Cristian Scarpone

Cristian Scarpone is our Italian correspondent and has covered both Sanremo and Eurovision in recent years. Keep up with the latest Eurovision news and gossip by liking our Facebook page and by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs.


  1. Mark
    February 13, 2017 @ 9:39 am

    Does anyone think the cameraman knocking into Alessio might have effected the vote. I know he didn’t have a chance at winning but he could have gotten one place higher or lower because of it…

    • Mark
      June 26, 2017 @ 3:13 pm

      Mark, you are insane…

  2. AurelianTamisan
    February 13, 2017 @ 8:36 am

    Italy is a dissapointment this year. It isn’t terrible, I’m happy it’s in Italian, however I can’t say I like it. And I don’t think this will make top 15 either.

    • Mark
      July 17, 2017 @ 4:26 pm

      I think Italy has the strongest National Selection.

  3. Richard
    February 12, 2017 @ 9:20 pm

    Love the song, love the vibe, loving that frisky gorilla

  4. T.P.
    February 12, 2017 @ 6:03 pm

    I listen to all kinds of music, from Jazz, Opera, Pop, Rock, to Reggae, R&B, Soul, you name it. To me, as long as they convey emotions, I don’t care the genre.

    “Occidentali’s Karma” gives me a happy, uplifting vibe, so I should be able to appreciate it just as much as I appreciate a powerful ballad, an intense opera aria or a mind-blowing rock song.
    So, yes, I LOVE this song and if, to top it off, it has current, brilliant lyrics about the era we’re living in, that’s even better – the icing on the cake.
    Is it music for grown-ups, the way someone puts it here? Well, that could be very subjective as are each one’s tastes.

    We don’t all have the same tastes, right? So, guys, it’s just a song.
    If you like it or even love it, good for you!
    If you don’t, just don’t listen to it or don’t pay any mind to it – and don’t take it personally! (when I don’t like something, I don’t spend my time talking and wandering about it, I spend it on things I actually like)
    Lighten up, guys, and enjoy the music that makes YOU feel good.

  5. Ol
    February 12, 2017 @ 5:31 pm


    If u don’t like gorilla u can stay home or u can see another program in May 13


  6. Bob
    February 12, 2017 @ 4:51 pm

    Charles, what are you on about? Listen, people like this song for Italy, and not because of the bloody ape! The gorilla is a fun touch, I can see why many people WON’T like it but in my opinion it goes well with the feeling of the song so I don’t mind it. This is probably the worst song Italy has sent since they came back in 2011 – but I still like it, because it is unexpected, it is fun, it is catchy – it’s something that makes me feel a bit happier! But just because me and other people like this doesn’t mean we don’t like stuff of higher musical quality as well! Music for grown-ups the way you put it. That’s what I listen to all the time. Doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a touch of humour when it is presented before my eyes. Get a life!

  7. Charles
    February 12, 2017 @ 4:03 pm

    @Polegend Godgarina: Since when dressing up as a gorilla is a talent? Or are you so desperate to see Eurovision in Italy at any cost? Tired of cold Nordic weather? If walls could actually talk …

  8. Charles
    February 12, 2017 @ 3:57 pm

    @Leanne: I appreciate the message of the song … although so many others have written songs with social criticism in its message so there is nothing new in here to be quite honest … but the thing here is not even the content of the message … it’s the fact that fans were going loony with the lack of uptempo songs … adding a gorilla to the party just made them all go crazy … it’s like reliving the 2000s and their childhood days … it doesn’t even matter what the song is about. It’s all about that gorilla and the party can now start and all those XXL flags can start waving in front of the cameras … period.

  9. Charles
    February 12, 2017 @ 3:52 pm

    @Griffin: You were just desperate for an uptempo song … you can’t stand music telling you you have to grow up … that’s why they are boring and mediocre … they are all telling you what you don’t want to hear. An uptempo gives you a reason to dance along to all those beats while ignoring the lyrics and what they’re supposed to mean that takes too much work … and there is a gorilla to dance along with you. Eurovision at its best … credible and musically substantial.

  10. Leo M
    February 12, 2017 @ 3:49 pm

    He has got an interesting voice that I wasn’t quite sure of at first but as the song went on, I more I was liking it .It’s my favourite song heading to Eurovision so far but I’m not sure about the gorilla

  11. Charles
    February 12, 2017 @ 3:47 pm

    @Jonas: Leave the gorilla at home and I’ll honestly believe every word you say … otherwise with the gorilla there no one is going to believe in you and much worse no one is even bothering to believe or disbelieve because everybody is already distracted by the gorilla … it speaks for itself.

  12. Zebb
    February 12, 2017 @ 2:53 pm

    I’ll check later some translation of winner’s song lyrics. Can’t say he was top notch live, same for melody, but still he’s a good contender amongst another 10 finalists.

  13. AngieP
    February 12, 2017 @ 12:59 pm

    This was an amazing night!
    And maybe my favourite song winning! Love it!
    Surprised Elodie was lower than I expected, but I’m so glad Ermal Meta was in the top 3. I liked his song from the start.

  14. Avstriya
    February 12, 2017 @ 9:37 am

    This year we will have a really sexy Eurovision winner *drools*

  15. marie
    February 12, 2017 @ 8:55 am

    It’s not because it’s funny that the song is good.It’s an average song.
    The other Italian entries in eurovision were better.

  16. Rich
    February 12, 2017 @ 8:53 am

    I am predicting a male voice to win this year. Francesco could easily be that winning voice. The song itself is fresh and very current, absolutely on cue.

    The performance is key, it will certainly stand out on stage this year. It also has a likeable quality about it too. This will certaintly do well for sure. Bravo Italia!

  17. Ol
    February 12, 2017 @ 8:04 am

    It’s Italy time! Monkey dances naked 🙂 Go ITALY

  18. Blaziker from SG
    February 12, 2017 @ 6:56 am

    (Francesco confirmed that he will be representing Italy with this song. Great for the Italians)

    Safe to say that Italy will fly the Big 5 flag once again, which is very likely considering the other 4 countries’ entries (France and UK could finish around mid-table with improvements, Germany and Spain are more likely to finish close to bottom).

    This song is very un-Eurovision, which is exactly the reason why I feel this will do very well. As long as this song is shortened to the required 3 minutes and he brings along the gorilla, this will get another top 10 placing for Italy.

    It’s still early days but this is starting to look promising for Italy to win for the third time.

  19. T.P.
    February 12, 2017 @ 4:03 am

    Bravo, Francesco! A breath of fresh air, such an uplifting song! And LOVED the lyrics! Just like Leanne says, it’s a a witty jab at society in the social/web era. So brilliantly accurate! FORZA, ITALIA!

    Watch the video with English subtitles here:

  20. am.casablancas
    February 12, 2017 @ 2:29 am

    this is brilliant, I hope he says yes to the ESC family because the song is so memorable he doesn’t need to do any changes but HE MUST bring the gorilla to Kiev if he accepts the invitation!

    SO HAPPY 🙂

  21. Griffin
    February 12, 2017 @ 2:23 am


    Eventhough my heart breaks when Alessio just finished in 15th

  22. Valeryn
    February 12, 2017 @ 2:21 am

    I absolutely love this. It’s so happy, witty, funny, and it’s a fantastic song to boot, not just another discardable joke act. Viva Italia!

  23. Briekimchi
    February 12, 2017 @ 2:08 am

    Italy 2018!

  24. Denis
    February 12, 2017 @ 2:07 am

    Nice to see a lighter side of Italy for once and not same old dramatic dark entries.
    The song is an absolute delight from start to finish and insanely positive. Really good choice that should do well
    The thing that bugs me though is that songs like this always become fan favourites and everyone expects it to win, only to end up getting not that many tele-votes. Like Amir and France last year who despite being the favourite only ended up in 9th place with voters. I hope tit won’t happen for Italy this year…

  25. Chris (frostyw)
    February 12, 2017 @ 2:02 am

    This shoots up immediately to my #2 spot, just behind France.
    1. France
    2. Italy
    3. Belarus
    4. Finland
    5. Switzerland
    6. Albania
    7. UK
    8. Georgia
    9. Spain
    10. Germany

  26. Jonas
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:46 am

    Something of this quality could never be considered a “joke” act. I don’t know what some of you people are thinking. Save that term for Dustin the Turkey, Rodolfo, Buranovskiye Babushki.

    You are seriously mistaken if you think this is anywhere near that category, or trying to be.

  27. Good Night Moon
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:45 am

    ROMA 2018

    Absolutely brilliant

  28. We love leds, visuals, ballads and divas
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:45 am

    I love Italian music, but this is certainly not my cup of tea. Too flat at first listening. Good luck anyway!

  29. beccaboo1212
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:44 am

    ARE YOU NUTS? I wanted Lodovica Comello to win!!!! 🙁

    Oh well. The only other option is for Lodovica to represent San Marino.

  30. Colin
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:43 am

    Okay, so Germany and Spain are race to the bottom, but France, UK and now most certainly Italy show that being a finalist means something. Congrats, Italy just might be my favorite now!

  31. Leanne
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:42 am

    It’s easy to mark this as a joke act based solely on the performance. If you understood the lyrics, it’s actually a witty jab at society in the social/web era.

    Still amazed and happy this won, regardless of how well it will do in Eurovision, it’s a big step forward for Italy and Sanremo.

  32. mad-professor
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:42 am

    1. Italy
    2. Finland
    3. United Kingdom
    4. Belarus
    5. Switzerland
    6. France
    7. Albania
    8. Georgia
    9. Germany / Spain

  33. ItalyforWon
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:41 am

    Love it! This is a great song!
    And I love the gorilla dance as in the final performance.

  34. Bastian
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:40 am

    I dont know what to say. Im so happy. The moment i heard this and saw his performance, i knew he would be the perfect artist to send to ESC. He has already winner written all over him. Love the song, love his performance, just everything about it. It feels so fresh. Rome 2018, here we come 🙂

  35. Amor Amankwah
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:40 am

    For all of you saying this is a joke act, please look up what Occidentalism is.

  36. Chris (frostyw)
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:37 am

  37. Ddraven4
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:34 am

    Seriously Italy? Sending a pathetic joke act is something I expect from Spain and the UK, not you

  38. Aleksi
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:33 am

    I love it! My favorite easily.

  39. Amor Amankwah
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:32 am

    I’m so happy this won! He is my number one and Belarus my two. For all of you who said he needs to leave the gorilla home, I don’t think he should. I believe the gorilla goes hand in hand with the meaning of the song and its lyrics.

  40. SLY
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:29 am

    BRAVO ITALIA!!!! I Love your choise!!!!

  41. Polegend Godgarina
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:28 am

    Talent WON. I’m proud of my country. A song with witty lyrics and a great rhythm that’s looking at the future, instead of the same stale Italian music that can’t seem to evolve.

  42. eurana
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:24 am

    If the gorilla goes to Kiev, Riga Beaver must goes too !

  43. Maclaren
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:23 am

    I so love it! I love the gorilla, love the dance routine, love music. Francesco is so charismatic and his gorilla is a match. And i love the simplicity, love the fact that it is just the singer and the gorilla. People, and guess what (as I haven’t mentioned it yet): I love the gorilla!!

    What a pleasure to see at least some big 5 countries returning with quality you would expect from the biggest music markets in Europe

  44. Paul D.
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:23 am

    It has also been confirmed that “Occidentali’s Karma” is the italian song for Kiev 😉

  45. Marc
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:22 am

    He has already accepted!

    3rd win for Italy is coming 😀

  46. mad-professor
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:22 am

  47. Cambell Grace
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:21 am

    It was looking like Sweden, Australia, Russia and Greece were in the running to win this year… until Italy selected Francesco. Bravo Italy, I think they could win unless the juries screw them over again like with Il Volo.

  48. Tomas Patrick Davitt
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:13 am

    omg im actually teary eyed. I am so so so so so happy this is going to Eurovision – what a beautiful and fantastic representation of the competition!

  49. PP
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:12 am

    Italy did n made mistake with winner. I like Elodie (she was my favorite ) than Francesco, Alessio and Samuel. I was affraid that Francesco wili be out of TOP 3, when I see that Alessio was placing 15 of 16, Samuel 10 , Elodie only 9.
    I think if Francesco want to go to Eurovision, Italy wili be in TOP 10. My prediction in TOP 3 with televote, but I affraid that juries wili put him out of TOP 5 maybe TOP 10 lke they did with some favorites Russia in 2012 , Italy in 2015 in both year winner was Sweden. I think that juries wili push so hard this year again Sweden (to make tham to win 7 times and equal with Ireland ) and EBU baby Australia (to make tham to win for first time).

  50. Purple Mask
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:11 am

    @Mark: Alessio was really good, and he’s so gorgeous. Perhaps he will win Sanremo in the future?

  51. Robyn Gallagher
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:11 am

    After the drama of Spain, this is just lovely. “Occidentali’s Karma” always makes me smile – and that’s even before the gorilla comes on stage. In a year when there are so many serious ballads, this will stand out in a very good way.

  52. Colin
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:10 am

    Love it! Finally a humoristic song! Thank you, Italy 😉 I really hope this is the one they are going with.

  53. Jonas
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:09 am

    blondbybc, yeah, I know he has few, but they usually do a complete chorus or verse in English too – it’s not a dealbreaker for me, I love the song regardless, but it couldn’t hurt in garnering a few extra votes.

  54. Purple Mask
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:09 am

    Despite the dancing gorilla, this is actually an uplifting song. If they decide to take it to Eurovision, it could be a contender. But the decision has yet to be made…
    Other likes: The ones who finished 3rd, 4th, 8th and 9th were good as well. There are many potential Eurovision entries here. Well done Italy; still showing the rest of the Big 5 how to do it properly! 🙂

  55. Paul D.
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:09 am

    Come throoooough gorilla, next stop Kiev

  56. Jomar
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:07 am

    Rome 2018, I believe it!!!!! <3 <3

  57. kris
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:07 am

    Please #dancinggorillatokiev

  58. James
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:07 am

    The gorilla will have a hard time going past immigration at the airport.

  59. Ola
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:06 am

    Please Francesco – accept!!!
    Perfect song for Eurovision and the uptempo number we so desperately need!

  60. Dann
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:06 am

    He said he’s doing Eurovision during the press conference.????????????
    Rome 2018

  61. mad-professor
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:06 am

    I’m guessing it’s confirmed – RAI’s Eurovision Twitter account says he’s doing it!

  62. kris
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:06 am

    Spainish broadcaster should learn something from Italy….their worst song was better than Spain’s rigged winner.Humbug!!

  63. Marc
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:06 am

    This has everything to win!
    Amazing song. It’ll be hard to beat.
    Italy rules as always 😀

  64. Mark
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:03 am

    My favourite was Alessio but I’m happy this won.

  65. blondboybc
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:03 am

    @Jonas: he DOES have some English phrases in his song. Besides, everyone understands words like karma, namaste and OM. 🙂

  66. chessguy99
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:03 am

    I love this song from the start, but I thought the expert jury would keep it from the top. My only reservation is, do we actually want RAI running Eurovision next year?

  67. KennyESC
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:02 am

    no. no. no. no. no.
    hell, no.
    we will do a sooooooooooooooooo sh*tty figure (?) at the contest.

    omfg, i’m going to live in another country, here people don’t know how to televote.

  68. MTD
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:02 am

    While at first, I was FOR his song and his charisma as a performer, I heard Ermal Meta’s song. And I instantly felt in love with his song.

    And now, I want him in Kyiv because with that song, Italy has top 3 finish.

    With Francesco, all is cool, but not really a top 3 material. But I like his song, will most probably support if he goes to Kyiv, but I still have Meta’s song on a replay. So…I dunno. 🙂

  69. EmanAE
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:01 am

    I love it! I know there are still 33 songs left to be revealed but I would be so happy right now if Italy won Eurovision (as long as he accepts the invitation) I don’t understand the lyrics or why there is a gorilla, but I’m so excited for this to hopefully be in Kiev!!!?

  70. Tomas Patrick Davitt
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:01 am

    I really cannot see how this can not make the top 5 at Eurovision unless we have an absolutely amazing year for songs this year.

  71. Necky
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:00 am

    If this goes, straight to top 3. Might even win 🙂

  72. mocosuburbian
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:00 am

    slight cultural appropriation 🙁 or the lyrics have something that I’m not getting

  73. blondboybc
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:00 am

    YESSSS! After the travesty that was the Spanish final, this makes me VERY happy! Yes, send the monkey!! My new number 1! 😀

  74. Jonas
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:00 am

    Great winner!

    Catchy song, plenty of phrases that everybody knows regardless of language, charismatic performer, plenty of fun – throw in a few English language verses/chorus and I can see this doing very, very well. Please go to Kyiv!

  75. Mar
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:00 am

    The best result of all the selections going on today! Please go to Eurovision, Francesco, and bring the gorilla along! I really wasn’t expecting him to win, but his song is so infectious and fun that I’m happy he did.

  76. Konstantin
    February 12, 2017 @ 1:00 am

    I’ve never posted a comment here, but I can’t contain myself. This is the best song I have heard in an national final in quite some time and I am beyond the moon it won. Hopefully he’ll agree to represent Italy. Because if so, we should be starting the hype already. He deserved to win Eurovision, as well. amazing song, genius lyrics, refreshing act, it’s all perfect. Eurovision needs a winner like Francesco. Bless!

  77. Chris (frostyw)
    February 12, 2017 @ 12:59 am

    @Tomas I’m liking the recent spate of “happy” songs! It’s a shame about Mirela for Spain, though.

  78. Chris
    February 12, 2017 @ 12:59 am

    This is – if it goes, and I really hope it does – absolutely THE best song announced so far by a country mile. Sweden should be worried about Italy’s revenge for 2015! He just ticks so many boxes, his energy is contagious, the song has so much deep meaning once you look into it (and so perfect for the year 2017). This is just absolute class, and of course it is Italy who sends it! Bravo!

  79. Chris (frostyw)
    February 12, 2017 @ 12:58 am

    Waiting with bated breath to find out if Francesco wants to go to Kyiv! I admit it wasn’t a favourite of mine at the start of SanRemo, but he started to grow on me. When it came down to the super-final, he was my pick, and I was really on the edge of my seat to see if he or Fiorella would win.

  80. Bobo
    February 12, 2017 @ 12:57 am

    I was pleasantly surprised by this turn-out. It’s a trend, Italy always surprises me and mostly in good ways! This was the stand-out show of the evening and I’m sure it will do well in Kiev if it represents Italy.

  81. Goran
    February 12, 2017 @ 12:57 am

    I want to see him in Ukraine winning all the thing. It would be great to see Eurovision in such an amazing country as Italy. Vamos Franko!

  82. sufle
    February 12, 2017 @ 12:56 am

    I love this song so much! The gorilla really brings it all together! If he goes to Kyiv, I can see him doing very well!

  83. Paul D.
    February 12, 2017 @ 12:55 am

    I’m still speechless, he actually won !! Bless Francesco, bless gorilla, bless Sanremo, bless Rai, bless Italy. Easy top 10 in Kiev

    Spain, Germany, UK, take several seats.

  84. Unofficial Mansters Association
    February 12, 2017 @ 12:54 am

    Let’s hope the gorilla comes. 😀 His performance in Kyiv will definitely be very entertaining to the audience. I wanted Michele Bravi to represent Italy, but Francesco was my second favorite out of Sanremo, so I’m not disappointed. 🙂

  85. Tomas Patrick Davitt
    February 12, 2017 @ 12:54 am


  86. marie
    February 12, 2017 @ 12:54 am

    Really? It’s a joke!

  87. Tomas Patrick Davitt
    February 12, 2017 @ 12:54 am

    Oh wow I am so so so happy that Francesco won – His performance made me smile so much! I didn’t think he had a chance as I got the impression that Fiorella had this massive following in Italy and would win from her name alone, so I was hoping that Fiorella would win but then decline to represent at the Eurovision.

    Francesco’s performance was so energetic and joyous. I loved the dancing with the gorilla – he has to keep that in the performance!!! He looked so handsome with his slicked hair and moustache and the visuals were so much fun. I am so glad this is going to the Eurovision – its going to be fantastic. Wooooooo!!!!

    Super saturday is over ! 🙁

  88. mad-professor
    February 12, 2017 @ 12:54 am

    If he goes, Italy will definitely be near the top this year.