Italians don't quite get my love for Eurovision. For them it's all about Sanremo, which is a completely different beast. They grew up on Sanremo, and I grew up on Eurovision. But on Italy's third year back in the competition it seems that the country is starting to understand the concept of the Song Contest.
After hovering around 10th place for much of the voting, Italy finished in a respectable 7th last night, two positions higher than Nina Zilli last year. Not too bad for a country outside the Eastern European voting blocks, and with few neighbours. And one of Italy's neighbours, Malta, didn't even give them 12 points!
For a Eurovision veteran the Rai commentators disappointed me. Not only for their constant talking which meant that we missed the song that had been specially composed to open the evening, amongst other things. The two radio presenters from Rai Radio 2 from last year were back again this year, but this time round they were joined by a female voice, a Swiss girl from the Italian-speaking part of the country. Not only was her general Eurovision knowledge better than theirs, but her English was too. What made me lose faith in the commentators was doing the interval between the acts and the votes being annouced, when there was a crash course in the history of Eurovision. They called Bucks Fizz ABBA. Nil points for that!
Marco put on a great performance. Unlike all of the other acts, it was just him on stage. No backing singers, no band, no pyrotechnics or any other shenanigans. As he said in an interview before the competition, it would be him and his voice, nothing else, just the essenziale, the essential.