ILLUMINATION
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ILLUMINATION

With Mahmood & Blanco’s “Brividi,” Italy Stands Poised to Repeat: Can They Hold On?

Eurovision 2022 — Italy is at the top of the Eurovision bookmakers’ list.

Picture By eurofestivalitalia

The countdown to Eurovision 2022 is on, and Italy sits at the top of the bookmakers’ charts, at least for now.

With so many countries announcing their songs over the next 6 weeks, the odds are sure to change. If Italy stands atop the competition on 14 May, its entry will need to resonate with audiences around Europe.

Released on 2 February, “Brividi” by Mahmood and BLANCO has received acclaim from critics and audiences alike. But will it have the staying power needed to remain on top?

The Language of Love, Silent

“Brividi” blends the disparate musical styles of Mahmood and BLANCO into a yearning ballad with an edge.

Mahmood’s smooth, lilting vocals evoke sadness and contain that hint of Moroccan flavor he is known for. BLANCO’s throatier rasp and stronger hip-hop vibe bring the sharp bite of frustration in counterpoint. The two artists weave a poignant story of longing and love gone unexpressed.

With the poetic verve expected of an Italian ballad, “Brividi” conveys a message that everyone can relate to — sometimes you don’t know how to love. People are not always free to express themselves, and, more often than not, their insecurities, doubts, and faults are what hold them back. “I can’t tell you what I feel; it’s my limitation / For an “I love you” I mixed drugs and tears.”

“Brividi” was released by Island Records and Universal Music on 2 February. Written by Mahmood, BLANCO, and producer Michelangelo, it was the winner of Sanremo Music Festival 2022, a competition Mahmood had won in 2019.

The ballad has proven popular in its first several weeks, amassing nearly 27.5 million views on YouTube by 18 February and breaking the Italian single-day streaming record on Spotify within 24 hours of its release. The music video for “Brividi” was filmed in Amsterdam and Theater Music in Arnhem.

It was directed by Attilio Cusani and released on 2 February.

Bookmaker’s Odds

Most countries competing in Eurovision 2022 have announced neither their song nor their artist for this year’s competition; however, that has not stopped the bookmakers from posting their odds. As things stand, Italy is a firm favorite and has more than double the chance to win than Sweden and Poland, its two closest competitors. As May approaches and the 29 countries that have not announced their entrant do so, the odds will surely change. If you find an online bookmaker to place your bet now, you stand a chance of picking a gem at very low odds.

The Scene So Far

Since few countries have announced their entrants, it is difficult to size up Italy’s competition.

That said, Spain and Latvia have both announced their artist and song.

The Cuban-Spanish singer and actress Chanel Terrero will perform her debut single “SloMo.” This song brings the catchy wordplay and lively beats that one would expect from contemporary Latin Pop. The song has been well received by audiences but maybe too derivative to make a lasting impact.

Citi Zēni, a Latvian pop-rap group, will perform “Eat Your Salad,” a humorous and lively tune sung in English and filled with sexual innuendos. The song was written to promote veganism and eco-friendly lifestyles in a fun, easy-to-understand manner. While many will appreciate the humor and message of the song, some audiences have found the innuendos cringe-worthy and juvenile.

Regardless of how Spain and Latvia fare in the competition, “SloMo” and “Eat Your Salad” are excellent examples of the broad range of performances that Eurovision’s worldwide audience has come to expect. Italy may win or lose, but one thing is certain: Eurovision’s audience of 200 million is sure to get an amazing show. Buona Fortuna!

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