Posted by Andy “Volare” Bell
As one website peppered with six-packed young blokes put it: “Eurovision Song Contest, l’Italia ritorna all’evento gay del Continente!”
Italy is coming back to the Eurovision Song Contest after an absence of a decade and more.
The ESC has been much the poorer for the absence of this european popular musical powerhouse.
Not the least because Italy tag-teamed with France (and to a lesser extent Portugal) in withstanding the surge of sorta-kinda English lyrics. (I ponder in length about this in this blog).
The Italians were there at the beginning in 1956 and played a crucial part in ensuring the contest’s standard, although they only won it twice.
Song contests were part and parcel of the Italian landscape before the ESC first blasted “Te Deum” at an unsuspecting public.
So Italy is, I suppose, the ancestral home of the Eurovision Song Contest.
So to have RAI back is a terrific boost for an event that may be in some peril of drowning in its own knowing campery.
Let’s celebrate with its greatest ever song in the ESC. One that didn’t win, one that was watched by my mum when she was heavily pregnant with yours truly !