Måneskin is the winner of 2021 Eurovision Song Contest hosted in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Saturday. The Italian band scooped the prize after a pyrotechnic performance of their hit song “Zitti e Buoni.”
This marks the third victory for Italy but the first in more than three decades, following Gigliola Cinquetti and Toto Cutugno, who won the contest in 1964 and 1990, respectively.
“We just want to say to the whole Europe and the whole world: rock ‘n’ roll never dies!” said frontman Damiano David receiving the award.
Along with David, the charismatic group is comprised of bassist Victoria De Angelis, guitarist Thomas Raggi and drummer Ethan Torchio, who have known each other since middle school and established the band in 2015.
Ahead of its performance, the band received the support of many Italian personalities on social media, ranging from Renzo Rosso to Chiara Ferragni and her husband, rapper Fedez. Local music stars such as Eros Ramazzotti and Vasco Rossi, as well as artists that formerly represented the country at Eurovision — including Il Volo and Francesca Michielin — also wished the band luck on Instagram and invited their European followers to vote for it.
For their performance, Måneskin wore customized outfits courtesy of Etro. Channeling a glam-rock style, the outfits were crafted from laminated leather with contrasting crisscross motifs running through flared pants, vests and a bustier. Studs in burnished metal also punctuated the looks, which were designed taking into consideration the lights and pyrotechnic effects onstage.
In an interview with WWD on Friday, David said: “We consider fashion as self-expression, and as a way of giving more strength to one’s message. Especially in everyday life, it also helps to find one’s own identity and place in the world, by feeling comfortable with oneself.…In our case, maybe we express ourselves better with music, but [fashion] is something we care a lot about because giving the right aesthetic to a song strengthens its message.”
French singer Barbara Pravi and Switzerland’s contestant Gjon’s Tears ranked second and third, respectively.
Other artists performing in front of a limited audience of 3,500 people (about 20 percent of the Ahoy Arena’s capacity) included James Newman for the U.K.; Hooverphonic for Belgium; Jeangu Macrooy for The Netherlands; Tix for Norway; Tusse for Sweden, and Manizha for Russia, among others. The Dutch city was due to host the competition last year, but the event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the first cancellation in 64 years.
Yet the organizers decided to keep the theme “Open Up,” chosen for the 2020 edition. “Feel the freedom to complete the slogan in your own way,” said the executive producer of the show, Sietse Bakker, back in 2019. “We found it was important to choose a theme that reflects the spirit of our times. With the slogan we warmly invite people to open up to others, to different opinions, each other’s stories and, of course, to each other’s music.”