The finale of this year’s Eurovision contest, in May 2021, brought together the 26 selected European artists to compete on one chosen song to represent their country. The competition, which has been referred to as football for the queer community, had a broad collection of music genres participating. Counting a fair number of queer contestants, the inclusion of LGBTQ+ artists has always been a strength for Eurovision. What have the top 10 become since the big day?
#1 Italy - Måneskin
The famous winners of this year’s edition have not taken a break since May. The queer quartet Måneskin and “Zitti E Buoni” unsurprisingly won thanks to the public’s vote. The Italian band has since then gone viral with their 2017 cover of “Beggin’”, and surfed on the hype to release the music video to “I Wanna Be Your Slave”. Dressed in the most iconic of the outfits, Måneskin represent queer desire. Damiano David and his band have become Gucci muses and are set to participate in the charity gig Global Citizen at the end of the month in London.
#2 France - Barbara Pravi
With the jury’s love and votes, everyone thought Barbara Pravi would make France win until the very last minute. Singing in French, Barbara Pravi gave a sense of the French dream and to the public. The singer fascinated Europe with her Edith Piaf-like performance of her single “Voilà”. The song is part of her second album “On n’enferme pas les oiseaux” that she has just released at the end of August. She has also, a few weeks after the contest, announced a big European tour, lasting from October 2021 to April 2022.
#3 Switzerland - Gjon’s Tears
After being discovered in the French singing contest The Voice, the Swiss singer Gjon Muharremaj was announced to be representing his country at Eurovision in 2020. Known as Gjon’s Tears, the artist performed his single “Tout l’univers”, making it another French-singing song in the Top 3. He has since then been relatively quiet, only releasing a remix of his song, but announcing his participation in The Voice: All Stars, an edition of the show with ex-participants.
#4 Iceland - Daði Freyr
Daði Freyr was one to catch the queer community’s attention with his performance of “10 Years”. His pop sound and colourful performance made him and his band Gagnamagnið get the fourth spot. They carried a pansexual flag for all of their performances, making them unforgettable for such a queer contest. Having released their EP “Welcome” the week of Eurovision and waiting for the birth of his kid, Daði Freyr and his band haven’t been musically active since then. He has however promised a full-length album for next year.
#5 Ukraine Go_A
One of our favourite contestants, the Ukrainian band earned fifth place with their song “SHUM”. The band was formed ten years ago over the will to combine traditional Ukrainian folk music and EDM. Polished performances and incredibly strong stage presence are what define Go_A. After Eurovision and the release of “SHUM”, the trio spent the summer touring Europe, without giving signs of newly recorded music.
#6 Finland - Blind Channel
Rather original and unexpected at Eurovision, the Finnish entry was a post-hardcore band. The band based in Oulu surprised the public in a positive way, standing out of the pop standards of the European contest. Since their participation with “Dark Side”, Blind Channel has released the single “Balboa” and toured their country as well as Europe, teasing the fourth album for early 2022.
#7 Malta – Destiny
Aged 18, the pop singer Destiny was representing Malta at Eurovision. With only two singles out, the Maltese star set fire to the Rotterdam stage with her song “Je me casse”. She has spent the summer playing local festivals and concerts but her fans are still waiting on announcements for more music and international touring.
#8 Lithuania - The Roop
Minimalistic dances, coordinated outfits and funny attitudes, The Roop had everything set to conquer the jury and the public. With almost nothing out since their last EP in 2018, the pop-rock band from Vilnius could only make a good impression with their 2021 single “Discotheque”. As well as most of the other artists, The Roop did a summer concert marathon and announced their album for 2022.
#9 Russia – Manizha
The Russian competitor Manizha reached ninth place with her single “Russian Woman”. The bilingual track, about the transformation of a woman's self-awareness over the past few centuries in Russia, was an artpop bop adopted by the queer community. The singer’s activism for LGBTQ+ rights and women's rights created a controversy for Russian viewers. The 30-year-old artist released a music video for “NEDOSLAVYANKA”, but seemed to focus on her career locally, nothing European or abroad has been announced.
#10 Greece - Stefania
Formally a Youtuber, the 18-year-old Stefania represented Greece. She had already participated to the Junior Eurovision contest in 2016 with her former girl band Kisses. Her single “Last Dance” and its mainstream pop beats got her the tenth spot. Alongside numerous TV appearances, Stefania has released a new single “Mucho Calor”.
Most of the top artists of this year’s Eurovision have spent the summer touring before releasing new material in 2022. The queer community has had an immense impact on the breakthrough of most of them. We can take for example the growth of Måneskin and Go_A, who are now internationally played on the radio after becoming viral on the LGBTQ+ side of TikTok. The new game is to now try and guess who will be the contestants for the 2022 edition of Eurovision which will be taking place in Turin Italy.