America will finally be getting its own (presumably) blander imitation of the Eurovision Song Contest on NBC this summer—finally giving states like Ohio and Iowa a chance to potentially achieve relevance outside of an election year—but the real thing already went down across the ocean this weekend (as seen on Peacock, if you have Peacock). Though “Jaja Ding Dong” was unfairly snubbed, the actual winner of this year’s Song Contest was Italian metal band Måneskin and its song “Zitti E Buoni” (“Shut Up And Behave”), which earned 524 points and handily beat second-place finisher Barbara Pravi from France. We say “handily,” but as Americans, the intricacies of Eurovision are largely lost to us.
Måneskin was apparently the favorite going into the finale, so that win may not have been especially controversial, but the band didn’t manage to avoid controversy entirely. As reported by Variety, videos “shared widely” on social media showed the band “drinking and celebrating at their table” after the win, with lead singer Damiano David’s head “briefly bent over the table.” Variety says it had “been suggested” that David was “taking drugs,” but late last night he held a press conference to deny the allegations. He says the band’s guitarist broke a glass and that he was cleaning up, explaining that he doesn’t use drugs and adding, “no cocaine, please, do not say that.”
The European Broadcasting Union, which runs the Eurovision Song Contest, is now investigating the claims of drug use, with David volunteering to take a drug test when he returns home and the band having “strongly refuted” the accusation. The EBU does say that broken glass was found, but the organization is now going to be “looking at footage carefully.” That all being said, it’s not totally clear what—if anything—would happen if Måneskin’s members are found to have been using drugs. Variety says it reached out to the EBU for more information, but barring some kind of morality clause in the Eurovision rules, it seems unlikely that Måneskin would get stripped of its win or something.
Countries have been disqualified from Eurovision for various reasons in the past, including songs being too political and countries not paying dues, but it’s unclear (again, we are Americans) if any winners have been eliminated after the fact. Yugoslavia won and has since been dissolved for reasons unrelated to Eurovision (as far as we know), but the EBU would have to be significantly more powerful than it seems for Italy itself to complete cease to exist over this controversy. Now just imagine how boring this would all be if we were talking about Minnesota and South Dakota instead of exciting European nations like Italy and Yugoslavia, and you’ll get an early preview of NBC’s American Song Contest.