Last night the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of music unprofessionals—headed to Rome to get down on some spaghetti carbonara and to review Marco Mengoni’s Eurovision 2013 song “L’essenziale”. Did it prove to be essential listening? Or did we call Alitalia to see if we could catch the next flight out? Read on to find out.


HK Dick: Remember when, at school, you wanted to be part of the “cool” crowd so would pretend to like everything the cool kids did even though it really wasn’t your cup of tea? You just wanted to fit in so badly that you’d sacrifice your beliefs and say anything. That’s what I feel with most Eurovision fans and Italy. It’s cool to like Italy even though you don’t really know why. Well, I am standing for it no more. I’m prepared to be the social pariah and call this song for what it is…boring and forgettable and definite toilet break material.

Score: 3/10

Marco Mengoni San Remo Eurovision 2013 ItalyBogdan: I like Marco Mengoni’s look, voice, and his live performances (of anything). But unfortunately I don’t like this song as much. I expected that, given time and repeated listens (I tried), it would grow on me, but it didn’t happen. “L’Essenziale” is too Eros Ramazzotti, and I’ve never been a fan of the chap. However, I am sure that Marco’s performance will reach and warm many hearts – and eyes – and I expect Italy to do very well in the Final.

Score: 6/10

Vebooboo: Anyone who can go from looking like a beluga whale to a seal pup is a hero of mine. Throw on top of that solid vocals and you’ve got my future husband. Unfortunately, one of our wedding gifts was not a memorable song. I guess it’s because we forgot to invite Pastora Soler to our big day…big mistake! This song is good, but as a Big 5 country we want to see a big surprise, and this isn’t it.  It’s ok. At least Marco and I won’t be bothered by hordes of press on our honeymoon (to San Marino. We’re staying at Valentina Monetta’s Facebook mansion).

Score: 6/10

Wiwi: Marco Mengoni has the look and the voice—but unfortunately he doesn’t have the song. Yes, “L’Essenziale” is well-constructed and showcases his vocals. But the song—like an interstate in the middle of a desert—doesn’t really take you anywhere you want to go. I feel like I’m staring at wallpaper. What’s essential is that I try to stay awake during this act so I don’t miss out on Denmark, Ukraine, San Marino or any of the other contestants that have a shot of winning this thing.

Score: 3.5/10

Marco Mengoni Italy ESCDeban: Oh boy, I tried! This sounds like Eros Rammazotti at his most introspective phase. Despite repeat listens, it doesn’t wow me in any way. Marginally better than Italy’s 2011 entry, which shockingly came in second place. Marco Mengoni is a star. The video to “L’essenziale” has over 13 million hits on YouTube, and retains the number one position in the Italian music charts. The statistics tell me that this is a quality entry, and a strong contender for ESC victory. But my gut reaction is slowly slipping into a coma. Like Maya Sar, this is likely to pander to music experts, and creep into the Top 10. Hopefully, not ahead of “Crisalide”—this year’s best Italian entry.

Score: 4/10

Mr Häggkvist: Marco is what an artist should be. This guy is really talented, charismatic and humble. I think “L’essenziale” is a masterpiece. It’s a different type of song for Eurovision—not the pop ballad we’re used to hearing in the contest. If he keeps the Sanremo vibe we saw back in February, this will make the top 10 for sure.

Score: 8/10

Alexander: “L’essenziale” is a typical Italian boy ballad, and it’s a pretty decent one. Marco is a great singer, but the song is a little too boring for my tastes. San Marino is going to totally outshine Italy in Malmö though, as “Crisalide” is a stronger entry than this.

Score: 5/10

The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 5.07/10

You can see the latest reviews and standings on the Wiwi Jury page. You can also listen to all 39 entries on our contestants page.

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Norwegian
Guest
Norwegian

I love this song, and it’s sad that people think it is boring. I think this probably is because it’s not a light, catchy song, but a song that really get’s to you if you understand the language.

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Momo
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Momo

This is the type of song you pray to come on when you need to tinkle. #ToiletBreak

Leon
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Leon

Passionate, exciting. This song is Italian to the core – a winner.

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

Liked the song, but was more bewitched by what was going on with the hair, the moustache and the sideburns. I need to get out more. That said, the passion burns through and those eyes are something else.

olga161192@mail.ru
Guest

to understand this song you’ll have to understand th text, it is not boring iy is very deep and very paticular. Quindi cerca di imparare la lingua più bella del mondo e dopo decidi com’è la canzone!

Z24
Guest
Z24

Same problem as in Spain. A greatly composed entry and vocals that may get forgotten. At least it has the push of being the winning San Remo entry.

Alex
Guest
Alex

The Wiwi jury’s right about this one. I’m not sure what the big deal about this entry is. I don’t even understand why it’s so damn popular in Italy. There are better ballads this year (Estonia, Russia, the UK, Georgia, and Croatia) and although this one certainly lacks the typical cheesiness that comes from an ESC ballad, that doesn’t automatically make it more worthy.

That said, I will agree that Marco’s a talented singer who will probably find some way to make this memorable. He’s going to have a hard time outdoing Raphael Gualazzi, but so would anyone else.

Jaz
Guest

Well, I’m sorry, but I LOVE this song, and not because I feel obligated to fawn over Italy. I haven’t been that fussed with them since they made their comeback. Having said that, if Marco wasn’t so ovary-meltingly attractive (now…) perhaps I wouldn’t be quite so into the song.

Stephanie
Guest
Stephanie

The song lets Marco down. He is a wonderful singer, but the song is missing a soul and missing direction. It’s unfortunate, as I’d love to go to Eurovision in Italy!!

Emmelie
Guest
Emmelie

This song is terrible. I’m glad someone has finally said it. BORING. 0 points from France. PS Go Amandine!

Carlo
Guest
Carlo

Dear Wiwi you are not respectable in your opinions, you are not a real jury with good point of view, just go with the flow

Stephen Colville
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Stephen Colville

I can’t believe the low ranking here. Many think this has a chance to win.

Harriet Krohn
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Harriet Krohn

This is not my favourite song by far, but it’s miles ahead of Crisalide. 😉 Marco can sing really well, if he doesn’t war his brown suit he’s also good-looking, and Italian is a beautiful language for a singing. There’s something missing though, there’s no real kick in it. But then again, I’m not really into ballads, so very few of them actually get me. This one might do quite well, because it is a quality entry and juries should reward it, but it will also do reasonably well with the televoters – there’s not a whole lot of competition… Read more »

aaaa
Guest
aaaa

Dear Wiwi Jury you have such a bad taste in music ..

Penny
Guest
Penny

The song’s dull but guaranteed to do well, likely just outside the Top 5 in my opinion – it’ll pick up plenty of votes from the Juries, but televoting should let it down, like Nina Zilli in 2012!