Mika and Laura Pausini to perform in second semi-final, Pausini to open grand final?

In an interview with Italian publication La Repubblica, Eurovision 2022 co-host Mika admitted that he will be giving a “provocative performance” at this year’s Contest, with Italian fan publication Eurofestival News confirming he will perform in the second semi-final alongside Laura Pausini, as well as dispelling a rumour the latter may also open the Grand Final.

In the interview, the Lebanese-born British singer and former judge on the Italian version of The X Factor describes Eurovision as a more “questionable” version of Sanremo and “an Expo but concentrated into a few days.” Mika, real name Michael Penniman Jr., will host the three shows in May alongside Pausini and Italian broadcaster and X Factor host Alessandro Cattelan.

“I feel very honored to be part of this trio because I am not Italian but Italy and its musical and television culture have entered my heart. I have always defended the idea of Europe, despite having an American passport. Even at the time of the Enlightenment and Victor Hugo what happened was possible thanks to the opening of borders. Europe’s darkest times were when there were walls raised. It is no coincidence that the Eurovision scenography will have a sun in the center, a great light, the idea of Francesca [Montinaro]. A beautiful concept.”

(Mika, La Repubblica, 18 March 2022)

He also suggested that, while he’s never considered competing in Eurovision himself, he’s always acknowledged it as a “sacred evening” in his native UK. He notes having fond memories of Katrina and the Waves, and claims that singing the Olsen Brothers’ Fly On The Wings Of Love in an English pub will cause everyone to “sing along”. This may be more down to the chart success of Spanish DJ XTM’s remix from three years later, but it’s fair to say most British fans would love to visit that pub.

The decision for Mika to host the Contest will be especially notable for the British public, who remember his storm to success in 2007 with Grace Kelly, the first song to reach No.1 in the Official Charts on download sales alone (I know, it was a different time), as well as his propensity to shoot music videos in minor British towns and cities.

When asked about this year’s songs, he said:

“I have a predilection for the Norwegian song about wolves and bananas, which is very funny. But I am neutral, I cannot express preferences. […] In the songs there are many oriental sounds. Even in the new piece from Ukraine, it’s a kind of Byzantine rap.”

(Mika, La Repubblica, 18 March 2022)

With only 50 days to go until the Contest and all attention turning to the host city now the songs have been revealed, ESCBubble are providing you with daily content to get you excited for the best week of the year!

Look out for our Public Reacts videos, where you can mark this year’s songs out of 10!

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