Why is Mika hosting Eurovision? Grace Kelly singer among presenters for contest in Italy
All eyes wereon Italy on Tuesday night as this year's Eurovision Song Contest kicked off with the first of two semi finals. And someone with a key role in this year's event is popstar Mika.
Italy won the right to host Eurovision 2022 after rock act Mansekin triumphed in Rotterdam 12 months ago with their track Zitti E Buoni. And now the stage is set at Turin's Pala Olimpico arena for the competition to get going. While the likes of the UK's Sam Ryder, host nation Italy and 'big 5' countries France, Germany and Spain, all have automatic places in Saturday's grand final. the majority of the 40 countries in Eurovision, have to battle it out in the Eurovision semi finals to get there.
Contenders hotly tipped to do well in the Eurovision odds like Norway's Subwoolfer and Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra go in Eurovision semi final 1, while one of the favourites to win this year, Sweden's Cornelia Jakobs will need to make it through Eurovision semi final 2 on Thursday.
As well as Mika, the Eurovision hosts this year singer famed singer Laura Pausini and Italian TV presenter Alessandro Cattelan.
While Mika, 38, isn't Italian, being of Lebanese birth and growing up in the UK, he has a huge following in Italy and has appeared on The X Factor there. The Grace Kelly singer talked about getting the job of Eurovision host on The One Show, when he said: " have done television in Italy. I learnt to speak Italian just because I got this opportunity to go and do The X Factor in Italy.
"I learnt in a couple of months, luckily my Italian is better now, the ironic thing about this whole thing is that I'm gonna do Eurovision, the biggest TV show Italy has ever had to put on, and the whole thing 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 the political situation: music unites them. It's an exciting honour to be one of the masters of ceremony on these fantastic nights."