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”
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.
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.
Lukas: Coming soon.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!