Swedish teen breaks hearts at Idol opening

Swedish teen breaks hearts at Idol opening
Toluwabori Shoyebo, who has gone viral in Sweden. Image: TV4
A 16-year-old boy from Gothenburg who grew up in Nigeria and says he was beaten by his father, has tugged on heart strings around Sweden, with a clip of his stunning debut performance on Sweden's Idol programme going viral on Tuesday.
Sweden's Idol is always a closely watched and closely fought battle and has helped launched the careers of Swedish stars including Eurovision winners Måns Zelmerlöw and Loreen.
After more than ten seasons, the show continues to draw in ratings, with more than 920,000 people gripped to their sofas as the latest series got under way on TV4 on Monday and teenager from west Sweden shocked the programme's judges.
Toluwabori Shoyebo, who grew up in Nigeria before moving to Sweden in 2012, explained that his aunt had brought him up but said that he had followed his father to Sweden three years ago.
“When I moved here, he was a completely different person. Not the father I knew. He hit me a little bit,” he said in fluent Swedish.
The 16-year-old (15 at the time of filming) went on to perform the song No Other Love by US group Common Kings in English, leaving the judges visibly stunned.
Former singer and producer Laila Bagge Wahlgren stretched out her arms to show that Shoyebo – who likes to be called Bori – had given her goosebumps.
“Welcome to Sweden! Welcome to Idol! We need you! You are a star!” exclaimed veteran Swedish philisopher and producer Alexander Bard.
Shoyebo had tears in his eyes when he was told he had secured a spot in the next round.
By Tuesday a clip of his performance posted by TV4 was the most-watched new online video in Sweden, with more than 16,102 shares by 1pm.
“I've never been so happy! The music is sort of my therapy,” he told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet.
“Bori has a great talent and I think his background story moves people,” Johanna Lindroth, a press spokesperson for TV4, told The Local when asked about his instant success.
She added that the singer “doesn’t have the time to do an interview at the moment”, hinting that he is set to progress further in the competition.
But the new star has a long way to go before reaching the series final, which will take place in December.
While Sweden's last two Eurovision winners took part in previous series of Idol, it is not the official vehicle for choosing contestants for the international contest.
Melodifestivalen (a TV series with a similar format), which starts in the spring, will decide which Swede will represent their country when Stockholm hosts Eurovision 2016 following Måns Zelmerlöw's victory earlier this year.
However Johanna Lindroth said felt Shoyebo could be a great contender, should he be selected to take part in programme.
“Why not? He is only 16 years old and a great talent already.”