The Eurovision Song Contest is back with high camp, weird things and weird landmarks

After 66 years of high camp and rude allure, you might think there’s not much left for performers at the Eurovision Song Contest that hasn’t been held before.

You will be wrong.

Even in the run-up to Saturday’s Eurovision 2022 Grand Final in Turin, Italy, two notable stages have already been scheduled this week. On Tuesday, when Icelandic trio Sestor learned they had made it to the first semi-final, they waved proudly Transgender science Along with their country.

Then in the second semi-final on Thursday, San Marino singer Achille Lauro planted his first mid-Eurovision performance male kiss Right on the guitarist’s lips.

Achille Lauro and Boss Domes of San Marino kiss Thursday.Filippo Alveiro / Getty Images

And that’s not something to talk about about the mysterious theater stunt that’s the hallmark of Eurovision, which this year already made its debut as monk-supervised hand washing (Serbia), wolf masks (Norway) and mechanical bull riding (again, San Marino) .

From Israel’s Dana International to Austria’s Conchita Wurst to Dutch Duncan Laurence, LGBTQ artists have always been warmly welcomed at Eurovision. Last year, five GrandfFinal record acts consisted in whole or in part of outside performers – including winners Måneskin from Italy, with bisexual member Victoria De Angelis and “sexual free” member Ethan Torchio.

This year’s Eurovision final on Saturday will feature two outdoor shows – the aforementioned Icelandic Systur and Australia’s Sheldon Riley – and performances from many of the other contestants will show strong endorsement of gay sex.

Subwoolfer performs Tuesdays on behalf of Norway.Marco Bertorello/AFP – Getty Images

Hosting the extravaganza will also be two beloved gay stars: singer Micah, who will live from Turin as a host on site for a global audience, and Olympic commentator-turned-NBC Johnny Weir, who will be releasing the exclusive US broadcast on the peacock. (NBC News and Peacock are owned by Comcast-NBCUniversal.)

Systur will celebrate another major Eurovision final on Saturday, as a group that includes a lesbian woman and a mother of a transgender child. Band of Sisters has been a staunch advocate of transgender children in their homeland.

“I didn’t realize until my child emerged as a transgender person that not everyone is open to it, because I accepted it and was actually happy that my child was able to break free from the chains he was living under,” Sigga Eyþórsdóttir told Australia JOYEurovision podcast. “I’ve come to realize how many trans children and trans children struggle with being unable to express their gender, and that really broke my heart.

She added, “I reached out to the trans community in Iceland, and asked, ‘How can I be your voice? And they said, ‘Just tell the parents to do what I did: accept and love your children unconditionally.’

Systur members
Systur members from Iceland hold a transgender flag as they arrive for the opening ceremony of the Eurovision Song Contest on Sunday. Marco Bertorello/AFP – Getty Images

entry of Systur’s popular Eurovision, “Með hækkandi sól” (“As the sun rises”), is an ode to the promise of the sun’s warmth and light that overcomes the cold darkness of winter.

Australian contestant Sheldon Riley’s song lyrics, “Not the same” Also celebrate Light Shining Through Broken Darkness – and it resonated so strongly with some LGBTQ fans that the song is being hailed as a gay anthem.

“I never planned for it to be an anthem,” Riley said. Netherlands ‘OUTtv. “For me, it was just a song I wrote when I was 15.

“I was first diagnosed with Asperger’s at 6 years old, but I also grew up in a very religious and conservative family,” he explained. “So the idea of ​​being gay and being all those things that Eurovision is so proud of was just not acceptable to me, it was this thing that was constantly praying. Pray that Sheldon is a real man; pray that Sheldon is not gay, he will be straight, he will be He’s got a wife, he’s going to have kids. We’ll keep praying constantly to fix something about you.”

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