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BWW Feature: Eurovision 2022 - Superstitions and good luck rituals

We ask this year's contestants about their pre-performance rituals

BWW Feature: Eurovision 2022 - Superstitions and good luck rituals The 2022 Eurovision Song Contest has arrived, with the live semi-finals on Tuesday 10 and Thursday 12 May, and the final on Saturday 14 May. This year, artists from 40 countries from Europe and beyond will bring their songs to Turin, Italy, to perform on one of the biggest music stages in the world.

Whilst it brings joy (and occasionally also disbelief) to millions of viewers worldwide, it's also a moment of huge pressure for the performers. Three minutes, live, with no retakes if things don't quite go to plan.

During the intensive rehearsal period over the past week or so, we took the chance to ask some of this year's artists whether, like many theatrical performers, they have any superstitions or pre-performance rituals to calm their nerves or bring them good luck on stage.

The power of loved ones

BWW Feature: Eurovision 2022 - Superstitions and good luck rituals For some, all they need is to know they have the support of friends and family.

"I don't go anywhere without the blessing of my mum," Ronela Hataji, Albania's representative, told us. "My dad has passed away, but I still speak to him too and he gives me strength to keep up with everything - I get comfort from that."

Sheldon Riley, competing for Australia, doesn't have any rituals other than to be "surrounded by the people I love - that usually makes me pretty happy!"

Treasured trinkets

BWW Feature: Eurovision 2022 - Superstitions and good luck rituals Others have small items, often jewellery, that they like to wear or carry for good luck.

"I have this necklace [a wooden cross]," explains Stefan, who is singing for Estonia. "My grandmother in Armenia blessed it before she gave it to me, and it means a lot when I wear it."

Vladana from Montenegro, whose mum sadly passed away during the Covid pandemic, told us: "I'll be wearing something of my mum's so she's there with me."

Konstrakta, representing Serbia, has "three gold rings from my mother-in-law - I wear those all the time."

Siggy, lead singer of Danish band REDDI, told us: "I'm not usually superstitious but when it's something as big as Eurovision I'd rather have something than not! I have a picture of my little sister making a rock hand - so I'll keep that with me when I perform."

Star signs and superstitions

BWW Feature: Eurovision 2022 - Superstitions and good luck rituals Some of the Eurovision Class of '22 take an interest in astrology.

Monika Liu from Lithuania told us: "I have a personal astrologer. I was a bit lost after the pandemic, so I spoke to her and she said that in May I would have some international success with my work... and here I am!"

Spanish pop diva Chanel also seems to follow astrology - during one of her press conferences she asked for someone to look up her daily horoscope because she'd forgotten to read it that morning! Her and her dancers also have a small superstition that sees them always step onto the stage right foot first.

REDDI's drummer Ihan also fends off fate with a pre-show tradition: "I always need to drop my drumsticks a couple of times before I go on stage, so I don't do it when I'm doing my tricks on stage. It calms me down, but makes everyone else nervous!"

Giving it their best shot

BWW Feature: Eurovision 2022 - Superstitions and good luck rituals Rock outfit Intelligent Music Project, representing Bulgaria, are one of several of this year's acts to take a sip of Dutch courage before setting foot on the stage, and told us: "We don't have any superstitions or rituals - we just have a beer!"

Roman Iagupov, lead singer of Zdob şi Zdub who are competing for Moldova, has decided on a new tradition for Eurovision: "My pre-stage ritual here at the Eurovision Song Contest will be one bottle of Italian wine!"

Estonia's Stefan also finds a quick drink helps to calm the nerves. "I have a little shot just to relax, then sometimes I fall asleep - with the pressure, I need to relax - but then before I go on stage I get my blood going again."

Similarly, Mia Dimšić from Croatia told us: "We always like to drink a sip of rakija, it's a Croatian shot drink that gives you an energy boost and makes you happy! It's healthy - it's good for you!"

Mind over matter or let's get physical?

BWW Feature: Eurovision 2022 - Superstitions and good luck rituals Mia is also one of the contestants who likes to try to find a quiet moment before the performance. "I try to meditate if I can, but that's rarely possible because it's so hectic around the stage."

In contrast to the on-stage weirdness of mysterious Georgian prog rock band Circus Mircus, their lead singer also tries to "calm myself down with meditation because I'm always very nervous."

Similarly, S10, singing for The Netherlands, told us: "I go into my own space through a kind of meditation - I want to focus on myself and feeling everything in my body so nothing can distract me. But I also listen to music (like Rihanna, Lady Gaga or Dutch hip-hop) and dance, because I'm the most happy (sic) when I dance."

Another member of Circus Mircus hinted at some slightly more risqué pre-show physical activity. "I do have one pre-stage ritual but I can't tell you - let's call it doing push-ups."

Secret rituals

BWW Feature: Eurovision 2022 - Superstitions and good luck rituals A couple of this year's bands are keen to maintain more of an air of mystery.

The cheeky and chipper lads from Latvia's Citi Zēni said: "We do have a ritual - we stand in a circle, put all our hands together and say a special word - but we won't tell you what it is!"

Similarly one of this year's most well-known names, The Rasmus from Finland, feel that a little superstition can help with big performances. "We do have a little ritual we do every time before we go on stage - but it's a big secret!"

Keeping it simple

BWW Feature: Eurovision 2022 - Superstitions and good luck rituals Finally, some performers prefer to focus on taking care of the basics.

Aside from her belief in astrology, Monika Liu told us: "I just try to get a good night's sleep - and I don't talk on the phone to my boyfriend or parents so I don't get nervous!"

Amanda Tenfjord, representing Greece, isn't superstitious, "but I do some vocal warm ups - that's it!"

Mahmood, who duets with Blanco for Italy this year, told us: "I need to be calm, so I just like to shut up for 30 minutes before the performance - it's pretty unusual for me!"

Andrea from North Macedonia has recently found her pre-show ritual. "I think about everything I'm grateful for, and that out of everyone it's me that has this opportunity. That helps me to go out on stage with a smile on my face and do my best."

The UK's Sam Ryder takes a similar approach: "I just take a breath and say my thank yous, and really try to be present and put myself in that very moment. And warm up and drink ginger tea! I can make anyone here a good ginger tea!"

And in line with her Eurovision performance, Konstrakta from Serbia told us with a smile: "I wash my hands!" It seems that for her, cleanliness is next to staginess!

You can read our preview of some of this year's Eurovision songs and performances here

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