The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — are re-assembling to celebrate the 2010s. In this decade, we’ve seen some of the most iconic performances of all time, not limited to competing songs either. We’ve come together to discuss Italy’s epic return to Eurovision after more than a decade away. Raphael Guilazzi‘s jazztastic and bilingual  “Madness of Love” was unique in its pop-heavy field, bringing some genuine coolness to the stage.

So after 14 long years away from the contest, Italy put their hat into the ring for Eurovision 2011. They brought authenticity, turning the Eurovision stage (and let’s face it, the Düsseldorf stage was possibly the biggest of the decade) into an intimate jazz bar. The song is unforgettable, but are the Wiwi Jury feeling the love, or is it driving them mad? Read on to find out…

Raphael Guilazzi – “Madness of Love”

“Madness of Love” reviews

William: There’s a timeless quality to “Madness of Love”, both in terms of theme — we’ve all been there — and musicality. Raphael tickles the ivories freely and that carries over into his voice, which — with its grit, runs and howls — follows no playbook. It’s quality, no doubt. But voting at Eurovision is a game of personal preference and I’m just not that into this.

Score: 5/10

Angus: Cometh the hour, cometh the piano man! Some acts in 2011 chose to fill the stage with Swedish backing singers dresses as Greek gods, others with gnomes riding unicycles. Italy instead took the massive arena in Düsseldorf and created a classy intimate jazz bar. And it just works so well. From the first piano riff, you are drawn into Raphael’s world and by the end of three minutes you don’t want to leave.

Score: 8/10

Bernardo: Rewind to 2011 and this song was completely outside of my radar, to the point I was shocked with its result. Today I feel like my musical taste grew and I can certainly appreciate the timeless quality of “Madness of Love” and the charisma and charm Raphael brings to it. I’m sure 10 years from now it will go down as a Eurovision classic but for all its good qualities, it has none that makes it stand out now.

Score: 5.5/10

Oliver: While it was fantastic that Italy decided to return to Eurovision after a rather long absence, I’m still somewhat baffled at the success of this entry. Raphael’s “Madness of Love” is definitely an entry of great musical quality and sophistication, however, in 2011, I was not a fan of this genre and I’m still not particularly a great fan of it. The staging and song as a whole, gives it somewhat of a loungy and lazy atmosphere, which made it rather hard to remember the melody.  Nevertheless, its second-place result cemented Italy’s return in the contest and inspired the country to keep sending quality entries to the contest.

Score: 5/10

Florian: Italy’s comeback brought a richness back to the competition we had long been waiting for. The artistry of Raphael Guilazzi helps to explain why this effort from Italy reached the heights of the scoreboard. When Swedish productions started becoming more influential in the contest, “Madness of Love” took a completely different approach. Not only was it a standout act, Italy’s return also raised the bar for future years to come.

Score: 8/10

Julian: To be honest, I don’t really get why Italy climbed to second place with “Madness of Love”. Was it just because of their return? While I do respect the song though, as it was something completely different that year, for me it just wasn’t enough to get the silver trophy.

Score: 4/10

In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:

Antranig: 5/10

Pablo: 7.5/10

Robyn: 6.5/10

Lucy: 9.5/10

Sebastian: 3/10

Jonathan: 7/10

Deban: 2.5/10

Calvin: 5/10

Luis: 8/10

Kristin: 9/10

Edd: 4.5/10

Lukas: 3/10

Barnabas: 10/10

Steinunn: 9/10

Natalie: 9/10

Katie: 8/10

Tom: 6/10

Charlotte: 4/10

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: 6.34/10

What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!

See all of our Wiwi Jury of the 2010s rankings here

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Fast Food Music Lover
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Fast Food Music Lover

I love this song! And I don’t even listen to jazz.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Though I must say the song itself isn’t very memorable, I think it’s delightful and I can imagine how much it stood up (I haven’t ever watched 2011’s contest). I love how it gives me the feel they’re playing live and how unexpected his vocals are. As Jonas said, it’s one of those entries that make we regret the lack of live music in Eurovision. I can’t know if there were entries better than this one to justify some sour opinions (and ratings) on it, but I like it much much more than what Azerbaijan and Sweden presented back then.

Raoul
Guest
Raoul

Which country chose to fill the stage with Swedish backing singers dressed as Greek gods?

Skiwalko
Guest

I don’t know either – there was a lot of strange things at ESC 2011 – creepy magicians, soldiers, birdmen, Jedward’s hair, dancing condoms, giant boxing gloves and whatever Sopho from Eldrine was wearing, but I don’t recall any Greek gods…

Joe
Guest
Joe

There were intense dancing Greeks who were kinda god-like. They were fiiiiine.

Skiwalko
Guest

I don’t know if you’re talking about Greece or Cyprus, but to be fair it applies to both.
I had such a blast watching “San Aggelos S’Agapisa”. I was already giggling when I saw the “Smooth Criminal”-style dancers, but then came the lady holding a rope with a ball attatched to it, and I just burst out laughing… Those were the days 🙂

Anna
Guest
Anna

Azerbaijan!

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

I’m a fan. It stood out because it was one of the few entries to showcase actual musicians – it seemed like an actual live performance onstage, despite the miming. Acts like this make me sad that they can’t use real musicians to compliment the backing track.

Rockfan
Guest
Rockfan

Completely agree!

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

I love it because so many people hate it LMAO

Rockfan
Guest
Rockfan

Hehe. Yep. Sometimes overpraising of an average song can make me dislike it more. And massievely slaughtering of an average song can make me LIKE it more!

Rockfan
Guest
Rockfan

A lovely comeback from a country which seldom lets me down in ESC! Great sophisticated, wonderful, subtle, very interesting, daring and innovative song. The fact that the juries “made” this 2nd is a sign why we need the juries. Maybe TOO “sophisticated” for some people (who might think ESC should be mostly mainstream stuff….?!). But nevertheless a very good song!

Cesar's salad
Guest
Cesar's salad

A eurovision party nevergreen

Rockfan
Guest
Rockfan

Which sometimes is a very good sign….! 🙂

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

His last name is spelled “Gualazzi”, though.

Eurovision Online Contest
Guest

I was shocked about the whole result in 2011 (and I was in the hall) but now I kind of get it. It’s still not catchy but in the overproduction and cheesy pop of 2011 this was like a breath of fresh air (for juries)

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

i’m italian n i think this is unlistenable. i guess the juries wanted to give us a welcome back by putting us first bc madness of flop wasn’t it

Rockfan
Guest
Rockfan

Disagree. Great, sophiscated song

Milan
Guest
Milan

Fantastic song, the man is a genius – I don’t believe I’ve ever seen such a performance, blending a high-pitched voice into a trumpet sound (what an idea, to begin with!). The final 30 seconds – absolute delight. My clear winner of 2011, and – my, this wiwi jury does not have a clue…

Skiwalko
Guest

As my first review is currently stuck in filter’s belly, I’ll try a shortened version: “Madness of Love” is a very nice comeback entry with its two main merits being Raphael’s dreamy, raspy voice and laid-back, jazz band vibe. It would’ve been a much better winner than “Running Scared” and it showed us that Italy is here to play by their rules and slay. 7.9/10 (#3 in 2011)

Sam
Guest
Sam

Guilazzi may not be my favourite Italian entry of the decade but it was tough indeed to choose a top-3 among them (1-2013; 2-2019; 3-2017), and yet he inaugurated a new decade for Italy and for the esc, bringing San Remo (best NF of the last few years, even better than Melfest in my opinion) quality to the contest since then. Thanks RAI, hope to see you win soon.

Max
Guest
Max

Oh wow, this song is so special and dear to me, mainly because of two big reasons:
Firstly, It marked the return of Italy to the contest, and in my opinion, they have delivered every single year with extraordinary songs with lots of quality, personality and soul, which, to be honest, is a think than the majority of the nordic songs lack off (even though they are great bops).
Secondly, This was the song that introduced me to the jazz genre and I couldnt be more grateful.

My score would be a 10/10 🙂

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

I’m grateful that Italy returned to the contest, and Raphael deserved to finish above Eric Saade. Other than that, this brings nothing new to the table. 2011 had mostly dull or awful songs. This is dull, but if it took this second place, to make Italy stay and bring me a lot of great songs afterwards, I’m totally fine with it.

Rockfan
Guest
Rockfan

I disagree about 2011 in general. There hardly ever has been a contest wwith that much musical diversity. Always a good soign. Some great songs iondeed…acapellla from Belgium, jazz from Italy, indierock from Moldova, electronica from Germany, rock / rap from Georgia etc. A few bad ones too yes…Ukraine, Lithuania and a few others.

Skiwalko
Guest

My relationship with this song is like a love story itself – I used to love it (at first listen), then I started hating it and avoiding any contacts, and now I just get along with it, not minding listening to “Madness of Love” from time to time, and maybe (just maybe) it’s gonna be love again in the future. Obvious things first: this would have been a better winner than Azerbaijan. It was a very solid returning entry and a stand-out act in 2011. Raphael has a great, raspy voice, I love the raw, “live music bar” sound of… Read more »

Jan
Guest
Jan

When all the other songs get an average over 7, and this great song just a 6.35, you can clearly see the lack of taste haha

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Well, I’m just glad that Italy changed the genre after their comeback entry because I can’t do anything with jazz. It’s just not my world, I guess. I remember thinking ‘this is what everyone was waiting for?’ The entry I had been waiting for was ‘Per sempre’ by Nina Zilli in 2012, which they of course switched.

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

Italy 2012 was indeed a masterpiece and in my Top 10 of all time <3 The melody and dynamic of the song, the way Nina delivered a cool performance, the backings and even the bilingual lyrics. It was brilliant <3 Because it didn't make the Top 3 and the wiwi jury will not deal with it, I want to praise this entry here and give it a 10/10 <3

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

I thought it was fine and Nina is definitely marriage material whatever she sings, but my praise needs to go to the original, Sanremo approved, should-have-been Eurovision song ‘Per sempre’. Any jury in their right mind would have eaten it up and I like to believe televoters would not have been far behind. We might be dealing with her now, this could have been a third place.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

This was a really interesting stand-out concept in a year that didn’t really have anything else like it. I really enjoyed Raphael’s performance, and I wasn’t surprised that he finished 2nd. Bravo.

Pablo Nava
Member

For me, I guess most of it is part of being hit by age. It was great then, and was of my favs to win then, but it faded from memory. Also, Italy has sent brilliant entries since, which makes this one pale of sorts. (Still not my least favorite, that would be L’essenziale, which I just can’t latch on)

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Obvious quality but as a genre not best suited for Eurovision, it doesn’t transcend quite in the way that a Portugal 2017 did. I was surprised with how well it did and as a song, I like it…but still not sure about the placing.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Feel like I’m sitting at a lonely table for one (well, two. Hey, Barnabas) when I say this is one of the best entries of the last decade and one of my favorites of 2011 (just barely edged out by Bosnia and Herzegovina). It’s the definition of Italian sophistication: smooth, jazzy, low-key, and charmingly performed. They left Eurovision on a great note in ‘97 and picked up right where they left off, serving quality and a distinct sense of national identity, trendiness be damned. Yeah, they got even better, but this was a confident and enjoyable return to the game… Read more »

Max
Guest
Max

You are not alone dude! Another fan of this great entry!

Nuduecrudi
Guest
Nuduecrudi

You are not alone man.
As an Italian I could say that this song is one of the best we have sent.
A masterpiece for me.
I don’t want to discuss the personal preferences of these so called unprofessional jurors bu t giving a 2.5 to this song tells to us how unprofessional and approximate and unprepared are some of them