Naked truth
May 23, 2021

Italy wins Eurovision 2021

Italian competitor Måneskin won Eurovision 2021 with their song 'Zitti E Buoni', a rock song sang in Italian. Singing in French was a thing, since the two closest competitors were France's Barbara Pravi with a big-sounding song 'Voilà' and Switzerland's Gjon's Tears with a grandiose ballad 'Tout l'Univers'. The UK got, all summed-up - zero points!

Eurovision

"Apparently, this Eurovision-backed project called American Song Contest will air on NBC in 2022 and feature one 'incredible solo artist, duo, DJ or a band' to perform an original song from each of the 50 states, five U.S. territories, and D.C." - Emily Alford writes in the Jezebel, begging America not to do it! Because - "what concerns me is that America, as is its wont, will take this missive humorlessly, and every armpit of the country will try and send the closest it has to an Ariana Grande or Kacey Musgraves, when they should be giving us Yank versions of Jedward and A.B.B.A. It does make one wonder if the whole of Europe isn’t doing this on purpose for their own mean little amusement".

Sweden's Tusse

"Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel — the last time the event took place — was broadcast live in 41 countries and watched by an audience of 182 million, making it the world’s biggest live music event" - Billboard explains big labels' new-found interest in the European yearly pop song contest. By comparison, this year’s Grammy Awards drew 9.2 million viewers, whereas February’s Super Bowl, the biggest U.S. television event annually, drew 96.4 million TV and online viewers.

Jeangu Macrooy

There will only be one winner at the Eurovision 2021 on Saturday evening in Rotterdam, however, the Guardian found some other winners, in the "good", "bad" and "weird" categories. One of the stand-outs is Jeangu Macrooy, the Dutch contender, born in former Dutch colony Suriname and now living in the Netherlands, who elegantly criticises colonialism while singing in both English and Suriname’s Sranan Tongo language.

The Foreign Desk podcast looks into the Eurovision Song Contest from a point of geo-politics, with a witty twist from the hosts, coming from the least-successful country. TFD asks what the dos and don’ts of using Eurovision to project your nation are, and does it really have real-world political potency? Europe’s most popular cultural event will take place in Rotterdam next week, following last year’s cancellation.

“Above all I want all of this art, all of these songs, all my words to lead to there being a law that would protect women and children from domestic violence” - Russian singer Manizha, who is about to present her country at the Eurovision contest, says to the Guardian. She adds that the times they are indeed changing in Russia: "There was a time when you couldn’t go outside, there were skinheads, there were Ku Klux Klans. That’s already become far less. You have to agree. And it will continue layer by layer”.

Belarus has been disqualified from the Eurovision Song Contest after its entry failed to comply with the non-political nature of the competition, CMU reports. Galasy ZMesta's first song 'Ja nauchu tebja' ('I will teach you') was rejected due to complaints that the lyrics mocked the mass protest movement against long-time Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. The new song entry by the same band has also been disqualified by the EBU.

The long-running Eurovision Song Contest is now getting its own U.S. version called American Song Contest, starting in 2021, with musical acts coming from all 50 states trying to win. It is being spearheaded by the Eurovision rights owners who say the American version "will be different than anything seen before on U.S. television, marrying the fanfare and excitement of March Madness and the NFL playoffs with the artistry and beauty of world-class performances", Exclaim reports. In Eurovision nothing is too much, it is safe to say that in "Ameri-vision" there will probably be even more of "too much".

"It was a blast. It's probably the most fun I've had on a project in a long time" - Savan Kotecha, collaborator to Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato and Ellie Goulding, told BBC about his latest project, Netflix's new comedy 'Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga', which celebrates the world's largest live music event. Director David Dobkin envisioned the film’s songs walking the fine line between satire and homage - “It’s okay if it’s funny, but it has to be really good music. It has to still be great and just kitschy enough to be Eurovision, because that’s part of what’s fun about Eurovision". Kotecha was brought in to oversee every aspect of the film's music - check out the songs on Variety.

BBC viewers have selected Abba's 'Waterloo' as the greatest Eurovision song of all time. The Swedish foursome won it in 1974 in Brighton, and the track went on to sell nearly 6m copies. This year's competition was cancelled in March amid the coronavirus pandemic. None of the 2020 songs will be carried over to next year. Instead, countries will select new entrants for the 2021 contest.

Dancer Mona Berntsen was interrogated by airport security in Tel Aviv for hour and a half, after wearing a Palestinian flag during Madonna's performance at Eurovision. She says she was questioned about "my whole life story, my reasons for having travelled to Arabic countries throughout my life, my religious relations, my family matters, showing my […]

BBC has nicely rounded-up Eurovision 2019 contest held in Tel Aviv last week. The Netherlands' Duncan Laurence, bookmakers' favourite, has won the contest with the grandiose piano-ballad 'Arcade'. Madonna performed at the show, sending a message of peace - two of her dancers, wearing Israeli and Palestinian flags - walked arm in arm (video here). […]

Public figures including Stephen Fry, Gene Simmons of the band Kiss, Sharon Osbourne, comedian Al Murray, Spanish singer/songwriter Conchita, Marina Abramović, and pop mogul Scooter Braun have signed a letter speaking out against a proposed boycott of this year’s Eurovision, which is to be held in Israel in May, the Guardian reports. Their letter states […]

Madonna will perform at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, and she is expected to take the stage at the halfway mark of the final night singing a back-catalogue favorite and a new song from her upcoming album. Billboard argues that Madonna, who is managed by Guy Oseary, an Israeli-American businessman, is a […]

Madonna will perform at next month's (May 19) Eurovision Song Contest in Israel where she'll perform two songs. Tel Aviv businessman Sylvan Adams is reportedly covering the singer's expenses and $1 million fee. The musical spectacular isn't really exclusively Euro-vision - it sees European nations, some Asian nations and Australia compete for best song. Music […]

Ukraine's Eurovision entrant Maruv, has been dropped from european song contest in a row related to tensions between her country and Russia. Maruv's song, 'Siren Song', won a public vote on Saturday, but the singer later fell out with the country's national broadcaster (here her performance of the song). She was given 24 hours to […]