The penultimate preview comes from the land of pizza, pasta and the Renaissance. It’s Italy!!!
Italy was one of the seven countries to take part in the first Eurovision Song Contest in 1956. They will send their forty-third entry this year. Italy have won the contest on two occasions: in 1964 with the song “Non ho l’età” performed by Gigliola Cinquetti and in 1990 with the song “Insieme: 1992” performed by Toto Cutugno. They withdrew from the contest a number of times, most notably from 1998 to 2010. Since their return to the contest in 2011, Italy have placed in top 10 four times. Last year, Francesco Gabbani was the pre-contest favourite but could only manage sixth place with “Occidentali’s Karma”.
The Italian broadcaster, Radiotelevisione italiana (RAI) organised the 68th edition of the Sanremo Music Festival, the inspiration for the Eurovision, to select their artist for Kyiv. The winner of the Campioni or “Big Artists” category would earn the right to represent Italy and first refusal of the offer. After four days of the festival, Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro were crowned the winners. Shortly after their victory, they accepted the Italian ticket to Lisbon.
Ermal Meta was born on April 20 1981 in Fier, Albania, but moved to Italy when he was a teenager. He began his musical career as a guitarist in Ameba4, who competed in the Newcomers’ section of Sanremo 2006. A year later, Ermal became the lead singer and songwriter of the band La Fame di Camilla. The band released 3 albums before splitting up in 2013. From then onwards, Ermal has written songs for many Italian artists such as Marco Mengoni and Lorenzo Fragola, as well as starring as a judge on the Italian talent show Amici di Maria De Filippi. He also took part in Sanremo in 2016, placing third in the Newcomers’ section with Odio le favole (I hate fables) and then returned in 2017, placing third once again, but this time in the Big Artists section of the show with Vietato morire (Forbidden to die). His album of the same name went to number 1 in Italy.
Fabrizio was born in Rome, Italy on 9th April 1975. Kicking off his career in 1996, Fabrizio released his debut single Per tutta un’altra destinazione (For an entirely different destination), and a few years later he participated in the 50th edition of Sanremo, ending in 13th place. In 2007, he returned to Sanremo with his song Pensa (Think), which won the Newcomers’ competition and received a “Mia Martini” Critics’ Award. He competed in Sanremo in 2010, but failed to qualify for the final night of the competition and came seventh in 2017 with Portami via (Take me away). He made his debut as a TV personality in 2011, where he presented Sbarre, a docu-reality about Italian prisons.
The song that Ermal and Fabrizio will sing in Lisbon, “Non mi avete fatto niente” (You did n’t do anything to me), was composed by Ermal and Fabrizio. Andrea Fobo also helped to write the lyrics alongside the duo. The song was written as a response to the Manchester Arena bombing last year.
I do appreciate the message behind the song. However, I just can’t seem to like the song for some reason. I find it very monotone and a bit shouty at times. I think that there was so much hype surrounding this song that when I heard it first, I was a bit disappointed. Like Franka from Croatia, I mentioned Ermal as someone I’d like to see at Eurovision during my blogs last year. But I feel he got the short end of the stick as well. I don’t think I’ll ever like this song but if it does well, I won’t cry.
What Could Have Been
Annalisa is one of my favourite Italian artists and she came so close to winning Sanremo this year. Her song “Il mondo prima di te”, (The world before you) got her to second place in this year’s contest. I love Annalisa’s extremely versatile voice and I think it needs to be heard across the continent. If my prediction skills are any good, we may see her representing Italy next year!
Buona fortuna Italia!
Does this song do anything for you? Leave your comments below. Stay tuned tomorrow for the final Eurovision preview of this year!
(Sources: eurovision.tv, RAI, YouTube)