Unable to emulate the success of Will Young and Girls Aloud, Fame Academy winner David Sneddon was still arguably one of the most naturally gifted contestants to appear on a TV talent search. Born in Paisley, Scotland in 1978, Sneddon performed in musicals from a young age and inspired by Elton John, taught himself to play the piano. After attending the University of Paisley for a year, he decided to pursue a career in entertainment. Whilst acting in a production of Romeo and Juliet, he met John Kielty and after performing at various acoustic nights together, they decided to form the Martians. In 2002, Sneddon entered Fame Academy, the BBC's answer to ITV's hugely successful Pop Idol. Originally failing to make the final 11, he was drafted in as a replacement when one contestant pulled out due to sickness. Sneddon soon became a favorite with both the audience and his fellow contestants, and after polling 3.5 million votes in the final, was crowned the winner ahead of Sinead Quinn and Lemar. Signed to Mercury Records, he released debut single "Stop Living a Lie" and became the first artist from a reality TV show to reach number one with an entirely self-penned track. After second single, "Don't Let Go," (number three), he released his debut album Seven Years Ten Weeks. (number five) which was recorded with Elton John's band and co-written with Martians' member Kielty. Sneddon supported Bryan Adams and Elton John on their U.K. tours, but further singles "Best of Order" (number 19) and "Baby Get Higher" (number 38) failed to repeat his initial success and he parted company with his label. In 2003, he signed a publishing deal with Universal Music and a year later he returned to performing, fronting indie rock band the Sham. In 2007, he released a five-track EP entitled White Noise and performed three sold-out shows at the Jazz Bar Edinburgh Festival. Sneddon has also written songs for soul singers Nate James and Julian Peretta.