Early this morning the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals—gathered in Florence to snap photos of Michaelangelo’s David at the Galleria dell’Accademia. After admiring all that marble muscle, we sat down to review Emma Marrone’s Eurovision 2014 song “La mia città” (My City). Did we want to stay in town? Or were we red to go? Read on to find out….
Angus: Right here is the baddest bitch you’ll meet on stage in Copenhagen. Don’t even think about f*cking with her. Between the bleach blonde hair and a vocal that sounds as if she accidentally swallowed razor blades, Emma is superbly severe. ‘La Mia Città’ is nothing short of a revelation amidst the tidal wave of ballads. The live performance at USFC in March was admittedly a disaster but I’m confident Emma can pull it back by May. Italy hasn’t put a foot wrong since they came back to the contest and if this doesn’t land them in the Top 10 for a fourth consecutive year something’s seriously wrong with y’all.
Bogdan: This sounds like Garbage. Seriously, anyone who has ever listened to “Push It” can tell you that Emma took a cue from Shirley Manson. Luckily for Emma, she doesn’t exactly sound like a copycat, and that’s thanks to her voice, which is a bit coarser than Shirley’s. However, I can’t get over the fact that “La mia città” sounds like a mid-90’s rock song and since I’m long past my grunge phase, I can’t award it top points. Moreover, the two live renditions of “La mia città” that I’ve seen so far were messy and I wouldn’t be surprised it Italy fared worse than what Emma’s fans would hope — I’m having Amandine Bourgeois flashbacks. (Great video though! Eurovision needs a chic rock chick and I’m hoping for couture on the 10th of May.)
Billy: Italy, why did you do this to me? You have such a beautiful language and you produce a song talking about the city, cars and trains? I love this pop sound and the exciting rhythm, as well as the singer herself. But the lyrics are just a disaster. The video clip was amazing, and Emma’s voice is very nice, but I can’t ignore the lyrics. Change them and win the trophy!
Vebooboo: Italy ain’t playing games this year — I mean, they even invested euros into to filming an additional 25 seconds of Emma walking on top of a building in high heels. And you know what, it is paying off! I don’t want to say bad things about this woman, because I’m afraid she will seriously kick my ass in Copenhagen. Watch the way she turns her coat into a whip, or how she seductively squats throughout the song. But while she spends much of her video squatting, this song stands so far above most of the competition. It is different, and it is memorable. I don’t think it will win, but I’d be surprised to see it completely flop.
Deban: Emma Marrone infuses estrogen into this pop rock number. I appreciate her sass, her upbeat energy, and bits of the chorus. Unfortunately, it doesn’t ‘wow’ me. Something’s missing, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.
Katie: Emma is Queen. Oh my God I love her, she’s not to be messed with! She’s got the outfits to grace the cover of Vogue so her Eurovision couture better be good! The first verse is great, but it all gets so much better in the bridge when the guitars really start kicking in. I’m falling at her feet by the chorus, I don’t think it’s humanely possible to be cooler than Emma. I’m not even considering whether it would be better for her to sing in English because the Italian lyrics work wonders with her raspy voice. When I listen to her song, the only thing I’m not happy about is the fact that she’s automatically in the final so I can’t watch her perform twice!
Francheska: This is, by far, my favorite Big 5 entry this year. I am an avid fan of pop-rock during Eurovision and love Italian, and this is basically the love child of these two things. Emma has some serious attitude and pipes, and has the ability to turn Copenhagen into a rock concert for her glorious 3 minutes! And let’s not even get into the music video (seriously, that looks like too much fun, to just strut around in all of those dresses and whatnot). Given my devotion to Marco last year, I would’ve been amazed if anything could’ve even compared to “L’Essenziale” in true awesome-ness. But, here we are. GO FOR THE TOP 5, EMMA! GO FOR IT!
Padraig: According to the old saying “the early bird catches the worm”. And indeed it seemed that by releasing “La Mia Città” so early in the Eurovision season, Emma had not only captured the worm, but she was ready to eat it too. For weeks she sat atop every poll and fan list. Then as the slow trickle of national selections became a flood, she was washed away to the land of the forgotten, while the latecomers pillaged all her “worms”. In one sense this is unfortunate, for as per usual, the Italians have sent a major domestic star with a well crafted, modern song. They are taking the contest seriously and deserve to do well. However, is the song, or even Emma memorable enough to succeed? With 2 other rock-chicks – Mei and Tijana – strutting their stuff, can Emma stand-out? Things could be about to go all Amandine Bourgeois.
Zach: I never thought I’d equate Italy to pop-rock in terms of Eurovision, but Emma has pleasantly come in and shattered my preconceived notions on what Italy will send. “La Mia Citta” is just great. It sticks in your head like crazy, Emma has a distinct style from the other Italian entries since their return, the huskiness and sass in her voice commands attention, and in May, attention equates to votes. Her live performances prove she has the vocals down pat, and I think people are warming up from their original “what the heck” feelings, due to it being so different from Marco, and all the other Italian entries recently. I hope they make an eclectic grand spectacle of a show for the song, that will really seal the deal for yet another great placing for Italy, perhaps even the title! But this fresh new style alone will bode well for them, although I hope it doesn’t lead to them not using San Remo to decide entries anymore.
Wiwi: Emma seems like the kind of woman who would call you a b*tch to your face rather than behind your back. I really respect that. She could fend for herself in an alleyway after dark, and if tried to snatch her purse she’d bite your arm and and grab your wallett while you shriek. All of this to say that it’s Emma’s attitude that will make or break this song. It’s somewhat generic mid-90s pop. But delivered with the zaniness and vigor of her music video, this could do very well indeed.
All 19 members of our jury rate each song. However, we only have room to share 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining nine scores.
James L: 8/10
Maxim Montana: 7/10
William C: 7.6/10
The highest and lowest scores are removed before calculating the final score. We have dropped a low of 5 and a high of 10.
The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 7.51/10
You can check out our latest Eurovision 2014 reviews and rankings on the Wiwi Jury page. You can keep up-to-date on the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.