Critics rail that Eurovision is dead and irrelevant, and the world’s economic slump has, in recent years, forced Hungary and Montenegro to pull out. But it finally looks like Eurovision is on the up again. That’s because Italy’s state broadcaster RAI has applied to participate in Eurovision following a 13-year absence.
Given its relative wealth, Italy would almost certainly expand the “Big 4″—Britain, France, Germany and Spain—into the “Big 5,” thereby receiving an automatic place in the final (in exchange for paying a hefty license fee to air the contest in Italy).
The country last competed in 1997 with Jalisse and the song Fiumi di parole (River of Words). It finished a very respectable fourth. Let’s have a listen:
Italy has won the contest twice. The first victory came in 1964 with Gigliola Cinquetti’s Non Ho L’Età (This Is My Prayer):
It’s second victory came in 1990 when Toto Cutugno sang Insieme: 1992 (Together: 1992). He was backed by five Slovenian singers who had previously represented Yugoslavia.