From our special correspondent in Turin (Italy)
We met the singer Mika and the coach Mika The voice. This week we discover the animator Mika. Together with Laura Pausini and Alessandro Cattelan, he is one of the master of ceremonies of Eurovision, which takes place in Turin. Still vibrant as ever, the 30-year-old never stops chasing time. From Monday until Saturday he does rehearsals and live performances. On Thursday, however, he found a place between the seamstress par excellence and the live performance of the semifinal to answer the questions of 20 minutes.
How did you experience the live broadcast of the first semi-final on Tuesday? What do you remember?
I find this experience extraordinary. RAI has decided to invest in almost the same way in the three evenings, it is very courageous and also very risky. Putting on such a show is difficult. Climbing three in a week is unheard of. I am thrilled by what is happening. The secret of all this is that we started working on writing, with Laura [Pausini] and Alessandro [Cattelan], months ago, at a distance or together. We are part of a discussion about the structure, the narration, the tone of what we see, the introductions, the performances.
Everything is very accurate. There is little room for improvisation. For someone spontaneous like you, isn’t that frustrating?
This chronometer and accuracy do not facilitate the exercise. All this is based on interpretation, on energy, sometimes even on a small glance or a gesture that must be amplified… It is really a television language. We are on macro television. Because everyone speaks with our voice, this is the first thing you need to understand. So it’s all in a gesture, in a look, in the bond that exists between us [avec Laura Pausini et Alessandro Cattelan] and the camera. As soon as we enter this arena, we make television for the people at home. You have to talk to the camera 99% of the time and not to the audience in the room. We improvise anyway, but with precision, in a timed manner. I’ll tell you the truth, if I’m prepared, I find it funny. I prepare myself as much as possible so that, if I’m wrong, I can catch up and remain human and sincere, but not frozen.
In the Italian magazine “Sorrisi e Canzoni”, you recently declared that the French commentators were “very bad”, “very mean”. Do you have a message for Laurence Boccolini and Stéphane Bern commenting on Saturday’s final on France 2?
(Laughs) We know very well that there was more evil than Stéphane Bern. Marc-Olivier Fogiel, whom I know very well, and Dave fired their comments because they were so mean … At the same time, this is part of the exercise, isn’t it? This duality, there are the things we like, the ones we don’t like, the waterfalls … It’s part of the game, but, Stephane, please be kind, I ask you.
A few years ago you said some pretty harsh words about Eurovision. How do you see the competition today?
There are always things you really like and things you don’t like. This format has had considerable success in recent years, thanks to streaming. If Albania presents a good song, or if a hit comes from the Netherlands, it can become a worldwide hit. When Italy presents a song like Shut up and Good, the number of plays is incredible. Streaming has changed the way people view this competition. The caliber of the authors, the caliber of the artists, the social networks, allow you to understand who the person sings is, where he comes from, what his song is about … These songs are no longer necessarily discovered on the evening of the final. This has increased the musical credibility of this competition.
This edition takes place in a particularly tense international climate, with one of the participating countries in particular, Ukraine, which is in full war. How do you feel: are people in the mood for a party?
There is more than ever the heart of the party. However, not all of them constantly blow up. When Ukraine showed up the other night [en demi-finale mardi], there have been many tears. There was an intensity. I was like, ‘Damn, I’ll remember this moment for the rest of my life. “I never imagined being in a variety show, a song contest and experiencing a collective and intense socio-political emotion, like the one I experienced when the Ukrainians [le groupe Kalush Orchestra] he arrived and people started shouting and cheering, regardless of what flag they were holding. More than ever, it is urgent to celebrate our differences on the same stage. I gave an interview to New York Times where I was trying to make the United States understand what the Eurovision phenomenon was … I explained to them that, more than ever, artists sing in their language and it is quite surprising because, before, there was the idea that there was a ” Eurovision sound “. Now you hear different languages, but also instruments from different cultures, you see embroideries, models … Just the fact that France has voted for a Breton group to represent it at Eurovision … do we like it or not? This is another question. But it is interesting from a socio-political point of view. Well … yes !
Did Nikos Aliagas send you a congratulatory message after the first semi-final?
No. He didn’t write to me. I don’t know why, actually.
Do you expect it? Is there a message to convey to him?
Yes I love it! He too is impressed with what I just talked about. It would be a good question for him: Saturday night, who will he support? Will he howl for France? Greece ? And if it’s both, which one will it scream louder for?
Nikos Aliagas will soon be back to host “Star Academy”. You were the artistic director of the Quebec version, would you be interested in reproducing the experience in France on TF1?
In Quebec, I was a guest art director. So far, there hasn’t been any discussion between me and Stella Ac ‘ in France, so all the announcements that have been made are not reality at all.
Will we see you again in France soon?
My new single, me me, which comes out this Friday, will definitely take me to France. I hope you will listen to me in France before you see me. I will be doing a lot of festivals in Europe this summer. There is a time for TV, a time for music and a time for the stage. Everything has to take its place when it is needed. It’s so important to me, that’s why I’ll sing in the final. I do the guestthen I become Jekyll and Hyde, I completely change my outfit and my attitude and I become the artist on stage.