He’s the firm favourite to win Eurovision 2017 and his official music video for “Occidentali’s Karma” has been watched 62 million times since February.
And today Italy’s Francesco Gabbani finally revealed the Eurovision version of his competing entry, recording more than 15,000 views within 40 minutes of going live.
The original version of the song clocked in at 3:37, forcing the Sanremo winner to nip and tuck. And he does so early, launching into the verses two seconds after the music starts rather than four. He’s cut some of the first verse, meaning he no longer uses the delightful phrase “Internetology”, and he arrives at the first chorus about 12 seconds sooner than in the original version — a move to hook the listener almost immediately. We call that instant gratification.
Fans of the original version will also notice that the verses leading into the second chorus have also been removed.
In axing them he’s dropped the word “Chanel” — probably a smart move given that Eurovision songs are not allowed to endorse companies. (Remember the whole “Facebook” drama with Valentina Monetta in 2012?).
Francophiles can rest assured that there is still a little français in the song thanks to the line, “intelligence is démodé” — aka, “out of fashion”.
Fans of the original, Italian-language version will also be thrilled to hear that Francesco has made good on his word to keep the song in Italian — bar a few phrases like namaste and allez.
In February Francesco appeared on Radio Nostalgia, where he expressed a strong preference to sing in Italian at Eurovision.
“The main question is: ‘Will Gabbani sing an English version of the lyrics or will he keep it in Italian?’” he said at the time. “At this time we are more likely to stay in Italian for one reason: if I must represent our fantastic Italian music, singing in English could show me as an apple-polisher, trying to wink to the European audience.”
“I would be proud to bring on stage these lyrics that were born and have taken root in Italy, and so I would like to sing it in Italian. Anyway, we are still under evaluation”.
He made it clear that he wanted to respect the wishes of his fans — the people who voted for him at Sanremo, giving him the opportunity to perform at Eurovision.
“I’m honest, I’m careful about the opinion of my fans, the people who follow me. I must say that, actually, their observations go in this direction: sing it in Italian.”