Rotterdam (Netherlands) (AFP)
The Eurovision Song Contest is never short of drama and its return after a year off was no exception, with a biting finish and tense national rivalries.
Here are some key talking points from the 65th edition of the competition, held in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam:
– Drug denial –
Italy’s Maneskin frontman Damiano David has firmly denied taking drugs when a reporter asked him that images of him leaning over a table during the Eurovision Song Contest went viral on social media.
“I don’t use drugs. Please guys. Don’t say that really, no cocaine. Please don’t say that,” David said at a press conference afterwards. that the four glamorous rockers were named the winners.
He said he looked down because guitarist Thomas Raggi broke a glass
The group then said on their Instagram Stories that they were “ready to get tested because we have nothing to hide.”
“We are really shocked at what some people are saying about Damiano using drugs. We are really AGAINST drugs and we have never used cocaine,” they said.
– 44 years of injury –
France saw their best chance in years to break their long losing streak at Eurovision, as singer Barbara Pravi came in second behind Maneskin.
The favorite to win a week ago, Pravi has been compared to Edith Piaf, with her brooding “Voila” number and a moving performance against a dark background.
But despite raucous support from many international media outlets, she was nabbed at the post, scoring 499 points compared to Maneskin’s 524.
France has been waiting for a Eurovision champion since 1977 when Marie Myriam won the competition.
This is despite the fact that the country is one of the so-called “Big Five” guaranteed a place in the final each year, along with Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.
– Swiss role –
Switzerland’s Gjon’s Tears – singer Gjon Muharremaj, 22 – surprised many by finding himself at the top of the standings after the first round of voting of the national juries of Eurovision.
The 22-year-old, whose parents are from Albania and Kosovo, appeared in the French version of The Voice in 2019. He was part of Mika’s team at the time, and reached the semi-final.
He worked on his song “All the Universe” with one of the authors of “Arcade”, the power ballad sung by 2019 Dutch winner Duncan Laurence.
But the public vote that followed caused a huge push for Maneskin which took them to first place, leaving the Swiss to feel the sting of defeat.
– No points for the United Kingdom –
James Newman of the UK suffered the humiliation of scoring the infamous “draws” – without any points in the standings.
Newman’s song “Embers” failed to set Europe on fire, as both national juries and the public vote snub it.
A cheerful Newman raised a beer in front of the cameras to acknowledge what had happened.
Britain might be wondering if it would be a good idea to leave Eurovision like it did with the EU, as it also finished last in the song contest in 2019.
– First transgender host –
Eurovision had its first transgender host with Nikkie de Jager, better known as NikkieTutorials, to her more than 13 million followers on Instagram and Youtube, where she gives beauty tips.
De Jager was the online presenter and also appeared in parts of the main live show.
She revealed she was transgender in 2020 in a video that has now been viewed over 32 million times.
De Jager’s makeup tutorials have made her one of the most famous Youtubers in her field, and she has collaborated with American stars such as Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.
© 2021 AFP