The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — are re-assembling to celebrate the 2010s. Today we’re swooning at the romance brought to the stage by Italy‘s popera stars Il Volo, with their smash “Grande Amore”.
What do you get if you mix one of the most popular contemporary popera groups in the world with the Eurovision stage? A top-three place, of course! Dramatic, powerful and romantic, “Grande Amore” was guaranteed to be popular with the public, and it certainly was, as it stormed the televote.
The theme was very Italian, with Classical Roman imagery behind Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca. Other than this however, the staging was simple and clear, letting the three stars’ voices shine. It had been a little while since a non-English entry made the top three, so to see Italy land another podium finish since their 2011 return was fabulous. Is the magic still making us fall in love? Read on to find out…
Il Volo – “Grande Amore”
“Grande Amore” reviews
Angus: As vocalists, Il Volo were untouchable and their vocal firepower cannot be denied. But it feels like in hindsight, to borrow a phrase, this falls into the “wall of sound” category of Eurovision performances. Everyone was blown away by vocal and it worked then, but now looking back, the performance is hardly inspiring. They stand in a line, they step out of a line, they stand back in the line. The screens riff on a fall of Rome theme, but it make little impact. Ultimately they were Il Volo, so having no staging didn’t matter, but reviewing performances, this fades into the pack a touch.
Bernardo: Intense, epic, dark and a bit over the top. All qualities “Grande Amore” had in 2015 and did not lose almost five years later. Il Volo brought the vocals but had mediocre staging that ultimately killed their chances of winning. Back in 2015 it was a moment but in 2019 it’s just another good performance in a sea of songs. The best part of it all is that Il Volo quietly returned to their already established careers and continued performing to packed theatres all around the world.
Deban: Il Volo’s Grande Amore was a welcome surprise in 2015. Since Vienna, I have enjoyed hearing this song on the two occasions that I have seen Il Volo live in concert. Recently, the West End cast of The Phantom of the Opera clung onto the West End Eurovision victory with their rendition of “Grande Amore”. It was a spectacle, and it served as yet another reminder why this entry is so great. That said, I often skip it on the CD.
Kristin: Il Volo were robbed. Plain and simple. With all my deepest love and respect to my darling Måns, it was “Grande Amore” that should have won in Vienna. This song never ceases to amaze me with its beauty. The epicness is flawless and the vocals — especially the harmonies — is nothing short of perfect. It has only been four years, but “Grande Amore” has already gone down in Eurovision history as one of the all time greats. And rightfully so. Is it too late to demand a rematch? Asking for a friend… (#JusticeForIlVolo).
Florian: One of the most memorable years, when televoting got overruled by the jury scores… and yet I’m not entirely certain whether or not that’s a bad thing! The song has its strengths, and particularly the vocal delivery is outstanding. However, I don’t feel like the track, purely taken into consideration, defines something I would rightfully come back and listen to. And it’s definitely not the best Italian entry ever since their comeback either!
Julian: Back in 2015, I wasn’t a fan of “Grande Amore”. However, my opinion today is the complete opposite. It is one of the best Italian entries ever. They showed Europe that opera can do well in Eurovision. The trio’s symphony from their three voices was just phenomenal. It is a shame that they couldn’t bring the song contest to Italy.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 2.5 and a high of 10.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.75/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!
Idk if its mentioned below, but this is the best entry of 2015 (if not of all time), for the simple reason that Greece and Cyprus both gave their 12 points to Italy that year. It was THAT good. This has never happened again in a Grand Final.
Edit: of course it is 🙂
from an italian’s perspective it’s tacky af but it also made us proud. we were robbed by ~professionals~ who preferred a generic song
First of all, there is no way that Sweden should’ve won ESC that year in my opinion. Actually, none of the top three were really “winners” but to me, this was the closest. Many Il Volo fans will tell you that this is nowhere near their best song but it is performed exceptionally well. At the time, I really didn’t like it much but now, it sits at the bottom end of my 2015 top five.
I’m not sure whether an Italian victory in 2015 would have done good for the competition, one year after another bombastic and nostalgic tune won it. It might have set the contest back a bit.
Still, I like it better than “Heroes”, It won the televote by a huge landslide and the competition could probably withstand two old fashioned ballads winning in a row without losing its contemporary elements – So I do think they should have won, though my favorite that year was Latvia.
yea it would have bc 2016 was a year of dire faux radio friendly pop songs thanks to fåds
Always will be the rightful 2015 winner. How it lost to one of the most bland winners, a generic David Guetta song with a gimmicky cartoon is beyond me.
Too much pathos, too much drama, too much screaming. Didn’t get the hype at all. It’s so over the top that it looks like a joke. And the fact that they are 3 young, sort of hypster looking guys just don’t blend well with this kind of song. The whole package was just weird to me.
if you find talent and emotion weird, you have some issues going on
If this over the top soap opera style presentation looks like genuine emotion to you, then I’m not the one with the problem. This whole thing is an outdated vocal show off seasoned with overacting. Nothing more
This is an entry that few performers could pull off without looking and sounding over the top, since the lyrics and melody aren’t subtle at all. In my opinion, Il Volo passed the test. Not just their vocals were great as expected, but they were engaging with the cameras. It hasn’t landed in my top 5, but I can get why the televote loved it. There are though two things that I don’t like about the entry: the instrumental is not nearly as rich as the guys’ voices and the 3-min edition damaged the building up of the original track.
I’m no expert, but I can’t see anything wrong with their performance, Tibor. About the final note, I don’t know if all the 3 of them could hit it, but my interpretation is that the intention was to have the other 2 as “side complements” to the main vocal. I won’t say their skills wowed me like Aminata’s (to stay in 2015), but I respected and enjoyed it. Pop opera can be tricky. They’re trained to do things that pop artists normally can’t, but it’s hard to tell how good they’re to “actual opera” numbers. It’s a grey area that… Read more »
I see opera as a very specific genre. When someone really likes it, any concession to make it more popular or modern may sound like a gimmick. I would say in terms of Eurovision the best approach would be to add operatic notes, but not trying to make it sound like opera, like “Zero Gravity” did. But in the end, the results were quite similar to those “La Forza” got it.
No opera on their repertoire? Google “Notte magica” album by Il Il Volo. And they had concerts all around the world with this album repertoire. They are phenomenal, they can and they sing everything
Maybe it’s who you compare them to. I would never use the word “phenomenal”, but for Eurovision, they are weeeeell above average.
I have absolutely no clue about vocal range and techniques, so I’m definitely no authority on that. Frankly, I just listen and when I like what I hear it’s good for me. I don’t listen to this genre at all outside of Eurovision, so I have nothing “equal” or similar to compare it to that wasn’t in Eurovision. So maybe it’s the fact that I don’t hear this outside of Eurovision that drew me in? Because “regular” singers can have the most impressive range and sing pitch perfect and I might not be moved or impressed at all. In fact,… Read more »
Juries consistently vote for generic pop/radio songs, that’s a pattern, and I don’t like to use Sweden (or Heroes) as a scapegoat for Il Volo and other entries jury-results, because even though the discrepancy between “Grande Amore” and “Heroes” was huge, it’s really not their fault that the juries didn’t rank Italy higher, unless juries marked Italy strategically down to ensure a Swedish win – now that would be bad but I don’t think that’s the case here. Now what I’ve proposed a lot of times is for the EBU to expand the juries so they consist of more people… Read more »
I really like this entry, but I’m neither gung-ho for it or against it. It deserved to do well, and it managed to be pretty much perfect in terms of vocals and staging (the latter of which is something Italy has a weirdly hard time with, but for once they totally nailed it). It played up the “romantic Italian” image a good deal, but the trio were so endearing that you can’t help but love it. I think “Heroes” was a deserving winner and there are other songs I like better than either of them (Norway, Belgium, and Australia are… Read more »
Norway was also my favourite that year. Unbelievable that the tele voters had them 17th.
Insanity. Defend the televoters all you’d like, but they make lousy calls too, and that was one of them. (And guess who one of the juries was that gave it 12? Italy!).
Tele vote just means 20 votes per SIM card. And all votes outside the top 10 in a country are lost. And yet people act as if tele vote is the ultimate form of democracy.
Exactly! Every year, one or the other makes a call I can’t wrap my head around. (This year, for instance, I cannot for the life of me understand the juries snubbing Spain, nor can I understand the televote snubbing the Czech Republic. And for 2015, the televote was undeservedly harsh to Norway and undeservedly nice to Albania, while the juries were too nice to Cyprus and too mean to Serbia).
Also, don’t use their failure to win as another diatribe against the juries and the EBU. I always have a pretty good instinctual feeling about when Sweden nail it and when they don’t, and they nailed it in 2015. The televote put them in the top three too, y’know. And Italy can do great with the juries too! I understood why 2017 and 2018 didn’t go over big with the juries, much as I enjoyed those songs (Italy had my favorite song of 2018, but it’s a polarizing tune cuz of how in-your-face it is). This year saw Italy doing… Read more »
Everyone saying this got the most televote ever no it did not it’s still Fairytale.
Point-wise you’re right – “Fairytale” “got” 378p. , while Il Volo received 366 of those from the televote, but you’ve got to remember that there were two more countries in 2009, thus “Grande Amore” narrowly wins this duel percentage-wise.
Let’s be real here, this was and will always be better than Heroes and A Million Voices. I know people may have their own opinions. But let’s be honest.
More like the real winner. Everyone knows it highest % televote ever even beating Alexander Rybak. Like how can they get just half of måns jury score ( even less i think ) and it is more and less rip off of* insert obvious david guetta song*. They say jury wants songs to be radiohit worldwide well Grande amore it more famous in South and North America ( even got US billboard classic #6 ) and southern Europe while Hereos didn’t even reach that only western Europe. They saying Jury judge singers vocals well Il volo had one of the… Read more »
Heroes did much better in the charts then Grande Amore.
This is chart succes of Heroes
And this is the chart success of Grande Amore
Now what song did better?
Like i said only Western Europe not even worldvide and keep in mind Grande Amore didn’t even win. If they won they would took every chart that Hereos has + what they have now. Also a song should be timeless and not stuck in ara. Song like heroes ( and many other eurovision winners ) is just 1 hit wonder than it fades away while grande amore stays relevant duo Latin classic and it is in Italian meaning it would play many times in Italian radio in next 10/20/30 years while heroes not unless they connect the song with ESC… Read more »
4 years after the contest Grande Amore has 18 million streams on Spotify. Heroes has 109 million streams on Spotify.
Views does not mean the song is quality or better then other songs. If that case do you think all the top played song on Spotify are quality songs that sings about drugs, hoes, money etc. Let just say views matters. 4 years after contest Grande amore official video on Youtube has 162 million while Heroes official video on Youtube has 33 million. I wonder how can something that has 109 million only has 33 million in other website while other that has 18 million has 162 million in other website. If you think Spotify is only website to stream… Read more »
I responded to your claim that Heroes faded away while Grande Amore stays relevant. Nowhere did I use the word “quality”.
It going to fade give max 1,5 genration. Do you honestly think that Heroes is going to play in radio in Sweden or any country next 10/20/30 years. Grande amore is more likely to play in radio in Italy or any southern europe in couple generation later than Heroes in Sweden. Il volo has massive fans and gaining thousand upon thousand new fans every year which leading their fans listing to their songs and like they said in a wiwibloggs video they have fans from 4 different generation from kids to elder. Have been a consert that they held in… Read more »
I mean, would you like them to sing worse? They are not pop singers. With pop singers, I prefer really emotional singers with imperfect notes over pitch perfect singers any day, but Il Volo have a certain style of singing that cannot be compared to regular pop singers. Belcanto requires sounding close to the studio version.
Just to make a clear point to all the people about Rome 1991. At that time Rai didn’t give a sh… about Eurofestival, singers sent randomly, no live show and so. Our public broadcast TV didn’t want to spend any money to organize Rome 1991. They gathered some second hand scenography in Cinecitta movies studios and that’s all. About the legend that Italy could not afford an Esc organization remember that Rai organize each year a 15 million euro show SANREMO.. It has been always a question of priorities and general interest. Sanremo is a big deal, Esc isn’t. Very… Read more »
1991 was a disaster. You’d figure that if a show with such a large non-Italian audience was tuning in, they’d make it look nicer. It’s one thing to impress a domestic crowd, but this was being put on display for millions of Europeans.
You have to figure that 28 years ago the show was not as worldwide as it is nowadays. Half of Europe was out. Asia Australia USA did hardly know the existence so what are you talking about?
I’m not even thinking worldwide. Just within Europe/Israel, there were twenty-one other countries competing that year. That’s still millions of viewers within those areas, particularly big countries with a strong Eurovision following like Germany and Sweden.
So enlight us explaining with details and facts why it was a disaster?
You didn’t like the stage?
You didn’t like the hosts?
Any technical problem live?
A perfect analyst
So many facts you gave to us
I could only say that your obviously anti Italian
Of all the years for there to be a draw, as if the two hosts weren’t confused enough…
I liked Rome 1991, a little old-fashioned but far from being a disaster. Gigliola Cinquetti was fantastic as a hostess, and the moment Toto Cutugno tries to pronounce “Hullu yö” – priceless…
Are these scores based on the song or the performance on the night? I think it should be based on the actual song. Are the Wiwi reviewers given a clear directive?
Again, I disagree with Angus…the staging is simple, yes, but highly effective. Gianluca winking into the camera is worth a hundred little balloon men. Their stage presence can’t be denied, they know exactly what they’re doing with each gesture. To say they have “no staging” is just incorrect, and to say they it made “no impact” is also a bit far-fetched considering they topped the televote.
The reviews are based on the subjectivity of the reviewers of their feelings towards the song at the moment. There’s really no criteria for them to based on to grade it.
And yes, this is the first time I heard of anyone complaining about “the lack of staging” unless fancy backdrops are what count as such.
Italy either totally nail the staging or really don’t. Very little in-between (except this year – neither bad nor awesome). 2015 was one of the times I think they nailed it.
Nailed it: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018
Failed it: 2014, 2016, 2017
Shrugged it: 2019
I’d say 2016 should be in the “nailed it” category – “No Degree Of Separation” ‘s staging had a cute and quirky quality to it, and it managed to capture the unique atmosphere of the music video. I loved it, for me it was one of the highlights in 2016.
Perhaps. I didn’t ever get super into the song, but I like it a good deal. Maybe if I watched it again.
2015 winner was furnished
There is not much I can add to what has already been said:
The full (longer) version of the song is fantastic, but the shorter version feels more repetitive. The live performance had very little choreo, and to be honest it was largely Il Volo’s fame that won them the audience vote.
If the full version of the song had been entered, it would have been my 2015 winner. But alas, that is not what happened.
For those who like this type of songs, I recommend Biondo “Shine”, the almost-Romanian entry for Eurovision 2008. Thousand times better than “Grande amore” in every way. “Grande amore” is completely artificial, unimaginative and overdone in all ways – I completely support the opinion of Tibor and am amazed that so many people fell for this song.
It’s not that I think their song was great, it’s that I thought Sweden’s and Russia’s songs were way worse.
Yes, because act includes song, singer, performance, the whole package. The song on its own is nice, but the package made it great.
When have I said I don’t like the song? I said it’s nice but not great, please don’t put words in my mouth. 😉 I said a nice song was elevated by the entire package, thus making the entire act great. You need some foundation. I would never call an act with a bad song great, no matter how much the rest might elevate it.
Thank god the majority of the european audience has a different opinion, bjorn.
One of the best songs of all times that the public voted massively but ebu will never allow italy to host after their tragic attempt in 1991. Fun fact, when the italian delegation was asked if they can host eurovision in case they win, they said yes but they would do it by themselves without the swedish production team.
That says it all.
EBU is totally corrupt as an organization, rigging the game against Italy. But sadly, Italy is a mess too and although I wanted Il Volo to win, I doubt that Italy would have had the capacity to host a great Eurovision. Italians’ English is horrendous and they are so full of themselves. 1991 was probably the worst Eurovision ever hosted.
But let them win anyways and give the hosting gig to someone else. Their songs are gold. Non ho l’etá was a wonderful winner.
Might be worth a few additional giggles though. Like, how smoothly did this year’s show run? The EBU couldn’t even get their own fake results straight. And hosts with bad English accents is the Eurovision rule, the exception is hosts with good English.
I don’t mind a thick accent, but 1991 was too heavy to handle.
The voting makes me want to jump out of the window
1991 footage makes me chuckle at best, since I wasn’t even born I have no connection with it. But surely, Italy would not host it exactly the same way today, or would they? lol I actually didn’t watch this year’s Eurovision final because I just had to follow the highly amusing coverage of my country’s coalition dissolving but then I tuned in for the voting sequence because I was not gonna miss that. Honestly, THAT made wanna jump out of the window. The voting used to be my favorite part.
Toto is the worst presenter e v e r
Watch 2001 and come back to me. But it’s close.
I dunno, that female presenter from 2002 was irritating af.
The 2000s were very hit-or-miss with presenters. I liked 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, and 2008, was kinda meh on 2004 and 2009, and really didn’t like most of the others, but 2001 and 2002 were especially bad.
Totally agree. Its no big deal to allow another country to host if the winner cant do it. But having MUSIC EXPERTS placing Italy 6th is a total joke that no one laughed. well, Maybe Sweden and Bjorkman did
I love Sweden. I’m trying my best not to associate this awful person with the country he comes from.
i am not talking about the country in general but the broadcaster and especially the mafia who feel that they own eurovision
Yeah, same here and I 100% agree. Other players need to stand up to them because clearly, the EBU loves this corruption.
You do know that the EBU are the broadcasters themselves, right?
And the world does not always revolve around Eurovision for them. They have other stuff to deal with for them to deal with Eurovision year in ND year out.
oh poor thing, the millions that eurovision cost is a perfect reason to deal with eurovision all year long.
Not necessarily. The EBU has a team to deal with the organization’s family of live events. That allows the rest of the union group to focus on other matters with regards to programming, independent broadcasting, and the like.
I mean…Italy will host the 2026 Winter Olympics, and there were no major problems in Torino 2006, which would probably be the host city for Eurovision in Italy. So, I’m pretty sure Italy can host any major event, judging that ESC isn’t really ‘that’ big.
It’s RAI who would host the Eurovision Song Contest, not “Italy” as such…I’m sure it would be fine, but I’m guessing there would be a lot more of the home language than we normally see. I actually would love to see Italy host, at least then it might break away from the same mould we see year after year.
That’s always the question with countries who typically send entries entirely or partially in their native tongue. France would also be interesting to see host, although from what I saw of their last hosting gig (all the way back in 1978), they balanced it out pretty well. On the other hand, Switzerland had a weirdly hard time in 1989, and did most of it in French. The biggest problem with Italy hosting in 1991 was that it was very self-congratulatory. Yes, if you’re the host country, you should hype yourselves up. This is a chance to show yourself off to… Read more »
“Grande Amore” was my favorite in 2015, perhaps only challenged by Mørland and Debrah Scarlett. I do agree that the longer version is better, but not sure if the cut-version of the song is the reason why it didn’t do better with the juries because we’ve seen the last years that neither “La Forza” or “Zero Gravity” killed the jury vote. I am just thrilled though that we’re seeing more popera in Eurovision. 8th- and 9th place were too low for “La Forza” and “Zero Gravity” where I feel like the juries should’ve ensured them at least closer to a… Read more »
Truly one of the best acts if not the best of the 2010s and the first victims of too much jury power. They won the televoting by such a huge margin that it is no question at all they should have won. How hard the juries had to downgrade them and push Björkman’s puppet to overturn such an impressive “power of the people” vote! Truly appalling. Out of the top three, they also were my favorites by far, which, granted, is not hard, as they were the only ones I liked. Now, my favorite songs that year came from Norway,… Read more »
Mans’ career is over. He became the running gag of every Eurovision, but Il Volo still slay. Mans could not even take on Eleni’s Fuego. What an autotuned and bland mess.
As if he ever really had a career to begin with.
Plus parenting duties in his adopted home in the UK.
Il Volo is the absolute televote winner of all times, with the highest share of available televoting points. And yet they didn’t win and it really stings.
Televote all-time Top 10
10th Bulgaria 2017 – Beautiful mess 68.5 %
9th Russia 2012 – Party for everybody 69.2 %
8th Denmark 2000 – Fly on the wings of love 70.7 %
7th Sweden 2012 – Euphoria 71.5 %
6th Russia 2016 – You are the only one 73.4 %
5th Austria 2014 – Rise like a phoenix 74%
4th Estonia 2001 – Everybody 75%
3rd Portugal 2017 – Amar pelos dois 76.4 %
2nd Norway 2009 – Fairytale 78.9 %
1st Italy 2015 – Grande amore 80.3 %
It even surpassed the overwhelming Norway 2009 and the Eurovision dictators still prevented them from winning. What a farce. Do you need 100% in the televoting to be allowed to win these days?
What are these percentages? How can Bulgaria 2017 have 68% and Portugal from the same year have 76%?
I’m guessing 100% here is the maximum of points the entry could have possibly received.
Not my fave in 2015, but you know it’s the winner when Greece and Cyprus are both in the grand final and they don’t share the 12 points to each other…
The original version (3 min 43 sec) is one of my all time favourite songs, even outside the Eurovision bubble. In my opinion, what cost the song a higher placing on the jury vote is the removal of the 2nd verse to fit the song into the 3min rule. So the Eurovision version sounds repetitive. (Much like what happened to Italy in 2017). The song was never written with Eurovision in mind. It was written in 2003, 6 years after Italy’s withdrawal and 8 years before their return. The writer tried to enter the song in San Remo 2005, but… Read more »
To me “Grand Amore” always felt like an excuse to show off Il Volo’s vocals (which were absolutely flawless and perfectly complemented each other, duh). On its own it’s not necessarily a bad song, but not very praiseworthy either – with cheesy lyrics and okayish melody. The Roman-themed staging didn’t hurt the performance, but at the same time it didn’t really add anything to it. And let’s be fair, Il Volo could have sung “Wheels On The Bus” and they would still have won the televote by a landslide. 6/10 (#18 in 2015) To Kristin: with the new system Il… Read more »
They got the most points on televote EVER. tell us why its not praiseworthy *eyeroll*
What does it have to do with what I wrote tho? I’m judging the song, not their televote result. To me the song is quite generic and I stand by my opinion.
I would love to hear them sing “Wheels On The Bus”. It would sound so much better than Måns singing … well anything, really.
Definitely a song that deserved that top-3 spot, joining the list of Italian masterpieces we’ve had the chance to enjoy since 2011 (thaks RAI for coming back!!!) and making San Remo my favourite NF since then (sorry Melfest…). However, if compared to other Italian entries of the decade, Grande Amore would not place in my top three, which would be for L’Essenziale, Occidentali’s Karma and Soldi. Considering that unfortunately only the latter will be assessed here, how would you readers rate Mengoni and Gabbani’s Songs?
L’essenziale was my winner in 2013, I thought it was magical and deserved much better than it got. I was never a big fan of Occidentali’s Karma (I’m definitely in the minority here!) but I don’t mind listening to it every now and again
L’essenziale was a grower for me – didn’t get the hype at first, but a few more listens and I totally understood. Occidentali’s Karma is a wonderful song that I was fairly obsessed with for a while, but they should’ve kept the staging from Sanremo and not gone as cheesy as they did in Kyiv. My favorite Italian entry this decade is either Non mi avete fatto niente or Soldi, but it’s hard to call.
I thought it was epic and I still do.. Bombastic and tone perfect.. Heroes great, A million voices nice, Grande Amore Amazing.. In my heart I know it hould’ve won.. Happy for Mans though!
Italy have consistently brought quality ever since their return, but Il Volo and «Grande Amore» might have been their most popular act so far, which says a lot knowing the popularity of Gabbani and Mahmood in their respective years. ll Volo was my favourite act in 2015, perhaps only challenged by Mørland and Debrah Scarlett. I’m not mad that Sweden won but it would’ve been fantastic to see a popera song win the contest. However «Grande Amore» started a renaissance for this genre in Eurovision and ever since then we’ve seen the spectacular acts «La Forza» and «Zero Gravity» do… Read more »