Italy crowned winner of Eurovision 2021 as competition makes epic comeback

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It's been a long time in the making after the cancellation of the 2020 contest, but the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 has finally drawn to a close.

And Måneskin has officially taken the crown for Italy.

BBC star Graham Norton was back on presenting duty on Saturday night as the competition made an epic return.

The music event was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic but the long-awaited 65th Eurovision was back on our screens on May 22, to the delight of fans across the globe.

Opening the show, Graham said: "Finally we are here. It's a really emotional night.

"If I start blubbering at any time, apologies, because I am all over the place.

"There is so much joy and celebration here that this contest is back on and we're all here together tonight."

UK act James Newman placed dead last with his upbeat track Embers, while bookie favourites Italy, Cyprus and Malta placed first place, 16th and 6th respectively.

  • Eurovision 2021 viewers in hysterics as 'Carol Vorderman makes unexpected appearance'

And along with the return of Eurovision brought the return of Graham's iconic wry commentary, with him labelling certain performers "flat" right from the off.

Reflecting on the semi-finals, he said: "There were 39 countries but happily 13 were eliminated.

"We’ve got a real range of music tonight… some wonderful vocalists and well, some as flat as Holland."

And fans were clearly loving his return, as one tweeted: "One minute in and Graham Norton's commentary is already worth the two year wait."

"Graham Norton is a national treasure!" another added.

He had fans in hysterics as 'Carol Vorderman' made a surprise appearance in Albania's performance.

"Is there nothing Carol Vorderman can't do?" came Graham's sardonic comment as the track Karma came to a close.

"No, it's not – this is Anxhela Peristeri for Albania!" Graham giggled as he corrected himself.

After two tense semi-finals which saw Ireland, Australia, and Poland among those countries knocked out of the competition, the contest was more tense than ever before – especially as Iceland had to pull out from a live appearance of the second semi-final at the last minute due to coronavirus.

The country instead appeared via video link in a pre-recorded backup performance.

And Belarus were banned completely from this year's contest due to the repeated submission of "overly political" song lyrics.

The country tried to submit "anti-dissent" songs, selected by Belarusian public service broadcaster BTRC.

Dubbed I Will Teach You, Galasy ZMesta's track included the lines "I’ll teach you to walk on a string / You will be happy about everything… I will teach you to toe the line", which was deemed to have included "subliminal political undertones and meanings".

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  • Eurovision Song Contest

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