Plenty of Eurovision stars come from big-name franchise talent shows like The Voice or Idol, but other have got their start on other shows. Here are eight of this year’s acts who got a career boost from appearing on a television talent show.

Austria: Zoë (Kiddy Contest)

In 2007, at the age of 10, Zoë competed in the Austrian kids’ talent show Kiddy Contest. She performed a cover of “Engel ohne Flügel”.

Belarus: Ivan (Clash of the Choirs)

In 2013, Alexander “Ivan” Ivanov competed in the Russian version of Clash of the Choirs. His choir, from St Petersburg, came second in the competition. Here they are giving an emotional performance.

https://youtu.be/OUylxxXh2C0

Hungary: Freddie (Rising Star)

In 2014, under his birth name Gábor Alfréd Fehérvári, Freddie competed on the Hungarian version of the Rising Star talent show where he placed fourth. There don’t seem to be any videos of his Rising Star performances, but here’s the audio only of his performance of “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic.

Israel: Hovi Star (A Star is Born)

While winning a talent show is what got Hovi Star to Eurovision, he got his start on another show. Back in 2009 Hovi “Star” Sekulets appeared on Kokhav Nolad (A Star Is Born). He was one of the stand-out performers of the series, and after he was eliminated, the public voted him back (…and eliminated him again). Here he is duetting with the series’ third-place-getter (and Israel’s 2014 ESC singer) Mei Finegold.

Netherlands: Douwe Bob (The Best Singer-Songwriter in the Netherlands)

In 2012, Douwe Bob won De beste singer-songwriter van Nederland (The Best Singer-Songwriter in the Netherlands), which launched his career as a, er, singer-songwriter in the Netherlands. His winning song “Multicolored Angels” was a chart hit.

Romania: Ovidiu Anton (Star School)

He might not be in competition anymore, but Ovidiu Anton has been performing for over 10 years. In 2005, he appeared on the long-running Romanian youth talent show Scoala vedetelor (Star School) – the show where Calin Goia from Voltaj got his start a decade prior. Ovidiu credits the show for launching his career as a rock performer. Here are some highlights.

Spain: Barei (Benidorm Song Festival)

In 2001, Barei competed in the Benidorm Song Festival, as part of the duo Dos Puntos. Their song “Abrazo del tiempo” placed second in the competition, with — Eurodrama alert! — first prize controversially going to a song that was suspiciously like an earlier release by the same artist. Here is Dos Puntos with their entry.

Ukraine – Jamala (New Wave)

With her avant-garde jazz style, Jamala wasn’t the sort of performer who’d usually do well in the international New Wave contest. But she soon won over audiences with her eclectic style and ending up jointly winning the contest along with the Indonesian act. Here’s her delightfully weird rendition of “History Repeating”. And, hey, the show host looks rather familiar…

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Italiano
Italiano
4 years ago

And Francesca Michielin in 2012 won the 5th edition of X-Factor in Italy!!!

Maria
Maria
4 years ago

Barei is so young in this video!! She is very beautiful, 12 points to Barei! I also love Ivan

Premsl
Premsl
4 years ago

You forgot about Michal Szpak who took part in polish X-Factor 🙂

sonic0201
sonic0201
4 years ago

“Freddie – Pioneer (LIVE) – Nagy szinpad”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ii4bqNW2Vmw (TV recording)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVACnKw3m6I (phone recorded)
I do not own these videos!

cheesecake
cheesecake
4 years ago

Oh my god, I can actually remember Zoë’s performance. I was 9 or 10 back then! 🙂

elis
elis
4 years ago

Ok, i dont know why my previous comment doesnt appear =) Please, add info about Sergey Lazarev about his (his group SMASH!!) winning at New Wave song contest in 2002, which gave them millions of fans. They had two perfomances with later big hit songs – Belle and Talk to me.

meaw
meaw
4 years ago

What about Jüri Pootsmann? He won Estonian Idol in 2015.

Tom
Tom
4 years ago

Holy Crap Jamala you are wonderful

Kate
Kate
4 years ago
OR
OR
4 years ago

Hovi also participate at the current israeli american idol show and won..this his audition :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_p0LH8KYM4M
HOVI IS AMAZING!!

sigi
sigi
4 years ago

@Dous21
yep…Mirjam Weichselbraun

Walter
Walter
4 years ago

You forgot Sergey Lazarev. Before joining Vlad Topalov in SMASH! he was a part of Neposedi, a children’s Pop group which t.A.T.u were also a part of. He got selected after taking part in Bravo Bravissimo, a very popular talent show for kids in the 90s. I believe he even won the international final of the show in Italy, but I’m sure someone else can confirm that.

Dous21
Dous21
4 years ago

01:51 of the ZOË’s video.

Is that one of the girls that hosted Eurovision last year? Am I right?

So funny to see them all and how they’ve changed..

OR
OR
4 years ago

Hovi just amazing singer!!! hovi you are the real star of the eurovision!!!

sigi
sigi
4 years ago

ZOE’s song “Engel Ohne Flügel” is not a cover version from ESC-Nicole. The original song is from Mark Medlock and is called “Now Or Never”. ZOE performed a german version from Medlock’s song.