ITALY – IN RECENT YEARS
If you look at each country’s Eurovision entries over the last four years, there can be no doubt that Italy has submitted some consistently high quality songs. In fact, their recent songs are among my most favoured. In 2013 in Malmo, it was Marco Mengoni’s catchy L'Essenziale – a highly under-rated song that deserved better than its seventh placing in the final. It was an interesting and compelling song, performed with sophistication and confidence by the 25-year-old Mengoni.
The song was number one on the Italian charts for eight weeks. In the same year, Mengoni won the MTV European Music Award for Best Southern European Act. In 2014, he said the Eurovision experience had left him “a little astonished” but that he would compete again “without a second thought”. He has since released two successful studio albums. Italy’s 2014 Eurovision entry – Emma’s La Mia Città – was a little disappointing and probably deserved to finish 21st in the 26-song field.
In Vienna in 2015, it was the powerful rock opera trio Il Volo, singing Grande Amore. And while it officially finished third in the competition, the song actually won the viewers’ vote.
It was cleverly staged, with bold and dramatic special effects and the vocals of trio – baritone Gianluca Ginoble and tenors Piero Barone and Ignazio Boschetto – could not have been stronger and more impressive. Their performance in the final – the last song of the night – left the audience and other competitors stunned. It would have been a worthy winner. As a single, the extended play of Grande Amore was certified triple platinum. A subsequent album of original material and covers (and co-produced by Emilio Estefan) reached number one and sold more than 100,000 copies. And in September 2016, the trio teamed up with Placido Domingo and released a live-album tribute to The Three Tenors (Domingo, Pavarotti and Carreras). Check out the link below for their version of Nessun Dorma from Turandot (with Domingo directing).
Italy’s 2016 Eurovision entry was Francesa Michielin’s No Degree of Separation. It was a selection clouded in controversy and deserved far better than its 16th placing in the final.
Stadio won the Sanremo song competition with 43 per cent of the votes and was invited to represent Italy at Eurovision. However, they said they couldn’t compete and the invitation was offered to the 21-year-old Michielin.
Once again, the winner of the 2017 Sanremo competition will be offered a ticket to Eurovision.
Twenty-two artists have been chosen to take part in the five-day competition in February.
They include legendary Italian singer-actor Al Bano Carrisi, The Voice of Italy winner Alice Paba – who will team up with rapper Nesli – television presenter Fabrizio Mobrici, actress and dancer Lodovica Comello, Los Angeles-born pop singer Sergio Sylvestre, X-Factor winner Chiara Galiazzo and Italian pop icon Marco Masini.
The first show will be on February 7 when all the singers will perform. The field will then be split in two and 11 will sing the following night. The best six qualify for the final.
The second group of 11 perform on February 9.
On February 10, the 12 qualified finalists will perform a cover of a well-known Italian song. The eight non-qualified entries will perform again and the best three will qualify to the Final.
On February 11, the 15 singers will perform in the final. Based on tele-voting, an expert jury and a popular jury, the top three will be identified to compete in a super final.
The winner of the super final will be invited to Eurovision.