Saturday, 28 April 2018

It floated away, like a bubble

Italy
Ermal Meta e Fabrizio Moro
Non Mi Avete Fatto Niente

I always quite liked the Italian entries as a kid. Not as much as ronenj53, of course. "She is so sensual, the way she walks, the lovely way she presetnts the song" he says about 1985's classic, "and the combination between them is great- they give us the impression that the song was born, for both of them". Yep, it's the story of a beautiful romance between a 54 year old provincial bank manager and a 23 year old counter assistant. Magic, oh magic!

They bob along for ages doing stuff like this until the first week of May 1997. It was quite a week. Labour swept to power on the Thursday, I DJ'd a disco at the Swindon campus of UWE on the Friday and then our "own" (ie America's) Katrina Leskanich swept us to victory on the Saturday by shining a light to light the way (with a song- fact fans- that Childline had rejected for being too "happy"). So disgusted by this win (and the lamentable competition) were Italy that they gathered up their toys and threw them out of their pram for the best part of fifteen years, and ever since they've been back they appeared to have disappeared up their own parte inferiore.

You'd have thought that Italy's stagnating economy, corruption, organised crime, rampant misogyny, and shocking youth unemployment ought to make them think twice, but instead every year they take one look at the Eurovision audience and think "you need to be told".

Take last year. I honestly don't know what we were thinking. Last year the hysterical Euorvision fandom genuinely believed that a song banging on about the 'superficial lifestyle of westerners' as being based on 'materialism and appearance', sung by a man next to a piss taking dancing gorilla, was a sure fire winner. Snooty singer-songwriter Francesco Gabbani managed to have a pop at 'selfie addiction', 'internet know-it-alls', 'cultural appropriation" and a society 'based on conformity and uniformity'- but fans somehow missed the fact that he appeared to be singing about them, gawped at the dancing gorilla and stuck all their wages on the win, only to be beaten by five other songs, Epic Sax Guy amongst them.

Ermal Meta e Fabrizio Moro
This year's finger wagging comes from Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro, and they've got form. In 2007 Fabrizio won the Newcomer section of the contest with “Pensa” (“Think”), a song about the Mafia and "violence in general", and last year in the week long Italian pre-selection, Ermal finished 3rd with his song “Vietato morire” (“Forbidden to Die”), which focused on domestic violence.

Their entry's no better. "When one is afraid or cold, one embraces one another", says one of the dismal duo behind the song. "Music plays a role of aggregation and awakens consciences more than a political discourse", says the other. "What did ancient men do to overcome fears? They danced. This is a dance against fear".

Does anyone want to switch seats?