Mike Leon Grosch

German pop singer Mike Leon Grosch vaulted from obscurity to household name as the runner-up on the third season of Deutschland Sucht den SuperStar, the country's version of the American Idol franchise. Born November 11, 1976, in Wuppertal and raised in Cologne, Grosch was working as a mobile phone salesman when he was named a Deutschland Sucht den SuperStar finalist in autumn 2005. With a husky, soulful voice often compared to British pop sensation Seal, he was hotly tipped to win the grand prize, and his budding romance with fellow competitor Vanessa Jean Dedmon guaranteed him even greater media coverage. Grosch nevertheless fell to Tobias Regner in the season finale, earning 45 percent of the audience vote. His debut single, "Don't Let It Get You Down," followed in mid-2006, topping the German pop charts and buoying sales of the full-length LP Absolute, which reached the number two spot. The second single, "Confessional," fared comparatively poorly, barely cracking the Top 30. ~ Jason Ankeny

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