He’s the biggest pop star ever to perform during the interval of the Eurovision Song Contest.

But tonight, in the latest episode of The Graham Norton Show, former N’SYNC boy bander Justin Timberlake reveals that he had no clue what the show was when approached to perform.

The 35-year-old admits to Graham that he did not know a thing about the pan-European singing contest “before I said yes to it.”

“Then, when I told people I was doing it they would respond with, ‘Oh, why are you doing that show?’ — “I thought, ‘Why not, a lot of people watch it!’ It was a lot of fun.”

And it also helped his single nudge up the charts all around Europe.

As we previously reported, the “Can’t Stop This Feeling” hitmaker saw his catchy ditty top the charts in 18 countries over the summer — and 12 of them are countries that participated in Eurovision, including Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland.

He’s also had plenty of success at home, where an excited, if relatively small, audience of Americans tuned into the contest for the first time on LOGO TV.

On June 6 the former N’Sync member reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult Pop Songs radio airplay chart in the United States.

He managed to do that just five weeks after the song’s release, which tied him for the fastest ascent to No. 1 alongside Adele’s “Hello”, which did so back in November.

Justin is clearly a convert to Eurovision.

In June he traveled to Australia, where he appeared on the Nova 96.9 radio station in Sydney and was full of kind words for Australia’s contestant Dami Im.

He told radio hosts Fitzy and Wippa: “Australia was represented beautifully…I thought that it was a great song and and an amazing performance.”

And guess what? JT wants the contest to go global and to build bridges to America.

“In my opinion there should also be a Worldvision to let everybody in on the fun.”

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Aaron GR
Guest
Aaron GR

Mawnck is right – the Logo deal was a frustrating snarl for US fans. The streaming was poor, the commentary was clueless and annoying, and Justin’s performance was blocked. I hope EBU thinks about these things next year before they give exclusive broadcast rights to a tiny niche cable channel that clearly doesn’t understand Eurovision. I sort of hope that Logo got burned and stays far away next year. It was a serious turn-off for any budding fan. We Americans were better served before, when we just got the standard show from Eurovision.tv. For the record, American fans have a… Read more »

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

I hope USA is not offended. Americans who watch ESC, I guess they watch it because is different, we don’t need Kanye West, or Miley Cyrus, and I hope that normal, decent americans understand that, they must be tired too.

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

@mawnck

The LOGO commentators were terrible too. Gave nothing on the performers stories or the songs backgrounds. Just relentless fawning over who was “yummiest”.

Get some actual people who did research and care about what they’re watching, next time.

mawnck
Guest
mawnck

Everybody chill. America is NOT going to be in the Eurovision Song Contest. In fact, the Logo deal did terrible damage, by blocking all access to the online performance videos just as the Contest was starting to get some major media attention. (They’re still blocked.)

And Justin Timberlake is a conceited ass. This is not news.

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

I didn’t criticized exactly the artist. Just wanna say in shortest explanation that bringing powerful worldwide gamers as guests (acts, etc.) with ability to sneak in later will just raise the sum price and throw away some eastern and central countries in future on regular basis like it happens with microstates and balkan countries. You have to decide do you feel it’s core sence should be blurred with swede/americanized music production in order to expand ESC modernity, commercialization and success (but also with raising sum check for participants and hosts) or should ESC stay modest in shell but avialable to… Read more »

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

Some of ya’ll have gone full Samuel L. Jackson.

“I am sick of all these mutha-lovin’ Americans in this mutha-lovin’ European song contest!”

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

Countries spend money (some countries spend their LAST money) to send an artist to ESC, and that artist is the best that country can give, and is representing the whole country, so is expected to act with dignity, not to be wet for seeing JT. I understand Frans from Sweden, he is a teenager and for him is really the first time in front of 16.000 audience in the arena, but these adult women have no excuse. And JT has no fault, but the hosts could use better those minutes of interval act. Maybe USA will never participate (at least… Read more »

jamaladingdong
Guest
jamaladingdong

I understand JT’s interest of Eurovision despite having a little knowledge of it. But I think he’s all mission accomplished with what he contributed in the contest. What he just said here won’t affect the contest even further as it’s only his opinion after all. It only stays there and I just see no problem to it anyway. Just don’t let US in general interfere with it any further that would make the contest as common as any other Western singing contests.

MTD
Guest
MTD

@Charles – you are so damn right!

Alenn
Guest
Alenn

And those of you who think of “fangirling” as something degrading for the artists, if Conchita, Loreen, Rybak or some other ESC “royalty” had appeared as a guest and participants were fangirling over them, you wouldn’t mind, would you?

Alenn
Guest
Alenn

@Denis:

I understand that what most people in the comments want to complain about is the EBU approach of bringing Eurovision closer to America and the possibility of the US as a future participant. I agree that this wouln’t be a good idea, but of course it’s not Justin Timberlake’s fault. He just accepted the invitation and went there to perform.

Denis
Guest
Denis

Gee guys, you must be fun to hang out with. All your comments are full with joy! I for one loved JT? Why? Cause he’s a good talented artist with great tracks! The song was better than all of the competing entries, winner included! I still listen to it whereas I have stopped listen to the ESC songs a long time ago.More well- produced than most ESC-songs! Of course Poli acted as a fan-girl because she is a fan-girl. What’s so wrong about that? I would freak out too if I was that close to my idol. Isn’t that that… Read more »

Jackqulen
Guest
Jackqulen

Very off topic, but the only reason I streamed Eurovision from Logo TV is because they blocked streaming from YouTube or Eurovision.tv

I can bare the extreme low resolution, the annoying commentary by people who know nothing about ESC, and the fact that ESC was aired on a TV station that no one has (I have a 200+ channel bundle at home and no logo TV)

What I can’t really stand was that all the live performances are still geoblocked today and every time I want to re-watch it I have to change my IP address *rolls eyes*

Steve
Guest
Steve

It turns out JT is a huge liar Lol He said that he watched the contest for the last two years and Mans even got flattered and melted haha just try to look at his face by watching the show on repeat. Agree that the contest lost its luxurious appearance because of JT and yeah many artists were even secretly taking selfies, trying to get closer to him. At this point I lost any interest in them tbh. And yeah, I Polina acted as a teenage fan. This way the contestants show that we’re making desperate efforts in making Eurovision… Read more »

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

With all the strong vocalists they have in Sweden, they chose one of the most impersonal, weak and useless voices in the pop music industry. I’d rather hear Sanna Nielsen, Nanne Grönvall and Caroline af Ugglas singing their hearts out any day, but it’s all about the money I guess.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

The connection was that “Can’t Stop the Feeling” was co-written by the legendary Swedish songwriter Max Martin. Not exactly a strong connection, but at least a vague justification.

(Personally, I didn’t enjoy JT at ESC and I think the show would have been stronger without it. I hope it doesn’t set a precedent.)

Napaw
Guest
Napaw

I’m still annoyed that Eurovision let itself be talked into giving Justin Timberlake this platform for cheap promotion…

Alenn
Guest
Alenn

@Kenny ESC:

Couldn’t agree more. I feel that Eurovision has become more and more “americanised” in recent years, almost everybody sings in English and a lot of songs sound the same, to the point when you can’t tell one country from another. I hope Jamala’s victory with her ethnic, half-Tatar song will reverse that trend and we’ll get to see a little more diversity next year.

Alenn
Guest
Alenn

@an esc fan:

It makes sense, since Justin Timberlake was in a very popular boyband in the 90s, maybe he was their idol when they were little girls and they were genuinely excited to see him in person. What’s wrong with that?

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski
KennyESC
Guest
KennyESC

@Tony But that is right. I mean. This is an European contest. Yeah, we all know the European Broadcasting Area things ecc.. ecc. But EURO. EUROpean countries. At first I hated Australia partecipating, but as it has an European culture it’s ok for me. The north-African countries + Azerbaijan, Armenia & Israel too. And I’m even open for guests, like Australia in 2015. But not for them doing like normal contestants like Australia in 2016. FR MACEDONIA COULD QUALIFY IF IT WASN’T FOR THAT STUPID SONG! KALIOPI WAS ROBBED FOR THAT DUMB THING. But I’m all for new cultures partecipating… Read more »

beccaboo1212
Guest

A very important message to Briekimchi, Zebb, and Jonas: Global pop sensations shouldn’t be criticized for “bad music” or anything. Furthermore, Selena Gomez was supposed to travel to Ukraine as part of her “Stars Dance” Tour in 2013, but that was cancelled for no reason. Maybe she’ll be able to travel to Ukraine during her next tour in late 2017 or early 2018. Also, Taylor Swift never stepped foot in Ukraine before, so maybe she should travel there a few months after Eurovision, but at the Olimpiyskiy stadium. I don’t remember Kelly Clarkson stepping foot in Ukraine either, so the… Read more »

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

Look at the video, I was so disappointed to see Barei, Poli Genova and Zoe (with boyfriend next to her) acting like grupies for Justin Timberlake.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

The most irritating thing about his appearance was his condescending treatment of the other acts, as if they were competing on some trash like X Factor or something, not fellow professionals. Some of them have been in the business longer than he has.
I’m not blaming him for that, but that’s what happens when you hand over your interval act to someone who’s barely registered the contest in all their 35 years.

Steve
Guest
Steve

I don’t think any singer could get better promotion than performing at the ESC!

ESC84
Guest
ESC84

Watching global star in ESC is like watching the coaches in the Voice

James
Guest
James

Technically, his performance never aired on US television due to clearance issues. Logo TV aired the Grey People interval act instead.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

@beccaboo1212 – No.
If I wanted to listen to mediocre Americanised music, I’d tune into the radio. For some of us, Eurovision is a welcome break where the whole world doesn’t revolve around people who are “brands” with no actual talent.

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

No, no, no, never ever. If you want interval act, replace popstar with:

1. Some winner(s) in the past with new decent track, random or whatever. Cheaper and even more effective for ESC aura.
2. Formula when some other country that just would like to represent itself at ESC can compete once or so, just like it was suggested by some genius person themes ahead. Still there’s ability to put best whatever genre star from your country.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Yeah, I knew he was lying (or misleading) when he said on the final that he’d seen the two previous shows. What he meant was quick YouTube glance at the winners, if even that. Then again, Mans should never have asked him that question – it was just putting him in an awkward position.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

He wasnt even the best interval act!! I used his performance as my toilet and snack break. Love Love Peace Peace was a thousand times better!!

Charles
Guest
Charles

When I first read this on Digital Spy I could not control my laughter at it … cause the only question that came to mind and still comes to mind is “why would he an ordinary American person even know anything about an European entertainment show?” … come on … America believes that the whole world knows what goes on over there … which is fairly true to say …I mean we have to bare every single detail of the American Trumps-Hillary late night presidential reality TV show … but who the hell still believes that most Americans even stop… Read more »

beccaboo1212
Guest

You know what? I actually kinda like the idea of global stars being the interval act at Eurovision. This should happen every year. I was thinking that Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Katy Perry, or Kelly Clarkson could be the interval act in Kiev. 🙂

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

Yes he said that he saw the last two editions, I hope that artists like that will not use ESC again. Bring artists that really know and appreciate ESC.

Tusán
Guest

He said in the Grand Final that he watched the last two editions. Guess he lied to be polite lol

fikri
Guest
fikri

i can’t imagine his confusion especially when it comes to the winner.

so long as he gets paidm i guess.

Tony
Guest

Oh boy, brace yourselves for the “it’s our toy and nobody else can play with it” arguments.