Italy, Francesca Michielin, 1 eurovision 2016
Italy, Francesca Michielin, 1

Yesterday the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Italy and stopped by the town of Bassano del Grappa. There we took a walk across the Ponte Vecchio bridge and discussed Francesca Michielin‘s song “No Degree of Separation”. Did we feel close to the song? Or did it leave a divide? Read on to find out?

Francesca Michielin – “No Degree of Separation”

“No Degree of Separation” reviews

Mike: Even though I did not understand a single word from the Italian lyrics, it was love at first listen. Francesca brings the lyrics like she is just reading a newspaper. Sanremo is the national selection with by far the highest quality in Europe and again this year they chose the best entry to represent Italy in Stockholm. This song deserves at least another spot in the first 10 but if I had to choose we will go to Rome next year.

Score: 10/10

William: Francesca’s voice has a breathy, ethereal charm. But amid that lightness she still packs an emotional punch, tugging on heart strings and creating major atmosphere. She’s a competent, controlled performer and she imbues every note with a feeling. And while I love Francesca, I only like her song. It’s intoxicating, no doubt, but needs a bit more shape to get me going. A steady strand of pleasant is nice, but I really crave a climax.

Score: 6/10

Angus: Italy has got this down! Francesca’s vocal is razor sharp, “No Degree of Separation” emotively all-conquering and the production a total winner. The slow build of the song gives Francesca time to develop her vocal, only bringing the full force to bear in the final third of the song and constantly exceeding your expectation every step of the way there. The English could sound clunky, but Francesca makes it elegant and flawless. She has her eye on the prize and she might just get there.

Score: 8.5/10

Bernardo: Expecting a weak entry from Italy is like expecting Portugal to win the 2017 edition of Eurovision. Not possible. I was a bit worried that the English version was going to lose some of the qualities the Italian one had. Thank God I was wrong. The song was already very international and the English chorus adds an even stronger impact. Francesca’s voice is pure magic and helps build a song that starts slowly and builds up to an intense climax that for sure will please televoters and juries.

Score: 8/10

Bogdan: “No Degree Of Separation” is a coherent effort that plays on Francesca’s unassuming strengths. It’s not in your face, it even starts shyly, but it manages to envelop you with its ever-growing force, like a river that keeps rising. By the end of it, you’re happily drowning in Francesca’s beautiful voice and the song’s mesmerising flow. Another superb victory for Italy. Oh, and the English lyrics are a welcome addition! I adore Francesca’s accent!

Score: 9.5/10

Deban: Stirring, emotive and vocally on-point. Francesca Michielin is owning her ground as she sings this bilingual entry. “No Degree Of Separation” commands the listeners attention whilst it’s on play, but it fails to linger when it’s over.

Score: 6.5/10

Zakaria: What I love about Italy in the contest is how they always showcase their beautiful language. “No Degree of Separation” is certainly not the best Italy has sent but it’s still a strong entry. Francesca’s voice is bewitching, somehow haunting and fits the song perfectly. However, even after several listens, I still feel the song is a bit flat and doesn’t evolve much.

Score: 7/10

Judit: For me, it’s not a love-at-first-sight thing. Francesca has an awesome voice — this girl can sing! And this song could work on the stage, but I think maybe it’s a bit overrated. Il Volo was perfect and came third. This year I don’t think Italy can do better.

Score: 7/10

Mikhail: For me this song is a little bit bland. I don’t find it unique. However, after a few listens I found a little piece of magic in it. It flows tenderly like a small brook throughout the forest and this way the song steps on a higher level for me and brings me some joy. Nevertheless, I cannot rank it high enough, because my player is full of Emma’s non-Eurovision songs, which are much better, though they are similar.

Score: 6.5/10

Padraig: “Nessun Grado Di Separazione” caught me completely off guard. Its simplicity, its elegance and its beauty were completely unexpected. I got chills. And that was just on first listen. Since then it’s morphed into “No Degree Of Separation” and my love remains strong. I don’t get quite the same high as I did back at Sanremo, but I suspect that’s purely down to familiarity. The new English verse is a perfect example of how bilingual entries should be done. Whereas, the original began to become repetitive towards the end, the language change adds a new layer of interest whilst simultaneously furthering our understanding of the song. Francesca’s gorgeous charm is the perfect antidote to Il Volo’s bombast.

Score: 8.5/10

Robyn: Italy normally enters songs that have a lot going on, so even if the listener doesn’t understand Italian, there’s some sort of drama/emotion/passion/eyebrow to draw the viewer in. “No Degree of Separation” is a lot simpler and I don’t feel that same connection. It’s very pleasant, delivered nicely by Francesca, but it lacks a compelling hook that would make me fall in love with it.

Score: 7/10

Tobias: Italy surprises every year and this year is no exception. Traditionally, they send a singer who sings in Italian, and even though I don’t know any Italian at all it still attracts me. I think there must be some kind of genetic code build in us — we just love the beautiful Italian language. “No Degree of Separation” is a strong song, maybe top 5, but not a winner. The melody is sweet and I found myself humming to it so I guess that’s a good sign for Italy, since it may have the same effect on more people.

Score: 6/10

In the Wiwi Jury we have 40 jurors but only have room for 12 reviews. The remaining 28 scores are below.

Anthony: 7.5/10

Antranig: 3.5/10

Chris: 7.5/10

Cristian: 9/10

David: 8/10

Dayana: 8.5/10

Denise: 9/10

Diego: 6.5/10

Edd: 7.5/10

Forrest: 8.5/10

George: 8/10

Gökhan: 8.5/10

Jason: 9.5/10

Josh: 7/10

Kristin: 6/10

Liam: 8/10

Luis: 9.5/10

Marek: 10/10

Maria: 5.5/10

Mario: 4/10

Max: 8.5/10

Patrick: 6/10

Renske: 9.5/10

Rezo: 3/10

Sami: 5/10

Sinan: 6.5/10

Steinunn: 7.5/10

William C: 9/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 3 and a high of 10.

WIWI JURY SCORE: 7.47/10

SEE OUR CURRENT EUROVISION 2016 REVIEWS AND RANKINGS

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Burn
Guest
Burn

I’ll vote for this. Absolutely beautiful in every way possible. I could listen to a generic mainstream upbeat popsong instead but why would I when we have this masterpiece?

Fransen
Guest
Fransen

@EugeneESCUK

I think the staging will be great and surprising. The creative director promised something never seen before on Eurovision.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Francesca’s song was one of many songs in Sanremo that I did not connect with on the first listen. Also like many of the songs, the live was not as good as the studio recording but again like many of the songs, after a few listens I got it. Immediate impact is very important of course in the ESC but thankfully Francesca’s vocals have improved considerably. Countries sing in English so you can understand the lyrics on the night and for those that like to sing-a-long with the song, English makes that easier. Having just one token verse in English… Read more »

Juan
Guest
Juan

Personal favorite.

Italian pop music has the charm of keeping their standards and adding a little bit of the latest hip and Francesca’s song is a great example of that.

Even though I don’t like much the ESC edition, the original San Remo version is, at least for me, perfection.

10 / 10

Fransen
Guest
Fransen

@Criticca

Considering that Nicoline Refsing and her team (Rockart Design) are taking care of her stage performance (they were involved in the creation of Conchita, The Common Linnets and Aminata’s performances), I’m sure it will look fabulous! 🙂

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@Criticca: That is why this song rates so highly on my scorecard. With the exception of Emma Marrone in 2014 (too much breathing between words, I believe, did her in, to begin with), Italy has been quite reliable in the top 10. This will be no exception, and I think it is as capable of finishing in the top 3 as did Il Volo.

Criticca
Guest
Criticca

A modern song with with a beautiful meaning and sung by an angelic voice. Now I just hope it will be staged well on the grand finals night!

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

ERRATA: Amir from France is number 3 on my current scorecard, behind Jamala and ahead of Barei.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

I just got finished evaluating all 43 songs and videos for the second time, with the same 10 criteria I have used since 2014; and right now, Francesca sits at the top of my scorecard, with Jamala from Ukraine 2nd, Amir from France 4th, and Barei from Spain making a big jump from 10th to 4th, with Sergey from Russia 5th. This is the first time, since watching the contest in its entirety in 2013, that I am not completely sold on one song in my reviews. In 2013, Ireland was my #1 in all 3 of my reviews, with… Read more »

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Despite last year’s fanfare, I did not buy into Italy’s song. It was as if viewers were so shocked by something different that they compelled to vote for it without really discerning the quality. This year, however, there is no doubt about the quality. This is full of class. It is not in your face. It is subtle, beautiful and professionally performed. Francesca has a beautiful voice and great stage presence. The song takes you on a journey and builds up as it needs to in order to get there. I do not know about if it has mass appeal… Read more »

David Who
Guest
David Who

Hopefully I’ve got the key right this time – it’s in C major, yes? 🙂 The beauty of this song is not so much in the structure, but in the delivery. The melodic line always starts just after the beat, and results in the words being emphasized in a particular way – this brings out the beauty of the Italian language in full. Also, the way that every phrase is so intricately connected matches the meaning of the song – there is no degree of separation in this music; it’s all the same meaning and the same deep emotion. The… Read more »

Jerome
Guest
Jerome

9.5/10 This score is based on the original, full Italian, studio version of the song. The Italian language just sounds so beautiful and Francesca sings it so well. The bridge build-up to the final chorus and the final chorus itself are my favourite parts of the song. When it comes to the three-minute version, my score for this would be 8.5 not because of the one English chorus, but the fact that the last minute sounds rushed and the build-up to the last chorus is shortened (that’s what I get for getting used to the original). When she sings the… Read more »

Gav
Guest
Gav

If you love this song – her album is out. Bought it today on iTunes. I love it

This is my fav track

http://youtu.be/rMTfM28wAf8

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@TIMO: You may very well be right! Jamala is my #1 (after my first review), and Francesca is my #3. Those 2 ladies and their stage directors had better not sleep on Amir, my #2.

Tom
Guest
Tom

@Pollaski well said. I think many fans here forget that this is a fan site, run by fans who do this out of love. They’re not paid journalist but bust their balls to get news out, polls set up so the fans can enjoy the build up to Eurovision. This is done in their own precious time, outside regular jobs. The jury is just a bit of fun, not a serious representation of the real thing and just the canvassing of opinions of a small group of fans. It has no bearing on the actual result. They’re entitled to an… Read more »

Tom
Guest
Tom

It’s a nice song, but it’s not ground breaking. It’s basic San Remo fare that I’ve heard quite often. I personally like it, bar the English bit. That said I’m happy Italy send what’s popular there to Eurovision. Francesca is also charming and I’m sure will sound great on stage.

Best of luck Italy.

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

@Mark Pumphrey Just as I have the right to express my opinion that your opinion is a load of horsecrap. There is no ‘position of power’ here. Its a fan, one of forty (which means his score accounts for a whopping 2.5% of the total score anyways), on fan blog expressing his opinion. Wiwibloggs does not control Eurovision, nor does it pretend to. Its a fun site where fans of the contest post news and reviews and other fans of the contest comment on it, which makes it double the fun because there’s a lot of salty mofos like yourself… Read more »

georgekirkas
Guest
georgekirkas

@Pollaski

I agree with you, Rezo (and everybody else) has the right to express his opinion and we have to respect it. The problem, though is not this, I have said it again. The problem is that he is not accurate with his scores. For example, we could read his review about the polish song and he said that it was quite good, yet he only gave it a 4/10!

Fransen
Guest
Fransen

@Franco

Yes, exactly!

Fransen
Guest
Fransen

@hasa This is the translation from the official Eurovision website. It’s the first time it’s happened to me Before, I just used to shut myself in Keeping my distance from life and its stuff Because I’d never felt it so deep down And then I felt an emotion flare up quickly And push its way into my heart without turning down its voice And I feel no tension, only life inside me No degree of separation No kind of hesitation There’s no division keeping us apart We are going the same direction in this universe on the move There’s no… Read more »

Franco
Guest
Franco

@hasa
“The title suggests it’s a love song dealing with separation”

Not at all. It’s not a love song, but a song of personal growth. It’s about her living isolated first and then opening up to the world and discovering how all the things are connected. The no degree of separation is not between two people, but between all of 7 billions of us.

Mark Pumphrey
Guest
Mark Pumphrey

@Pollaski:

No, if it was just his opinion it wouldn’t matter. But he uses his position of power to screw over the scores of some really great songs along quite obvious political lines, distorting fairness in the overall rankings. What he’s building are walls, not bridges. My opinion, which I also have a right to express.

hasa
Guest
hasa

Difficult to hit like and for me to rate because it’s in language I don’t understand. The title suggests it’s a love song dealing with separation which I might be wrong but the English verse suggests somewhat different. Music I think maybe is about 7.5 out of 10 in comparison to other entries?

I think awesome this would be if the lyrics could be made as daunting as Sara Bareilles’ Gravity and the English verse be replaced with that moment in a song that we can’t but give a standing ovation to.

Ben Rafter
Guest
Ben Rafter

5/10
As bland as potato without butter – at least she can sing well.

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

@Mark Pumphrey

Build a bridge and get over it?

I’m sorry the mean judge is picking on your favorite songs, but he is entitled to his opinion.

Mark Pumphrey
Guest
Mark Pumphrey

Can someone please do something about Ratso Rezo? He trashed one of the best songs last year, when literally no other jury member did. This year it is the beautiful song from Italy he is picking on. What’s worse, there is a clear pattern of political bias in his scores and reviews.

Stan
Guest
Stan

I hope she’ll do well, but it’s not as catchy as the songs leading the polls… Could well be the juries’ winner though because it’s a great song!

Azotman
Guest
Azotman

Bonsoir Stockholm,

Vote 10/10
Classement 3e / 43

Une des meilleures chansons. du concours. Les chansons italiennes à l’Eurovision sont toujours belles. Francesca aussi et elle sait chanter. Que dire de plus. L’Italie méritait de gagner l’année dernière. Je serai très heureux si l’Italie gagnait le concours cette année. Elle finira parmi les 10 meilleures de la finale, je pense.
A boca al lupo, Francesca, bellissima !

Ciao,
Maxime

beccaboo1212
Guest

Rome 2017? Could be! 🙂

Fransen
Guest
Fransen

@Antonio

it wouldn’t have ended up*

georgekirkas
Guest
georgekirkas

In the beginning I didn’t like Italy’s entry at all, but it has really grown on me! It’s very emotional and it has an amazing message! Also, Francesca has a great voice! I still don’t think that the english chorus adds anything to the song, though and I think that the song is a little bit weak musically and nothing special. It can easily get lost and I’m not sure if it can do well.

7/10

Fransen
Guest
Fransen

@Antonio

If it had been a flop in Sanremo, it wouldn’t ended up being the runner up and Francesca wouldn’t have been chosen as the Italian representative. Her song is a huge hit in Italy.

Antonio
Guest
Antonio

Anyone could tell me… Where’s the “quality” in this song? I see the quality in “Goodbye To Yesteday”. This is not the most catchy song ever, but I listen the variety of instruments and I say: THIS IS QUALITY. This song was a flop in Sanremo. Why is 4th by OGAE?

Antonio
Guest
Antonio

And the Award for the Most Overrated Song in ESC 2016 goes to…

ITALY!

João Teles
Guest
João Teles

now, this is one of the best entries this year, absolutely outstanding, one of my favorites and i hope it gets an outstanding place this year, much love from Portugal! <3

#Amore
Guest
#Amore

Overrated!!! There is nothing in this song. No feeling, no energy, nothing to remember. I forget it after i’ve listened to it.

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

To be honest it was not amore at first listen between this track and me, but now it’s in my top 3 and I absolutely love it.
I don’t think this can win, but Italy will once again do very well.

MirkoJoshua
Guest
MirkoJoshua

So overrated

Darren
Guest
Darren

Italy at Eurovision is one of the highlights of Eurovision week for me every year since they came back in 2011. They also know how to do it right! They never opt for cheap English translations or Swedish Melfest leftovers, they keep it Italian. Italy at Eurovision is always recognisable. But in my opinion every song sounds better sung in Italian! Song wise, Francesca is amazing and her song is so modern yet typically Italian, (for obvious reasons) her song reminds me of Marco Mengioni in 2013 and look how great that was? If Il Volo can come 3rd this… Read more »

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@Toms

i don’t care, Italy is going to win if you like it or not

Francesca is a worldclass superstar, the next Laura Pausini 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Marc
Guest
Marc

Once again Italy is sending an amazing song. It’s simple, beautiful and current. I just love it.
It’s already a hit in Italy (being platinum and peaking num 1 there).
Other western countries should learn about Italy or Sweden and starting to send songs that could become at least a radio hit in their own countries.

Toms
Guest
Toms

I don’t like this song, it has some deppresive note and I don’t feel good when I listen to it. No question about quality or her voice, its on-point and really good. That being said, I have question about this votes. So she got 2x 10 and only 1x 3. So will you remove both 10s or just one, and this one and only 3?

Marco
Guest
Marco

My favourite of this year 🙂

esc 2016
Guest
esc 2016

Very nice song….nice chorus and very very very nice language…Francesca deserve top 10 with no doubt…..

8.5/10

Bhrister Cjorkman
Guest
Bhrister Cjorkman

8.5/10
6th/43

Beautiful stuff from Italy once again. I do not know how much the general public will appreciate this but for me it is an incredible tune.

Antranig Shokayan
Editor

I have to say, this has grown on me significantly since the Wiwi Jury did our reviews.

This is my opinion (TIMO)
Guest
This is my opinion (TIMO)

Ukraine is the only one to worry about, fight between Ukraine and Italya this year let’s wait and see

Erin
Guest
Erin

Francesca reminds me of a younger Christina Ricci which adds a cinematic quality to the song because it captures that moment when a cocoon turns into a beautiful butterfly, when you leave your shell and defenses behind and feel part of something bigger and more meaningful. Her vocals are gentle, tender and caressing while the song manages to put into a words what a personal transformation feels both emotionally and physically. It’s very delicate and sincere in its beauty, but like every work of beauty, you can only appreciate it after a discerning observation. 8/10

Homer
Guest
Homer

A superb entry from Italy after last year’s overhyped Flop Amore. I hope they make the top 10 once again…

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

The video for this is like the saddest birthday party ever. That is NOT how you play pass-the-balloon, people! As for the actual song, I really like it, although its hardly my favorite. Francesa’s lower key delivery is a stark contrast to Il Volo’s bombastic delivery last year, but she really pulls through a pure and sweet performance- and the Italian language is always beautiful to listen to in song. If there’s no degreee of separation in the voting, this definitely can join the cluster and come out in a great finishing position. Just find it a bit difficult to… Read more »