All eyes will be on Italy on Tuesday night as this year’s Eurovision Song Contest kicks off with the first of two semi-finals. And someone who played a key role in this year’s event is popstar Mika.
Italy won the right to host Eurovision 2022 after rock band Mansekin triumphed in Rotterdam 12 months ago with their track Zitti E Buoni. And now the stage is set at the Pala Olimpico arena in Turin for the competition to begin. While Britain’s Sam Ryder, hosts Italy and ‘big 5’ countries France, Germany and Spain all have automatic places in Saturday’s grand final. the majority of the 40 Eurovision countries must compete in the Eurovision semi-finals to make it happen.
Strong contenders to top the Eurovision ratings, such as Norway’s Subwoofer and Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra, will compete in Eurovision Semi-Final 1, while one of the favorites to win this year, Sweden’s Cornelia Jakobs will have to qualify for semi-final 2 on Thursday.
READ MORE: How many countries are there in Eurovision? Acts and songs for this year’s contest
In addition to Mika, Eurovision this year welcomes the famous singer Laura Pausini and the Italian television presenter Alessandro Cattelan.
Why does Mika host Eurovision?
Although Mika, 38, is not Italian, being of Lebanese descent and having grown up in the UK, he has a huge following in Italy and has appeared on The X Factor there. The Grace Kelly singer opened up about landing the Eurovision host job on The One Show, when he said: ‘I did TV in Italy. I learned to speak Italian just because that I had this opportunity to go and do The X Factor in Italy.
“I learned in a few months, luckily my Italian is better now, the ironic thing about all this is that I’m going to do Eurovision, the biggest TV show Italy has ever had to put on place, and everything is in English.”
In a quote for Eurovision itself, Mika added: “I’ve been watching it since I was a kid, the whole family would get together for the Grand Final.
“Once a year, more than 40 countries share the same emotions, regardless of history or political situation: music unites them. It is an exciting honor to be one of the emcees of these nights fantastic.”
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