Sanremo ended a week ago, but the controversy has continued to hold centre stage.

As y’all know, Mahmood triumphedwith “Soldi” in the 69th edition of the historic Italian song festival, winning the honor of representing Italy at Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv.

But his victory came thanks to the strong support of the press jury and the expert jury, which ranked him first in the superfinal. That has triggered violent reactions, including within the highest levels of Italian politics.

A few seconds after the announcement of Mahmood‘s victory, Deputy Prime Minister of Italy and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini revealed that he was a huge fan of runner up Ultimo. His entry “I tuoi particolari” slayed the televote, gaining 48.80% of the public vote among the three super finalists.

#Mahmood…………… mah…………
Is it the most beautiful Italian song??!?
I would have chosen #Ultimo, what do you say?? #Sanremo2019

The opinion of Salvini — who has always been very critical of foreigners and the EU’s management of asylum seekers — has opened a ferocious discussion on social media, which has seen his supporters lash out against Mahmood, who is apparently “guilty” of having an Egyptian father and of mentioning Ramadan and shisha, and of having a sentence in Arabic in his song.

Deputy Prime Minister of Italy and Minister of Economic Development, Labour and Social Policies Luigi Di Maio also felt the need to have his say on Sanremo rules.

(…) I see that there is a big debate about the winner of Sanremo because the jury and the press room have totally overturned the result of the televoting. It did not win what the majority of the voters wanted from home, but what the minority of the jury wanted, made up largely of journalists and radical chic. (…) These are those increasingly distant from the popular feeling and they have also shown on the occasion of Sanremo.

I congratulate Mahmood, Ultimo and all the others. And I thank Sanremo because this year has made known to millions of Italians the abysmal distance between people and the “elites”. Between the sensitivities of ordinary citizens and those of radical chic.

For next year, maybe, the winner could be chosen only with the televote, given that the Italians pay 51 cents for it. Let’s count it!

Unjustified racism against the Italian singer, born and raised in Milan, created a wave of dissent that has led several artists to take come to his defence. Among them are Ermal Meta, Albanian-Italian songwriter and winner of Sanremo 2018 together with Fabrizio Moro.

The singer — who placed fifth at Eurovision in Lisbon with “Non mi avete fatto niente” — expressed himself on social media, writing a message of understanding and openness.

To all those who say that Mahmood’s victory is a political one: do not throw sh*t on something beautiful. Music has no passports, but if you really want to “check”, Alessandro has an Italian passport. And even if he did not, #whogivesash*t

The singer-songwriter has also added an annotation, following the criticism of some fans.

For those who have not understood. I did not say that the best song won because there is no better song. It’s about taste and you already know mine… I just say it’s fair to honor the winner because winning cannot be a fault. Long live the music.

Words remain words, but in the end it’s the facts that matter. Mahmood is destroying every record for a recent Sanremo winner.

“Soldi” hit number 1 on the FIMI singles charts in Italy, but also on several other charts: Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, YouTube and radio airplay.

Significant results can be seen on Spotify in particular: “Soldi” is the Italian song to have reached the highest position on the Top 50 Global of Spotify, ranking #40 with 1,559,859 streams on 11 February.

The following day, he dropped one position but reached the peak of global streams: 1,676,481.

In addition, “Soldi” is the Italian song with the most streams within a week of release: 8,223,614 streams from Friday 8 February to Thursday 14 February. Following his Sanremo victory, the song is getting more than 1 million streams each day.

Mahmood is also the soloist to have obtained the most streams in 24 hours on Spotify Italy: 1,559,735 streams on 12 February.

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Elin
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Elin

What is “unjustified racism ” ? Is racism EVER justified??? Wouldn’t think so.

Jo.
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Jo.

I’d love to see him winning haha

busky
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busky

Italy just giving me another reason to vote for Mahmood…

OrangeVorty
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OrangeVorty

The rules of the voting were put in place long before Mahmood released Soldi. Any song could have won in this way – it’s not like the rules were bent as the show progressed. The rules were the rules were the rules from the outset. Ultimo is a classic Italian rocky ballad, Soldi is probably the better song for the contest – keeping it relevant and up to date. As for any discrimination it’s an upsetting feature of current European populist politics. Liberals must stick to their beliefs and press for an end to discrimination and inequality at all levels.

Jingo
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Jingo

He is gay half Arabian and he won the show. those trash has to deal with it.

Dawid
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Dawid

Racist words shouldn’t be spoken, especially from PM, but truth is, if someone who has half of televotes (while there’re tons of other contestans) gets so low scoring from judges, you know there’s something fishy behind it. He’s supposed to represent Italy, not just judges and it just feel weird that italians want someone else. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still one of the best entries so far. I hope media won’t overhype this just to give him some “pitypoints”, because that’s what happens every single year to at least one entry and honestly I hate it.

Gippa
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Gippa

Actually it’s not fishy at all. The regulations were clear from the beginning. Juries that count for the 50% of the vote liked Mahmood much more than the other two finalists during all the contest even before the finalissima (that’s basically a new competition that start at the end of the last evening where the three most voted songs – from both televote an juries) and in finalissima juries just voted mostly for him (without knowing the results of the televoting) as they did before. Btw it’s not true that Ultimo (the guy who arrrived second) get low scores from… Read more »

Dawid
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Dawid

Would like to hear why people disagree with what I wrote. Really. Which part is not true? That racism is bad?

aniki
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aniki

these fascists can go kiss some ass

GUEST
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GUEST

The Italian government :'( Frequent arguments with neighbouring countries such as with France and Malta will damage the positive relations that the country had.

Daria
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Daria

At least Soldi is an interesting song with a high chance at winning. On a Sunday is a travesty, Funny Girl 2.0 which will take romania’s chances to qualify for the second year in row. Way to go Wiwibloggs! I hope you got paid well for that fraud.

nemi
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nemi

Well, Ermal is an intelligent guy who’s knowing a lot about being bullied or criticised for ethnicity etc., and I always love what he says. Sometimes he is brutally literal, but he’s calling spade a spade at least. Ermal (and Mahmood also) is there to make brilliant music and that’s the best way to shut haters up. What Ermal wanted to say is exactly that we shouldn’t use politics to change people’s mind about music, and it doesn’t matter what politicians you support, there is no reason to underrate or bully the winner, it’s not politics contest but song contest.… Read more »

Crystal
Guest

Ermal’s got a point here; people are giving Mahmood crap because of his last name. I’ve been working my way through listening to this year’s songs, and Italy has once again selected a quality song as a Eurovision entry (and you can’t deny how well Italy has done in selecting its songs since returning, finishing in the top 10 in six of its eight appearances from 2011 onward, including three top 5, two of those being in the top 3). Italy has been long overdue for a win since returning, and I believe “Soldi” has a very good chance of… Read more »

BadWoolfGirl
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BadWoolfGirl

As much as I would love a first-time winner, I wouldn’t mind Italy winning again, because it’s long overdue for a third win for that country. It’s been what, almost thirty years?

Crystal
Guest

2020 would mark 30 years since Italy’s last win (1990, “Insieme: 1992” by Toto Cotugno). That is, of course, barring a win this year.

Loin dici
Guest

Seeing the comment section in the Romanian reaction videos, it proves even more that most Eurofans can be the most depraved about decisions, even to an extent when Wiwi and Deban explained their reason of choosing Ester and still get to be called ‘fake’ and all the cyberbullying–a new all-time low for us the b*tchy, whiny Eurofans, congrats. Shake my head if someone other than KEiiNO wins NMGP and fan rage starts again.

Daria
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Daria

They downvoted Laura because of their personal beliefs, not because Laura didn’t delivered during live show. All that backlash with the homophobia paid off. These two so called musical professional critics have ruined a country selection with their votes, do you expect romanians to be nice? LOL!

Loin dici
Guest

Do you think as they are both gay they would surely downvote Laura because she’s a “homophobic”? Is it because they are both wiwibloggers and their opinions are so open while Tali, the Israel Calling EO, and Serban gave 12 to Ester and left Laura lukewarm with both giving 7 points, yet none were even complaining? That’s how this hate is based on PREJUDICE. Romanians can be mad all they want but the prejudice was clouding the show too much, seems like Selectia Nationala will be barely watchable next year.

Stian F
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Stian F

Daria: People are free to change their mind. So is Laura on her beliefs. Her song was nothing special anyways… “On a Sunday” is a superior song compared to hers. Romanian fans are turning out to be pretty abmyssal based on their reactions… They are embarrassing themselves.

Yaa
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Yaa

They gave Laura 4 points, they even gave more for Teodora, the singer that came last! It’s called fixing the result! Do you really think that Laura’s entry was 6th in the Romanian selection ?! It’s a bad joke. She lost by 5 points and she had a huge advance in televoting, like 80%. They sunk her and Romania’s chances.

escfan2019
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escfan2019

speaking of backlash….. why you closed the Romanian commenting post?
and PLEASE stop removing my question from here…. show some transparency people !!!!!!

Srdjan Savic
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Srdjan Savic

Because they are sick of the negative and hateful comments as the rest of us.

Me6464
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Me6464

Soldi is sooo catchy and vell produced, I think ot has all it needs to do well on Eurovision

Music
Guest

These politics are getting old. If you enjoy online fan music contests without political leaders bashing you, there’s a new one called Music World Festival: https://www.musicworldfestival.com It’s like Eurovision, but for the whole world where you can choose any country in the world, submit a song, vote as a jury of that country, and perhaps win hosting the next edition :)?

Apple
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Apple

I think everyone who is an Ultimo fan can agree that I Tuoi Particolari is not even close to his best song

Marc
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Marc

It’s almost impossible to beat Pianeti though XD
I Tuoi Particolari is really good as well.
Sanremo was just full of amazing songs this year

LawStudent
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LawStudent

Soldi is by far the best song currently in the running. I wonder what all these politicians will say when Mahmood wins ESC?

beccaboo1212
Guest

How dare Ermal say that! 🙁

Jo.
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Jo.

I think you got it wrong…

Denis
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Denis

Once again politicians trying to influence and reshape to what they think public service should be: a government source for only those that share the same values. Unfortunately it’s happening in way to many European countries.
Now it would be sweet if Mahmood sweeps and wins, they would go mad. Plus the song is great and would be a worthy winner

Davve
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Davve

This song will fail badly in ESC anyway! I think between 20 to last for this song.

Idan Cohen
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Idan Cohen

I agree. Eurovision fans forget that fir the larger audience
A. People don’t speak Italian
B. People don’t know the history and the context of the singer. (Nor care)

This is Italy 2017 all over again. For most people, it’s an anonymous singer singing a cute song in Italian. Not a winner.

Jonas
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Jonas

6th place is hardly “failing badly”. Italy have topped both the jury & televote since their return in 2011, both songs were in Italian. People liking the song is not dependent on them knowing the history/context of the singer either. Mahmood will do very well.

Jakra
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Jakra

Not to mention, 6th place would practically be legendary in the eyes of San Marino, Montenegro, etc.

Peters
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Peters

It’s more like Mercy to me. Although I love this song, I’m still afraid people at home won’t get the idea of this mid-tempo song

Denis
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Denis

Did people not knowing Portuguese stop Portugal from winning? Hasn’t ESC learned you to not assume? He could end up winning!
Mahmood probably wont win but nor will he end up in the bottom. Probably end up in top 10 as usual.

Apple
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Apple

I don’t think any of that matters considering Non Mi Avete Fatto Niente came 3rd in the televote….clearly people like music in Italian

Bart
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Bart

Italy won 3rd place in the televote singing in Italian.

Jonas
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Jonas

Also 1st place (in 2015)!

Idan Cohen
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Idan Cohen

People, stop being so delusional. Ther’s a reason the last non English wining song was in 2017, then 2007 , then 1998. There’s a huge delta between the first , the second and the third place. Anyone quoting last year to prove their points should look at the difference in points between Israel and Italy. As for soldi itself – I think it’s a good eurovison song because B. It’s not in English so it automatically gets more points C. It’s not cheesy and talks about a real subject D. The singer can actually sing well. E. It’s not a… Read more »

Michèle
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Michèle

Francesco Gabbani is not anonymous and is a big star in Italy – deservedly so.

Charles
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Charles

Because a dance party song with meaningless lyrics and questionable vocal should always be the true ESC winning song … if fans were in charge of this. Well ESC is not a kindergarten playground ..

Bart
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Bart

ESC 2018 – Places: Sweden: 7th – Italy: 5th; Televote: Sweden 21st – Italy 3rd. Your time has passed, mate!

Srdjan Savic
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Srdjan Savic

1 year does not a trend make.

An American ESC Fan
Guest
An American ESC Fan

It should be noted that when Serbia won in 2007, it was 100% televote. Also, since Italy’s return in 2011, they’ve been in the Top 10 6 out of 8 times. In 2015, they won the televote with flying colors, and in 2018, they place 3rd in the televote (and was less than 5 points away from being 2nd). Portugal also won the public vote in 2017 as well. Need I say more?

Jonas
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Jonas

Imagine how well Italy could have done last year if only the juries had shown more love. That they ranked them so low was wrong. To reach 5th place on the televote alone was remarkable!

Idan Cohen
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Idan Cohen

“if… ” And “if..” and a lot of ifs. Let’s talk again in May and see if he wins or not .
People, start your “he was robbed” whining from now .

Jello
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Jello

Despite all the comments and fuss, Soldi is my favourite entry this year for now <3

Jello
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Jello

Because it became such a salty and toxic mess maybe?

panos
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panos

im sorry an irrelevant question…Is the oddschecker site closed?

R
Guest

I can acess.

Fatima
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Fatima

So glad to know Ermal supports Mahmood,i adore them both:)
‘Soldi’ is still the best song for me so far and i so want Italy won this year and see Salvini’ smug bigotric face after that lol, go Alessandro!

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

I won’t even say anything about them as politicians, but I found their comments disgusting. Neither Sanremo, nor music in general has anything to do with politics. Keep doing whatever you’re doing and let singers sing and musicians play. You’ll have time to talk about your music tastes in your private life, but leave politics out of this.

Roy Moreno
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Roy Moreno

Honestly, Soldi is one of the best entries this year so far…
Too bad people are busy playing politics instead of enjoying music, cultures and Eurovision

EDM Fan
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EDM Fan

I wonder how they would react if Mahmood won Eurovision…

Aaron
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Aaron

Would love to see it happen TBH just for the reaction alone.
I officially want Italy to win now lol

Brooklyn
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Brooklyn

Karma

Milla
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Milla

It’s such a boohoo about everything!

Peters
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Peters

Italy is moving backwards now. What’s the point of bringing up his backgrounds in this matter? If the right wingers wanna control the result, just make your own show and only pick white and straight people to be contestants. Jeez…Sour losers.

Dave
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Dave

They should be ashamed of themselves!! Now I really want Mahmood to do very well in Eurovision.

Tibor
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Tibor

Ermal Meta, the voice of reason. Everybody should listen to him: There is no such thing as “the best song”. All this going ballistic over the fact that one’s personal favorite hasn’t won, is insane and an utter disgrace – especially when it’s on top of all that exploited for political reasons.

Vijl
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Vijl

Thank you for reminding me that this contest was never about songs anyway..

Loin dici
Guest

…. and thank you for reminding me how bitter fans can be.

Vijl
Guest
Vijl

You’re welcome

Popcorn galore
Guest
Popcorn galore

Is there anything this year that is not controversial? It started with boycotting the host, then Jerusalem drama, Bulgaria withdrawal, people accusing UK of not making enough effort, Bilal, Mahmood, Romania, let’s see when Hatari will not win in Iceland, and even if they win they said will want to provoke disqualification to prove Israel is somehow bad. Prepare the popcorn.

Rumpelstiltskin
Guest
Rumpelstiltskin

Mahmood. We love you. Don’t listen to the haters. You earned your win rightfully and your song is amazing. Ignore the haters. Italy is proud of you. Best of luck in Tel Aviv!

Complimenti!!! <3

James
Guest
James

Mahmood’s music video for “Soldi” is also reaching 20 million views on Youtube, perhaps in a matter of hours from now (February 18) considering the video prior to winning Sanremo was hovering well below 200,000 views or even lower and it quickly jumped to past a million in a day. 🙂

Long live the music. 😀

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Which is more than Ultimo…

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

our politicians are a JOKE. italy has so many problems n they think bout…..sanremo. also remember neither salvini nor di maio have a university degree.

Popcorn galore
Guest
Popcorn galore

What university has to do with anything? People who don’t go to university are more likely to be racists?

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

idk bout u but to me having a serious education is fundamental if you’re the minister of economic development…. di maio knows NOTHING about economics, & he has demonstrated this quite a few times.

Robert
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Robert

Pathetic

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

This is a disgrace…