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Line-up check 2019: Italy

by | May 1, 2019

Line-up check 2019: Italy

by | May 1, 2019 | 2019 reviews, Eurovision

Italy: Mahmood – Soldi

Martin: Italy feels like such an ESC fixture nowadays that you sometimes forget they only returned to the contest this decade. It’s been a good spell for them, too, with six visits to the top ten in eight years, including two podium finishes.

At the time of writing, Italy are fighting with Sweden to be the bookmakers’ third-favourite to take the 2019 crown, although both are lagging some way behind the Netherlands and Russia. Shi has already told us about Mahmood’s fairytale journey to a big domestic hit, but is “Soldi” really the kind of song that can take the continent by storm?

On the surface, there are several arguments against it, not least that it’s a wordy and difficult song in a genre – insofar as it can be pigeonholed at all – that doesn’t have a lot of ESC history behind it. Then again, last year’s Italian entry was about as wordy as it gets, and they managed to find a way of bringing it across well – and the last few Eurovision winners have precisely nothing in common in terms of genre, so it’s not like there’s any such thing as a guaranteed formula for success any more.

I don’t expect Italy to use on-screen captions this year, but I do expect the juries to fall big for this contemporary and relevant song with several incisive musical hooks. And as long as Mahmood doesn’t come across as too (Mah)moody then he should capture some televoter hearts too.

Enough to win? Regardless of what the bookies say, it’d be a surprise to me, but one I’d gladly welcome with a clap clap.

Prediction: Personal:


Shi: Italy is my personal favorite this year, and has been from the first time “Soldi” was performed. I don’t know if it can win – I don’t think it will, at least – but I do think it can do well enough to still wrap up my little Cinderella narrative nicely. Because it’s all about me, of course.

Felix: Whenever I have a strong feeling that a country will win, it actually does. This happened with Norway, Ukraine (twice even), Portugal. “Soldi” is the most characteristic and iconic entry this year, the most outstanding and memorable song. I have a strong feeling that Italy will win… and I like it a lot.

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