Fans are playing a continuous game of Where's Meri?
The further that X Factor contestants progress in the show, the more we usually find out about their personal lives – videotapes shot at their mum’s house, an emotional return to their old schools… you get the gist.
And one part of this personal life feature is a look into their significant others. Who doesn’t love a love story, right? However, show bosses have been questioned, and even criticised for being ‘homophobic’ for the lack of attention paid to the fiancée of finalist Saara Aalto.
Finnish artist Saara has been in a relationship with Meri Sopanen since 2013, and recently decided to step their romance up a level by getting engaged. However, some viewers have serious questions about why Meri hasn’t yet been featured on the show, when other contestants’ love lives have been front and centre…
‘Why hasn’t Saara Aalto’s girlfriend made an appearance in her VTs yet?’ asked one fan, while another was shocked to have not known about the singer’s loved-up status before then: ‘Did anyone else not know Saara had a girlfriend? Why is this never shown?’
However, Saara’s in no way shy about expressing her love via social media and in press interviews, recently opening up about the way that Meri popped the question back in August, on their second anniversary.
‘I washed off my make-up, put on my pyjamas and sat on the sofa,’ Saara began to OK! magazine. ‘She just said, “Oh, we had a lovely day…” Then, “Will you marry me?”
‘I was like, “You can’t do it when I look like this!” So for me, it was a surprise!’
Bosses at The X Factor have now responded to fan concerns about ‘hiding’ Saara’s love life, and claim that it isn’t ‘relevant’ to her work as a performer, telling the Sun on Tuesday:
‘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 in the show.’