Friday, 21 April 2017

Eurovision 2017 Song Review: ITALY

By the time the pre-contest was coming to a close last year I couldn't stop raving about Francesca Michielin. Nessun Grado Di Separazione was phenomenal. A true Eurovision masterpiece! And one year on, I'm still butthurt. It pains me to watch the staging of this... while it reflected the beauty of the lyrics and embodied Francesca's quaint personality, it is hard to ignore the slight apprehension in the final vocal, and all around the performance was underwhelming and a bit flat. That is me trying to be objective as possible because I still thought she was fucking awesome and deserved to win by miles.


The Winner of this year's Eurovision Song Contest. This is winning. I repeat, WINNING!

I would never have guessed that Italy would go on to become the undisputed favourite at Eurovision this year. I found Occidentalis Karma breathtakingly catchy upon first listen... The performance at San Remo was entertaining, memorable and the introduction of the gorilla left me bewildered but wanting more. And that perhaps is the most important element for a non-English song, from someone who speaks English and a little German at most. Francesco had me dancing and getting a hold of lyrics I simply didn't understand from the first listen. It's instant likeability and raspy vocal, performed with the cutest smile of the year, get me screaming NAMASTE ALLEZ and I didn't even know what he was singing about...

And then fast forward five minutes and I had looked up the lyrics...


It's obnoxious in a humorous manner, it's symbolic and meaningful in a humorous manner, it's reflecting Anglicization in a humorous manner, and it's important... in a humorous manner. For me, Occidentalis Karma had everything going for it. But as I mentioned above, I didn't see this being the sole favourite... and this is perhaps why there is doubt as to whether Italy will actually... and more important "finally"... pull off victory this year.

But the negatives to the song need to be addressed:

  • There is difficulty in translating the meaning to audiences not understanding Italian.
  • A simple gorilla gimmick might not work for juries and televoters if other favourites have masterful staging.
  • The depth of the song could get lost in comparison with other entries evoking something "deeper" than a fun or dark melody
  • That's it. 3 bullet points.

This year is increasingly reminding me of the 2013 contest. As the season progressed, we constantly had doubt among the fandom whether Denmark really was that great, because in all honesty, if Only Teardrops had been entered in any other year since then I don't think it would have won. But during 2013, it was the standout favourite among the polls where too many other songs were very much liked. The same can easily be said of this year. While Occidentalis Karma is possible not the best Italian entry since their great return, everyone has such different top 10s this year because there are sooo many likeable entries. However, the most common culprit is Italy, and this is reflected in it currently winning polls all over the fandom... and that is why this year reminds of me of 2013, and that is why I find it hard to see Italy not winning. I have zero doubt this will win the televote, but it really depends on whether the juries are digging this or not...


My initial score: 11 out of 12

My current score: 12 (ranked #3 in my top 10)

My final prediction: 1ST (WINNER)
(This will win the TELEVOTE and finish somewhere between 3rd and 8th with the JURY)

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