Earlier in the summer, we traveled down memory lane to review 10 Eurovision artists who first found fame on TV talent shows. We watched Margaret Berger, Jedward and Tom Neuwirth (aka, Conchita Wurst without the wig) make their first foray into showbiz. But you guys wanted to see more—and your wish is our command. So, without further ado, here are ten more Eurovision stars who found fame on talent shows.
Jonatan Cerrada (France 2004)
Jonatan rose to prominence in 2003, when he won A La Recherche De La Nouvelle Star—the French version of Idol. He auditioned with the Jackson 5 song “I Want You Back” and his dance moves furthered the stereotype that white men can’t dance. When Jonatan performed on the Eurovision stage a year later, he sung a ballad and stood in place, surrounded by backing dancers headed to a Gothic wedding. What a difference a year makes…
Hanna Pakarinen (Finland 2007)
Ten year ago, Hanna won the first edition of Idols. She went on to become one of the top 50 best-selling female solo artists in Finland. (Please don’t joke that there are only 50 female solo artists in Finland—the country has 5.4 million people). She’s a diva of pop and pop-rock, and you can hear that in her Eurovision entry Leave Me Alone, which climbed the charts in Sweden.
Elena Temnikova (Russia 2007)
I know, the quality of the video isn’t that great, but I wanted you guys to hear this duet between Elena and another Star Factory competitor. Elena was the lead singer of the group Serebro, which sang for Russia in Helsinki. They were the girls with those amazing lyrics: “Oh! Don’t call me funny bunny, I’ll blow your money money, I’ll get you to my bad ass, Spinning for you.”
Hind (The Netherlands 2008)
This confident 18-year-old is the Dutch singer Hind Laroussi. She found fame in the first editition of Idols in 2003. The jury loved her, saying that they could listen to her sing all day. She managed to make the semi-final, ultimately placing third. Eurovision didn’t go so well. Despite a flash of thigh, she finished 13th in her semi-final, so missed out on Saturday’s show.
Ivi Adamou ( Cyprus 2012)
La la love is a guilty pleasure for countless Eurovision fans, myself included. Ivi gave a great performance, even if her voice sounded a bit hoarse and led us to create the The Ivi Adamou Award for Worst Live Vocals. Nevertheless, she participated in the Greek version of X Factor and managed to come sixth. Don’t ask me how…
Ott Lepland ( Estonia 2012)
Ott won the first version of the Estonian Idol, Eesti Otsib Superstaari. The same stirring vocals, dashing good looks and stage presence that ultimately helped him place sixth at Eurovision were already on show. Here’s a man who understands emotion.
Loreen (Sweden 2012)
You might not recognise her without her black clothes and sleek long hair with bangs, but this girl is Loreen, performing on the Swedish version of Pop Idol in 2004. You probably won’t see her in pink clothes ever again, and you most certainly won’t see her in this Pink Monster (it was probably killed by producers afterwards). This may shock some of you, but I have to admit that I really like her old hairdo. She ended up finishing fourth.
Marco Mengoni (Italy 2013)
Jonatan Cerrada isn’t the only one who tried to seduce the judges with his Michael Jackson dance moves. Marco, who won the Italian version of X Factor, proved that he could bust a move with the best of them. Be sure to watch the last 15 seconds of his performance, when he puts the cherry on the cake with a choreographed crotch-grab.
Nikolas Raptakis (Greece 2014)
Nikolas finished as first runner-up in our 2014 search for Eurovision’s Next Top Male Model. According to our readers, he’s hot, but boy has he changed. He looked totally different when he auditioned for X Factor in 2009. His looks aren’t the only thing that improved. Check out his voice…
Jessica Mauboy ( Australia 2014)
Okay, I’m cheating a little by showing Jessica’s audition. She isn’t an official Eurovision contestant but she did sing on the Eurovision stage which does make her a Eurovision star. And guys: you must admit that she is amazing! Can you believe that she is only 16 here?! She was the runner up on Australian idol.
Which audition is your favourite and which one suprised you the most? Let us know in the comments box below!