Eurovision Blog

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Where have we been? Never mind that, where have you been….

Posted by Caroline on February 26, 2011

……for the last 14 years to be precise? Because while we just went away on a short minibreak Italy have been absent from the Eurovision arena since 1997 – and only now, after 14 long years in the wilderness, have they seen fit to return. We’ve heard all manner of excuses as to why they left in the first place – that they wanted to focus on the San Remo festival (feasible), that there was some issue over the showing of commercials during the show (confusing), even that they didn’t see the contest as culturally sound (given this is the country that gave us Italian Stripping Housewives and Roberto Benigni, we’re saying this is unlikely). Whatever their reasons though they are back – and with Austria also returning to the fray this year, it’s beginning to look a lot like an old-school contest again. Something to do with it having been won by a Western nation and being held in Germany perhaps? Well we wouldn’t like to say……:)

As for Italy’s song itself, well we’d heard some negative word of mouth on Raphael Gualazzi’s jazzy effort Follia D’Amore, so we were surprised to find that we didn’t hate it when we heard it. We do sense, however, that this is the work of a country which has been out of the Eurovision loop for 14 years, and doesn’t realise that the contest has moved on in the time it’s been away. As such we can’t even begin to predict how well this will do in the final (for which Italy are automatically qualified, making the ‘Big Four’ into a ‘Big Five’) but what the heck, it’s just nice to have ’em back…..

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