Zelmerlöw first entered the public eye in 2005, when he took part in season 2 of the Swedish version of Idol, which was broadcast on TV4.
He came in fifth place overall, and was eliminated on 11 November after eight weeks on the show.
The show was originally titled Complications, a reference to the complicated medical procedures and personal lives of the characters. The original cast consisted of nine star-billed actors: Pompeo, Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl, Justin Chambers, T. Knight, Chandra Wilson, James Pickens Jr., Isaiah Washington and Patrick Dempsey.
The series was created to be racially diverse, utilizing a color-blind casting technique. The cast has undergone major changes through the show's run, with many members leaving and being replaced by others.
All of the thirteen regulars portray surgeons who work in the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital. Cristina Yang, best friend of Meredith and fellow surgeon. Isobel "Izzie" Stevens whose previous relationship with the now deceased patient Denny Duquette threatens her career once again. Alexander "Alex" Karev who becomes Izzie's husband, while T. Although originally introduced as a recurring character in the season premiere, trauma surgeon Dr.
The fifth season had thirteen roles receiving star billing, with twelve of them returning from the previous season, out of which eight are part of the original cast from the first season. George O'Malley, an insecure resident whose sensitive personality puts his life in danger. Miranda Bailey was portrayed by Chandra Wilson, while general surgeon and Chief of Surgery Dr. Erica Hahn, Callie's love interest, who eventually resigns and moves away. Derek Shepherd whose relationship with Meredith Grey is the series' main storyline.
Zelmerlöw studied music in high school in Lund and was part of a school choir project.
In 2002, he played one of the brothers in the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Slagthuset in Malmö.
Zelmerlöw represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 with the song "Heroes", winning the contest with 365 points.
Zelmerlöw and Petra Mede co-hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 held in Stockholm.