Over the last six months, our focus was firmly on Eurovision 2021 and the acts who were taking part in this year’s contest. However, several past Eurovision stars were keeping themselves busy by competing on other TV talent shows.
From Let’s Dance, to The Masked Singer and All Together Now, these Eurovision singers of yesteryear have been aiming for success in a variety of primetime programmes.
In case you missed them in the midst of Eurovision season, here’s a roundup of what these stars have been up to.
Eurovision stars on TV talent shows in 2021
Zlata Ognevich wins The Masked Singer Ukraine
Eurovision 2013 star Zlata Ognevich spent the first three months of the year competing in another singing competition. But, we didn’t know it was her until the very final episode. Zlata appeared on the premiere season of Маска – the Ukrainian version of The Masked Singer franchise – where she competed as Sontse (Sun). Zlata made it all the way to the grand final and was ultimately crowned the winner of the show.
The Ukrainian singer performed a variety of songs during her time on the programme. This included Tina Turner’s James Bond theme tune “Golden Eye”, and also “My Heart Will Go On”, which was originally recorded by Eurovision 1988 winner Céline Dion.
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Zlata wasn’t the only past Eurovision star to feature in this debut season of Маска. Ukraine’s 2003 contestant Oleksandr Ponomaryov was unmasked as Lev (Lion). He was knocked out at the half-way point.
Meanwhile, Anastasia Prikhodko, who represented Russia at Eurovision 2009, reached the semi-final. There, she was unmasked as Babka (Dragonfly).
The show was presented by Eurovision 2017 host Volodymyr Ostapchuk, while the panel included Andriy Danylko (aka Verka Serduchka of Eurovision 2007).
Carola struts her stuff on Let’s Dance Sweden
There was much excitement when Eurovision 1991 champion and Swedish icon Carola was announced as one of the contestants for the 16th season of Let’s Dance Sverige – the Swedish version of Strictly Come Dancing / Dancing With The Stars. Partnered with professional dancer Tobias Karlsson, Carola got off to a flying start and earned the highest score in the first week of the competition.
The Swedish star remained a strong competitor and even scored a perfect score of 30 for her Paso Doble during the fifth show, which was dedicated to Eurovision 1974 winners ABBA. Unfortunately, a few days later, Carola announced that she was withdrawing from the competition. After five weeks of constant rehearsals, she was diagnosed with fatigue syndrome. Not wanting to push her body to the limit, she decided to put her own health first and retire from the competition.
Another star competing on the show that Eurovision fans would no doubt recognise was Anis Don Demina. He competed at Sweden’s national final Melodifestivalen in 2019 and 2020.
Anis’ journey on Let’s Dance Sverige was a bit of a bumpy one. The Swedish rapper found himself in the bottom two on three occasions. However, he and dance partner Katja Luján Engalholm persevered and managed to make it all the way to the grand final. They ultimately finished as the runners-up.
Let’s Dance Sverige was presented this year by Eurovision 2013 and 2016 host Petra Mede, as well as three-time Melodifestivalen star David Lindgren.
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Cesár Sampson hides his face on The Masked Singer Austria
The Masked Singer Austria returned for its second season at the start of the year. After being a guest panellist on the first season, this time Cesár Sampson decided to get behind a mask and participate. Austria’s Eurovision 2018 bronze medallist took on the persona of Frechdachs (Cheeky Badger). Cesár made it to the penultimate episode of the show and finished in fourth place.
This season of The Masked Singer Austria was hosted by Mirjam Weichselbraun, who was also one of the hosts of Eurovision 2015.
Michael Rice reunites with Sergey Lazarev on All Together Now Russia
The third season of Ну-ка, все вместе! (the Russian version of All Together Now) was an international special. The show brought together singers from across the world, including the United Kingdom’s Eurovision 2019 representative Michael Rice. The British singer previously won the debut season of All Together Now in 2018.
Things didn’t go as smoothly for Michael this time around. For the qualifying round, he performed Timbaland and One Republic’s “Apologize”. Whilst he was able to convince 92 of the 100 judges to stand up and join in, this wasn’t quite enough to qualify to the grand final. However, the 100’s captain, Sergey Lazarev (who competed against Michael at Eurovision 2019), decided to use his one-per-season veto right to save someone from elimination and bring Michael to the final.
In the grand final, Michael sang Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain”. A total of 69 judges stood up for him, but this sadly was not enough to emerge as the winner.
The season was won by Syuzanna Melqonyan. She previously competed in Armenia’s Eurovision 2017 national final Depi Evratesil. Other participants of the show included Nutsa Buzaladze, runner-up of Georgia’s 2017 national final, and Anahit Adamyan, Armenia’s Junior Eurovision 2016 representative.
In addition to Sergey Lazarev, there were also some other known names in the 100. Dmitry Koldun, Belarus’ Eurovision 2007 star, and Markus Riva, regular participant of Latvia’s national finals, were both included on the panel.
Kikki Danielsson is unmasked on The Masked Singer Sweden
Another country that jumped on board The Masked Singer trend this year was Sweden. The debut season of Masked Singer Sverige featured Eurovision 1982/1985 star Kikki Daniellsson. She hid underneath the costume of Monstret (Monster) and made it to the halfway point of the competition. Kikki wasn’t afraid to perform a varied selection of songs – she took on Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy”, Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love A Bad Name”, as well as Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull’s “On The Floor”.
The season was won by Daniel Norberg – he’s best known for his Melodifestivalen YouTube parodies and his appearance at the national final in 2017. Additionally, Eurovision 2015 winner Måns Zelmerlöw and Melfest alum Pernilla Wahlgren appeared as two of the panellists on the show.
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Ilse DeLange takes to the ballroom on Let’s Dance Germany
Dutch singer-songwriter Ilse DeLange hopped across the border to neighbouring Germany earlier this year and competed in the 14th season of their version of Let’s Dance. The Eurovision 2014 star was partnered alongside professional dancer Evgeny Vinokurov.
Ilse improved steadily throughout the competition. The singer’s lowest score came during the launch show, where she received 14 out of 30 for her Cha-Cha-Cha. Her highest score was in week four, with her Charleston earning 26 points from the judges.
Unfortunately, withdrawals seem to be a recurring theme for Eurovision stars on Let’s Dance this year. Ilse picked up a foot injury whilst participating on the show and had to miss week seven as a result. After returning for week eight and surviving the bottom two, Ilse decided that her foot was not recovered enough. In the end, she and Evgeny came to decision to withdraw from the competition.
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Anmary earns the silver medal on The Masked Singer Latvia
Zlata Ognevich wasn’t the only Eurovision star shining as bright as the sun in a competition this year. The second season of Balss Maskā – Latvia’s version of The Masked Singer – featured a contestant known as Saules Meita (Daughter of the Sun). After making it all the way to the grand final and finishing as the runner-up, it was revealed that the person behind the mask was Anmary. She represented Latvia at Eurovision 2012.
The season saw a number of guest performers under the persona of Vakara Zvaigzne (Evening Star). Three of these had Eurovision connections: Aminata, Latvia’s Eurovision 2015 representative; Aija Andrejeva, Latvia’s Eurovision 2010 singer; and Dons, runner-up of Latvia’s national finals in 2010 and 2014.
Additionally, Samanta Tīna was a member of the panel. She filmed the season whilst also preparing for Eurovision 2021.
How do you think all these Eurovision stars did in their respective competitions? Did you spot any other Eurovision or national final singers on other TV talent shows earlier this year? Let us know in the comments below!
Additional reporting courtesy of wiwiblogger Renske