Eurovision 2022: Who is Mika and why is he hosting the final?

It’s that time of year again – the Eurovision grand final is upon us.

Following Italian rock band Maneskin’s victory in 2021, this year’s event is hosted by Italy, with 26 artists flocking to Turin to represent their country in the grand finale.

This year’s UK entry will be Sam Ryder. Learn more about the musician here.

A trio of celebrity presenters will lead the proceedings tonight, with singer Mika joining Italian TV personality Alessandro Cattelan and Italian singer Laura Pausini on stage.

Who is Mike?

The Lebanese-born singer – real name Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr – moved to London aged nine, where he attended Westminster School and the Royal College of Music.

Mika released his debut single “Relax, Take It Easy” in 2006. He then shot to fame three years later with his 2009 hit “Grace Kelly.”

The 38-year-old has lived mainly in Italy since 2013. He owns a house and a studio in Tuscany.

Eurovision welcomes Mika, Laura Pausini and Alessandro Cattelan (Giulio Rustichelli/Eurovision)

Why does Mika host Eurovision?

Although Mika is not Italian, he is popular in the country after starring in the Italian version of The X Factor.

speaking on The only show, he said: “I did television in Italy. I learned to speak Italian just because I had this opportunity to go The X Factor in Italy.

“I learned in a few months, luckily my Italian is better now, the irony of it all is that I’m going to do Eurovision, the biggest TV show Italy has ever had to put on, and everything is in English.”

Mika recently said he’s been watching the Eurovision Song Contest “since I was a kid”.

“Once a year, more than 40 countries share the same emotions, regardless of history or political situation: music unites them. It’s a thrilling honor to be one of the emcees on these fantastic nights,” he said.

You can follow live updates from the event here.

Find out all the info on how to watch the grand finale and what time it starts here.

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