After his graduation from University of Salzburg Regner auditioned for the third installment of the reality television program Deutschland sucht den Superstar. He entered the competition with 14,000 others, and the judges Dieter Bohlen, Heinz Henn and Sylvia Kollek were impressed with his voice and unconventional style. After several re-calls and week-by-week performances Regner earned a position in the Top 10 finalists, eventually making it to the final two contestants on Deutschland sucht den Superstar, and on March 18, 2006, he won the competition and earned 54.6% of the audience vote over Mike Leon Grosch, making him the first "rocker" to win the show before Thomas Godoj won the competition in 2008. Overwhelmed, he performed his "exclusive" song "I Still Burn," a rock-ballad penned by Peter Wright and Jess Cates. When released as a single via Sony BMG Domestic on March 14, 2006, it instantly entered the charts at number-one in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, simultaneously emerging as the biggest-selling single since 2004 within its first week of release. The song was eventually certified platinum by the IFPI for more than 300,000 copies sold.
Performances at Deutschland sucht den Superstar
Following the successful release of "I Still Burn", Regner's full-length debut album Straight was released on April 28, 2006. American producers Max Martin and Desmond Child consulted on the album which debuted at number one on the German Media Control 100 <re name=IMDB/> and also peaked within the top 5 in Austria, and the top 20 in Switzerland. Eventually, the album was certified gold by the IFPI for sales of more than 100,000 copies. Reviews for the album were generally favorable, with LAUT´s critic Dani Fromm praising the "versatile, powerful-voiced and likeable" character of Regner's music, and others calling it "unidirectional" but "positive", comparing it to Jon Bon Jovi. However, further singles - "She's So" and Open Seasontheme song "Cool Without You" – failed to chart or sell noticeably. Tobias Regner was dropped eventually from his record label and is currently working on new material.