Damiano David — the lead singer of Italy’s Eurovision 2021 winning act Måneskin — has already said that he’ll take a voluntary drugs test to prove he did not use cocaine during the voting segment of the Eurovision 2021 grand final. That’s in addition to explicitly saying — during the Eurovision 2021 winner’s press conference — that he does not use drugs.
Now France’s Europe Minister Clement Beaune, who attended the contest in Rotterdam, has weighed in on the matter, calling for “total transparency” during an interview with RMC radio.
“I think there needs to be no doubt here, and total transparency,” he said. “If there is a problem, there are penalties… Provisions are made for sanctioning measures, including potential disqualification in case of problems.”
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The rumour of alleged drug use had started on social media during the show on Saturday, when a clip was published showing Damiano bending over, with his head near the Green Room table.
On closer look, it is clear that Damiano’s hands were held at his sides, clenched in fists — an unlikely pose for someone about to snort drugs, but understandable for a competing artist physically reacting to the tension of the Eurovision grand final points reveal.
He’s said bandmate Thomas broke a glass, and that he was reaching down to move shards. The European Broadcasting Union has subsequently confirmed that it did find a shattered glass beneath the table.
Damiano has subsequently told the BBC that he feels “really offended” and that the rumour has “actually overshadowed our winning.”
France will NOT contest Italy’s win
France’s Barbara Pravi finished second in the contest, which naturally raises questions about the French minister’s motivations. But he insists it’s not a case of sour grapes.
“I don’t want to be a sore loser,” Beaune said, adding that “in terms of image, we can’t let people think that such competitions can result in such behaviour.”
Despite the strong language from the Minister, France’s broadcaster says it will not petition to have Italy’s win overturned.
“France has absolutely no intention to lodge an appeal,” France Televisions boss Delphine Ernotte told the Parisien newspaper. “The vote was quite clearly in Italy’s favour — it didn’t steal its victory and that’s what matters.”
France’s contestant has stood up for Måneskin.
Writing on Insta, she says: “I see that there are controversies that are being played out without me in the place of the victory (so so deserved!) of my Italian friends so I repeat here what I have already said in the media: @maneskinofficial were GREAT on Saturday evening, they were elected by the viewers, it is their place, their victory, their moment.”
Earlier, she told France 2: “What’s true is that they were chosen by both the public and the jury. Afterwards, if they use drugs or they put their underwear on backwards or whatever… it’s not my problem.”
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