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Marco is a former Italian X Factor winner who, in the same vein as the UK’s talent show star Will Young, seems to have a lot more about him that your average search-for-a-star contestant. He was the winner of the Italian San Remo festival this year with this song, giving it an early boost in the European music market. It’s the first time since Jalisse’s Fiumi Di Parole in 1997 that the San Remo winning act and song has gone on to be the Italian entry, although admittedly since 1997 they’ve only been back for the last two years. See what we might have missed! This is a big building ballad and Marco gives a confident and passionate performance. In the video we see him at the piano before, like Eyþór in Iceland, he’s underwater, still singing like a trooper. There’s something about his quiff and nonchalance that I find quite becoming, and the song just oozes class and competence. It was the last entry this year to be confirmed, the Italians as ever reserving the right to select whichever of his songs they saw fit after confirming him as the nominated artist, and we only found out it was this track on the morning of final submission to the EBU. Personally I think the Italians have pulled a blinder and this has a very good chance of winning, and it’s snuck in as one of my favourites, hugely lifting a year that largely disappoints. It’s also been a long time since I was in Italy and I know a few choice phrases I could be brushing up for a week there next May.
My score: douze points!