Singer: Francesco Gabbani
Song: Occidentali’s Karma
Performing: Auto-qualified for the Final
Memorable Line: “Namaste, Ale!”
Chances: Very likely to win!
Link: Italy 2017
Rating: 10 men in gorilla costumes (out of 10).
The name on everybody’s lips this year is Francesco Gabbani. And with good reason. Occidentali’s Karma is a fantastic song, both as an entry in Eurovision and in general. I am extremely in love with it. The song has literally everything: catchy tune, fun (although non-English) lyrics, moments for audience participation, and of course, a man in a gorilla suit! It is memorable, entertaining, and enjoyable from start to finish.
I am pretty much head-over-heals in love with this song. And while Romania and Croatia are still my favorites, this one is right up there (and may ultimately pass Croatia in my opinion). I have been finding excuses to say “Namaste, Ale” for a couple weeks now! Even if I don’t know what is going on lyrically, I am along for the ride, and loving every moment of it!
Francesco himself has excellent stage presence. He knows how to work an audience, and he seems committed to his performance. The only negative thing about this song is that I am not confident in the Italians when it comes to Eurovision staging. They have had some extremely strong numbers (pretty much everything since 2011 with the exception of last year) in the past few years, but they have routinely tripped and fallen flat on their faces when it comes to the big night. They seem not to know how to make something spectacular, and if they provide a boring Twin Twin-esque presentation, it will be hard for Francesco to connect with viewers at home. He and his strong might be strong enough to manage that, but I hope Italy really gets behind the song and doesn’t leave the gorilla to do all the work.
This is the song to beat this year. I would not be upset if it won, though of course I still would prefer Romania. But either way, this is a wonderful entry!