Italy has two eras in Eurovision: Before and after Marco Mengoni. Before Marco there were royal highnesses such as Toto Cotugno, Alice & Battiato and Gigliola Cinquetti, after there has been Il Volo. All showing us what a great nation Italy is and always has been. With few exceptions.
Is Francesca Michielin joining that exclusive club of virtuosos? At first we couldn’t seem to make our mind up. The entry itself is pretty decent. It is soft, yet powerful, modern, yet classic. As emotional and precise as you would expect from the nation of Verdi, Totti and Ramazotti and as intriguing as a bowl of hot pasta on a cold winter’s day.
However, we keep asking if the fragile girl in a jumpsuit and this song is a match made in spaghetti heaven. The melody demands a strong, powerful performance, and Francesca almost whispers sometimes. But maybe that’s what makes it interesting too. There is certainly a nerve here that we do want to explore further in the live performances.
Sometimes we also wonder why the Italians insist so much on ballads. They excel at them, of course. Especially when they are served with the Italian language, which, heaven’s forbid, we almost lost this year (seriously, WHO thought it was a good idea to scrap the language all the opera singers of this world work their asses off to learn because it just sounds better?). But you only need a quick browse through Sanremo to understand that these people know other stuff.
Why do we never encounter some of their fabulous rap, like Rocco Hunt from this year’s Sanremo final? And don’t they know that one of Marco Mengoni’s more upbeat songs would have been an instant, invincible winner? Italy should consider that for next year, but for now, we’ll settle happily for Francesca while we’re waiting for Marco to return. After all, she knocked out this year’s winner of Sanremo, a boring band from 1977, who probably didn’t have the health to travel all the way to Stockholm.
With that settled, all we need is a serious talk about appearance and Snapchat. We have never felt more like drowning in a pink sea of teddy bears and unicorns and rainbows and Snapchat filters than after we started following this woman, even though we’ve followed teenage relatives for years. May we remind Italy that the manic pixie dream girl went out of fashion a few years ago, when even Zooey Deschanel started dressing like a grown up? Two solutions there. Either the Italian delegations send Francesca on a high intensity mentor program with Amir, or they remove all of Francesca’s rights to Snapchat for the next few weeks. We know it sounds harsh (apart from that Amir thing), but it could be worth it.
And who doesn’t want to go to Rome next year?