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MP! Exclusive: Fierce Finn Saara Aalto reveals why she could take home the ‘X Factor’ crown


Everyone loves a fighter.

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And fighters don’t come fiercer than Saara Aalto. That’s 5x the letter ‘a’ in her name, which means 5x the fighter.

She is one of the final four in this year’s edition of ‘The X Factor’ but she hasn’t had it easy by any stretch of the imagination. She made it to the final 12 only to struggle to gain popularity at first, winding up in the bottom three for the first two weeks. It seemed like her time in the competition would be brief, but since then she has shown that she is a true competitor and her home nation of Finland should be so proud.

We spoke to Saara about her ‘X Factor’ experience so far…

Hi Saara! First of all, a massive congrats on making it so far in the competition! That’s amazing.

Thanks! It is amazing because I never expected to get this far so I’m really excited.

What made you want to audition for ‘The X Factor’ in the first place?

I’ve always wanted to sing all over the world. I competed on ‘The Voice of Finland’ before and I thought that if I made it there, then someone would find me and take me to London to start a career. But that never really happened and in Finland I never really found my place because I wanted to sing in English and Finnish people don’t really want to hear that kind of music. My career didn’t really fly there so I tried to apply for Eurovision, but that didn’t really work out. So last February I was thinking of what to do and then I found out that there would be a new season of ‘The X Factor’ so I thought I’d give it a try and now here I am.

Find Saara’s Snapchat username, as well as thousands of others in our Snapchat Directory.

Well its obviously paid off. Is ‘The X Factor’ very different from ‘The Voice of Finland’?

Yes, very different. The budget is much bigger. On ‘The Voice of Finland’ I just stood and sang my songs, whereas here I get this big production and I get to work with the best people in the world. So it’s completely different.

We have to say that your performance of ‘My Heart All Go On’ was absolutely spellbinding.

Oh thank you.

Could you tell us about your experience on the show so far?

The first audition was probably the most memorable moment for me because I came straight from Finland and I was so afraid to sing in front of Simon Cowell. I thought he would just be mean to me. But then I sang my song ‘Chandelier’ and everybody loved it! I was so emotional because it felt like the first time in my life that someone appreciated me and the work that I had done. It was the best moment.

It was difficult when Sharon dropped me at the ‘Six Chair Challenge’ stage. I feel that was because she didn’t know me well. She wasn’t at my first audition so she didn’t have the bond with me and didn’t know who I was. I was so sad that it was ending like that, but then Nicole chose me as a wild card. That was another amazing moment and I couldn’t believe it! Now I’m here and every performance has been my favourite performance of all time. I couldn’t choose which is my favourite because every one means so much.

If you did make the final you’d have to choose one to sing again. 

I would definitely do ‘Chandelier’.

We’re glad to hear that. We loved that one. Who would you like to duet with in the final?

I have so many choices. Maybe Adam Lambert because he’s so theatrical and we could do a big number together. But I would also love to sing with Celine Dion and Lady GaGa. There are so many options.

And if you were to form a duet with someone from a past season of ‘The X Factor’ who would it be?

I would choose Leona Lewis because I was her fan when I was younger.

And someone from this season?

Well I’m closest to Kieran from 5 After Midnight, but everyone is constantly telling me to sing with Matt. I think our voice could go really well together.

If you were to release an album after what sound would you go for?

That’s a good question. I’m a very versatile artist so I would want to keep that in the album. So I think it would be pop music but with a unique edge. I’m a songwriter myself so I definitely want to co-write on the album. I’d love to write with Sia for example. And I’d want to show my vocal range while doing something quirky.

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How do you feel about flying the flag for Finland (that’s a tongue twister)?

Of course it’s my home country, but my dream now is to move here permanently. I’m happy that I’m from Finland because it’s very exotic and people here are very interested in it. Everybody here is always asking me about Finnish nature, weather and Lapland.

And Moomins!

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Yes and Santa Claus. I really feel like I have something new to bring to the music industry because I’m from Finland. There aren’t any Finnish artists who are singing internationally so I could fill that gap in the market. I like everything I can bring from Finland, but I would like to stay here in the UK.

You’re also representing the LGBT community in the competition! Could you tell us the story behind your girlfriend’s proposal?

Yes! I got engaged 3 months ago. We’d been together for 2 and a half years. She’s my soulmate and we really enjoy being together. She works for me as well, taking care of the Finnish press. We’re a team and we do everything together. She even buys my clothes because she has a much better sense of fashion. She’s just amazing.

That’s so cool! You guys are such a cute team. Good luck with the competition, Saara!

Thanks! It was nice to talk to you.

Let us know why you love Saara using the comments box below.

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Written by David Farrell

David is the Head of Content at Maximum Pop!

Having studied Russian and Spanish at the University of Leeds, David moved to Moscow to work in the education sector. Upon returning to UK soil, David initially immersed himself in the wonderful world of MP! as a music writer.

Now head of all things content, David takes being a music fanboy to a whole new level, and can often be found dancing like there's nobody watching to 'Shout Out To My Ex', obsessing over Lauren Jauregui and defending Taylor Swift's honour.

David once appeared on TV in Armenia. Apparently, "it was awesome".

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