X Factor's Saara Aalto feared coming out but has had 'nothing but love' from fans

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Saara Aalto has admitted she feared coming out after dating her girlfriend for 18 months.

The Finnish singer has confessed how she hid her partner before opening up about her sexuality.

And the reaction, says Saara, couldn't have been more positive.

"I was dating [my girlfriend] Meri for about a year and I was hiding her," Saara confessed. “It was so stupid. I was taking selfies and always pretending I was by myself when of course I had my girlfriend next to me."

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The pair made their relationship public in a Facebook post: "We were so nervous. But it was good.

“Everybody loved it. I didn’t get a single negative comment. Everybody was so positive. We were the first gay female couple to come out in Finland.

"If she wasn’t here with me in the UK I couldn’t do it," Saara added to the Daily Star newspaper.

While Saara is positive about the relationship, the show has been accused of failing to acknowledge Saara's sexuality and her engagement, with GayStarNews recently questioning why her partner has never appeared on the show.

But an X Factor source 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 in show."

At the end of the day, it is a singing show...

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Saara is one of three acts that remain in the X Factor 2016 with the race to the final is on.

It's shaping up to be the closest run EVER with all three having both been top of the vote and in the sing off.

The X Factor is back next Saturday and Sunday on ITV from 8PM.

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