The world needed Eurovision this year. The international song-a-palooza that looks like the love child of American Idol and Ru Paul’s Drag Race and functions like a friendly Hunger Games is a silly and joyful celebration of international camaraderie. As the world continues to battle the pandemic, and global cooperation becomes increasingly more important in the fight against Coronavirus, Saturday night’s Eurovision finale was a perfect and timely reminder of our interdependence. Serbia’s Eurovision jury representative said it best when she reminded the live audience, “We can overcome anything if we’re united!”
That being said, France was totally robbed! The country was heavily favored going into the weekend’s finale due to their contestant Barbara Pavi’s knock-out vocals and moody Edith Piaf vibes. But it was those damn Italians who ended up in first place. The country’s contestant, the hard-rock band Måneskin, captured the hearts of Eurovision viewers with their thrashing single “Zitti E Buoni” (Shut Up and Be Quiet). The song got 524 votes from the juries and the public, which beat France’s total by a mere 25 points. Switzerland, another early crowd favorite, came in 3rd with their entry “Tout l’Univers” by Gjon’s Tears.
39 countries participated in this year’s competition which was held in the Netherlands, the home country of 2019’s Eurovision winner, Duncan Laurence. The live finale took place in Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena with 3,500 fans in attendance. Look, even though I personally was rooting for the goofballs from Iceland, I’m happy for Italy. After the difficult year the country had with the Coronavirus, this is a welcome and hard-earned victory. “We just wanted to say to the whole of Europe, to the whole world,” screamed Måneskin’s leather-clad singer after the results were announced, “Rock and roll never dies!”
Abigail Covington is a journalist and cultural critic based in Brooklyn, New York but originally from North Carolina, whose work has appeared in Slate, The Nation, Oxford American, and Pitchfork
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