Eurovision reigning champions encourage finalists to ‘smash the stage’

The Eurovision Song Contest final is on BBC One from 8pm.
Eurovision reigning champions encourage finalists to ‘smash the stage’

By Ellie Iorizzo, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter

Italian rock band Maneskin have encouraged nervous Eurovision contestants to “smash the stage and the rest will follow”.

The band, who triumphed with the song Zitti E Buoni last year, were the first group to win the competition since 2006.

Lead singer Damiano David told the PA news agency: “It was super stressful because you get to rehearse the song many, many, many, many times so you kind of overthink about it.

“Every time, you say, ‘I’ll do it better the next time, I did this mistake’, so you kind of overthink it and at the end, when you get to do the real one, you’re kind of exhausted, and then you just want to give everything you’ve got until it’s over and then you can relax.”

Maneskin took the top prize last year with 524 points, ahead of French entry Voila by Barbara Pravi and Gjon’s Tears’ song Tout l’Univers.

The band’s guitarist Thomas Raggi said: “You have to just try to have fun and winning is not the main thing, I think the song should always be the main thing.

“I think that it doesn’t matter who really wins, but the song that goes more viral, that reaches more people, that people get more attached to.

“So the only advice we can give is just give everything, you’ve got three minutes, go there, smash the stage, and then the rest will follow.”

The 2021 MTV EMA awards – Budapest
Maneskin perform during the 2021 MTV Europe Music Awards (Ian West/PA)

Since their Eurovision win, Maneskin have collaborated with American singer Iggy Pop, opened for the Rolling Stones and performed at the Coachella festival.

“It’s been like a crazy year, because we have done a lot of things and new things for us,” David said.

“It’s been hectic, but fun at the same time.”

Speaking about the band’s journey from busking on the streets of Rome in 2015, bassist Victoria De Angelis said it has been a “long journey”.

“Of course, we didn’t expect any of this to happen. But at the same time we knew we wanted to do this, like in our lives as the main thing.

“So we always put in a lot of effort and even when we were kids and playing on the streets, we took it very professionally and put in all the effort we had.

“So I think it’s been a journey. Of course everything blew up last year with Eurovision, but to get to that point, it’s been six years where we’ve been touring, writing a lot of music, so I think we really wanted it and worked for it,” she said.

The band will take to the stage at the grand final in Turin, Italy, to perform their new single Supermodel, which was inspired by a trip to Los Angeles and the idea of celebrity and status.

David added: “When we went to LA, we went there as Italians on a trip so everything was amazing to us.

“We saw people faking to be something they’re just not, getting sucked into their character at the point where you cannot talk about anything other than money and Instagram.

“We thought that it was something that you see only on films so when we saw it in real life we were like ‘that’s real’.

“So it affected us and we’ve talked about it so many times because it was so crazy for us and this just ended up being the main topic of the song.”

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