The finalists of the annual Eurovision song contest have been cleared of all allegations of drug use by an official inquiry into the matter. The Italian rock band Maneskin won the contest with a roaring performance that left no doubt about their place atop the heap.
Why the controversy? The lead singer, Damiano David, can be seen at one point during the performance leaning closely over a table. David, for his own part, said that he was looking to see something a bandmate had knocked over. He told reporters he’d heard glass shatter and was seeing if everything was alright. However, some accused David of taking that opportunity to consume drugs on live TV, in front of millions of viewers. David adamantly denied the allegations, saying he’d happily consent to a drug test to prove that he didn’t take anything during the performance.
An investigation into the matter by Eurovision was exhaustive. The European Broadcasting Union quickly took David up on his offer to submit to the drug test. Unsurprisingly for the singer, the test came back negative, proving he’d simply looked over the table to see what had been broken.
“Following allegations of drug use in the green room of the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final on Saturday 22 May, the [EBU] has requested by the Italian delegation, has conducted a thorough review of the facts, including checking all available footage,” read a statement from the EBU.
“A drug test was also voluntarily undertaken earlier today by the lead singer of the band Maneskin which has returned a negative result seen by the EBU,” the organization added, concluding “No drug use took place in the green room and we consider the matter closed.”
Fans of the band were not surprised at the conclusion that David didn’t use any drugs onstage or before the performance. For one thing, it would have been extremely bold to use illegal substances in the middle of one of the most widely-viewed events in Europe. For another, there were cameras trained on him for the duration of the performance, and the footage shows that it would be impossible to use an illegal substance without being seen committing a crime.
Many of the band’s fans are furious that wild speculation and rumors have overshadowed their victory in the contest. When confronted about potential drug use, David reacted in shock, asserting “I don’t use drugs, please, guys,” before adding, “no, please don’t say that. Don’t say that, really. No cocaine. Please, don’t say that.”
Upon winning the contest Saturday, David had but one thing to say to Europe: that rock and roll is here to stay.