On Saturday she served Japanese geisha realness in her over-the-top rendition of Girls Aloud’s “Sound of the Underground”.
And while her arresting performance certainly turned heads, Finnish singer Saara Aalto once again found herself in the bottom two sing-off against girl group Four of Diamonds.
Saara, who faced sing-offs during the first two weeks of the live shows, used her experience to her advantage, delivering an emotionally wrought performance of Jessie J’s “Who You Are”.
It helped that Four of Diamonds struggled with their rendition of “When You Believe”, which was pitchy, even if full of passion.
Louis Walsh voted to save his group, while Nicole Sherzinger, Sharon Osbourne and Simon Cowell all voted for the Finnish starlet.
Following the result Saara could be heard saying “I’m sorry” repeatedly to the fallen girl group.
On Saturday’s show Saara revealed that appearing on The X Factor had led to her being taking more seriously back home in Finland, with a Finnish TV crew coming out to visit her. Her quirky style was becoming more accepted. As Saara explained, “Finnish people see it’s okay to be different.”
On stage, Saara delivered a bold, extravagant performance of “Sound of the Underground”, with staging inspired by Japanese style.
Following on from last week’s hair transformation, Saara wore a giant, towering black wig. Her wardrobe included a pink kimono, which Saara later removed to reveal a corset top.
Ahead of Sunday’s reveal show, a lot of our readers were concerned about Saara’s chances of advancing direct to next week’s show.
“The outfit was horrendous,” Gav wrote. “Everything masked the great vocal. Lots of mentioning she was from Finland this week again. All stacking up to not a promising Sunday night. Vote to save the real Saara.”
Plenty of our readers found the performance underwhelming — not because of Saara, but because of the song itself.
“Very hard to succeed with a song like this, it’s not a song for live performances,” Nitzan said. “Still it was fun and good thanks to the staging and Sarah’s steady vocals.”
Briekimchi put blame squarely on producers and mentor Sharon: “They do not pick good songs for her at all. This was pretty bad. I have no idea what the staging had to do with the song.”