Why Australia’s Sheldon Riley wears a mask on the Eurovision stage

Sheldon Riley will sing “Not the same” for Australia in the Grand Final of Eurovision 2022. In his performance, he wears a face mask which he takes of towards the end of the performance. At his Eurovision press conference he told ESCDaily why.

“I was diagnosed with Asperger as a kid. However I decided that I would never blame my mental condition for anything. So instead, I started blaming the way that I looked.”

Watch Sheldon Riley explain the meaning of his staging at Eurovision 2022:

Riley says the face mask has a double meaning, both referring to him hiding away from the world because of his diagnosis, as well as him trying to change his looks through masks that he calls “beautiful distractions”. However, at the end of the performance he takes the mask off. “I don’t want to be an advocate for not liking the way that I look. Because… to whose standard is that?”