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Meet the flamboyant players of the East/West Collegiate Bowl.
|Birth name||Yousseph Slimani|
|Also known as||Chico|
2 April 1971 |
Bridgend, Wales, UK
Yousseph "Chico" Slimani (born 2 April 1971) is a Welsh-born singer of Moroccan descent who rose to prominence in the United Kingdom after reaching the quarter-finals of the 2005 series of the talent show The X Factor. In 2006, he had a number 1 hit on the British charts entitled "It's Chico Time". In 2008, he appeared on the reality TV show CelebAir in which he placed third.
Early life 
Chico Slimani was born in Bridgend, South Wales, to Berber Moroccan parents. Chico's father and mother were both Muslim. At age two, his parents split. Slimani remained in Morocco and lived with his grandparents, whereas his mother opted to live in Belgium. Slimani spent his childhood time in Oujda City, Morocco. His family was so poor that Chico took up goat herding to contribute to the family income, but as he says "We may have not had much money, but we had a lot of love".
When he was 14 years old, his father, living in Crawley, West Sussex, called him back to live in the UK. After leaving school, he began a youth training scheme as a hairdresser, before working as an electrician. He also studied martial arts.
Aspiring to make a name for himself in arts and entertainment, Slimani took part in an exotic dance troupe called "Extreme Force" and later became a singer/compere with Lapattack. He also worked as a male stripper for a while. From a young age, he continued writing and recording songs in the hope of breaking into the music business.
The X Factor 
Judge Simon Cowell walked out of Chico's initial X Factor audition after fellow judges Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne voted him through to the second round after he performed "If I Ever Fall in Love" (from Shai) / "Kiss" (from Prince and the Revolution)
His category ("Over 25s") was mentored by Osbourne, who put him through to the live television phase after a particularly memorable performance at the Osbournes' "home", in which he jumped into a shallow pool and danced in the water (still holding a live microphone).
Chico was at first mocked in the press, but after changing the style of his performances, to become slightly more self-mocking, he began to win voters over. He also became notable for being the first contestant in a Simon Cowell show (Pop Idol, American Idol, The X Factor) to sing an original song (co-written with X Factor vocal coach Mark Hudson), the camp and iconic "It's Chico Time", named after his catchphrase (Chico: "What time is it?" Audience: "It's Chico Time!")
Cowell was won over during the series, commenting that Chico was a 'born entertainer', even if he wasn't the recording artist the show was looking to discover. Three weeks from the final, Chico was voted out of the competition, which was won by Shayne Ward in December 2005.
The performances by Slimani during X Factor included:
- Audition: "If I Ever Fall in Love" (from Shai) / "Kiss" (from Prince and the Revolution) (to Final 24)
- Judges House: "Livin' la Vida Loca" (from Ricky Martin) (to Final 12)
- Week 1: (15 October 2005): "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" (from Rod Stewart) (Bottom 2, saved 2-1)
- Week 2 (22 October 2005): "Play That Funky Music" (from Wild Cherry) (safe)
- Week 3 (29 October 2005): "Livin' la Vida Loca" (from Ricky Martin) (Bottom 2, saved 2-1)
- Week 4 (5 November 2005): "Kiss" (from Prince and the Revolution)
- Week 5 (12 November 2005): "Hero" (from Enrique Iglesias)
- Week 6 (19 November 2005): "It's Chico Time" by Chico Slimani (safe)
- Week 7 (26 November 2005): "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson (Bottom 2, saved 2-1)
- Week 8 (3 December 2005): "I Got You (I Feel Good)" (from James Brown) and "Time Warp" (from The Rocky Horror Picture Show) (Eliminated after receiving fewest public votes)
Slimani had originally planned to release "It's Chico Time" as a single before Christmas 2005, but for contractual reasons he had to wait. Chico was stated as saying "I'm absolutely loving every minute of it, and looking forward to releasing the single at last". The single was eventually released in February 2006; it entered the UK Singles Chart at number one on 5 March 2006, toppling Madonna from the top spot. It remained at number one for two weeks.
In early 2006, Chico took part in the nationwide X Factor tour.
Singing career 
Chico's follow-up single to #1 hit "It's Chico Time" was a cover of the song "D.I.S.C.O.", entered the chart at number 24 in August 2006 in the British Singles Chart. Slimani's single was an alternative version of the Ottawan hit with considerable changes in lyrics where Slimani sings: "C.H.I.C.O. on D.I.S.C.O.". He also amended the actual lyrics to "D dynamic // I incredible // S supersonic // C Chicolicious (alluding to his own name) // O oh, oh, oh".
His next single, "Curvy Cola Bottle Body", was released on 8 October 2007 and reached #45 in its first week in the chart. Many well-known celebrities appeared in the official video including X Factor judge Sharon Osbourne and her husband Ozzy Osbourne. Proceeds went to the British Eating Disorders Association.
Since his X factor appearance, Chico has made many public appearances all over the UK. He went on tour at Butlins, performing full 45-minute sets along with a live band and dancers as part of The Chico Experience.
He also appeared in 2006 and on later occasions under his original name Yousseph Slimani in Muslim events singing Islamic songs including "Moulana", a song he composed, dedicated to Prophet Muhammad and the Awliya' (the Men of God).
The Slimani songs "I Wanna Dance With U" and "You Take My Breath Away" were written by Roachie and produced by Danny Kirsch. "Good Day" Another Roachie / Kirsch production was used as part of the 2007 Butlins TV adverts.
The video for Chico's fourth single, "Are You In It For Love", was premiered on his official website. It is a cover of a Ricky Martin hit. His debut album titled Lights, Camera, Action was released beginning of 2009.
In 2010, Slimani recorded a single in support of the English Football Team to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Aptly entitled "It's England Time", a play on "It's Chico Time", it uses the same tune of his previous #1 hit with amended lyrics. The song was first played on The Chris Moyles Show. Slimani recorded the single after having a 'vision' that England won the 2010 World Cup and that in the celebrations, commentators made reference to his Chico Time song. The music video was shot in Pinewood Studios and the official release date of the single was 7 June 2010. Proceeds went to Rainbow Child Foundation to help underprivileged children in Africa.
Television and acting career 
- In May 2006, Chico appeared on The Weakest Link. He was the second contestant voted off.
- In December 2007, Chico made an appearance on BBC Two's music panel comedy quiz show, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, as part of the "identity parade" feature. He was correctly identified by the panel.
- Chico made a guest appearance in the 2007 Christmas special of Ricky Gervais' TV series Extras, taking part in a mock-up of Celebrity Big Brother.
- In the 2008 series of Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, Chico was a member of "Team Dec" in the feature "Ant vs. Dec: The Teams". Chico also starred as the celebrity "hider" in an episode of the CBBC show Hider in the House.
- Later in 2008 he featured as a celebrity in the reality television show CelebAir on ITV2. Slimani came third overall.
- In November 2009 he returned to Never Mind The Buzzcocks as a joke upon guest panelist and investigative journalist Donal MacIntyre. Chico was supposed to be part of a running scam on the show, feeding answers to the opposite team.
- Chico appeared at the Darlington Civic Theatre, starring as Aladdin in the 2009/10 pantomime. He also appeared as Aladdin in the 2010/2011 pantomime in Hull. In 2011/12, he is appearing the title role of Jack and the Beanstalk at the Rotherham Civic Theatre.
- He has his own TV show in pre-production. 26 episodes are planned overall of the children show.
- Chico appeared in BBC One's 2011 series of Celebrity Total Wipeout. He won the second "Dizzy Dummies" round and came second overall.
- On 20 October 2011, Chico appeared as a special guest on the ITV2 show Celebrity Juice.
- He competed in ITV's 2012 series of Dancing On Ice, replacing Chesney Hawkes who had to withdraw due to an ankle injury, skating with Canadian bronze medallist Jodeyne Higgins. He competed in the finals coming 3rd.
- He appeared on the BBC 2 comedy series Room 101 in early 2012.
- Chico hosted via webcam an Online bingo session at Bingocams UK with the site giving 10% of the proceeds to his charity Rainbow Child Foundation 
Chico appeared on Celebrity Pointless on BBC1 on 20 October 2012. He partnered Sinitta and they got through to the final round. Chico won £500 for his charity Rainbow Child Foundation.
Chico appeared in Celebrities on Ice at the Peterborough Arena for three nights in January 2013 with Kyran Bracken, Ray Quinn and Lisa Scott Lee.
Chico is currently touring with Boogie Nights The Musical with The Osmonds, Gareth Gates, Shane Richie Junior, Andy Abraham and Louisa Lytton taking in 50 dates all around the country from end of January to middle of April 2013.
Chico's personal Twitter is @chicotime1 and his charity Rainbow Child Foundation's Twitter is @chicosrainbow.
Chico is involved with a production company called Unity Films, and his daughter appeared in one of their short films, Left Holding Baby, for which Chico composed the music. He also stars in the BAFTA-nominated 2004 short film Winner Takes All, along with his brother actor JC Mac . In 2005, he played a male stripper in Roberto Gomez Martin's Hell to Pay, a London underworld gangster film. In 2009, Chico also appeared in 45, a psychological thrilling boxing movie also alongside JC Mac.
Personal life 
Charity work 
He went on to take part in another Rainbow Child Foundation project in Malawi and South Africa with the charity One Water to see the work carried out installing Play Pumps, devices that pump water while children play the merry-go-round and as the children are playing on it, it pumps clean drinking water from the ground. Chico's promotional video helps in funding for installation of more Play Pumps. In 2011, Chico went to Malawi and opened Play pumps there.
Chico's single "Curvy Cola Bottle Body" is a protest against the "Size Zero" phenomenon. As part of its promotion, Chico teamed up with the British Eating Disorders Association (beat) charity. Profits from the single were donated to the charity.
Proceeds from Chico's 2010 single "It's England Time" went to the Rainbow Child Foundation to help underprivileged children in Africa.
- Lights, Camera, Action (2006)
The album was originally due for release in November 2006, but was shelved due to poor sales of the lead single "D.I.S.C.O.". Despite the album never being released, four singles were taken from it: "D.I.S.C.O.", "Curvy Cola Bottle Body Baby", "Are You In It For Love" and his number-one smash hit debut single, "It's Chico Time".
- "I Wanna Dance With You"
- "Take My Breath Away"
- "Come With Me"
- "Cheeky Bow Wow"
- "If I'm Not The One"
- "Are You In It For Love"
- "Girls of The World"
- "Curvy Cola Bottle Body Baby"
- "Lights, Camera, Action"
- "Girls, Girls, Girls"
- "Good Day"
- "Prisoner of Love"
- "It's Chico Time"
|2006||"It's Chico Time"||1||3|
|2007||"Curvy Cola Bottle Body Baby"||45||-|
|"Are You In It For Love"||-||-|
|2010||"It's England Time"||-||-|
- 2004: Winner Takes All .... Narrator
- 2005: Hell to Pay .... Stripper (Video)
- 2008: Ten Dead Men .... Himself
- 2009: 45 .... Banks
- 2009: 31 North 62 East (also known as Too Close to the Truth (UK alternative title))
- 2004: Winner Takes All
- 2007: Left Holding Baby
- 2009: Three Pints of Beer
- 2004: Winner Takes All (producer)
- 2007: Left Holding Baby (executive producer)
- "Chico to star in stripper film". Thisislondon.co.uk. 2006-02-16. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- Chico's audition at X Factor[dead link]
- "Video of Chico's audition and performance at Osbourne's home". Youtube.com. 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- "Music video for Chico Slimani's version of "D.I.S.C.O."". Youtube.com. 2007-04-27. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- "Music video for "Curvy Cola Bottle Body" by Chico Slimani". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- Sign In or Sign Up. "Medley of songs performed live by Chico at Butlins". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- "Chico performing ''Moulana'' at Trafalgar Square". Youtube.com. 2009-09-29. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- "Live performance of ''Moulana'' in front of a Muslim congregation". Youtube.com. 2007-10-01. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- "Song "I Wanna Dance With U" by Chico written by Roachie and produced by Danny Kirsch". Youtube.com. 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- "Song "You Take My Breath Away" by Chico written by Roachie and produced by Danny Kirsch". Youtube.com. 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- "Song ''Good Day'' by Chico written by Roachie and produced by Danny Kirsch". Youtube.com. 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- "Канал користувача chicoofficial". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- "Music video for Chico's single ''Are You In It For Love''". Youtube.com. 2008-04-18. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- Audio of "It's England Time" by Chico Slimani[dead link]
- WorldCupSong.com: Broadcasting of "England Time" on The Chris Moyles Show[dead link]
- "GMTV site: Richard Arnold interviews Chico Slimani during the taping of the song "It's England Time"". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- "Music video for Chico's "It's England Time"". Youtube.com. 2010-05-21. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- "Chico Slimani Interview by Frankie Genchi". Flecking Records. 2010-05-22. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- N/A, N/A (4 January 2012). "Dancing on Ice: injured Chesney Hawkes replaced by Chico". itv.com. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- N/A, N/A (21 June 2012). "Chico to celebrity host at Bingocams UK". bingocams.co.uk. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- chicotime1. "chico slimani (chicotime1) op Twitter". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- "The Official Chico Site". Chico-official.com. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- CelebAir. ITV2. 9 October 2008.
- "Rainbow Child Foundation site: Chico's page containing bio and contributions to the organization". Rainbowchildfoundation.co.uk. 2006-02-27. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- Rainbow Child Foundation promotional video by Slimani and others about charity work in Cambodia
- "Video made by Rainbow Child featuring Chico Slimani in support charity of One Water charity". Youtube.com. 2009-11-16. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- "X Factor Reject Chico Launches England World Cup Song". Gigwise. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- "Chico - It's Chico Time - Music Charts". Acharts.us. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- "Chico - Disco - Music Charts". Acharts.us. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- Chico Official website
- Chico Slimani on Facebook
- Chico Slimani on Myspace
- Chico Slimani on Twitter
- MaChico Bros. Official website
- Chico Slimani at the Internet Movie Database