X Factor denies ignoring Saara Aalto’s same-sex fiancée
The X Factor has denied that it has sought to downplay the fiancée of frontrunner Saara Aalto.
The Finnish pop sensation is the hot favourite to win the contest this weekend, having made it to the final three.
However, though the show has dedicated extensive focus to the personal lives and relationships of some contestants in pre-song VTs, the singer’s engagement to Meri Sopanen has gone nearly entirely unmentioned.
Some fans have even accused producers of homophobia, for allegedly playing down the singer’s bisexuality.
One fan wrote: “Why do they never show Saara with her girlfriend? Do they want to hide that side of her?”
Another added: “Did anyone else not know Saara had a girlfriend? Why is this never shown?”
Speaking to Digital Spy, an X Factor insider denied the show had actively avoided the singer’s relationship, claiming it was “not relevant” – despite extensive focus on the significant others of some contestants.
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They said: “Saara is totally comfortable with her sexuality and has been very open about it in interviews and on social media, but it isn’t a defining factor for her in The X Factor.
“As with any other contestant, Saara’s sexuality isn’t relevant to her performances which are the main focus on the show.”
A number of LGBT singers who have appeared on the programme in the past only came out after the show finished.
X Factor judge Louis Walsh recently admitted he used to try and keep singers he represented in the closet, often planting fake stories without their knowledge.
He confessed: “I married [Boyzone singer] Stephen Gately off to so many people, because Stephen didn’t want anyone to know he was gay at the start.
“At that time it wasn’t cool to be gay and be in a boyband, because the girls had to like him.”