Italy: The Wiwi Jury reveals our favourites for Sanremo 2018

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After a week full of stirring performances and voting teasers, the time has finally come for Francesco Gabbani to hand over his Sanremo crown to a new champion.

Although the winner of Sanremo isn’t guaranteed to become Italy’s Eurovision 2018 entry (and there’s been indications that RAI will just choose which act they want), the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — can’t help but review as many songs as possible. So we thought we’d give our thoughts on this year’s line-up to help RAI decide which act to select.

Due to the number of songs in the contest and limited time to review each one, we’re taking inspiration from our juries for Albania and Spain, and listing our top five picks with a review of our favourite song.

For this edition, our jurors come from Italy, as well as Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom. So read on to see what they made of the selection, in our very first Italy Wiwi Jury!

Antony

1. The Kolors – “Frida (mai, mai, mai)”

In a wave of slow ballads more skewed towards the older generation at Sanremo Music Festival, this electro-pop song stands out. It’s fresh and contemporary and the ‘mai mai mai mai’ lyric is catchy to sing along with. This song would best represent Italy at Eurovision if chosen.

2. Nina Zilli – “Senza appartenere”
3. Annalisa – “Il mondo prima di te”
4. Noemi – “Non smettere mai di cercarmi”
5. Renzo Rubino – “Custodire”

Antranig

1. The Kolors – “Frida (mai, mai, mai)”

Blending in elements of rock while retaining a distinctive Italian identity, “Frida” would be a bold choice for Italy, venturing into a genre that they’re not known for in Eurovision circles. “Frida” has an addictive hook in the chorus that is the clear highlight of Sanremo 2018. There are a lot of quality artists in Italy including some names Eurofans will be very familiar with but The Kolors outshine them all.

2. Annalisa – “Il mondo prima di te”
3. Enzo Avitabile & Peppe Servillo – “Il coraggio di ogni giorno”
4. Noemi – “Non smettere mai di cercarmi”
5. Nina Zilli – “Senza appartenere”

Cristian

1. Ornella Vanoni, Bungaro and Pacifico – “Imparare ad amarsi”

“Should I do a ranking thinking about Eurovision?” This is the question I asked myself. I’m the only Italian blogger here on wiwibloggs, so I know how Sanremo works and I perfectly know that Sanremo is not (and probably never will be) the actual selection for Eurovision. So, I’ve decided to vote based on the taste of the Sanremese guy who follows the Italian contest since he was a ten-year-old child. The best song in Sanremo isn’t necessarily the best choice for Europe. For this reason, my first place goes to Ornella Vanoni, Bungaro and Pacifico. Listening to a true icon of our music singing of life that at a certain age may slip through her fingers at any moment, yet she maintains the youthful spirit of childhood within her soul, with that charm, that elegance, the dignity that only great artists have, moved me to tears since the first time I heard it.

2. Red Canzian – “Ognuno ha il suo racconto”
3. Annalisa – “Il mondo prima di te”
4. Lo Stato Sociale – “Una vita in vacanza”
5. The Kolors – “Frida (mai, mai, mai)”

Edd

1. Lo Stato Sociale – “Una vita in vacanza”

This is fun, quirky and, most importantly, a very well written song. It manages to achieve being silly but still very respectable in the same way as “Occidentali’s Karma” did, and what a wonderful gimmick the OAP dancer is! That said, if this makes it to Lisbon I would love a more colourful and active performance from the boys, and at least one verse in English so that Europe can understand that the song is actually witty and not just random. But bravo to one of Italy’s best indie groups!

2. Giovanni Caccamo – “Eterno”
3. Diodato & Roy Paci – “Adesso”
4. Max Gazzè – “La leggenda di Cristalda e Pizzomunno”
5. Noemi – “Non smettere mai di cercarmi”

Jonathan

1. The Kolors – “Frida (mai, mai, mai)”

For non-Italian speakers Sanremo entries can often all blur together. However, The Kolors stand out among the pack, and for all the right reasons. The song grabs your attention right from the start, and the “mai, mai, mai, mai” refrain is insanely catchy and would work in its favour when in the middle of 25 other Eurovision entries. The violin instrumental and guitar solo feel a bit disjointed from the rest of the song at the moment. But since this lasts for 30 seconds it could easily be the section that is taken out for the revamp, which would make the transition from Sanremo entry to Eurovision song relatively simple and hassle free.

2. Annalisa – “Il mondo prima di te”
3. Le Vibrazioni – “Così sbagliato”
4. Diodato & Roy Paci – “Adesso”
5. Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro – “Non mi avete fatto niente”

Jordi

1. Lo Stato Sociale – “Una vita in vacanza”

Indie and pop could not have been mixed in such great way. Lo Stato Sociale’s “Una vita in vacanza” is pure and unexpected freshness – I’m secretly listening to it on repeat. It’s dynamic, lively and captivating, all well merged in a picturesque and ironicly funny piece. However, the song lasts nearly four minutes — should we be concerned how it would be edited down for Eurovsion? In any case, it’s good to see an independent band bringing unusualness to Sanremo. Some might get déjà vu of Francesco Gabbani, but this song is pure Italian madness. And I need that again!

2. Ermal Meta e Fabrizio Moro – “Non mi avete fatto niente”
3. The Kolors – “Frida (mai, mai, mai)”
4. Annalisa – “Il mondo prima di te”
5. Nina Zilli – “Senza appartenere”

Kristin

1. The Kolors – “Frida (mai, mai, mai)”

I simply can’t get this song out of my head! The chorus is catchy as hell, and the guys manage to perfectly blend together rock with pop. I sincerely hope that Italy is brave enough to choose this, because there would be at least one happy camper losing herself to this sick beat in Lisbon. The Kolors are epic. Pure and simple.

2. Ermal Meta e Fabrizio Moro – “Non mi avete fatto niente”
3. Lo Stato Sociale – “Una vita in vacanza”
4. Nina Zilli – “Senza appartenere”
5. Annalisa – “Il mondo prima di te”

Luis

1. Lo Stato Sociale – “Una vita in vacanza”

Sanremo’s line up this year is full of prominent voices and old glories singing very good songs, but also little originals. Then Lo Stato Sociale comes and it’s all fun and happiness. This is indie made accessible to everyone and the old woman dancing gag is fabulous. There’s no need to understand all the lyrics, this entry crosses borders, yet only Italy could send something like this. “Una vita in vacanza” would make a fabulous successor to “Occidentalli’s Karma”.

2. Ermal Meta e Fabrizio Moro – “Non mi avete fatto niente”
3. Annalisa – “Il mondo prima di te”
4. The Kolors – “Frida (mai, mai, mai)”
5. Renzo Rubino – “Custodire”

Marek

1. Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro – “Non mi avete fatto niente”

I take the side of most of Italians and want “Non miavete fatto niente” to win. The message of this song is as powerful as Boggie’s song from 2015 but this time it’s wrapped in a really high-quality festival song, which makes it, I hope, open to a bigger audience. This song is here to remind us it’s not something special to live our careless lives — the only thing that matters is our ability to unite, which sometimes we don’t even try. This may not be a Eurovision winner of all times, but I’m sure it’s like one of only around three or four acts that Salvador would be happy to hand the trophy to.

2. The Kolors – “Frida (mai, mai, mai)”
3. Nina Zilli – “Senza appartenere”
4. Annalisa – “Il mondo prima di te”
5. Noemi – “Non smettere mai di cercarmi”

Robyn

1. The Kolors – “Frida (mai, mai, mai)”

“Frida” delivers a very cool pop song that sounds both current and unmistakably Italian. In a year when Sanremo is loaded with heritage acts (some delivering very good songs), it’s nice to be reminded that youthful vigour is still a thing. Perhaps this isn’t the best act to win Sanremo, but it would make a good Eurovision entry for Italy.

2. Decibel – “Lettera dal Duca”
3. Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro – “Non mi avete fatto niente”
4. Red Canzian – “Ognuno ha il suo racconto”
5. Annalisa – “Il mondo prima di te”

Sebastian

1. The Kolors – “Frida (mai, mai, mai)”

If Italy were seeking redemption after last year, none of the San Remo entries will achieve it. But The Kolors come pretty close.  The three guys are slickness served on a platter, both in appearance and vocal talent. “Frida” has the memorable hook that Italian entries need – and in a sea of ballads at Sanremo this year, “Frida” stands out well.

2. Le Vibrazioni – “Così sbagliato”
3. Giovanni Caccamo – “Eterno”
4. Lo Stato Sociale – “Una vita in vacanza”
5. Max Gazzè – “La leggenda di Cristalda e Pizzomunno”

So do you agree with our jury? Which is your favourite entry in Sanremo 2018? Which do you think would make the best Eurovision song for Italy? Let us know in the comments below!

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