Last night X Factor judge Simon Cowell described Saara Aalto‘s voice as dynamite, saying that he absolutely loves her.
And on Sunday night it became clear that the British public agree with him as they voted the Finnish singer through to the next round, helping her avoid the Bottom Three for the second week in a row.
Ahead of the announcement host Dermot O’Leary asked the judges to name their favourite and both Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne immediately said Saara (with Nicole Sherzinger and Simon Cowell going for Emily Middlemas).
Saara’s relief was obvious and she once again reacted by shrieking louder and longer than a cat in prolonged heat.
We can’t blame her. Winning over the UK audience hasn’t been easy, but she’s managed to do it through sheer grit and talent. Saara slays!
— wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) October 30, 2016
With Saara having made it through to the Top 8, she has seemingly confirmed her spot on next year’s X Factor live tour, which will see the top finalists touring all over the country. Yassss!
Speaking on Instagram after the show, Saara said:
“Thank you guys. Another week coming! I am just so grateful. I was so surprised when I heard my name on stage. It means I have you people. You behind me supporting me, sending me love, voting and everything. Now I feel like this is all unreal. I moved to London to do this show. I didn’t know anybody here. And now I have you people there behind me and I feel everything can come true….let’s work so hard for the next weekend. Let’s smash it then. Thank you!”
We react to Saara at Fright Night
On Saturday evening Saara was all about ghouls, goblins and Lady Gaga. Covering the star’s hit “Bad Romance”, she turned the stage into a cryptic church sanctuary, where she played a coffin-shaped organ while dancing and thrusting and still hitting the high notes.
Ditching the bubble-gum personality and bright pink everything from last week, she served mystery and darkness on a stage looking like a Corpse Bride.
From the macabre make-up that included painted stitches across her face to the Dominatrix-inspired bustier, this was totally over-the-top.
Following Saturday’s show — and some very positive remarks from the judges — a clearly ecstatic Saara took to Instagram to ask for your support.
“Ah, thank you so much! Oh my god, I loved my performance tonight because Brian and the music team and everybody worked so hard to put this show together. And I worked so hard with the dance routines and everything.”
“It was so much work. But I loved it and the judges loved it and I hope the audience loved it was well. And I hope you will hep me because I’m not safe. I’m not safe in this competition. I need your help and your support.”
Our readers react to Saara’s “Bad Romance”
As ever we shared news of Saara’s performance on our social media channels and overnight our readers had plenty of opinions to share.
Writing on our Facebook page Karl said: “Awful. Was like some really bad drag act.” But Klaus rushed to Saara’s defence: “It was fright night. It was supposed to be weird and she killed it, she slayed the vocals. The staging, the dance — it was amazing.”
Aaron gave his explanation as to why UK audiences have struggled to warm to her: “Us Brits aren’t used to people being that nice, sincere and humble, so to us she comes across as fake. Personally, I wish her nothing but luck and success.”
Saara continues to win over new fans. Writing on our web site, Chicken Kyiv said: “She was fantastic. Consider me a convert, didn’t like her the first 2 weeks but the most recent 2 weeks she’s done amazing. Although I did laugh when she said in her VT that in Finland they don’t really have scary things or go over the top. I was like, ‘Hello. What about Lordi?'”
Daisy suggested that Saara should perhaps mix things up by stepping away from all the crazy and over-the-top staging: “She did so great and her voice is the best one in the competition. Love how she is a talented performer as well and yet so humble. I wouldn’t be watching without her there, to me she is far ahead of the others. But I do fear she gets stuck in the kooky category and will not be taken so seriously. The outfits may not go down well with the voters either. Will doing big shows make her less relatable? She needs to connect to get the votes…Maybe a stripped down version next time and less of the show and not 30 dancers?”
And writing on our Instagram page, tonipastor1 compared her to Iceland’s outlandish Eurovision star Silvia Night, while Lilyk45 summed up a lot of your feelings: “Slaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, Queen Saara!”
The sing-off came down to girl group Four of Diamonds and fierce soul diva Gifty Louise.
Simon elected to send home Four of Diamonds, while Louis and Nicole opted to send home Gifty. It then came down to Sharon, who could kill off Gifty in one fell swoop. And she did. As Gifty hugged the girls on stage the audience booed Sharon’s controversial decision.
Gifty looked stone-faced during her recap montage. What happened? “I don’t know,” she said.
Simon then stepped in and took the blame: “It was my mistake, Gifty. I should never have given you that song. You shouldn’t be out of the competition at this point. It’s not you, it’s me.”
Teary eyed and struggling to speak, Gifty added: “I’ve enjoyed like every single moment of the experience.”