Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Runner-up: Italy 2011
Your guess is as good as mine.
With the exception of a quick but sublime guest appearance in 1997 - where the magnificent Fiumi di parole impressed the pants off most people and mysteriously failed to end higher than 4th - there would be no Italian entry for 18 years.
Suddenly they were back and sent an entry to Düsseldorf. A most unusual entry too. A pretty demanding jazz entry, performed by the coolest cat in the contest who sat on stage, caressing his piano, trying his best to complete avoid eye contact with the camera. A few times during his entry, he also screams along with the trumpet in a way that is ugly and brilliant at the same time.
Now would anyone vote for this?
Yes. They would. To most people's big surprise, Italy pushed past Swedish Eric Saade at a late stage of the voting and made it into second place. Only twice before had Italy done better at Eurovision. I bet the general air of surprise had been even greater hadn't people been fully occupied dropping their jaws over Azerbaijan's victory.
A deserved 2nd place?
I like this one and I think Raphael Gualazzi is wonderful, but in a pop contest I would prefer songs with a certain hit factor to do well. I'm glad for Italy but would have chosen someone else myself. So it's a no from me.
Raphael Gualazzi - Madness of Love (Italy 2011)