Eurovision 2019 First Impressions - Italy and Montenegro

Soldi’ by Mahmood will represent Italy at Eurovision after winning the San Remo festival. Once again, they are sending something I don’t get the appeal of in the slightest. Once again, people are declaring the Italian entry to be something of exquisite quality and vastly superior to everything else released at this stage. Once again, the market rates Italy as one of the most likely countries to win, currently trading at around 17.0 on Betfair.

Last year’s Italian song (the one sent by Italy, not Estonia) was right up there for me in terms of WTF?! results in terms of how it performed, particularly in the televote. It’s amazing what a pimp slot can do sometimes, as well as the genius addition of translated lyrics on the backdrop. But a lot of people clearly liked it also.

I didn’t like this year’s song either on first listen. As someone who doesn’t understand the Italian language, I found it strange and alienating. It is modern but also very esoteric and somewhat of an acquired taste. I have no idea how will they should stage this one, but Mahmood himself looks good and so the focus will perhaps all be on him. Italy tends to enjoy the best voting power out of the Big 5, so ‘Soldi’ will have to be considered for the Top 10 when May comes around.

There are almost no words for ‘Heaven’ by D-Moll, which is representing Montenegro. It is a shockingly poor effort from the cheesy Slavic sextet. This entry sort of reminds me of San Marino’s ‘Chain of Lights’ from 2015, totally naff and dated but at this stage is even weaker. There’s going to be a revamp apparently, but I would recommend them having some sort of whip-round and buying a new song altogether. Otherwise there’s very little chance of Montenegro escaping from semi-final 1.