We’ve already looked at Eurovision 2017 stars who found fame on The Voice or X Factor (and sometimes both!), but that’s not all. Eleven stars from this year’s Eurovision lineup have had experiences on television talent shows, including Idol. Let’s take a look!
Albania: Lindita Halimi – American Idol
After establishing her music career in Albania, Lindita aimed high and auditioned on the final series of American Idol in 2016. Her big voice impressed judges Harry Connick Jr, J. Lo and Keith Urban, who put her through to the next round. Lindita was eliminated in the final 51, but that meant she was free to go on and win Festivali i Këngës 55.
FYR Macedonia: Jana Burceska – Macedonian Idol
In 2010, Jana Burceska was a contestant on the first — and to date the only — series of Macedonian Idol. Two-time Macedonian Eurovision representative Kaliopi was one of the show’s judges. Jana placed fifth on Idol and was the highest-placed female contestant. She proved to be a versatile performer, tackling pop, soul, country and rock. Here Jana performs Aretha Franklin’s soul classic “Think”.
Portugal: Salvador Sobral – Idolos (Portuguese Idol)
In 2009, at the age of 19, Salvador was a contestant on Portuguese Idol. He proved himself a versatile, delivering songs in a variety of genres and in both Portuguese and English, and eventually placed seventh. Salvador’s sister and “Amar pelos dois” composer Luisa Sobral was a contestant on Idol in 2003, where she placed third.
Sweden: Robin Bengtsson – Idol (Sweden)
Just like Loreen, Måns Zelmerlöw, Anna Bergendahl and Robin Stjernberg, Robin also got his start on Swedish Idol. He competed in the 2008, where he came third. Series winner Kevin Borg and runner-up Alice Svensson also made national final appearances this year, for Malta and Sweden respectively. Here’s Robin delivering Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn”.
Poland: Kasia Mos – Must be the Music/Tylko Muzyka
Polish diva Kasia Mos got her start in 2012 on the Polish talent show Must Be the Music – Tylko Muzyka. She placed third on the show which was enough to launch her music career. Here is a clip from Kasia’s audition, where she impressed the judging panel with her performance of the soul classic, “Natural Woman”.
San Marino: Jimmie Wilson – Must Be the Music/Tylko Muzyka
American-born, German-based singer Jimmie Wilson has twice missed out on making the finals of Poland’s Tylko Muzyka. His first appearance was in 2012 — which Kasia Mos went on to win. He then returned in 2015 and again missed out on making the final cut. Here he is performing “So Damn Beautiful” from his 2015 appearance.
Austria: Nathan Trent – Kiddy Contest (Austria)
In 2003, aged around 11, Nathan was a contestant on the Austrian children’s talent show Kiddy Contest. He placed ninth on the series with his ode to football, “Fußball”. He’s not the first Eurovision star to appear on Kiddy Contest — four years later, Zoë placed fourth on the show.
Georgia: Tako Gachechiladze – Erti Ertshi (Your Face Sounds Familiar – Georgia)
The very versatile Tako “Tamara” Gachechiladze showcased her many talents on the celebrity impersonation show Your Face Sounds Familiar. She won her series in 2014, which included this show-stopping performance of Conchita Wurst’s “Rise Like a Phoenix”.
Hungary: Joci Pápai – Megasztár
Joci Pápai found fame 12 years ago on the Hungarian talent show Megasztár, the show that also launched the career of András Kállay-Saunders. While Joci was eliminated in an early round, his appearance on the show was enough to get him started in the music business. In this video, a shave-headed Joci is profiled in a VT, then he performs a bluesy song live in the studio.
Malta: Claudia Faniello – Hotspot
Back in 2005, Claudia Faniello got her start on the Maltese talent show Hotspot, where she finished fourth. The show immediately launched Claudia’s music career and the following year she made her first appearance in Malta’s national final for Eurovision. Here’s Claudia’s audition for the show, where she absolutely nails the sultry “Black Velvet”.
Slovenia: Omar Naber – Bitka Talentov
Back in 2004, Omar Naber was a contestant on Bikta Talentov (Battle of the talents). He ended up winning the series, and went on to represent Slovenia at Eurovision for the first time the following year. Here he sings with the finalists on their group song “Vsi za enega” (All for one).
Who is your favourite talent show star at Eurovision 2017?
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