In 2008, he appeared on the reality TV show CelebAir in which he placed third.
Chico Slimani was born in Bridgend, South Wales to Moroccan parents. Chico's father and mother are both Muslim. At age two, when his parents split during a family vacation, he remained in Morocco and lived with his grandparents. His mother lives in Belgium.
He spent his childhood time in Oujda City (Morocco), but when he was 13 years old, his father living in Crawley, West Sussex called him back to the UK.He has studied martial arts. He also worked as a male stripper for a while before re-discovering Islam.
Chico's initial X Factor audition was notable because judge Simon Cowell walked out in disgust after fellow judges Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne voted him through to the second round. 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).
After the initial live shows, he was widely 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 a song co-written with X Factor vocal coach Mark Hudson, the suitably camp and iconic "It's Chico Time", named after his catchphrase (Chico: "What time is it?" Audience: "It's Chico Time!")It was notable that Cowell himself was won over during the course of the series, commenting that Chico was a born entertainer, even if he wasn't the recording artist the show was supposedly looking to discover.
Chico failed to reach the final of the show, being voted out in the third from last episode. The competition was eventually won by singer Shayne Ward in December 2005.Slimani had originally planned to release "It's Chico Time" as a single before Christmas, 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.
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 under his original name Yusuf Sliman in Muslim events singing Islamic songs including "Moulana" dedicated to Prophet Muhammad and the Awliya' (the Men of God).Chico's follow-up single to "It's Chico Time", a cover of the song "D.I.S.C.O.", entered the chart at number 24 in August 2006. His next single, "Curvy Cola Bottle Body", was released on 8 October 2007 and reached #45 in its first week in the chart.
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. Good Day written by Roachie amd produced by Danny Kirsch was used as part of the 2007 Butlins TV adverts.
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. 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.