A 25-year-old woman from St Gallen is set to become Switzerland’s latest pop idol, after winning the 2004 MusicStar contest.
Carmen Fenk beat her male rivals Piero Esteriore and Mario Pacchioli in the final sing-off on Saturday night.
Fenk has won a record contract with the Universal label and the opportunity to record her first album at studios in New York and Los Angeles.
The final round of MusicStar, broadcast live on the television channel SF1, brought to an end the first-ever Swiss version of a reality format that has become a global television phenomenon.
Viewers voted by telephone for their favourite singer on the night, after seeing the three finalists perform a range of songs on stage.
Like its equivalents around the world, MusicStar aims to find new musical talent, by giving unknown singers a platform to show their talent on television.
Some 3,000 hopefuls applied to be contestants on the show, and the number was whittled down to a lucky few who then sang for survival, with one person eliminated by voters live on air each week.
But all is not lost for those who missed out on a first-place finish.
Two weeks after the grand final, the last four contestants – including Fenk – will take part in a contest in Geneva to decide who wins he right to represent Switzerland at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
Struggle for survival
Critics warn, however, that the MusicStar winner will struggle to survive as a solo performer in Switzerland.
And the fortunes of the winners of similar reality shows elsewhere in Europe have been mixed.
But the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation - which bought the rights to the MusicStar format - says it is delighted with the success of the show, while Swiss newspapers have had a wealth of material with which to fill their pages.
Carmen Fenk has won a record contract with the Universal label.
She also has the opportunity to record her first album at studios in New York and Los Angeles.
Music Star was the first Swiss version of the reality format that has been a global phenomenon.
Some 3,000 hopefuls first applied to take part in the show.
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