Eurovision is over and done with for another year, with Sweden’s Loreen becoming the first female entry to win the song contest twice (first in 2012 with 'Euphoria', and then this year with 'Tattoo'), but the drama surrounding the beloved night of entertainment continues.
First came the conspiracy theory that a victory for Loreen was “rigged” so Sweden could host the contest in 2024 – 50 years after ABBA’s success with 'Waterloo' – and now, there’s speculation that France’s entry gave the audience in Liverpool and everyone watching at home the middle finger.
Well, it would be a step up from Ukraine’s entry Tvorchi, whose track 'Heart of Steel' only included a middle finger in terms of the lyrics, when vocalist Jeffery Kenny sings: “Sometimes you just gotta know / When to stick your middle finger up in the air.”
During Saturday’s grand final, France’s representative La Zarra – who took to the stage with the track 'Evidemment' – didn’t look too thrilled with her country’s final position of 16th on the leaderboard, getting only 50 extra points from the voting public on top of their 54 points from the national juries.
After co-host Graham Norton shared the result, an unenthused La Zarra was captured reacting to the news by raising one hand, before splaying out the fingers on the other with her middle finger pointing down.
She then turned it around to have the offending digit pointing upwards, which then looked like she was flipping the bird, as it were.
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Viewers soon expressed their glee at the potentially offensive gesture when they saw it:
\u201cHowling at the French middle finger response \ud83d\udd95\ud83c\udffb: #France #Eurovision #Eurovision2023\u201d— Chris (@Chris) 1684018663
\u201cFrance sticking her middle finger up after their own shit result #eurovision\u201d— India (@India) 1684018547
\u201cla zarra putting her middle finger up after the public barely gave her any votes is so real of her #eurovision #france https://t.co/f8cSwgIUd1\u201d— riley | CEO of Moldova qualifying (@riley | CEO of Moldova qualifying) 1684024482
\u201cWhat I will remember from Eurovisio 2023?France contender middle finger, when she got the results \ud83d\ude05\u201d— AceVentura (@AceVentura) 1684019317
\u201cgirl from france showing a middle finger to audience???? like is it our fault that u were bad? #eurovision\u201d— andjela jovanovic (@andjela jovanovic) 1684018481
\u201cdid the France woman give a middle finger or am I seeing things\u201d— clem \ud83c\udf40 (@clem \ud83c\udf40) 1684018453
However, in an interview with the French news channel BFM TV, La Zarra – who was born in Canada to Moroccan parents – insisted the gesture had been misinterpreted, saying she has a “double culture”.
“It’s not a negative gesture. On the contrary, it’s just a gesture of disappointment that we use between friends.
“Afterwards, I can understand that overseas it is considered another gesture.”
It’s not the first time that Eurovision fans have accused an act of doing something naughty, as 2021 winners Måneskin – from Italy – were hit with false and disproven claims that their lead singer took drugs at their green room table.
The group said at the time that they were “really offended” by the accusations and that what had actually happened was that the group’s guitarist had broken a glass.
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