This year marks the fifth appearance of Italy at Junior Eurovision, and in their short history at the contest, the nation has managed to win the contest (on debut, might I add) plus finish 3rd in 2016. Their success is also matched with middle of the table results, which made it hard to predict what Italy would send for this year’s edition of the contest. This year the nation will be represented by the duo Melissa and Marco who will be performing the track, What is Love but will the audiences love their performance?
After being disappointed by their entry last year, Italy made their way back into my good books with this cheesy but lovely ballad. This follows all the requirements for a ballad about love, we have clichéd lyrics, we have an epic orchestral moment and we have a dreamy location for the music video. Despite not offering anything new or risky, I can’t help but fall in love with this duo and this song.
The opening verse immediately catches my attention firstly due to the smoothness of the Italian language, but also Marco’s incredible tone of voice. Although Melissa adds another vocal element to this song, for me, Marco really steals the show. Saying that, if they can harmonise perfectly during their live performance, this will be magical. The way that the song builds over the three minutes is dramatic and captivating, but again, if they can nail this performance live, this could be the surprise package of the night.
There have been some comparisons between this and the Dutch entry from this year, and if we are going to compare them, I’ll take the Italian entry any day. Unfortunately though the unknown with this entry is the live vocals as we haven’t yet heard them perform live together (or at least that I’m aware of), so it will be interesting to see their chemistry on stage together. At times during the music video, the duo come across as a bit awkward together, so if that awkwardness has dissipated, they will prove to be tough competition at least with the Dutch entry.
Perhaps it’s a bit odd to see children singing a song about love, but this is Italy we are talking about, so I can forgive them for that. Plus, for those who don’t speak Italian, their only hint to the lyrical themes will be the occasional English lyric. Overall, I think this is a great entry from Italy even though it is a bit cheesy. Their result will likely depend on their position in the running order and their live performance, so I truly can’t predict where this will sit in the results, all I can do is hope that the voters don’t overlook this entry.
For me, I will lovingly give this a 9/10.