French President Emmanuel Macron attempted to get Måneskin disqualified from the Eurovision Song Contest, it has been reported.
The glam-rock group – fronted by Damiano David – won the annual music competition for Italy last year after scoring 524 points with their hit track ‘Zitti E Buoni’.
However, their victory was soon overshadowed by accusations that David had been caught on camera snorting cocaine off a table in the green room. The singer denied the claims and subsequently passed a voluntary drug test.
Måneskin have since enjoyed huge success. Earlier this year, they were nominated for two BRIT Awards (Best International Group and International Song Of The Year) and joined forces with Iggy Pop on a new version of their song ‘I Wanna Be Your Slave’. In June 2021, the group achieved two simultaneous UK top 10 singles with ‘Beggin” and the original recording of ‘…Slave’.
Last month saw Måneskin make their Coachella debut ahead of scheduled main stage appearances at this year’s Reading & Leeds. Back in January, they appeared as the musical guests on Saturday Night Live for the first time.
In a new interview with the BBC, French journalist/presenter Stéphane Bern claimed that he received a call from Macron while commentating on Eurovision 2021. France’s entry, Barbara Pravi, was in second place at the time as the allegations of drug use on David’s part emerged.
“It was a big, big mess,” Bern remembered. “I received so many messages on my mobile – even one from the French president – telling me Måneskin had to be disqualified, saying, ‘You have to do something, please’.
“The French minister for European affairs, who was in Rotterdam for the contest, sent me messages also saying, ‘What should we do? What should we do? Please do something’.”
Bern added: “But what could I have done? I wasn’t hosting. I’m not the President of the Eurovision!
“Delphine Ernotte [president of the European Broadcasting Union] said that if we [France] win, we want to be the winners on merit, not because we have disqualified the first place act. So we didn’t make any buzz or protest around that.”
Bern went on to claim that Macron was “always watching Eurovision”, adding: “It’s a very patriotic thing to do.”
Speaking to NME shortly after Måneskin’s big Eurovision win, bassist Victoria De Angelis said the group “knew” that the accusations of cocaine use were “bullshit”.
“We never did that and we would never do such a thing on live television with 180million people watching us,” she explained. “We’ve never used cocaine or other drugs so we immediately said, ‘Just test us because we have nothing to hide and we don’t want people to talk about stupid things like this and not our music’.
“We were so happy with our victory, so we wanted to keep the focus on us and not this stupid shit.”
The Grand Final of Eurovision 2022 will take place at the PalaOlimpico in Turin, Italy this weekend (May 14). Ukrainian group Kalush Orchestra are the current favourites to win, with their odds now sitting at 4/6 (via Oddschecker).
Meanwhile, Måneskin are due to release a new single called ‘Supermodel’ this Friday (May 13).
The group will embark on their rescheduled Loud Kids Get Louder tour later this year, which runs into 2023 and includes dates across North America, Europe and the UK. You can find any remaining tickets for the UK dates here.