An artist who is covered from head to toe in tattoos is poised to come in third in the upcoming Czech presidential elections, to the surprise of many — but not his compatriots.

Vladimir Franz, a professor at Prague's Academy of Performing Arts by trade, entered the race on a whim after he was persuaded to run by "a group of admirers."

He is so admired, in fact, that despite his total lack of political experience and economic knowledge, he's been propelled to third place in recent polls after having spent only $25,000 on his campaign, none of which was on posters.

Moreover, the man known popularly as "Avatar," and who has been likened to "an exotic creature from Papua New Guinea," won a mock election held in hundreds of high schools across the country by a landslide.

"The tattoo doesn't make any difference," said one student who noted that it's the brevity of Franz's political history that is preventing people from pulling his lever.

Still, the 53-year-old opera composer is expected to add more than entertainment value to the country's presidential race.

Because of his increasing popularity, the two leading candidates, Jan Fischer and Milos Zeman, are both courting his endorsement, knowing that whomever Franz picks will likely be the next head of state.

[photos via AP, Facebook]