Eurovision: Italian Heavy Metal Band Måneskin Wins 65th Song Contest

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Italian heavy-metal band Måneskin has won the Eurovision crown with their song “Zitti e buoni.”

Italy, the bookies’ favorite going into the show, won with 524 points, while French chanteuse Barbara Pravi came in second with 499 points. Switzerland’s Gjon’s Tears was in third place with 432 points. Meanwhile, the COVID-stricken Iceland, a fan favorite that was hyped up thanks to Netflix’s Iceland-centric “The Story of Fire Saga,” came in fourth with 378 points.

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“We just want to say to the whole of Europe, to the whole world, rock and roll never dies!” screamed Måneskin frontman Damiano David on stage following the band’s win.

Hailing from Rome, the glam-rock group is comprised of singer David, bassist Victoria De Angelis, guitarist Thomas Raggi and drummer Ethan Torchio. The band, who wore matching laminated red leather outfits to the final, won Italy’s prestigious Sanremo Music Festival in March. Their win — which marks the third historical victory for the country, which last won in 1990 — means the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest will be heading to Italy.

This year’s Eurovision was cut-throat, with public voting extremely measured in their selections in the final stage of the competition. The U.K. received an embarrassing zero points from the international juries as well as the public, coming in dead last, while other countries such as Spain and Germany also receive zero points from the public.

The 65th edition of the competition returned after two years, set in Rotterdam, Netherlands, where the Ahoy arena — used as a hospital for COVID-19 patients just a year ago — was transformed into the world’s biggest music competition. It was an extraordinary feat for a country that is still combating the most recent wave of the pandemic, with strict protocols in place across the nation.

This year’s competition, considered one of the best productions in Eurovision history, enjoyed more global interest than ever thanks to Netflix’s 2020 Eurovision movie, starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams as Icelandic Eurovision hopefuls, which opened up the mad world of the musical spectacle to uninitiated Netflix users around the globe.

So popular was the film that Icelandic actor Hannes Óli Ágústsson, who famously demands that Fire Saga play only “Jaja Ding Dong” in the movie, delivered Iceland’s jury results in the final stages of the competition. “I would personally like you to play ‘Jaja Ding Dong,'” requested a deadpan Ágústsson on air.

The contest — which convenes musical acts from European countries and a handful of other nations as they vie for the prestigious Eurovision crown — was broadcast for U.S. audiences via NBCUniversal-backed Peacock.

The grand final featured 26 performances. Favorites going into the event included France’s Pravi and Italy’s Måneskin, but acts from Ukraine, Malta, Lithuania and Finland (this year’s other heavy metal act) also wowed audiences across Europe.

One famous face in the mix was Flo Rida, who accompanied San Marino finalist Senhit in her performance. (The American rapper arrived in the Netherlands on Tuesday, after judging a bikini competition in Miami, just in time for the first semi-final.) Together, the duo garnered 50 points for San Marino.

While stringent COVID-19 health and safety protocols were applied to this year’s event — those working within the perimeters of the venue, for example, had to have a negative COVID-19 test on hand that was less than 48 hours old — the pandemic managed to claim two live performances in the final.

Iceland’s Daði og Gagnamagnið withdrew from all live performances after a group member tested positive for COVID-19. The band stayed in competition, using their rehearsal tapings to take part.

Meanwhile, Dutch singer Duncan Laurence, winner of the 2019 contest, was scheduled to perform live during Saturday’s grand final but also tested positive and was largely missing in action during the final.

Since April 6, when prep began at the Ahoy arena, some 24,400 tests were conducted among crew, volunteers, artists, delegation members and press. Only 16 (0.06%) returned positive results. Catch up on our exclusive backstage pass into Eurovision with the event’s producer Martin Österdahl.

Read our earlier commentary of the grand final performances below:

Eurovision kicks off with Cyprus’ Elena Tsagrinou and a sultry performance of “El Diablo,” which is said to have been controversial among religious Christian groups in the country. The Spanish “El Diablo” translates to “the devil,” and the song contains the lyrics “I gave my heart to el diablo.”

Second up is Albania’s Anxhela Peristeri with “Karma,” followed by Israel with “Set Me Free.”

Israeli finalist Eden Alene was born to Ethiopian-Jewish immigrants, and was raised in Katamon, Jerusalem. While Israel’s participation in this year’s contest, amid almost two weeks of violence between Israel and Palestine, has been controversial, Alene has already proved to be one of the brightest participants in competition, hitting the highest note in Eurovision history — a B6 whistle — during her performance of “Set Me Free” on May 17.

Meanwhile, Belgium’s Hooverphonic performs a rousing performance of alternative track “The Wrong Place,” while Russia’s Manizha delivers a fantastically upbeat display with “Russian Woman.”

A favorite at this year’s competition, Malta’s Destiny — who is only 18 years old — shows off some powerhouse vocals in “Je Me Casse.”

The seventh song in the final comes from Portugal, whose outfit The Black Mamba croons “Love Is On My Side,” surely one of the night’s most toned-down performances. Whether it can cut through amid flashier contenders, however, is anyone’s guess.

Serbia is up next with trio Hurricane performing the inexplicably catchy “Loco Loco,” followed by the U.K.’s James Newman with “Embers.” This year’s contest marks the first edition since the U.K. officially left the European Union. The country hasn’t won Eurovision since 1997, when Katrina and the Waves — best known for the song “Walking on Sunshine” — claimed the crown.

Dancers clad in green leotards are on hand for Greece’s green screen-heavy performance of Stefania’s “Last Dance.” Song 11 is Switzerland’s Gjon’s Tears with power ballad “Tout l’Univers.”

Iceland‘s six-piece Daði og Gagnamagnið is trolling TikTokers with their song “10 Years,” which seems to be leaning into the absurdist antics of Netflix’s fictional Icelandic contenders Fire Saga. Struck down by COVID-19, the taping is unfortunately from one of the group’s rehearsals rather than a live performance.

The second of the ‘Big Five’ countries following the U.K., Spain contributes the biggest prop ever used in Eurovision history with a massive, spherical moon hanging down above Blas Cantó. Shoot for the moon!

Delivering what’s believed to be the competition’s longest note ever is Moldova’s Natalia Gordienko with “Sugar.”

The third country of the ‘Big Five,’ Germany, is next up with Jendrik and his peppy “I Don’t Feel Hate.” (He just feels sorry.) Meanwhile, Finland is all killer no filler with Blind Channel’s heavy-metal tune “Dark Side.”

Next up is Bulgaria’s Victoria with “Growing Up is Getting Old,” followed by quirky fan favorite Lithuania. Dressed in all yellow, The Roop is all dance moves (some serious finger signing involved) and fun with “Discoteque.”

Song 19 is courtesy of Ukraine, whose Go_A delivers beautiful, folk-like vocals in the ethereal “Shum” — one of the best tracks of the night.

France’s Barbara Pravi, another fan favorite, brings the house down with “Voilà,” while Azerbaijan’s Efendi dazzles with a pyrotechnic-infused “Mata Hari.”

Norway’s Tix, the country’s most streamed artist in 2020, is next up with pop ballad “Fallen Angel,” which sees the artist in angel wings, chained to a quadruplet of dancing devils. As you do.

Host country the Netherlands has song 23 with Jeangu Macrooy’s funky “Birth of a New Age.”

Italy, the bookies’ favorite to win this year’s competition, rounds out the ‘Big Five’ countries. Heavy metal group Måneskin, which won Italy’s Sanremo Music Festival, gives it their all with a performance that’s more accessible than Finland’s Blind Channel, the contest’s other metal outfit.

The penultimate song is from Sweden’s Tusse with “Voices,” while San Marino’s Senhit closes out the competition with “Adrenalina,” accompanied by “Right Round” singer Flo Rida.

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