The Unbearable Rightness of Italy

If, in September, you had asked me: What would you ideal Eurovision entry be for 2021, I would have said I want a:

  • Woman
  • With a Banger
  • And an overtly feminist message
  • Who also happens to be an agent of chaos

Now, in April 2021, it appears the Eurovision gods have smiled upon me. There are MULTIPLE songs this year that fit that entire brief (Australia, Russia, Latvia, Malta) and EVEN MORE that are 75% of the way there (Ukraine, San Marino, Moldova).

And yet.

And yet.

None of these songs are my top.

Because while the Eurovision gods gave me exactly what I wanted, they also gave me what I didn’t know I needed.

I first saw Måneskin on the second night (Wednesday) of San Remo (Tuesday nights are my quiz nights.) Their song was good. On Thursday, I was looking forward to seeing htem. On Friday, I was loving it. But by Saturday, when they strode onto the stage in their eyeliner and rhinestone-studded nude jumpsuits, oozing gender-fluid sex appeal out of all their pores, I was gone.

(Note: if you missed San Remo this year, you can find the orchestral version of Ziiti e Buoni here. The six hour video is well worth a watch in its entirety – somehow, Italy even does sign language interpretation better than other countries – but if you want to skip to Måneskin, fast forward to the 2 hour 30 minute mark.)

I feel stupid when describing Måneskin to other people, because how can I put the feelings I have when I watch this band into words? Describing them as a 1970s-influenced gender-transcendent power rock band singing a song about shutting up and being good doesn’t capture it. That makes people think of glam rock and psychedelia and T Rex and British music and none of that seems to capture the essence of the band.

So the only way I can describe my Eurovision 2021 winners is as follows:

  • They are a punch in my gut that somehow activates the pleasure centers in my brain
  • They are the feeling of pure naughty giddiness one gets when smashing a windshield with a baseball bat, a la Pipilotti Rist and Beyonce
  • They are raw pheremones poured into jumpsuits and given guitars
  • They are the freedom and openness and possibility that’s been missing during lockdown
  • They are the reason for every meme about horny jail

I love Måneskin. I want them to win. And that’s as coherent as I’m going to get. Maybe this will help you understand.

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