Eurovision 2016: TV Talent Shows and Eurovision

RealityEurovision 2016 – Another selection season is over and I will be doing a series of articles summarising the selection shows and the acts chosen. Today I am will write again about how stars of TV Talent Shows, especially the Voice are starting to take over Eurovision Choices

There aren’t as many TV Talent Shows these days as there once were. “Pop Idol” is rarely shown these days and the “X Factor” only seems to be shown in few countries now. Simon Cowell’s “Got Talent” franchise is still going strong but as a show that is not 100% focused on singers, we rarely see contestants of these shows in Eurovision Selections. “The Voice” however is huge across Europe and singers will even go to the country next door if they are from a place where the show doesn’t exist just to be noticed in the industry

It seems contestants of these shows are not only being chosen internally to represent in Eurovision but they are also being chosen by broadcasters to take part in selections. The majority of times it’s these singers that run triumphant due to fanbases established by such shows. Lets run through the singers of this years selection season that took part in these TV Talent Shows.

Pop Idol

Pop Idol

“Pop Idol” started in 2001 in the UK where it lasted for two series. Although the show did not last long in its originated country, Pop Idol had many series in countries all across Europe including Armenia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Georgia, Greece,Norway, Estonia and France. Unfortunately the only European Countries the show still airs in are Germany and France.

Only one of this years hopefuls has come from this series. Robin Bengtsson who came 5th in Melodifestivalen took part in Idol back 2008 and came third. This is him looking very young performing “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia on the show:


The X Factor

X Factor

The X Factor”, yet another British Series started in 2003 replacing Pop Idol. Since then the show, where already established singers and producers mentor a group of singers in the aim of winning the overall series, has been shown in twenty-four European Countries. The show has currently has versions in European Countries such as Georgia, Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, Hungary, Montenegro and of course The UK and Australia

This year saw a few X Factor Alumni in National Selections across Europe. Dami Im of Australia won the 2005 series of show in Oz and Poland rep Michal Szpak came 2nd in 2011 on the Polish Show. Highway who will represent Montenegro came a respectable 4th place in 2015 on The X Factor Adria. Francesca Michielin of Italy won the 2011 series of The X Factor over in her native country

Other notable names that came from the show include:

Gergő Oláh (A Dal Finalist) won the Hungarian version in 2012
Andrei Ioniță (Moldova Finalist) came in the Romanian Series back in 2015
Oscar Zia (Melodifestivalen Finalist) took part in The X Factor Sweden in 2012
Aida Nikolaychuk (Ukraine Finalist) won the Ukraine Version in 2013
Vladislav Kurasov (Ukraine Finalist) came 3rd in the Ukraine Version in 2012


The Voice

The Voice

“The Voice”, originating in The Netherlands has become the biggest TV Talent Shows across Europe and over the past few years we have seen plenty of hopefuls coming from past editions of the Voice. Thirty countries in Europe are currently airing their own versions of “The Voice” This year sees more of The Voice contestants representing their nations at the contest in May.

Samra, who is representing Azerbaijan took part not only in The Voice of Turkey (2015) but also The Voice of Azerbaijan in 2016 where she fared better. Laura Tesoro representing Belgium won the Flanders version of The Voice in 2014. The German representative Jamie-Lee Kriewitz won The Voice of Germany in 2015 and Croatia’s Nina Kraljić won The Voice of Croatia in the same year.

Iveta Mukuchyan who is representing Armenia took part in the German version of The Voice in 2012 where she was chosen by the controversial Xavier Nadoo to be in his team but she failed to win. Even the UK are joining in as Joe and Jake met when they both competed separately on the UK version of the show in 2015.  Jake failed to make the live shows when Will.I.Am eliminated him in the Knockout stages but Joe was more successful on the show making the live shows for Team Rita Ora after wowing with his slow version of the rap song “Hey Ya!” by Outkast

Other singers we have seen throughout the many National Finals this year include:

Dorota (Poland Finalist) came runner-up in the Polish version in 2013
Mikko Sipola (Finland Finalist) won The Voice of Finland in 2012
Saara Alto (Finland Finalist) came runner-up to Mikko
Samanta Tina (Latvia Finalist) took part in the Lithuanian Version of The Voice in 2015
Tonya Matvienko (Ukraine Finalist) came 2nd in the Ukranian Version of the show in 2011


Rising Star

Rising Star

Rising Star originated from Israel where it is known as HaKokhav HaBa. The shows concept has been bought by various TV broadcasters in Europe but it is yet to reach the success levels of The Voice. It has been shown in various countries such as France, Germany, HungaryPortugal, Turkey, Greece, Italy and Russia. However very few countries in Europe have it now… Turkey and Israel

Freddie who is representing Hungary came fourth in the first and only series of Rising Star in his country an of course, the show is huge in Israel. After the success of last years winner Nudav Guedj the Israeli Broadcaster has gone with this concept again. Hovi Star won the 2016 series so will now be representing the country in May.


A lot of internal selections seem to be winners or past contestants of The Voice these days and rarely is there a National Final without one or two singers from The Voice or The X Factor ETC. Does winning such shows help influence the voting public at home? Margaret was the clear fave with international fans in the Polish Selection but was beat by X Factor Winner Michal Szpak. Laura Tesoro may have had an advantage also after having won The Voice in her home country.

Do you think countries should start giving Eurovision rights to the winners of shows such as The Voice and Rising Star? It provides the best of both worlds by allowing the public decide on who to send whilst allowing the broadcaster to pick the song. A possible winning formula?

About jadeukesc

Top 5 Eurovision Songs so Far: #1 Netherlands #2 Czech Republic #3 Hungary #4 Serbia #5 Cyprus Worst 5 of Eurovision so far #39 Montenegro #40 Iceland #41 Germany #42 Spain #43 Estonia

37 comments on “Eurovision 2016: TV Talent Shows and Eurovision

  1. Talent factories😬
    The funny thing I never remember the winners…The ones who become famous in Turkey are the ones who got eliminated😆Maybe they do it on purpose to get rid of demanding contracts that will come along with the winning,who knows???

    If I were a musician,I would try to get famous on YouTube than a talent show!

  2. Taking into account the realities of the small Armenian show-business:
    – Only cheap restaurant Rabiz (from the word rubish) singers earn enough money to promote themselves.
    -Only good connections with medias and composers help singers to make good career.
    etc etc etc
    Here is why Talent Shows are really usefull for the beginners to promote themseves here! I don’t have stereotypical approach towards artists who started their career in such shows!

  3. As for Iveta…. Even her song during blind auditions was an ESC song :)

  4. Thanks for the update, Jade. :)
    I don’t follow talent shows, which I tend to find dull and overchoreographed shows with not very likeable jurors (bad manners, lame jokes, histrionic behaviour …), but those shows have provided some great ESC acts without a doubt. :)

  5. My opinion is a talent show is a platform and the participation in it does not define per se someone’s musical qualities. Many great singers in esc originate from talent shows.

  6. Now, 2nd day of “National Finals Random Memories” and per the first request I receive we go to the russian national final in 2010 and Ana with “Dva Golosa” has been chosen :-) :

    Very elegant and sentimental. The orchestration has a warmth stemming from what sound to me as latin american sober influences and Ana’s emotional investment (with those little and discreet sobs at the end of each line especially after the middle..) elevates it even more. Beautiful.

    • Now I know the reason you did not reply to my Ana comment last night. :)

    • It’s a very fine and heartfelt song, but I think I would have liked it even more if it had stayed more subtle in its orchestration. Especialy the drums take over too much. But all in all, a fine entry. I think I would give it a strong (8/12) myself.

  7. Eurovision singers from talent shows is not so new in the UK. 2002 Jessica Garlick came from Pop idol and won Star For A Night in Wales. 2004 James Fox came from Fame academy. And going way,way back to 1970 Mary Hopkins came from a talent show in 1968 called Opportunity Knocks.

  8. The Bulgarian song will be revealed tomorrow contrary to EBU’s tweet that it would have to be revealed by March 20.Tonight they’ll present the song to a special audience of 1500 people.

  9. I’m not much into these talent shows for two specific reasons:

    1. The kind of artists they have there belong to that kind of modern anglo-saxon radio pop I rarely – if ever – listen to.

    2. I have some issues with the whole idea itself, and especially the Pop Idol format that we have in Sweden. I just feel it is much like a “star factory” where artists are shaped and formed according to recent pop star norms. It’s also more or less a karaoke show with the singers just doing covers of famous songs. And finally, they are rarely trying to give the specific artist a unique image, but instead, they have new themes every week: rock, Swedish pop, retro, soul…

    But then again, there are always esceptions and a few great artists have been born from these “factories” anyhow.

  10. These shows are vital for giving people a chance who otherwise wouldn’t have one!

  11. CORRECTION! sweden still airs Idol every year since 2004 (with 2012 as an exception)

  12. X Factor is still hugely popular in Denmark, but I very rarely watch it. I remember bumping into the final last year, and I found it so unbelievable tedious, especially all the back-slapping from the judges to their favourite who finally won – well, she had an OK voice, but not so much more than that.

    I have heard some of the musical products coming out of it, and they were autotuned like hell and completely empty of any personal musical expression. And these songs that were written for them… Oh my. Most of the contestants were forgotten after a couple of years anyway, perhaps with the exception of Basim.

    That is not to say that there aren’t any true talents coming from these shows. I think Joss Stone was discovered through a talent show for instance. And of course there are some of them who can sing, but the question is if they would have been able to develop a more personal musical expression if they hadn’t been put through this machinery.

  13. Day 3 of “Random National Final Memories” and after Russia and 2010 we are moving to Norway and the old glorious MGP with 3 semi finals and the goor old SJ (all that now gone :-( ) in one of its las such editions in 2011 with Aste and Rikke singing “Not that easy” ! :

    For me everything is about the vocals, backing vocals and vocal harmony of the duet here to be honest. Both excellent vocalists with personality, the backing vocals really contribute into creating an atmosphere and those must be some of my favourite vocal chemistry in a duet ever. Love it to bits and I think it has aged very well and could compete in 2016 as well.

  14. My top 5
    1 Spain(far away the best video and song , for one week was in the bets 23 or 24 , and now is 14 good)
    2 Rusia
    3 Netherlands(deserve to go to the final , absolutely)
    4 Croatia
    5 Hungary

  15. Amir Haddad was also a finalist in the 3rd season of The Voice.

    It’s true not many of these talent show winners or even finalists made it big in France: Christophe Willem and Julien Doré are the two biggest winners from “French Idol” still famous nowadays; two other former winners are known but not huge, and both have done Eurovision for France: Jonatan Cerrada and Amandine Bourgeois. The show has moved to different channels through the years and it’s still going on in a small channel from the cable. The Voice has given one huge winner, Kendji Girac. All other The Voice contestants are more or less forgotten, except Fréro Delavega, who lost to Kendji in the final. Xfactor never too off here. Amir had slightly been forgotten until he was picked this year.

  16. Estonia’s entries:
    2011 – Getter Jaani (Finished 4th in Estonian Idol 2009)
    2012 – Ott Lepland (Won Estonian Idol in 2009)
    2013 – Birgit Sarrap (Won Estonian Idol in 2007)
    2015 – Elina Born (Finished 2nd in Estonian Idol 2012)
    2016 – Jüri Pootsmann (Won Estonian Idol in 2015)

  17. Interesting article. Thanks, Jade!

    I sometimes wonder why I enjoy ESC so much when I don’t care much for shows like The X Factor or The Voice. I know the X Factor winners only as a by-product of knowing the UK’s Christmas Number Ones!

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