And Finally Artist News Media

James Newman tries to “focus on the positives” after Eurovision loss, Måneskin singer cleared of drug use

By | Published on Tuesday 25 May 2021

Måneskin - Eurovision

The UK’s Eurovision entrant James Newman has commented on his devastating ‘nul points’ score in this year’s contest at the weekend. Newman’s song ‘Embers’ received no points at all in either the jury or public votes. Meanwhile, Damiano David – vocalist for Italy’s winning act Måneskin – has been cleared of taking drugs during the event.

In a statement posted on Twitter yesterday, Newman said: “I want to focus on the positives of this amazing experience. I stood on a stage and sang to hundreds of millions of people with a song that I wrote and love. These people are the best in the business and I got the chance to work with them and share this crazy experience that I’m so lucky to have the chance to do”.

“The thing about writing songs is that there is no guarantee that a song you think will connect with people will connect with an audience”, he continued. “Thank you to all the amazing dedicated fans who have supported me through the whole thing [and] made it all worth it. Because, at the end of the day, they are the people who you do this all for. I just want to say a huge massive thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has been on this journey with me, supported me, listened to my music and filled my life with positivity and love”.

“The times when it doesn’t play out how you hoped it might, teach you how to pick yourself up and be stronger”, he concluded.

What a nice guy. I feel a bit bad about being so hard on his performance now. Although I do also stand by everything I said. So there you go. He didn’t deserve no points, but the performance and the song were simply not up to the standard of many of the other songs put forward on Saturday night. Next year, let’s either go big or go weird.

Other than Newman’s dramatic loss, the other big scandal of Saturday night were claims that the Damiano David, leader singer of winning act Mâneskin, could be seen taking cocaine during the show. A short video clip circulated on social media showing David bent over a table. In the clip, he is obscured by an ice bucket so it is not actually possible to see what he’s doing.

Obviously, snorting drugs in the middle of an arena where he was surrounded by people and TV cameras would be a bit of a silly thing to do. David denied the drug-taking accusations, saying that he was picking up broken glass – something that can actually be seen in other images.

Still, the claims pervaded, and Eurovision organiser the European Broadcasting Union released a statement on Sunday saying that it had launched an investigation. It also said that David had requested a drugs test, but that it had not been possible to organise one. Instead, he took a test upon the band’s return to Italy yesterday. And – big surprise – it came back negative.

Last night, the EBU released a new statement saying: “Following allegations of drug use in the green room of the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final on Saturday 22 May, the European Broadcasting Union, as requested by the Italian delegation, has conducted a thorough review of the facts, including checking all available footage. A drug test was also voluntarily undertaken earlier today by the lead singer of the band Måneskin which has returned a negative result seen by the EBU”.

“No drug use took place in the green room and we consider the matter closed”, it went on. “We are alarmed that inaccurate speculation leading to fake news has overshadowed the spirit and the outcome of the event and unfairly affected the band. We wish to congratulate Måneskin once again and wish them huge success. We look forward to working with our Italian member Rai on producing a spectacular Eurovision Song Contest in Italy next year”.

Now that’s all cleared up, over in the UK we need to concentrate on how we’re going to make it – at the very least – to the left hand side of the scoreboard next year. A big catchy song and visually exciting performance would be a good start. Or, like I said, do something weird. Bill Bailey’s put himself forward. Would that cover both the big and weird bases? He won ‘Strictly’, didn’t he?

Asked for his advice in an interview with BBC Breakfast, the non-drug taking Damiano David said: “Just try with a band!” Well, it worked for Italy.