The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — are going through the entire top three catalogue of the 2010s to determine who the best of the best is through the decade. Today we turn to Italy‘s Mahmood with his heartfelt and modern track “Soldi” (“Money”). The hip hop-inspired R&B song is different from what normally works at Eurovision, yet Mahmood’s fresh take had fans going wild believing it would finally be Italy’s year. Alas, it was not to be and he narrowly missed out on winning in Tel Aviv.

Mahmood was by no means the favourite to win Sanremo 2019. The iconic Italian show is famed for its outstanding quality, and ability to produce songs that certainly don’t fit the Eurovision mould. After all, the show isn’t created specifically to find a Eurovision entry — the offer to participate for Italy is merely a perk of winning. However even a track as modern as “Soldi” wasn’t expected to succeed quite like it did.

Even after Mahmood’s win, he dodged offensive comments in the Italian media and proved them wrong getting Italy’s second silver medal result in this decade alone. Not to mention it was one of the closest results in a long time, and he was so, so close to taking it all. Nonetheless, the big question now is do the Wiwi Jury think we should have been heading to Italy next year?

Mahmood – “Soldi”

“Soldi” reviews

Pablo: Look, Italy needs to learn how to nail the transition from studio and Sanremo to Eurovision. As great as Mahmood was on the big night, “Soldi” did not hit the potential on stage that it could have. That being said, it is extremely engaging, and had the audience on the palm of its clapping hands, and in many cases, those levels of charisma and talent kill flaws. It is still my favourite song and a great performance, but I can’t stop thinking that just a little bit more cohesion in the stage plans could have tilted this year’s contest.

Score: 9.5/10

Bernardo: One of the most iconic moments for me this year at Eurovision was Italy’s first rehearsal. I was shocked watching one of the frontrunners implode before my eyes with a terrible staging. But then again, I’m a fatalist and in the end it wasn’t that bad. “Soldi” is probably the best studio track produced this year. Maybe the best live performance as well but it wasn’t enough to defeat the magic of Duncan. We need more Mahmoods, we need more Soldis. Italy, your time will come sooner than you think.

Score: 9/10

Lukas: Coming soon.

Score: 9/10

Natalie: I still prefer the studio version, and didn’t get the performance at all. But I’m so happy this came in the top three. When I first heard “Soldi”, I was wondering if it’s one of the most sophisticated and classy songs that has ever been sent to the contest. It is soulful, has a great hook, and truly transcends languages and culture. I love this type of thing appearing on the stage. I was so scared of it flopping when I saw how it was performed, and while I still think it could’ve done better, I’m happy.

Score: 8.5/10

Tom: My favourite from 2019 and the best Italian song ever. Non-English songs do badly at Eurovision? Wrong. If Eurovision needed a non-English song that was so cool, so current and would be enjoyed by even non-Eurovision lovers, Italy have smashed it. Mahmood oozes class and this smooth yet heartbreaking tale hooked me from the first listen and will keep me clapping for a very long time. However, on stage this should have just been about Mahmood and his story. Lose the three guys at the back and it’s perfect. 

Score: 9.5/10

Charlotte: This year, my 12 points went to Mahmood’s “Soldi”. His song is super radio-friendly, so I had really high expectations of his live performance. Unfortunately, I found the performance itself a bit disappointing. He knew how to get the crowd going with the well-known claps, but I wanted to see more. More than just Mahmood on stage with a few background dancers. Something to show all the anger in the song. I still enjoyed watching and hearing the song, but I expected a bit more.

Score: 7.5/10

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

William: 8/10

Antranig: 7/10

Robyn: 10/10

Angus: 9/10

Lucy: 9/10

Sebastian: 7.5/10

Jonathan: 8/10

Deban: 7/10

Calvin: 6.5/10

Luis: 10/10

Oliver: 9/10

Kristin: 8.5/10

Edd: 8.5/10

Barnabas: 9/10

Florian: 9.5/10

Steinunn: 10/10

Julian: 8.5/10

Katie: 10/10

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 6.5 and a high of 10.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 8.7/10

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

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

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Anna
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Anna

Soldi is one of the best song ever! And Mahmood and all his songs are the best discovery of this Eurovision 🙂

Passioneblu
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Passioneblu

I am doubtful about Wiwi’s judgments on staging. As an example, during the rehearsals Bilal’s performance was considered the best and for this reason France rose to third place in the odds. In reality his staging was childish and weak. Mahmood’s staging was great and managed to convey the message of the song.

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

SOLDI: a stunning song by a stunning and amazing artist.
In my opinion, Soldi should have won this Eurovision and with an ehxibition more, in the semifinals, probably Mahmood would have succeded.
However, Mahmood is, without a doubt, the sensation of this Eurovision 2019.
Vote : 10/10

deniz
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deniz

Please stop deleting my comments.

Grande Mahmood!

Clare Danes
Guest
Clare Danes

for us Italians, mahmood has celebrated our country with dignity! a beautiful song with a nice rhythm and a nice deep story! few frills! only his particular and beautiful voice and the distinct and charismatic presence both of his and of the dancers! we love it!

Claire Danes
Guest
Claire Danes

for us Italians, mahmood has celebrated our country with dignity! a beautiful song with a nice rhythm and a nice deep story! few frills! only his particular and beautiful voice and the distinct and charismatic presence both of his and of the dancers! we love it!

Shira cohen
Guest
Shira cohen

The best song ever

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

Yes, I agree with you !

La Signora
Guest
La Signora

So cool to see that you appreciate my country in Eurovision so much 🙂

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

I wrote a nice long comment about this song but since it wasn’t positive, I guess it got deleted.
It is great that so many people like this song but even moreso than “Arcade” and “Toy”, the fans of this song are really hostile when you say that you don’t like it.

Vanja Ljubi?
Guest
Vanja Ljubi?

A great song with a fantastic performer, it was definitely one of the standouts of the year. I am aware that the staging didn’t match up to everyone’s expectations (I personally liked it), but ultimately, the song is key, it should matter the most, and this song is 10/10.

deniz
Guest
deniz

No idea why my comment doesn’t show up……….

So glad that I discovered this unique, talented, sympathetic and authentic artist thanks to Eurovision. Mahmood is the first and only Eurovision artist that made me buy their entire discography and a ticket for their concert (which I’m so freaking excited for).

I wish Mahmood only the best for the future and hope he’ll stay the way he is!

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

If I could pick a song to inspire the next decade of Eurovision, it would be “Soldi”. Radiofriendly, catchy and contemporary, but never obvious, repetitive and formulaic. Personal to the artist, but relatable to a general audience. Multicultural, urban and refined. It has social commentary but presented without clichés. Flawless production, amazing lyrics and a charismatic perfomer (Mahmood is my favorite new artist in ESC since Loïc). The staging was good enough and worked better than some entries highly praised on that aspect.

Justyna
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Justyna

I could not agree more. All of the above and yes, Mahmood is after Loic the biggest Sensation this decade.

Beathyra
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Beathyra

All I can say is that “Soldi” is actually the best song not just on Eurovision, but already an international hit on its own, even after the Sanremo win. This song is really meaningful, emotional and catchy at the same time. 10/10!

MahmoodMyMood126
Guest
MahmoodMyMood126

I can say that in my opinion, this is the best song of Tel Aviv, from Italy and of all entries in the whole Eurovision history! Soldi is so complex and diversified, that it is absolutely incomparable to every other song! So special, so modern and so meaningful! And Mahmood is a stunning and gorgeous artist, who owns the stage and knows how to deliver! My 12 points go to lovely Mahmood and beautiful Soldi from Italy! ???

pepe
Guest
pepe

I heard rumours that Mahmood is also very nice to little kittens and regularly feeds bread to ducks.

Milan
Guest
Milan

The funniest comment (in a good way) I’ve read in some time 🙂

Trollope
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Trollope

Marco Mengoni with L’Essenziale to me is still Italy’s best entry since their return to Eurovision.

CastESC
Guest
CastESC

Completely agree. The most underrated entry of the decade, and yet the best RAI entry which btw provided a truly italian identity to the contest. “E mentre il mondo cade a pezzi…”

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Honestly, that is one song that I just don’t get. For my taste, Italy’s weakest entry since they came back.

James
Guest
James

I think this is one of the rare times that incorporating dancers into a stage performance felt just about right, especially in this case for “Soldi”.

While I’m sure Mahmood can carry the Eurovision stage by his lonesome, I think the dancers adds to the dynamism. Pair those two elements with the interactive backdrop, and the camera direction , you got yourself a pretty visually musical experience.

The only downside for me though would have to be his choice of shirt in the final. I preferred his tucked and slightly unbuttoned polo shirt styling from Sanremo and his music video.

deniz
Guest
deniz

I’m so glad I discovered this unique, talented, sympathetic and inspring artist thanks to Eurovision.
First time I became a fan of an Eurovision artist, bought their whole discography and decided to go to their concert.

I wish you only the best for the future and stay the way you are, Mahmood!

Peter
Guest
Peter

Love the song, but a wiwi jury saying that Mahmood was the best vocalist of the evening …. really?!?!?! Unplug your ears, please.

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

I don’t know if he was the best but his vocals were great that night. There is someone who doesn’t understand his voice is unique and his way of singing is peculiar of him

SlowEstonian_1
Guest
SlowEstonian_1

We know how it feels when somebody interacts with us just because they want to get something in return (money or wahtever). The message is really relatable.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Btw, I was absolutely certain that Euphoria would be saved for last and Fuego for second last. Deservedly so, those are my standouts as well. Some common ground, finally.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Italy coming back was the best thing to happen to the contest this decade. Not only did they come back, they now routinely send the Sanremo winner – which was not the case before. Who could ask for more?

Saney
Guest
Saney

Really? This is the best score so far? It’s really, really overrated. It’s good, good for a top 15 place, but nothing more. I just don’t feel it. There are much better (Italian) songs. 7/10

pepe
Guest
pepe

Actually, Arcade’s score is a bit higher. 8.75/10 LOL

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

care to elaborate ?

Wiktorialover
Guest
Wiktorialover

Agree

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

I take a lot of heat for how low I have this in my ranking of 2019 and I really am surprised it is as popular as it is. I always understood that those who would like this, would really love it, I just didn’t know there would be so many of them! It really is one of those that I can see what others see in it, even if it is not there for me though. Shame as I have enjoyed all of Italy’s entries since 2015 and there were some songs in Sanremo that I was excited about.

Liam
Guest
Liam

In my opinion, Soldi is the worst song that Italy has ever sent to Eurovision. Mahmood does not have a good voice, the song is below average and the lyrics make no sense. Italy, I know you can do better than that.

Dawid
Guest
Dawid

Have you seen any other itallian entry? Like previous one for example.

Liam
Guest
Liam

Yes, I have seen their 2018 entry and it was definitely better than Soldi.

Dawid
Guest
Dawid

In which world screaming for 3 minutes about Italy’s problems with refugees is better than this?

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

lyrics make no sense ? liam u LAME

Milan
Guest
Milan

“…and the lyrics make no sense”
(This is how you shoot yourself in the foot!)

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

You can dislike his voice or song but if you say the lyrics of Soldi make no sense it’s clear you have some problems with the comprehension of a text or you want just to talk bad about mahmood

Anna
Guest
Anna

The lyrics of Soldi are no sense, or you’re not able to understand them, considering they contain also some simple metaphors?
By the way, for the lyrics of Soldi Mahmmod won the prize as best composer of Eurovision 2019 , the Marcel Bezençon award 🙂

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

The music is fresh and forward-looking, and the song itself is deeply personal to the artist. This was the biggest risk Italy took during the 2010s – to defy its own refined San Remo conventions was an extremely controversial move for Rai. But happily, with Mahmood they found a true depth of music and style that very nearly won the whole of ESC. It was certainly a wake-up call for San Remo and Italy. Perhaps more change is on the cards for them in the 2020s? Or will Italy go back to its traditional selection method after this? – I… Read more »

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

our sanremo winners have come 7th, 3rd, 6th, 5th n 2nd at the contest. the internal selections weren’t as successful collectively. i hope we keep using sanremo

Joe
Guest
Joe

There’s one internal selection that paid off bigly (Toto Cutugno in 1990) but the rest was definitely a crapshoot. I can certainly count more Italian entries I enjoy that were selected entirely or partially through Sanremo (if we’re also counting 2011 and 2012, the former more than the latter) than the internal selections (the goodies there are from ’69, ’71, ’74, ’84, ’87, ’90, ’91, and ’92. I could take or leave the rest).

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

A small digression: while ABBA were definitely one of the most important and influencial Eurovision winners, I always felt like Gigliola Cinquetti should have been the first double winner long before Johnny Logan’s first ESC appearance in 1980. And in an underwhelming (and easily the worst of the 90s) year of 1992 “Rapsodia” should have won by a wide margin.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Italy should’ve sent their entry from ’75 in ’74 and vice versa, because I’d rather have them lose with dignity to ABBA and then storm it over Teach-In the next year. And ’92 wasn’t an amazing year, but I can think of a bunch of songs I like from that year (especially, of course, Rapsodia). I’d be quicker to call ’99 the worst of the ’90s – very few incredible songs that year, mostly just pleasant and mediocre.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

I really like the top 4 of 1999, yet it’s difficult for me to find one song from ’92 (besides Italy of course) that I sincerely enjoy. I struggle with the decision which year was the best though – for me it’s either 1993, 1994 or 1997.

Joe
Guest
Joe

The ’90s were peak Eurovision time in my opinion. The entire stretch from ’93-’97 was full of great entries, but I’d actually say ’95 and ’96 tie for the best. Such consistency, barely a bad entry in the bunch, the worst was more mediocre than outright bad. Probably the most legit the contest ever felt.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

I’d say that the 70s were the peak of Eurovision awesomeness, and that 1983 was possibly the best Eurovision edition ever, but the 90s were great just as well. I love 1995 and 1996 too, yet while those years gave us the best winners of the decade (tho to be honest all the 90s winners were fantastic, apart from Linda Martin’s a tad forgettable “Why Me?”) they contained less stand-out acts, and more “very good, but not amazing” songs. Still, entries like Denmark 95, UK 96, Cyprus 95, Poland 95 or Portugal 96 are on my all-time favourites list.

Joe
Guest
Joe

The ’70s were kind of hit-or-miss until ’73 or so. Then you’ve got years like ’73, ’74, ’76, and ’79, all of which are great. 1996 might be my favorite year ever by virtue of having a frankly insane number of amazing songs (off the top of my head: Austria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom would all be worth at least a strong thought for my all-time list, especially Austria, Portugal, and of course Ireland). ’95 is a little more meh beyond the top ten, but the best of… Read more »

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

1995 is my favorite of that decade. I dunno, maybe it’s just the dark staging I loved most – absolutely perfect for Nocturne, it surely helped secure its win. Do you think that song would have had the same impact with the 1993/4/6/7 stages? I’m not so sure. Apart from Norway, though, is my own all-time favorite Vuelve Conmigo. I must have listened to that a thousand times. You mention Ireland…it’s a nice song, but obviously “heavily inspired” by Julie Felix’s Moonlight. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2Q6nSBWcug I think there was controversy around it at the time which hurt their chances? They were even… Read more »

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Hm, I posted a reply, but it disappeared into “awaiting moderation” limbo. I know you’ll all eagerly check back to see if it ever shows up.

Joe
Guest
Joe

1983 as a pick for best Eurovision year isn’t one I’d expect but I can understand. It does have a few major favorites for me (Finland, Sweden, Yugoslavia, Germany, and the best entry Israel ever sent) and some other good stuff scattered in. The worst, though, is dire, especially the 0-point twins at the bottom of the board. I also didn’t think the winner was all that remarkable (does Germany just have a bizarre track record of hosting unremarkable winners?). But it definitely was a good year to watch for all the extremes of Eurovision, from the serious to the… Read more »

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

I made an entire breakdown of my picks for the best Eurovision years of each decade since we’re talking about it: 50s: 1958 – while 90% of the songs from that era is just unbearable to my ears, ’58 actually had a few gems I liked – Sweden, Switzerland, France and of course Italy, which I guess is the most popular Eurovision song ever (largely thanks to Gypsy Kings’ cover). 60s: 1963 – a breakthrough in terms of the camera work (and they actually let the singers walk on stage – what a shocker!) and the music – iconic winner,… Read more »

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Unfortunately filter blocked my elaborate answer ( I guess it was a bit too long) . In short, 1983 was the essence of the 80s, many sweet, energetic and danceable songs, “Framling” is just beyond stunning, and UK’s got the best choreography in the history of the contest. Love, love, love. Even Turkey and Spain have their charm, and I listen to both from time to time.

pepe
Guest
pepe

Great to find someone who loves “Sama”. Unfortunately I disagree about 1983, which was as so many eighties editions quite horrible. 1994 is probably my favourite year ever. Portugal, France, Russia, United Kingdom, Hungary all had great songs.

Joe
Guest
Joe

With ’92, I sincerely enjoy Italy, France, Greece, Portugal, Yugoslavia, and the Netherlands, plus I’d say Austria, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Israel are all guilty pleasures. The rest is pretty shrug-worthy, including Malta and Ireland (the following two winners and Linda Martin’s previous song were all better). The worst is Christer Bjorkman proving that for a man with such sway over modern Eurovision, he sure as heck couldn’t write a good entry for himself.

pepe
Guest
pepe

1992 (and also 1993) is probably the year that showed us how unfair the language rule was and how much advantage English speaking countries had.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

It might have been the case in 1992, but in 1993 Ireland, UK and Malta brought their a-game, and they fully deserved the results they got.

Joe
Guest
Joe

’93 was an amazing year for all three of them. I actually quite liked a bunch of Malta’s ’90s entries.

Ziv
Guest
Ziv

I have imagined that if Italy had been represented by the Sanremo winners in 2014 and 2016, what placings would they have achieved? I like Arisa’s Controvento in 2014. Probably she could not beat Austria to win Eurovision, but another top 5 placing would have been achievable. Un giorno mi dirai in 2016, I guess, would have been around 6-10.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

sanremo all the way

Preuss
Guest
Preuss

All the credits to Italy for sending quality acts and songs every year. I’ve always pointed out that Italy’s strength is the fact that their entries never feel made for Eurovision, and Eurovision is just a bonus for winning Sanremo, a music competition with really high standard. Yes I think their stagings could be better but with the results they’ve had, they’re still good at what they are doing. Only thing I have about Italy is the fact that I hope they send women and just not men although Emma and Francesca got their worst results so far. Would be… Read more »

Turn95
Guest
Turn95

I’m hoping we are bringing to represent Italy either Elodie or Annalisa. They are two brilliant female singer!

CastESC
Guest
CastESC

Noemi or even Loredana Bertè!

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

Philosophical thought: Would the high rating for Arcade and Soldi in comparision to almost every other act be the same, if these 2 were reviewed ten years after their Eurovision performance? Or is the high record also a bit explainable with the short period of time within Eurovision and now? ^^

pepe
Guest
pepe

When Scream was reviewed I already mentioned it is far too early to judge the 2019 songs again.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

It’s been four months already. Swallow hard and get it over with.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

I see where you’re coming from. On the one hand you’re right – we’re judging the songs from our 2019 point of view – we don’t know whether these songs will stand the test of time, what influence will they have on the contest, what will those countries send to the contest in the future and so on. On the other hand, the performances and the songs will remain the same, no matter if we’re talking about 4 months or 10 years, and from my perspective the ratings I gave to the reviewed songs haven’t changed all that much since… Read more »

Sam
Guest
Sam

This song stood out from the rest by bringing modern, urban and street sounds to the contest. It deserved to be a contender for the win and all the success it has had since then. Thank you Mahmood! Clap, clap It’s true that Italy may have to improve its staging, but please let’s focus on the songs themselves. Few countries can claim what Italy has achieved in the last decade, with San Remo being the best NF and a high-quality music contest on itself, bringing top-10 material to the contest every single year and singing in their beautiful Italian language.… Read more »

Oliver
Guest

Thanks for sharing useful Information. It’s fantastic Article.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Masterpiece.

Joe
Guest
Joe

A fantastic song that didn’t quite click the night of, but I’m pleased that for once Italy had a decent showing with both the televote and the juries. 9/10.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Also, story time: as I’ve mentioned before, I played a bunch of the 2019 hopefuls for my family before the contest, and while the Netherlands was roundly rejected (they thought the video was weird and the song was too boring to transcend it), they had three big favorites: Italy, Spain, and San Marino. All three entered heavy rotation on the family car rides, especially “Soldi,” which my mom took to completely. She was very surprised when I told her it only came second to the Netherlands, and I decided to show her a video from the final to demonstrate how… Read more »

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

I think the stage felt too large, and all the LED didn’t really help…however, I would also argue that Mahmood gave maybe his best and most passionate performance to date. He was really feeling every word. Such emotion! I didn’t really care about anything else.

Joe
Guest
Joe

It definitely wasn’t the worst staging I saw in Tel Aviv (that’s probably either Croatia or Armenia) nor the biggest example of staging hurting a song that might’ve done even better (Spain and Greece, man. Spain and Greece. Could’ve been top ten, dammit). And the staging clearly didn’t hurt it with the juries nearly as much as it did in other years. But it just didn’t sort itself out, like the Italians didn’t have enough confidence that the performance itself would be enough to capture the song’s message instead of randomly tossing in dancers off to the side and occasionally… Read more »

Joe
Guest
Joe

Also, here’s my ranking of this year’s entries not by song quality, but rather by staging. 41. Croatia (Too much dry ice, hated the angels, added to the general unpleasantness) 40. Armenia (Why the lack of dancers? She looked so isolated, and I don’t get why they had the shot of the empty crowd) 39. Lithuania (If your song is already boring, don’t make the staging boring too) 38. Austria (See above) 37. Belarus (Frenetic) 36. Belgium (They just didn’t know what to do with it. Drums? Why drums?) 35. Latvia (Too static. Sepia tone wasn’t enough.) 34. Ireland (Should’ve… Read more »

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

As much as I love the studio track and Mahmood (heck, it was my #1 for quite some time), I just didn’t feel “Soldi”‘s magic that night. And I don’t really know what exactly was the cause of this feeling – the distracting dancers, the disconnected backdrop, the fact that some fragments of the song were cut out, the far too silent music. The thing is that for me something in this performance was a bit off and as a result it just left me indifferent during the Eurovision night. As a song, this would have been the rightful winner.… Read more »

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

it’s exactly what the eurovision needed. while most ‘radio-friendly’ songs are in fact dated radio poison, this lil contemporary r&b gem encompasses perfectly what the public wants to hear now. i’m shocked that out of all countries, it was italy to bring eurovision to current times – among the pop-leaning songs in this year’s contest, only mahmood and zalagasper quite achieved the feat of producing 2019-sounding music. of course, its remarkable commercial success only proves my claims. if only it had had arcade’s exaggerated hype before the contest…

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Already a classic.
And another good example for how people are getting either the significance or the quality of staging wrong. How else would it be possible that two acts that were severely criticised for their staging won by a huge margin, whilst the acts that were hyped to the skies for having memorable staging were disregarded? Either the music is what ultimately counts or the staging of Mahmood and Duncan wasn’t that bad after all. I’ll go with both.

pepe
Guest
pepe

Yes I remember the hype during the rehearsals for Azerbaijan, France and Australia. And look where that went.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Though let’s be fair, Australia deserved more than the 9th place.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Yes. 1st.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

True, but because of the music. 😉

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

If I had a say (though I can’t even vote in the contest :P), we would have reviewed “Zero Gravity” instead of “Scream”. But I guess I can’t ask much else from a year that put two of my favorite songs (“Telemóveis being the missing link) and two of my favorite performances as the winner and the runner-up.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Only some hyper hyper fans in a hermetic bubble were ever hyped for France. The notion of this doing well has always been ludicrous.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

azerbaijan’s staging was a mess….. did they pay for that hype or ? i don’t think soldi’s staging ended up being bad, i think the dancers were unnecessary as mahmood alone delivered all the emotion

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Thank god Roi didn’t finish higher than Mercy.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

You forgot an aspect: There are people who care about good staging because that’s what they want to see for themselves and also view it as an integral part of Eurovision. Not everyone who isn’t satisfied with the staging of an act automatically concludes that it has to do badly because they themselves wanted to see more or something done differently.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Oh, but I didn’t. This is not how these claims are usually framed.
But, to be fair, I’m admittedly just not that interested in staging, that’s why all this “Had Gabbani not brought his Gorilla, he would surely have won” talk bores me a little bit.
I’m just glad “Soldi” did very well, because it’s a good song.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Oh, but you did. 😉 While some make claims that can never be definitively proven, others simply have opinions on those matters. You won’t hear me talking about the gorilla. I liked Italy so much more but he came 6th, not 2nd. Clearly, it wasn’t meant to be.

Tibor
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Tibor

No offence, Bean, but not everything I write is about or a direct response to you. 😉 You may well be the glorious exception, I can accept that.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

hahaha you know what, I’ll take it. Thanks 😉

Tibor
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Tibor

You’re welcome. Vodka?

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

Sure, I can always mix it with something tasty. Or do you mean the song “Vodka”? Morena should have gotten herself drunk with vodka during her performance. THAT would have been epic staging.

Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

Na zdarovye!
My second favourite alcohol-related song of the contest.

Sabrina
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Sabrina

Since you mentioned Gabbani, Tibor: some people blame the monkey, but as far as I know, he did pretty fine with it at Sanremo and in the viral music video. But I think someone hired by RAI made an amateur mistake that year by putting a dark monkey in front of a dark part of the led backdrop. Though I still think the problem (which wasn’t really a problem, since 6th place is far from a disaster and Portugal would probably win anyway) with this one was that it was lost in translation with first time viewers.

Tibor
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Tibor

I don’t know, Sabrina, I may sound like a broken record, but “Soldi” also should have been lost in translation, and yet it came second. I like “Occidentali’s Karma” (it was in my top 5 in 2017), but I think we have to face that the problem may have been the song, which was just not very modern – and with “Soldi” it’s quite the opposite.

ESCFan2009
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ESCFan2009

I think “Occidentali’s Karma” was incredibly catchy, but the colourful backdrop felt too much and Francesco was nervous. Songwise I wouldn’t mind this to win xD

Sabrina
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Sabrina

I don’t know if Francesco was nervous, but I felt he wasn’t comfortable. Maybe it was all the pressure during the week. I bet being the frontrunner sucks.

Sabrina
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Sabrina

“Soldi” is much more modern, that’s for sure. And a better song, no matter how I also love “Occidentali’s Karma”. But since Eurovision is usually a little behind the trends, I think “OK” was modern enough. When I say it got lost in translation, it’s not just because most people wouldn’t understand the lyrics (or bother to look for a translation), but because it’s more complicated to describe the intentions of the song. With all the irony in the lyrics, maybe some people hadn’t got the joke or even thought the joke was on them. Am I making sense?

Tibor
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Tibor

I don’t know, if you think, a joke is on you, you first have to understand the joke, don’t you? I really don’t think that lyrical content is the reason why one song does better in Eurovision than the other. Having said that, I agree, that “Occidentali’s Karma” was lyrically more abstract and perhaps because of that less relatable, you couldn’t translate the message as well in the same cool way they did with “Soldi”.

Sabrina
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Sabrina

It should definitely be the case, but nowadays people love to jump on conclusions (for example, the amount of people who discuss about headlines without reading the article). Anyway, you have a point and I’m possibly overthinking.

Roelof Meesters
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Roelof Meesters

One of the greatest examples of a pop song doing well purely because it’s a great song. This is a song you can easily hear on the radio and he is already incredibly famous in Italy, and this second place proces that he has a big carreer in front of him. Soldi is just a really strong song and the lacking staging didn’t hurt the songs power.
10/10

Thunder and lightning it's getting exciting
Guest
Thunder and lightning it's getting exciting

I love soldi and mahmood…he deserves to win this year!!!

Kosey
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Kosey

So I am massively conflicted on this one. Soldi is one of my top 3 studio tracks of the year. I love listening to the track, it is fresh, modern, slick and in the video Mahmood is sassy, confident and on point with the message of the song. Then, there is the performance. As much as I really want to like it, I have to admit that in comparison to other performances we’ve seen in the 2010s, it is actually lucky that it finished 2nd. Mahmood looks nervous (which doesn’t fit the message of the song), his voice seems too… Read more »

olvrfin
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olvrfin

My all time favourite Eurovision song?? But I’m still happy that the Netherlands won, Duncan was fantastic too!

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

Together with Kate, the best of 2019. Yes, the staging was not amazing, but at least it didn’t ruin the act either. I love how they only put what I had described as the key line of the song on the LED backdrop: “Being alive is not easy when you lose your pride.” In the contrast to last year’s distracting overflow of written messages during the Italian performance, they did it right this year and enhanced the song’s accessibility. Yes, this remains my clear winner out of the top three because it is a fresh song that has a clear… Read more »

Adam
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Adam

Despite a certain degree of recency bias, and flaws in the staging, I’m glad the song still has quite a high score. It was a personal, very close second place for me in May and the studio version has yet to lose its charm for me.
P.S Lukas and Pablo’s written reviews are the same.