This morning the Wiwi Jury flew to Rome to review Italy’s ESC 2012 entry “L’Amore è Femmina” (Out of Love). Nina Zilli has long been a favorite of the bookies. But did she wow our international panel of music unprofessionals? Read on to find out.
Wiwi: When I hear this song my heart goes “boom, boom, boom.” It’s sensual, it’s fun, and unlike many of the frothy pop numbers at Eurovision, it’s seriously raw in content. Gone are generic statements about being in love or missing someone. In place of that come lyrics about doing the nasty. “Love is female/ Unless you please, it will not please/ Clean up the mess you left/ I’m out of love and it’s a fact/ I’m sure you’ll smile/ Ready to go/ You’re an independent grown man after all.” I read that as, “You need to push my buttons if you want me to push yours” and then “Now that you’ve gotten off, please clean up the mess before you go.”
There’s a whiff of Amy Winehouse to Nina Zilli, but it’s unfair to call her derivative. Her voice is powerful—just google “Nina Zilli” and “Sanremo” if you doubt me. And, just like Amy, she is going to make a big impact visually. Her official preview video shows how well suited this song is for the stage. I picture several male back-up dancers twirling around this Italian sex kitten. They won’t be able to resist her charms, and I suspect that Europe won’t either. If this doesn’t make the Top 5, I’m asking for my money back.
Vebooboo: Italy totally surprised us last year with their second place finish. That ain’t happening to us again. Nina is an Amy Winehouse-wannabe, but it works. The song will definitely stand out but it’s not good enough to win. Italy won’t embarrass itself this year, but it won’t be anywhere near as happy as it was in 2011.
Meows Kitty: This is Amy Winehouse before she got addicted to crack! Nina Zilli is one of the most captivating performers in this year’s competition. Her song is beautifully arranged and the jazziness puts it into a category of its own—definitely a contender for the top spot. I’m giving Italy my 12 points!
Deban: Very heterosexual in lyrical content, and a performance laced with excessive pouting. This song will marginalise many ESC fans, who won’t be able to relate to its themes. Nonetheless, I love the borrowed influences of modern jazz, The Dap Kings and Amy Winehouse.
Sex sells, and Nina Zilli understands this too well. Her performance, imagery and even her name is packaged to be uber-sexy. I like “L’Amore E Femina,” but I don’t love it. Last year’s Italian entry was one of my least favourites, but it ended up finishing in second place. The moral of the story is that when it comes to Italy, cast no judgment.
Wiwi Jury Verdict: 7.75/10