Rock band Maneskin wins Eurovision Song Contest for Italy: NPR
Peter Dejong / AP
ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands (AP) – Step above glitter, disco beats and powerful ballads. A group of four Italian rockers won the Eurovision Song Contest in the early hours of Sunday.
The music festival was canceled last year amid the global pandemic, but the event in Rotterdam’s Ahoy arena with its testing regime and strict hygiene protocols was seen as a step towards a return. post-COVID-19 live entertainment.
Maneskin’s victory was only Italy’s third victory in the immensely popular contest and the first since Toto Cutugno took the honor in 1990.
Bookies favorite Italy followed Switzerland, France and Malta after national juries cast their votes, but were propelled to victory by public votes.
A crowd of 3,500 fans, all of whom tested negative for the coronavirus, watched the finalists perform live.
Maneskin means moonlight in Danish, a tribute to bassist Victoria’s home country. The group won with a total of 529 points for second France. Switzerland, which was in the lead after the vote of the national juries, finished third.
British singer James Newman’s song “Embers” didn’t spark any love at all and didn’t score any points, finishing last, just like the UK did in the previous Eurovision Song Contest ago. is two years old.
American rapper Flo Rida failed to translate his star power into points for the entry of little San Marino sung by Senhit. They finished with just 50 points.
For kitsch lovers, German singer Jendrik played a sparkling ukulele and danced with a woman in a giant hand costume optimistically showing the sign of victory. He finished near the end.
Lithuanian band The Roop danced in bright yellow costumes in an ironic homage to 1980s synth pop.
Pravi’s song. “Voila” was a sober ballad, but there was still a lot of overdone spectacle that became the hallmark of Eurovision.
Norwegian singer Andreas Haukeland, whose stage name TIX is a reference to growing up with Tourette’s syndrome, sang “Fallen Angel” in a pair of giant white wings chained to four prancing demons.
On the other end of the spectrum – Finnish hard rock Blind Channel performed their song “Dark Side” amid the explosions of pyrotechnics and Ukraine’s Go_A performed surrounded by skeletal white trees.
Before the show, crowds gathered outside the arena in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. Drag queens mingled with families as a man in a gold suit waited to enter the room.
Popular Icelandic band Dadi og Gagnamagnid, known for their kitsch dance moves and green leisure costumes, were unable to perform live as one member tested positive for the virus earlier in the week. Instead, viewers saw a recording of one of the band’s dress rehearsals.
“The point was to go and experience what it was like to participate in Eurovision, and it really isn’t,” said lead singer Dadi Freyr, isolated in Rotterdam.
While the world of entertainment has changed during the pandemic, the Eurovision final formula familiar to its global legion of fans has not changed. The event was organized as usual by the last winner, the Netherlands, except that he won in 2019.
Milo Mateo and Carlo Sossa, wearing matching hats covered in sequins and draped in Italian flags, came from Italy for the show and were hoping for a Maneskin victory as it would bring next year’s competition to Italy.
“If we win it will be very, very nice, because next year will be in Italy. It’s very good. Hopefully. Let’s keep our fingers crossed,” said Mateo as he waited to enter the arena.