Turkish singer Can Bonomo on Thursday made it to the grand final of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest and is now set to represent Turkey in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku tonight.
The 24-year-old Bonomo is representing Turkey with “Love Me Back,” an English-language pop song about a lovesick sailor that includes many elements of Turkish music, particularly in its chorus.
The İzmir-born singer-songwriter, who released his debut album last year, was up against 17 other acts in Thursday’s second semifinals. The nine other finalists chosen that night are Serbia, Macedonia, Malta, Ukraine, Sweden, Estonia, Norway, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Lithuania.
Speaking at a press conference after the semifinals, Bonomo told reporters that he was happy to have qualified for the finals in Turkey’s sister country of Azerbaijan. Promising “an even better performance in Saturday’s grand finale,” Bonomo was diplomatic in responding to a question about his fiercest opponents, saying that all his fellow contestants were very talented musicians, the Cihan news agency reported.
The 10 countries selected on Thursday are joining Tuesday’s winners and six other automatic qualifiers -- Germany, the UK, France, Spain and Italy (the “Big Five” which are the biggest contributors to the European Broadcasting Union, which organizes the competition) and host country Azerbaijan -- at the final. The 10 finalists from Tuesday night are Iceland, Greece, Romania, Albania, Greek Cyprus, Denmark, Russia, Hungary, Moldova and Ireland.
The final for the 57th Eurovision Song Contest will be held tonight at Baku’s new Crystal Hall. The contest, which is televised live, is expected to be viewed by 125 million people worldwide.