The thirteenth series of the X-Factor UK has been all over the place. From ridiculous selections and reshuffling for ‘entertainment’ purposes during the Six Chair Challenge, to bringing back a number of eliminated contestants who hadn’t previously got through at Judges’ Houses. Then there’s the vague themes the acts are given each week for the live shows that are not particularly subscribed to. For example how is Vanilla Ice a Diva? Unlikely star Honey G has gained a cult following, despite accusations of racial appropriation when the white female singer from London performs hits in the style of black male rappers like Tupac, Coolio and Notorious BIG. There was of course the controversy surrounding the Brooks’ ejection from the show for one of the brothers allegedly beating his girlfriend. While more recently the show has come under scrutiny for vote rigging. X-Factor continues to be very transparent, predictable, exploitative and has surely had its day. One ray of hope however was this week’s performance from UMK runner up Saara Aalto.
Despite giving some solid performances in the live shows, Finnish singer Saara Aalto found herself in the bottom three in the first two results show. Although she was saved by the judges on both occasions, Saara has had to suffer the embarrassment of her mentor Sharon Osborne not only forgetting the country that she is from but also on one occasion she failed to remember her name while introducing her for the sing off.
Week three however saw Saara return to the stage with gusto performing Bjork’s ‘It’s So Quiet’ complete with an Alice in Wonderland inspired staging effort. The judges quipped how she had impressed with Louis stating ‘Wow! Saara! What happened up there? That was amazing!’, while Nicole stated ‘That was all Bs baby! It was bonkers! It was bizarre! It was bananas and you know how much I love bananas!’ Simon Cowell’s critique made a bit more sense when he said ‘This is what we’ve been waiting for! This is you! It was like the Saara concert!’
And the performance paid off with Saara not being announced as one of the acts in the bottom three for the first time in sunday night’s result show. Instead, after Ryan Lawrie was saved by the last minute app vote, it was returning girl band 4 of Diamonds battling against one of Sharon’s other acts Relly C. All judges but Sharon saved the girl band and Relly C went home with allegations of vote rigging from the public.
Saara Aalto was ecstatic with the result and expressed her surprise on her twitter account the next day.
Guest performances on the night came from reformed 00s boy band Busted, American pop phenomenon Shawn Mendes and guest vocal coach for the week John Legend. Do you have a favourite X-Factor contestant from this series vote in our poll and tell us in the comments why they’re your favourite!