Romanian bricklayer who slept rough on site wins record deal in Spanish talent contest

A bricklayer nicknamed “Romania's Pavarotti” has won a record deal after winning a Spanish version of The X Factor for immigrants.

Costel Busuioc, 33, spent his childhood herding sheep and moved to Spain two years ago to find work, leaving his wife and four children in Romania. He slept rough on building sites as a bricklayer.

Busuioc won the contract with Sony after appearing on the show, called Hijos de Babel (Children of Babel), after beating competitors including a Cuban model and twin brothers from Venezuela.

Following the win Busuioc received a phone call from Traian Basescu, the Romanian president. He said: “My life now depends on God, and Sony.”

In Spain 10% of the population are immigrants, compared with 1.6% in 1998.