The dark side of Eurovision – political tensions, scandals and drug accusations

Eurovision isn’t just about sparkly and ridiculous outfits – it’s also had plenty of scandals and political drama over the years.

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The live final of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest is just a few hours away and will be watched by millions around the world.

Behind the ludicrous songs and ridiculous costumes, though, there’s a dark side to the world-famous pageant – perhaps unsurprisingly, as political tensions often lurk beneath the events. .

Over the past few years, the contest has been populated with a slew of anti-political songs, drug-use allegations, and fraud allegations just to name a few. With that in mind, here are some of the scandals that have hit Eurovision in recent years.

Political tension

Ukrainian singer Anna Korsun, better known by her stage name MARUV, withdraws in 2019


REUTERS / Inna Sokolovska)

In 2019, Ukraine withdrew from Eurovision after its selection process became embroiled in a political controversy over performing in Russia.

Pop singer Maruv won the public vote but decided to withdraw from the contest, saying she refused to be a ‘political tool’.

The Mirror reported that the 31-year-old singer said she had been asked to sign a contract with the content that she would not perform a contract in Russia before the competition.

Maruv, whose real name is Anna Korsun, said she was willing to accept this condition, but insisted other terms could make her a propaganda ‘tool’.

“I am more of a musician, than a tool of the political theater,” she said in a statement.

After Maruv withdrew from the competition, both were asked to enter the competition to place second and third – but both refused.

Break the rules

Belarus banned by Eurovision for being too political with ‘protest’ songs



Belarus was banned by Eurovision last year for its choice to submit political protest songs.

It has cracked down on ongoing anti-government protests against President Alexander Lukashenko.

Daily Star report that in 2021, Belarus has tried to continuously send “anti-dissident” songs, selected by the Belarusian public service broadcaster BTRC.

Dubbed I Will Teach You, the track included the lines “I’ll teach you to walk on a rope / You’ll be satisfied with everything… I’ll teach you to walk”, which is said to have included “sublime and meaningful political opinions”.

A second song was also deemed too political and Belarus was subsequently disqualified from the competition after refusing to rewrite the song or find another entry.

Fraud Scandal



Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty Images)

Last year, concerns emerged that taxpayer dollars were allegedly being used to try to manipulate the odds in favor of Je Me Casse, sung by Malta’s Destiny Chukunyere.

The Mirror reported in 2021 that Minister Carmelo Abela ordered a spending check after the board of the Maltese broadcaster PBS, the body responsible for it, raised concerns about “management” poor financial management”.

Two sources said Malta had transferred €650,000 (£550,000) between the Malta Tourism Authority and PBS.

Sources said a PBS insider admitted that part of the budget was spent to fund foreign nationals betting on Destiny, the Times of Malta reported.

A Eurovision betting expert said at the time: “It is claimed that Malta is pouring money into Betfair to keep Destiny popular.

“They know that creates positive PR and ensures more attention from viewers.”

Malta finished in 7th place with 255 points.

Drug accusations

Italian band Måneskin won the European Song Contest 2021


Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty Images)

Metal rock band Måneskin was crowned champion at Eurovision last year, beating France’s Barbara Pravi and Switzerland’s Gjon’s Tears thanks to public votes.

However, their moment of victory was somewhat overshadowed when Damiano was falsely accused by viewers of using illegal drugs during the live final, who discovered he was bowing after. a bucket of drinks.

The band quickly went to their official Instagram account to deny Damiano had used drugs, writing: “We are really ANTI-drugs and we have never used cocaine. We are ready to go. [tested]because we have nothing to hide. ”

True to their word, Damiano subsequently passed his drug test, with Eurovision organizers saying in a statement: “No drug use took place in the Green Room and we Consider the matter closed.

“We are concerned that incorrect speculations leading to fake news have tarnished the spirit and outcome of the event and unfairly affected the band.”

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