Home / Song Reviews / Archive / Eurovision 2016 / Italy: Francesca Michielin – Nessun Grado di Separazione

Italy: Francesca Michielin – Nessun Grado di Separazione

After Stadio declined the ticket to Eurovision, RAI eventually found a Sanremo artist willing spend a few days in Stockholm in May. Last night's runner up was like, "yeah OK, I guess." So Francesca Micheilin (Mee-Kee-Leen) will perform a 3-minute version of, Nessun Grado di Separazione, at Eurovision. This isn't what we expected from Italy following the success of Il Volo in Vienna. While the cramming of modern acts in Sanremo has yielded little little year. The cinematic introduction of Nessun Grado di Separazione does draw a viewer in, but regrettably, the rest of the song lacks a moment. Francesca's vocal…
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Noioso

The cinematic introduction of Nessun Grado di Separazione does draw a viewer in, but regrettably, the rest of the song lacks a moment.

User Rating: 3.39 ( 19 votes)

After Stadio declined the ticket to Eurovision, RAI eventually found a Sanremo artist willing spend a few days in Stockholm in May. Last night’s runner up was like, “yeah OK, I guess.”

So Francesca Micheilin (Mee-Kee-Leen) will perform a 3-minute version of, Nessun Grado di Separazione, at Eurovision.

This isn’t what we expected from Italy following the success of Il Volo in Vienna. While the cramming of modern acts in Sanremo has yielded little little year.

The cinematic introduction of Nessun Grado di Separazione does draw a viewer in, but regrettably, the rest of the song lacks a moment. Francesca’s vocal also tends to waver and drift off key in places, so she could struggle with the juries and televote in Stockholm.

Nina Zilli finished 9th in 2011 with a more entertaining song and Emma Marrone disappointed in Vienna, finishing a lowly 21st. I think Franchesca’s insipid ballad will finish close to Emma around 17th-21st.

What are your expectations for Italy this year?

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18 comments

  1. Compared to previous sanremo selected acts for ESC (I know it only finished runner up but still) this is a massive step down! I honestly don’t see how an entry as meh and anonymous could possibly come 2nd. At ESC I can’t see it doing much and I expect it do do similarly to Emma Marone.

  2. Grazie Francesca 🙂

  3. Personally, I think the song is great, but, again, I don’t see it getting much love from televoters. Not sure how the juries will respond to it. It should also be noted that the studio version that will be performed in Stockholm is miles better than the orchestra one performed in Sanremo.
    Francesca is a beautiful girl, but she has a weird sort of charisma that I don’t think will go very well with European voters (unless the decides to smile for the first time in her life).
    Italy doesn’t have a good staging history either, as they completely messed up Nina Zilli’s and Emma Marone’s chances and did nothing to improve Marco Mengoni’s song.
    This will probably end up being my favourite this year, but unfortunately I don’t see it going beyond top15. Pity.

  4. This is probably the first chosen song I genuinely enjoy, it’s really cute. It’s probably too “nice” to do massively well, but you never know if the 2016 song quality continues to be dire.

  5. Im quite surprised Sony want her going to ESC with this song when she has a whole new album to choose from released on the 19th of Feb.There is certain the be a more ESC suited song on that album.This is a great technical song,but not so good for ESC maybe.I was expecting a song change and maybe even an English version.

  6. I’m not a fan at the moment but I think it will grow on me. I’m guessing it will come 16th-19th for now.

  7. I really like the song and think she has star quality but share the concerns she will not resonate with an ESC audience. I assume it will stay in Italian?

  8. I think there reason to be optimistic for Francesca. What separates her from many young female soloists trying to make it in the industry, is that she connects with people. She’s garnered large following in short time and she isn’t a lady to lose either. She’s won numerous domestic talent contests as a child, won the X-factor (As did Marco Mengoni), and although taking the second step on Saturday, she overcame the opening slot, three Sanremo winners, and other more experienced artists to achieve that result.

    Vocally in the clip she sounded crisp. I don’t believe the formal, high brow nature of Sanremo, would have extracted the best from her or her song. We know she won’t be going to Stockholm with an orchestral arrangement, and I’d reason she won’t be standing still. On the cover night when less was at stake, she let her hair down and showed the sort of confidence that I think can bolster her up the scoreboard in May. Once more, I’ve seen many commenters on blogs lazily comparing her attempt to Emma Marrone’s outing. Why? Apart from being female and singing in Italian I’m not seeing the connection. In the case of Marrone, she sent album filler, and went all agro-chic for the performance. No wonder people didn’t vote for her!

    Just to get to your point Durham about song choice, Her new album features a few songs (Including lead singles “L’amore essiste” and “Lontano”) that have been already released as singles domestically before September and hence couldn’t be taken to the contest. For that
    reason alone, I’m not anticipating a song change.

    As I mentioned in the betting preview, Francesca’s music videos indicate that she’s got an eye for visual presentation. SVT will inevitably give her and her production team more options to play around with than RAI would give to any Sanremo participant. You would hope they do avail of that, and use Eurovision as a launch pad for branching her career out internationally.

    In terms of a possible result, it’s too early to say. Last year, Il Volo inspired and entralled viewers in a way that Italy mightn’t do again for some time. Francesca’s only possible caveat is that she doesn’t have that same immense live presence to elicit such a potent audience/artist response. If Eurovision were a radio contest, Italy would be receiving 12’s and 10’s in my book. With TV in mind, I can imagine them fighting instead for the 6 and 7 pointers, and for the sake of a prediction I’m calling 7th-8th place on the night.

  9. Its a very good point about comparing her to Emma.They couldnt be more different.The arrangement question is the key if they keep this song like you say.Surely the writer of pop smashes in Italy Federica Abbate will have that in mind for ESC and wont leave this as it is?.If there isnt a song change then there will be changes within the song.We also have the chance the song will be in English.Unlike most Italian stars Francesca speaks fluent English.Then there is Sony.They see Francesca as the future of Italian pop and were very careful to nurture her.They are certain to spend the money to give her team everything they need.
    It was a gut wrenching SR in many ways this year,but we have ended up somehow with probably the most contemporary female act in Italy going to ESC and im looking forward to seeing how she/Sony tackle it.

  10. Good that they told the aging crooner to leg it but they need a new song for Francesca to have a chance. It’s not enough to lose the orchestra and pop it up. It’s typical of the boring dirges that get nowhere in ESC.

  11. Someone who was at her album signing in a music shop asked her about ESC and the song,

    “During the signing session I asked her about the ESC song, she’s still deciding which one to choose and considering it’s an European contest maybe an English or an Italian/English song (or NGDS version) is not be excluded. Anyway, she’s absolutely a sweetheart, very friendly with her fans and so down-to-earth.”

    Abbate (songwriter) seemed to say they were keeping NGDS,but looks like nothing is set in stone yet according to Francesca.

  12. According to numerous sources, she is singing this song after all. It’s been very popular domestically, so the decision’s not really all that surprising.

  13. There are rumours in Italy that Sony/RAI have signed up a very strong creative director for the staging.Watching a few interviews with Francesca its pretty obvious she understands ESC and she also understands the fact the Italian acts since the return have not put enough effort into staging.She says she wants the staging (or in her words show) right so she “can compete with the best”.It looks like Sony are prepared to put the money in and give Francesca the time needed (shes doing London ESC as well),but can Abbate get more hooks or moments into the reworked song?.

  14. An acoustic from tonight,so not quite the ESC version,but has the English chorus that will be in the ESC version.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9DOIv2Lk00

  15. ESC version ,the English chorus really works,but maybe the whole song should of been in English?,time will tell,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WySSLip5uzc

    • Kudos Durham. You know, I’m surprised by how strong the English chorus sounds too. My own deviation of the three minute edit, knowing Italy wanted to go bilingual was as follows: First two verses and choruses in English, cut the first half of the bridge (you don’t need that many ooohhs), cut the outro (from ‘et poi’ onwards) and leave the final chorus in Italian.That would have gotten it down to about 2:55 or so.

      The official edit, I can’t say helps the song significantly. As a fan of Nessun Grado, I saw potential for it to go places, whereas now I think Italy’s chances of a top ten rest an awful lot on what this ‘creative director’ they’ve hired can do with the staging. No Degree of Separation just doesn’t sound memorable enough for Eurovision.

  16. Emma tanked in 2014 because despite a fantastic song, her vocals were very weak.

    I think this could do better but she really needs to ditch the aunt sally makeup. She’s a beautiful woman and really doesn’t need the warpaint.

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