Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Cohesiveness of Package
Grande Amore is the most powerful package so far and the lads make the song credible and relevant, which is important when finding a potential winner.
The four-night Sanremo spectacle delivered a result on Saturday, but we had to wait until today to have Grande Amore confirmed as Italy’s Eurovision entry.
This now means the writers will cut about 40-seconds from the Sanremo-winning version of Grande Amore to meet Eurovision’s three-minute rule. The betting markets were waiting for this news, and on the confirmation, Italy are now the firm favourites going into Eurovision’s main selection period.
Following Il Volo’s selection, there was intense debate in the comments section with PurpleKylie and Ben Gray citing opera’s poor track record at Eurovision backed up by Stephen Colville who felt the favourite tag had been wrongly assigned. Pimpin4rizeal, SirMills, DurhamBorn, with myself included, all feel that Grande Amore is a cracking entry and should rightly be considered a contender.
It is true that opera has endured a poor response of late with 2011’s market leader, Sognu, finishing a disappointing 15th. Charisma wise, Amaury lacked warmth and Sognu was way too highbrow and stuffy for the Eurovision audience. Plus I think Raphael Gualazzi rightly absorbed the musical-distinction votes in Dusseldorf.
Comparisons have been made between Grande Amore and Sognu, and I suppose they are similar in terms of genre, but it’s like comparing Euphoria and Glorious – one was clearly a stronger package. Within the opera/popera style, Grande Amore and Sognu are poles apart: Sognu was stuffy and impersonal whereas Grande Amore is a ballsy, classy and enthralling package that oozes sex appeal.
Questa Notte, the operatic Latvian entry from 2007 has also been served up as a comparable on many sites. This Latvian entry is a little closer in style, but it lacks the intensity and sophistication of Grande Amore. If Questa Notte was a suit, it would be in the Burton sale, whereas Grande Amore would be a tailor-made black Gucci number with a price tag to bring tears to your eyes. Furthermore, Questa Notte was a tad theatrical, maybe even novelty with its large serving of cheesy staging. So in my opinion, Questa Notte differs too much to be compared to Grande Amore.
Il Volo are clearly trying to match Il Divo’s success, but are perhaps more authentic given the latter were formed by Simon Cowell and originate from America, Switzerland, France and Spain. The Il Volo lads met on the second edition of RAI TV’s music competition show, Ti Lascio una Canzone, which was won by Gianluca Ginoble. The three lads were asked to perform together during the show and have continued to do so ever since.
Il Divo’s first album was top-3 in most European and other major nations across the world. Their second album, Ankora, scored even more No.1s. Since then, their popularity has waned, but that’s probably got more to do with market fatigue than a lack of widespread interest in the popera genre. In the UK, Collabro won Britain’s Got Talent with 26% of the vote. They are more musical theatre than popera, but it at least shows how a Saturday night demographic are willing to engage with young, good looking guys performing operatic songs. In Sanremo, it was the unprecedented televote that won it for the guys, yet prior to the stats being published, it was thought their victory was down to the jury. Again, this demonstrates the strength of Il Volo’s performance.
Grande Amore’s official video has already received nearly 5-million hits. While in Copenhagen, last year’s winner, Rise Like a Phoenix, had attracted around 4-million hits, so it’s clear Il Volo’s song is enjoying plenty of attention, and it has already made a brief appearance on a number of Europe’s i-tunes charts.
Aside from the comparisons mentioned earlier, some people’s immediate reaction to Grande Amore has been one of indifference, or have even branded Il Volo’s song old fashioned.
Last year, Conchita Wurst won Eurovision with an operatic-pop song if you were to go by Wikipedia’s description. And in an earlier comment, it was Rise Like a Phoenix I cited as being the most comparable song to Grande Amore, even though Conchita had her own acceptance narrative during the show. Nevertheless, Grande Amore has the same classy, dramatic orchestral arrangement while benefitting from layer-upon-layer of spine-tingling moments. The lads even make the low-key moments dramatic!
Italy’s position heading the market is justified and I don’t see that changing until rehearsals get underway in May. Grande Amore is the most powerful package so far and the lads make the song credible and relevant, which is important when finding a potential winner. That’s not to say Italy will win, but at this point in the selection calendar, they should definitely be respected.
Are Italy on your list of winners?
- Final Performance
Highest score: 189 (2011 – Raphael Gualazzi, Madness of Love)
Lowest score: 33 (2014 – Emma – La mia città)
Average final position (since they rejoined): 10th Average final score: 112 points
Albania – 10.3
Poland – 9.0
Portugal – 8.1
San Marino – 7.7
Spain – 7.4
Malta – 6.5
FYR Macedonia – 5.3
Slovenia – 5.2
Switzerland – 5.1