Italy’s Francesco Gabbani favourite to win Eurovision 2017
If the bookmakers are correct this year, Italy will convincingly win the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. From the moment Francesco Gabbani won the popular television show San Remo in his home country and agreed to perform in Kiev in May, he has been leading the polls with his track ‘Occidentali’s Karma’. After becoming a huge hit in Italy, will Europe be next?
After a long break, Italy returned to Eurovision in 2011 and immediately showed Europe how it is done with a second place for Raphael Gualazzi. In the past six years, they reached the top 10 four times and their act Il Volo won the televoting in 2015, finishing third overall. The Italians have been showing year after year to take Eurovision seriously by sending artists who were charting at the time and songs the public seemed to believe in. ‘Occidentali’s Karma’ is no different. It is a cleverly written pop track with an excellent contemporary production and a timeless melody. When you have to perform a song in between 25 other countries, you want to be remembered by voters and in order to do that you need a chorus that immediately grabs the attention. That is exactly what ‘Occidentali’s Karma’ serves! The build up is cheerful, the upbeat vibe is contagious and the hook is absolutely irresistible.
If Francesco Gabbani can successfully translate the vibe of the track in a TV performance, he will make a lot Europeans get up and dance around their living rooms. He has charisma and charm in bucket loads and his raw vocal style sounds great in a live setting as well. For all the people who understand Italian, the lyrics are quite the entertaining critique on the contemporary Western society and they will understand why there is an ape dancing on stage. And for those who don’t, just enjoy the moves! Either way, Francesco Gabbani is the one to beat and rightfully so. With 75 million views on YouTube and counting, this stands an actual chance of becoming a Europe wide hit post contest as well.
UPDATE – Review on final performance and result:
Although the 6th place in the final of Eurovision is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, the Italian delegation must be quite disappointed with the result. After being the favourite to win the whole competition for months, Francesco Gabbani did not convince Europe enough with his ‘Occidentali’s Karma’. His performance was vocally decent and there is no denying that the track is very well written and irresistibly catchy, even if you do not understand a word of Italian. The staging however was quite messy with a huge colour expolosion and of course the dancing ape. I think the message of the song in combination with the performance just did not really reach the people at home. It turns out, still a lot depends on the performance and we (luckily) just can’t predict the outcome before the actual night.
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