Olly Alexander plans to make Eurovision ‘as gay as possible’ – and doesn’t care what prudes think

Olly Alexander is gearing up for one of the biggest weeks of his career to date as the UK’s 2024 Eurovision Song Contest entrant – and he plans to make it “as gay as possible”.

On Tuesday night (7 May) Alexander will take his song, the Danny L Harle produced pop bop “Dizzy”, to the Eurovision stage in Malmö, Sweden, for the first time during the first semi-final.

Fans have already had a taste of what’s to come thanks to footage from the rehearsals, and his staging looks, for want of a better term, gay as hell. And that’s exactly what he hoped for.

Speaking to PinkNews and other media, Alexander describes why he wanted the staging he has – which includes him performing in a filthy post-apocalyptic locker room, surrounded by shirtless men in skimpy boxing shorts.

“I think if you’re going to take a song to Eurovision, the last thing you should do is be safe. As an artist, I love to provoke a little bit, just cause a little bit of discussion, intrigue,” he shares.

Olly Alexander has form for upsetting miserable prudes watching the BBC: back in 2021, almost 200 people complained that he was being “too sexual” during his performance with Kylie Minogue and The Pet Shop Boys during the BBC’s Big New Years & Years Eve Party

As he said back then, and he maintains now, he will never stop incorporating queerness into his performances.

“I said right in the beginning of this process, I plan to be as gay as possible – and what’s gayer than a locker room?,” he laughs.

“I just want mainly to entertain people and to give a really fab performance. Of course, not everyone’s gonna love it. But I think that’s a sign of a strong performance, really.”

Anyway, this isn’t Alexander’s most daring performance look to-date, not by a long shot: he’s wearing a tatty white singlet, red trousers, and boots.

“It’s not my most outlandish outfit I’ve ever worn, but it’s more in keeping with the story and the narrative, this sort of post-apocalyptic locker room,” he explains.

“It’s distressed, maybe I’ve been through a fight and I fought my way to the Eurovision stage, ready to slay with my boxing gym boys.”

Olly Alexander’s Eurovision performance is set to be steamy and super gay, thankfully. (Eurovision/EBU)

Eurovision 2024 is already set to be one of the queerest in the contest’s history: alongside Alexander, there are two other non-binary artists in Ireland’s Bambie Thug and Switzerland’s (front-runner) Nemo. Other acts including Drag Race Belgium judge Mustii, Australia’s Electric Fields, Lithuania’s Silvester Belt, and Denmark’s SABA also identify as LGBTQ+.

Being surrounded by queer energy has been imperative for Alexander throughout the process.

“Historically, Eurovision has been a great place for queer performers, obviously for queer audiences,” he says.

“This year, I’ve really made friends with a lot of contestants, but I’ve definitely connected a lot with Bambi, with Nemo, with Silvester. Just having that community with each other has been really important. We’ve been able to support each other a lot.”

Despite Eurovision being dubbed the gay Olympics, Alexander knows that queer artists still face judgment from viewers outside of the LGBTQ+ community, while some of the countries participating are far more intolerant of LGBTQ+ people than others.

“We know that, obviously, all of us as contestants when we’re in the spotlight, we’re going to get judged harshly. For the queer performers, we’re going to get a lot of backlash and hate just for being queer and just for being kind of out there visible,” Alexander reflects. 

He and his fellow queer performers won’t be cowed by what any viewers have to say about them, though.

“There’s a lot of value in being your authentic self, being out on a stage and being proud of who you are… we’ve all had some really good discussions about what it’s taken for us to come here to perform at Eurovision. Having each other, it’s been really good.”

While taking part in Eurovision is what counts, the question of winning isn’t off the table yet either, despite what some betting odds are saying

Alexander urges fans not to “count [him] out yet” but ultimately, but he isn’t feeling the pressure about bringing the Eurovision crown back home to the UK.

“I’m just not going to focus on where I place in the final because as long as I just do a performance I’m proud of, do my best, then that’s all that matters,” he says.

“Of course I’d love to have a good result, but you just never know what’s going to happen on the night. So many things are out of your control… so, whatever will be will be, and I’ve made my peace with that.”

Olly Alexander will perform at the first Eurovision semi-final on 7 May, and then again at the Eurovision final on 11 May.

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