2012: Tooji - Stay

Young Touraj Keshtar, otherwise known as Tooji, was born in Shiraz, Iran in 1987. His life took a dramatic turn when aged one, he was brought with his mother Lily to Norway, where they were granted asylum. Despite what may by many have been perceived as a huge setback, Tooji and his mother managed to become fully integrated within Norwegian society.

Already has a teenager, Tooji had his first taste of stardom, when at the age of 16, he became a much sought after model, thanks to his handsome, brooding looks. Once inside the modelling circuit, media exposure followed, earning him the nickname "The Prince of Persia". His foray into the world of television was, as in all the best fairytales, a complete fluke. When working as a model, he was asked by a member of press about what it would be like to work at Norwegian MTV (Music Television), to which Tooji cockily replied that it would be a piece of cake! Little did he know that bigwigs at MTV already had him in their sights and would come to hold him accountable for that very statement!

Tooji was headhunted to MTV and took to the job like a duck takes to water. It was as if he had a natural talent, presenting live on air the US Top 20 show mere minutes after his arrival in the studio. What started off as a PR jippo led to bigger and better things, with the budding star landing a permanent position with the channel.

His singing debut also came about in much the same way as his televsion career did, with his singing talents being discovered by accident while he was making a modelling appearance. The artist who was meant to end the show fell ill, paving the way for Tooji to step in at the last minute. It was while sitting in the changing rooms humming away to himself that his vocal dexterity was discoverd by the organiser of the event and Tooji somewhat reluctantly agreed to take to the stage to perform and thus save the event. Initial nerves and scepticism soon gave way to feelings of euphoria however, when Tooji became overwhelmed by the positive feedback from people present on his voice.

Besides singing, Tooji also works full time in a very rewarding job. He buckled down at school, and, given the events earlier on in his life, he felt he wanted to make a difference in the world and to help others less fortunate by giving something back. It therefore came as no surprise that he studied child protection to become a social worker, working predominantly with children at nursery level, as well as youngsters and asylum seekers.

Participant Profile

In the final

In the semi final