Participant(s): Nina Zilli Song: L’amore e femmina Writer(s) &Composer(s): Nina Zilli, Christian Rabb, Kristoffer Sjökvist, Frida Molander & Charlie Mason
After a brilliant come back of Italy last year, the Eurovision Song Contest has won back one of the strongest contenders. Due to the fact that there is 50% televoting and 50% jury voting in the ESC, Italy has mainly profited of the high votes from the juries and it had won, if there would be only jury voting.
The San Remo Festival has produced various winners in different categories, Nina Zilli has been voted as the Italian representative for Baku. The song “Per Sempre” (Forever) has been the winning song, confirmed some weeks later, but shortly after that withdrawn the song. The Italian broadcaster RAI has decided to choose another song for Baku, maybe they expected higher winning chances with a more contemporary song instead of a classical ballad. For ballad lovers it will certainly be a disappointment that “Per Sempre” has been withdrawn, it would have been a possible winner. Due to the fact that the majority of this year’s songs are fast and contemporary the Italian entry won’t stand out anymore like with the first option.
If this was a clever decision will be known on the 26th of May. Italy has a direct spot in the grand final, Nina’s stage performance and the starting position will be of crucial importance. Maybe the ballad would have been better for Italy.
For Italy it’s the 39th time in the Eurovision Song Contest. The original idea of the ESC resulted from the Italian music festival called San Remo Festival which started in 1951 for the first time. The concept came up to do a similar contest on an international level, which has become reality in 1956. Normally one of the winners of the San Remo festival will be the Italian representative for the ESC. In the ESC Italy has won twice “Non Ho L'étà” by Gigliola Cinquetti in 1964 and “Insieme: 1992” by Toto Cutugno in 1990.
Over the years many of the Italian contributions became a hit all over Europe and are strongly connected with typical Italian music like “Per Lucia” by Riccardo Fogli in 1983 (11th), “Gente di Mare” by Umberto Tozzi & Raff in 1987 (3rd) and “Fiumi di Parole” by Jalisse in 1997 (4th). Furthermore there were many Top 10 rankings for Italy – 4 times 2nd and 4 times 3rd -, so it’s one of the most successful countries in Eurovision.
Italy has paused for twelve years (1998 – 2010) until the Italian broadcaster RAI has decided to return in 2011, this has been appreciated very much internationally, as Italy is known for high quality songs. Luckily, Italy shaped up very well in Düsseldorf and came 2nd.