Following weeks – nay, months – of speculation, Italian broadcaster RAI today finally confirmed that Emma Marrone will indeed be their representative in Copenhagen! The method by which her song will be decided has not yet been revealed, but today’s confirmation gives us plenty to discuss, as Italy look to continue their run of success in the contest.
The last three years have seen returning “Big 5” nation Italy take a very original yet distinctly lethargic approach to the Eurovision Song Contest, which despite the apparent lack of enthusiasm, has turned in three fantastic results for RAI, with Raphael Gualazzi, Nina Zilli and Marco Mengoni all managing to finish in the top 10. Now, after much speculation, they have confirmed that this trend of sending big, credible, domestic names to the contest will continue in Copenhagen, with Emma Marrone being announced as their 2014 singer.
Thanks to a series of cryptic tweets and a slip of the tongue by the artist herself yesterday, today’s announcement came as anything but a surprise to the fan community! However, her association with the contest dates back a lot longer than these last few months, as she participated in San Remo in both 2011 and 2012, the latter resulting in an overall victory with the awesome track “Non È L’Inferno”
At the time, however, I distinctly remember that Nina Zilli’s selection from the San Remo field was due to the fact that she was one of the few artists who had agreed to do Eurovision if asked. Back then, Emma had expressly stated that she wouldn’t go, which – for me, at least – makes her involvement in 2014 a little surprising. However, since 2012, Emma has really built on her domestic career to the point where it is safe to say she is one of the biggest female stars in Italy today. Possibly THE biggest.
For me, this is the key here with Emma for Italy. Regardless of how disappointing their viewing figures have been, regardless of how disillusioned the broadcaster and the general public may be, the country is still taking their participation in Eurovision seriously, and sending acts that will show them off in a good light. Yes, a very calculated and quite restrained light, but a very good one all the same.
Looking into Emma’s back-catalogue, it would not be unreasonable to assume that her entry will pick up where Nina and Marco left off; a well-written, dramatic pop-rock number will very likely be on the cards, as this is the style that characterises the majority of her releases to date. Aside from that, as can be seen from her San Remo performance above, she is a very charismatic live vocalist, and her quirky appearance will doubtless count in her favour. Her gravelly voice is indebted to Mia Martini, and – like the majority of Italian singers – I constantly feel like telling her to clear her bloody throat!! I don’t go for that hoarse, croaky sound as a general rule, but that’s just me. It does suit her genre, at least. Emma is without a doubt a very contemporary figure, whose presence on the ESC stage will be remembered long after she sings her last note!
With regards to her song for Copenhagen, we are – as of today – still in the dark as to how it will be selected and what it will eventually be. Some seem to believe that her November 2013 single “La Mia Città” is lined up to be her ESC entry – a record which is somewhat archetypal of her musical style. Personally, I would be disappointed if this one did turn out to be her Eurovision song, for I’m not really keen on it if I’m honest. Like many of her songs, I struggle to get into it, if I’m totally honest. I appreciate she is a fabulous artist, and it’s a little frustrating hearing her singing things like this, because I KNOW she can pull out a truly showstopping record if she really tries (see “Maledetto Quel Giorno” and the above “Non È L’Inferno”, both of which I adore.) “La Mia Città” and recent smash hit “Amami” feel like they’re at 60% for me – there are good bits but they never quite capture my attention enough, and I fear a similar thing may happen if her Eurovision entry is in the same vein. Please please come up with something better for Denmark, Emma, I know you can do it!
No doubt owing to her previous association with San Remo and her impressive reputation in Italy, Emma seems to have been the number one fan suggestion for Italy over the last few months, and it’s not often that such a figure does end up at the contest. Bearing this in mind, then, what do you all think of her selection?
Nick van Lith from the Netherlands: Hats off to Italy for selecting Emma. She is the biggest thing around in Italy at the moment and how many countries sent their biggest current stars in the past years? She can do no wrong for me, so let’s hope for La Mia Città or a song like Amami!
Svetlana Andriyenko from Ukraine: This is my biggest wish for Italy coming true! Now send us a lovely melody Emma and you can win for Italy!
Jack Cuffe from the United Kingdom: YAY! A fantastic choice 🙂
Seth Wezendonk from the Netherlands: With a great song she will end up high, maybe win, who knows Personally I like her a lot ^^
As anticipated then, Emma’s selection has prompted nothing but acclaim from the majority of fans! Rory and I personally have a few infinitesimal doubts, but we’re both hopeful that these will fade into insignificance when we hear her song. “L’Essenziale” last year took a while to grow on us, so hopefully, Emma’s song will do the same this year!
Are you as ecstatic about Emma Marrone’s participation as most other people seem to be? Do you share our reservations on her potential song? Do let us know by leaving a comment below, we’d love to hear from you!