Eurovision: Italy crowned winners after a shocking, emotional live ceremony in Rotterdam

Måneskin’s performance of ‘Zitti E Buoni’ proved to be a hit among viewers

Annabel Nugent
Sunday 23 May 2021 00:20
Italy win the Eurovision Song Contest 2021
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Italy have been announced as this year’s winners of The Eurovision Song Contest, following a resplendent and highly poignant live event at the Ahoy arena in Rotterdam.

Italian rock band Måneskin wowed the arena crowd as well as fans at home with their performance of “Zitti E Buoni”. You can read The Independent’s Q&A with the winners here.

This year’s contest took place tonight (22 May) in the Netherlands, who were crowned the winners in 2019. A live audience of 3,500 people were in attendance as part of the government’s ongoing programme for the safe restart of mass-participation events.

Italy edged out other crowd favourites including Lithuania’s The Roop, Switzerland’s Gjon’s Tears, France’s Barbara Pravi and Ukranian delegation Go_A to take home the top prize.

Fan favourites Daði og Gagnamagnið were not in attendance this evening due to a positive coronavirus test that precluded the Icelandic hitmakers from participating in the live show.

A rehearsal video of the band’s song “10 Days” was broadcast in place of a live performance, but even so they still managed to win fans over with the track’s quirkiness.

UK representative James Newman gave it his all but ultimately failed to wow with  “Embers”. Although it was a decent track, the dance bop – a mish-mash of soul, pop and Noughties garage – simply did not land live.

The UK was the only country to receive zero points in the voting tally. Newman took the loss on the chin though, celebrating with his delegation upon hearing the news. Other contestants also rallied around the singer, cheering Newman on.

Meanwhile, Germany took viewers by surprise with a truly bizarre act. Singer Jendrik performed the extraordinarily upbeat song “I Don’t Feel Hate”, flanked by supporting singers and dancers donning bizarre costumes.

Fans were quick to point out similarities between the singer dressed in a styrofoam hand and the “Thumb Thumbs” from the 2001 film Spy Kids.

UK commentator Graham Norton was certainly not impressed, deadpanning: “This is like Marmite… if everyone hated Marmite.”

It was one of many snide remarks made by the talk-show host during the four-hour broadcast.

Blas Canto from Spain singing Voy A Querdarme performs at the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest

Speaking about the unexpected appearance of rapper Flo Rida at the event, Norton quipped: “And that is Flo Rida, the multi-billion selling rapper. I don’t know why he’s here.”

Having been cancelled last year due to the pandemic (the first time in its 64-year history that the annual contest didn’t go ahead), this year’s spectacle made up for it – and then some.

In typical fashion, the performances were wacky, exuberant and above all hugely entertaining. Even Eurovision skeptics will have to admit this year was a rollicking, colourful success.

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