Eurovision 2019 is the year of jury darlings. No less than 9 times this preselection season, a song won without the support of the televoters. ESCDaily introduces them all to you in the build-up to Tel Aviv. Today we focus on Mahmood from Italy
Italy will be represented by Mahmood at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 with ‘Soldi’. And after winning Sanremo 2019, it took some courage to actually go to Tel Aviv.
The prestigious Sanremo Festival in Italy had some new rules, where all the acts stayed in the competition for all nights, until on the grand final on Saturday a group of three super finalists were chosen. The jury went for Mahmood with 63 percent of the vote, beating 2015 bronze medal winner Il Volo and Ultimo. The televote gave Mahmood the third place with only 20 percent of the vote, but that was not enough to keep him away from victory.
The backlash was huge. Mahmood’s victory was ‘not fair’ and some politicians also joined the discussion, bringing in his roots into play. Born in Milan to an Italian mother from Sardinia and an Egyptian father, for some people Mahmood is ‘not Italian enough’. He had doubts if he wanted to take part at Eurovision, but decided to do so. A good call, because his story actually fits the ideals and values of the contest.
Did populism also had its influence on his televote? It’s hard to say, as rap songs often don’t fair well in Europe’s music competition. But íf it did, let’s hope Europe shows more common sense than some people in Italy.
The alternative: Ultimo – I tuoi particolari
23 year old Ultimo snatched almost 50% of the Italian televote in the super final of Sanremo 2019 with his song “I tuoi particolari”. Do you think he would have been able to book a better result for Italy in Tel Aviv?