Many people expected Italy to win last year in Kiev. The extraordinary feel-good song “Occidentali’s Karma” by Francesco Gabbani was the big favourite weeks before the contest took place. He was hyped from the very first minute to be the ESC winner. But the story went a different way. The highly favoured Francesco was too nervous and did not convince at the live performance. Another important fact was the camera work, as that worked differently in San Remo than in Kiev. Hence Italy only ended up on the 6th place.
This year the San Remo winners Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro are a lot more decent candidates. They won the San Remo Festival and appeared together at the festival for the first time. Before they have been singing independently in the San Remo Festival.
Ermal Meta was born in Fier, Albania in 1981 (like the Cypriot singer Eleni Foureira). His family moved to Bari, Italy when Ermal was 12 years old. He became a guitarist and joined the band Ameba 4. Ermal participated in the San Remo Festival in 2006 for the first time. Since then he became a well know face in that festival, he had several entries such as “Odio le favole “ in 2015, which came 3rd in the established category. Furthermore he has been singing wonderful songs such as “No me interessa” with Patty Pravo, “Piccola Anima” feat. Elisa, or “Lettera a mio padre” .
Fabrizo Moro was born in Rome in 1975. Since 1995 he is a musician specialized on singing and the guitar. He had his first participation in 2000 as a newcomer with “Un giorno senza fine” , but in 2007 he could win in this category with “Pensa” . In 2008 he performed with “Mi hai cambiato la vita” and in 2010 “Non è una canzone”. Fabrizo has released 10 albums, various singles, also composed songs for others.
The Italian song “Non mi avete fatto niente” has a serious theme. It’s about the senseless terror attacks in the recent history. Too many innocent victims are to mourn about. The song will be sung in Italian, in the English translation the clear and hard facts will be named as well what happened in Nice, London, New York, etc. This year Italy will not have good-mood song, instead it the hard reality will be faced. The French song is about the refugees who have to risk their lives passing the Mediterranean Sea. Political songs have never been accepted by the EBU, but as long as it’s about peace (Nicole 1982 “Ein bisschen Frieden” or Jamala 2016 “1944”) and humanity the rules will be passed. Due to the fact that Italy will have a guaranteed starting position in the Grand Final the start position will be determined the Portuguese broadcaster RTP together with the EBU reference group.
This is a strong entry, even if it’s not an easy-listening track, it will reach the listeners. The song received gold status in Italy and is still in the charts.
Top 10: 32
Chances for Top 10: 71%
For Italy it’s the 45th time participating in the Eurovision Song Contest! The original idea of the ESC resulted from the Italian music festival “San Remo Festival” which started in 1951 for the first time and it’s still exciting and very popular, a lot of popular Italian singers appear as well as international top stars. The winners have often been the representatives for Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest. The original 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 has been chosen to be the Italian representative for the ESC, or the runner up. Surprisingly, Italy has only won twice “Non Ho L'étà” by Gigliola Cinquetti in 1964 and “Insieme: 1992” by Toto Cutugno in 1990, but always shaped up quite well, especially in the recent years.
Over the years many of the Italian contributions became hits or even evergreens worldwide and these 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) and lately the tenor trio Il Volo with “Grand Amore” (3rd). Furthermore there were many Top 10 rankings for Italy – 4 times 2nd and 5 times 3rd -, so it’s one of the most successful countries in Eurovision. The chances for a Top10 placing are enormously high with 71%. Maybe it’s also due to the fact that Italian music is very popular in general, and the Italian entries show the Italian music at its best and it is appreciated everywhere.
Italy has paused for twelve years (1998 – 2010) until the Italian broadcaster RAI has decided to return in 2011, this has been highly appreciated internationally, as Italy is known for high quality music. Luckily, Italy shaped up very well in Düsseldorf with “Follia D’Amore” by Raphael Gualazzi who came 2nd. One year later with “L’Amore E Femina” by Nina Zilli a 9th rank could be reached. Another year later Marco Mengoni could even make a respectable 7th place in Malmö, while the 2014 entry "La Mia Città" by Emma Marrone reached the 21st place in Copenhagen only, but therefore Il Volo could make the Italians proud again with “Grande Amore” and a 3rd place! And last year in Kiev Francesco Gabbani, who was one of the big favourites to win the ESC came 6th. Francesco was the declared winner in all the bets, everybody expected Italy to win. But the live performance on stage was not as perfect as it was in San Remo. Maybe the big pressure, being number one weeks before, was another aspect.
2x 1st place
Gigliola Cinquetti | Non Ho L'étà (1964)
Toto Cutugno | Insieme: 1992 (1990)
4x 2nd place
Franca Raimondi | Aprite Le Finestre (1956)
Tonina Torielli | Amami Se Vuoi (1956)
Gigliola Cinquetti | Si (1974)
Raphael Gualazzi | Madness Of Love (2011)
5x 3rd place
Domenico Modugno | Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (1958)
Emilio Pericoli | Uno Per Tutte (1963)
Wess and Dori Ghezzi | Era (1975)
Umberto Tozzi and Raf | Gente Di Mare (1987)
Il Volo | Grande Amore (2015)
“Non So Che Darei” | Alan Sorrenti, Rank 6, The Hague 1980
“I Treni Di Tozeur“ | Alice and Franco Battiato, Rank 5, Luxembourg 1984
“L'Essenziale” | Marco Mengoni, Rank 7, Malmö 2013