The X Factor is a long-running TV talent show franchise that has been the origin of many Eurovision contestants in recent years. This year ten artists have a history on one of those talent shows, including one winner and one runner-up. Let’s take a look.
Australia: Isaiah Firebrace – The X Factor (Australia)
Isaiah was a contestant on the most recent Australian series of The X Factor, which he went on to win. He was mentored by Adam Lambert and charmed Australia with his smoky, soulful voice. Here is Isaiah’s grand final performance of Beyoncé’s “Halo”.
Austria: Nathan Trent – X Factor (Germany)
In 2011, Nathan was a contestant on the German edition of X Factor. He auditioned as a solo artist, but the judges paired him up with singer Daniel Leitner to form the dubiously titled duo Boys II Hot. They didn’t make it far in the live shows — their week one performance of “When Will I Be Famous” failed to win over viewers and made them the first act to be sent home.
Watch their performance here. But we totally understand if you just want to gaze at this amazing photo for a while.
Bulgaria: Kristian Kostov – X Factor (Bulgaria)
After getting his start on the Russian edition of The Voice Kids, Kristian Kostov appeared on X Factor in Bulgaria in 2015. The 15-year-old soon became a teen heartthrob and made it all the way to the grand final, where he placed as the runner-up. Here’s his performance of Bruno Mars’ “Lazy Song”.
Cyprus: Hovig – The X Factor (Greece & Cyprus)
Hovig was a contestant on series two of the Greece and Cyprus version of The X Factor in 2009. He placed seventh on the series. That year also featured Ivi Amadou and Eleftheria Eleftheriou, who would go on to represent Cyprus and Greece respectively at Eurovision 2012. Here Hovig sinks his teeth into the soul classic “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”.
Finland: Leena Tirronen (Norma John) – X Factor Finland
Before teaming up with Lasse Piirainen to form the duo Norma John, vocalist Leena was a contestant on the Finnish edition of the X Factor. In 2010 she participated in the first and only Finnish series of the international franchise. Leena placed third on the show, which launched her music career. Videos from the show are hard to find, but here’s a bootleg of one of Leena’s performances.
Montenegro: Slavko Kalezic – X Factor Adria
In 2013, after auditioning with a Beyonce song, Slavko only made it as far as the Judges’ Houses on X Faktor. But that wasn’t the end of his journey. The show trialled him as the live show host, and returned to the semi-final in both 2014 and 2015 to perform his singles “Krivac” and “Feel the Love”. Previous Eurovision stars to come from X Factor Adria are series one winner Daniel Kajmakoski (FYR Macedonia 2015) and series two finalists Highway (Montenegro 2016).
Romania: Ilinca feat. Alex Florea – X Factor (Romania)
Ilinica was a contestant on X Factor Romania in 2013. She was part of the vocal harmony girl group Quattro. But things didn’t go so well for them. While they made it to the live shows, Quattro were eliminated in the first week.
Alex had better luck on the show the following year. In 2014, he made it to the live shows in the Over 20s category. He was known for his big rock performances, which included Robbie Williams’ “Let Me Entertain You”. Alex placed seventh on the series.
Russia: Julia Samoylova – Faktor A (Russia)
In 2013, Julia competed in the third series of Faktor A. She was mentored by the Russian radio personality Roman Emelyanov, and went to to finish as the series runner-up. Here Julia shows her Eurovision skills with a powerful performance of Marija Serifovic’s “Molitva”.
United Kingdom: Lucie Jones – The X Factor
In 2009, at the age of 18, Lucie made it to the live shows of The X Factor UK. She was mentored by Dannii Minogue, who later mentored Dami Im in The X Factor Australia.. Lucie placed eighth in the series, and was controversially eliminated by the public vote in a deadlock against Jedward. Here’s Lucie’s emotional audition performance of “I Will Always Love You”.
Who is your favourite X Factor star at Eurovision 2017?
Which of these acts is your favourite? Have your say by voting in our poll. You can vote for as many acts as you like, but you can only vote once — so choose carefully!
Coming soon: We’ll also be taking a look at Eurovision 2017 artists who have found fame on other talent show, including Idol.