Olly Alexander responds after unfortunate mishap during Eurovision semi-final

Pop singer appeared unconcerned by criticism over his ‘off key’ performance at the semi-final, as he admitted he had to improvise after suffering a wardrobe malfunction during the live semi-final

Roisin O'Connor
Friday 10 May 2024 07:55 BST
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Olly Alexander details suffering wardrobe malfunction during Eurovision semi-final

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Olly Alexander has addressed his shaky performance at the Eurovision semi-final on Tuesday (7 May), as viewers criticised him for being “off key”.

The British pop singer, 33, is representing the UK at this year’s song contest, which is being held in Malmö, Sweden, following the country’s win in 2023.

At the first semi-final of the competition, Alexander performed his original song “Dizzy”, which left many fans concerned as they questioned whether he would be able to match the strong vocals of other delegates.

He is guaranteed a place in the final due to the UK’s status as one of the “big five” countries, alongside France, Italy, Germany and Spain, plus 2023 winners and host country Sweden.

Others tuning in to watch the first semi-final noticed that Alexander suffered a technical hitch, as his mic pack was displaced during a dance routine.

Appearing on ITV’s morning show Lorraine the following day, Alexander appeared unruffled by the online reactions, as his host Lorraine Kelly told him the song is “a banger” and joked that she “would have loved to have been in that [music] video”.

“Thank you Lorraine, you are welcome to join me on stage if you want, you’re more than welcome,” the former Years & Years singer responded via video call from Sweden.

Olly Alexander performs during the first semi-final at Eurovision 2024
Olly Alexander performs during the first semi-final at Eurovision 2024 (TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Ima)

“This whole Eurovision experience is wild,” he continued. “Last night was amazing. It was the first time performing in the arena and on TV. It was just... yeah, it was amazing.”

He then explained how he had a “slight wardrobe malfunction... my mic pack fell off and [I] had to improvise but that’s fine, it’s live TV, it happens!”

“You did so, so well with that,” Kelly reassured him, adding: “I think a lot of people... I noticed it, but I think a lot of people wouldn’t have noticed that the mic came away. So you’re having to adapt, so well done on that.”

She continued: “Also, what a naughty performance I’m glad to say! I thought it was fantastic, those dancers, they are just fantastic.”

On social media, some viewers weren’t as enthusiastic as Kelly as they critiqued Alexander’s shaky vocal performance.

“Is it me or was Olly Alexander off key all the way through that performance? It just didn’t settle,” another questioned, while one viewer said snarkily: “The Brits trying to hype up Olly Alexander and saying they have a chance at winning as if he wasn’t off key for the whole performance.”

Olly Alexander on the turquoise carpet at the 68th Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden
Olly Alexander on the turquoise carpet at the 68th Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden (Getty Images)

Eurovision is famed for its love of a strong vocal performance, such as last year’s winner Loreen who triumphed for Sweden with her rousing ballad “Tattoo”.

Last month, Alexander responded to an open letter signed by Queers for Palestine, a collective of more than 450 queer artists, individuals and organisations asking him to withdraw from the contest in protest over Israel; Alexander and his fellow Eurovision contestants said their performances would go ahead.

The first semi-final saw Ireland’s delegate Bambie Thug sail through to the grand final on Saturday, along with fellow favourites including Croatia’s Baby Lasagna and Ukraine’s Alyana Alyana and Jerry Heil.

The second semi-final saw a further 10 countries qualify. The grand final takes place on Saturday 11 May.

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