Having to perform twice in one night was no issue for Saara Aalto. On Saturday, during X Factor’s “Louis Loves” Week, the Finnish singer earned a standing ovation from the judges and the audience for her stirring rendition of ABBA’s “The Winner Takes It All”. After that, she closed the show out with a bejewelled mash-up of “Diamonds Are Forever” and “Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend”.
Now — after being in the bottom two three times early in the series — Saara is proving to be the real diamond in the rough.
She sailed through to the semi-finals of the competition during Sunday’s results show. Not only that, but she has now topped the result of another foreign favourite — Spain’s Ruth Lorenzo — who went out at this stage in 2008.
Saara celebrated in her signature style, jumping up and down, shrieking and hugging Sharon Osborne — while pulling those faces. Her enthusiasm is infectious.
— wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) November 27, 2016
The show on Saturday was perfect to show off the two sides of Saara — serious and emotive on the one hand, and flashy and fun on the other.
Last week saw her stun with a stripped-back version of “My Heart Will Go On”. This week’s performance of “The Winner Takes It All” felt very similar, albeit with Saara at piano. In a tweet, Saara said this is the “most natural way for me to perform”. We have no doubts about that after this performance:
Her mash-up later in the evening was much heavier on staging, reminiscent of some of her earlier performances in the contest. Together, they showed how she could be the show’s complete package.
Not so lucky were 5 After Midnight and Honey G, who found themselves in the sing-off. In the end, it was the North Weezy rapper whose time had run out. Whilst Sharon opted to save her own act, the three other judges all opted to send her home.
Next week will see the remaining four acts — Saara, Matt, Emily and 5AM — tackle Christmas songs…in the first week of December. It’s the last step before the final: Do you think Saara Aalto can she make it? Can the snow fairy from Finland slay the holiday tunes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.