Achille Lauro and Boss Doms perform on stage during the second semi-final of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest. (Photo by Filippo Alfero/Getty Images)
San Marino Eurovision entry Achille Lauro’s intense, heart-pumping performance took centre stage at the second semi-final on Thursday (12 May).
And if the fireworks, flashing lights and absolute showmanship wasn’t enough, the 31-year-old singer made history when he pulled his guitarist in for a same-sex kiss.
The San Marino representative poured his heart out on the stage while performing his song “Stripper”. He rode a bull, danced with flames, and locked lips with his guitarist, Boss Doms, which set not only his stage ablaze but social media as well.
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The sheer body-hugging leotard, flame throwing guitars and overall energy of his performance had viewers thrilled. But their excitement didn’t last long, as Achile Lauro failed to progress to the Eurovision grand final.
The kiss is important not only because it is the first of its kind, but because Eurovision organizers once fought to erase any queer ‘antics’ in 2003 when TaTu, the Russian duo, was set to perform.
There had been rumours that they would kiss, and if they did, they had a plan to not air it.
At the time Eurovision spokesperson Sovita Vevere told Reuters: “We don’t know what they’ll do on stage – you never do with this group,” she added: “But we will have a taped performance from the dress rehearsal, so we can always switch to that if we need to.”
Achille Lauro, whose real name is Lauro De Marinis, has participated in Eurovision 11 times since debuting in 2008.
He came in ninth place at Eurovision 2021, and was hoping to go all the way with his song “Stripper”.
In an interview with wiwibloggs, Lauro had this to say about the song: “I would define it as a punk-rock song, even though I prefer not to give a label to the things I do. It’s a track based on the duality of man and woman, I would call it a feminist anthem. It’s about feeling like a woman and not worrying about outside judgment.”
The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final will take place in Turin’s Pala Olimpico Arena on Saturday 14 May.