the audience, she still wasn’t able to connect to the viewers at home and once against found herself in the sing-off. Another emotional performance, this time of Leona Lewis’ Run, convinced the judges to revert back to the public vote. It was then revealed Saara had received more public votes than her opponent, Freddy Parker, thus progressed to the third live show.
The Third Live Show: “Divas and Legends”
After two consecutive appearances in the sing-off Saara had it all to prove. Meanwhile, he UK public had already started to connect to Saara after her exceptional performances of Alive and Run. The public just needed one more nudge, and the Diva themed third live show proved perfect for our Finnish favourite. Saara covered Björk’s It’s Oh So Quiet to rapturous applause from the audience. A standing ovation from the judges followed and Saara sailed through to week four on public votes alone! Her performance has recently passed a staggering 2 million views on YouTube. This is now the most watched video of any contestant’s live show performances this year. In fact, aside from Honey G, Saara is the only contestant to have achieved over 1 million views with a live show performance. But, unlike Honey G, she has managed this an unbelievable five times!
The Fourth Live Show: “Fright Night”
Saara went into the fourth live show, Fright Night, knowing the British public were finally on her side. Her cover of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance was once again received very positively by the crowd. The judges thought likewise, who gave her yet another standing ovation. The voting public also agreed, and she was through to the fifth week of the live shows and into the final 8 of the competition!
This weekend the theme is Boybands vs. Girlbands and Saara has told us via her Facebook page that her choreography is “so epic again!” and that the theme is her “favourite so far”. We can’t wait to see what she has in store!
How far do you think Saara can go? Remember that viewers with the free X Factor app have five free votes per device to use each weekend. So make sure you support Saara!
News source: ITV // Image source: ITV
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