Italy coming back is one of the best things to happen in recent years and the big question seems to be when they will score a bull's eye and win the whole thing. I thought Nina would get closer...
Nina Zilli - L'amore è femmina (Italy 2012)
My only slight objection to the Italian entry is that I still think "Per Sempre" would have made an even better entry. That detail aside, I find Nina Zilli to be a real powerhouse of a performer.
Her song is a very straightforward little affair in a rather trendy pop-goes-retro style that has conquered the charts in recent years. The bilingual version is perhaps not quite as smooth as the original, but Nina looks striking in her expensive-looking dress.
Classy, with a drop of classic Italian diva arrogance in her voice as well as in her appearance.
Yet, I'm left with the feeling that the performance is not all that it could be. There is a tiny something missing, a certain focus, perhaps. The camera work isn't always there to support the act, the backing singers (somehow reminding me of Mia Martini's backing group in London 1977) come across as a little bit too attention-seeking and Nina momentarily seems unsure whether to turn to the camera or the audience in the hall.
A little bit of fine-tuning for the future, and Italy could win any given year. I know it, they know it. The question is only how soon they want to win - and host - the contest. Pretty soon, is my guess.
My grade: 4/5