Pathways to #Eurovision victory 2022: Italy

This year’s Sanremo Festival was won by Mahmood and BLANCO with Brividi:

Brividi – Mahmood & BLANCO (Source: YouTube/Eurovision Song Contest)

Since February, Brividi has topped the Italian and Swiss charts and appeared in the top ten of Israel, Lithuania, and San Marino. Not many Eurovision entries chart elsewhere prior to the Contest itself–though all but Lithuania and Israel have communities that are attuned to Sanremo.

But can Mahmood improve upon Soldi’s runner-up position in 2019? Absolutely. Here’s my analysis.

Public

If we dial back to 1997, seven previous Italian Eurovision entries were also Sanremo “big artist” winners with the same song. All of them have done well–particularly with televoters.

YearSongArtistScore (rank)Televote
1997Fiumi di paroleJalisse114 points (5th)21 points (5th)
2013L’EssenzialeMarco Mengoni126 (7th)n/a (10th)
2015Grande amoreIl Divo292 (3rd)366 (1st)
2017Occidentali’s KarmaFrancesco Gabbani334 (6th)208 (6th)
2018Non mi avete fatto nienteErmal Meta & Fabrizio Moro308 (5th)249 (3rd)
2019SoldiMahmood472 (2nd)253 (3rd)
2021Zitti e buoniMÃ¥neskin524 (1st)318 (1st)

The worst overall ranking for a Sanremo winner is L’Essenziale in 7th, which is also the lowest televote ranking for a Sanremo winner: 10th place. Similarly Occidentali’s Karma was 6th overall and with the public.

Otherwise every other Sanremo winning recent entry finished in the top five with the public–including twice winning the public vote.

Jury vote

One might assume juries would love most recent Italian entries. In fact, jurors reactions loved a few, liked most, and thought one was “meh”.

Loved: Soldi (4th), Zitti e buoni (4th),

Liked: L’Essenziale (8th), Grande amore (6th), Occidentali’s Karma (7th)

Meh: Non mi avete fatto niente (17th)

Remember that while we get jury scores, jurors rank all grand finalists in a given year–they don’t vote for (or assign points to) and entry. Then all five jurors in a given delegation rankings are aggregated to assign the jury points.

Conclusion

Keep an eye on Brividi’s jury score and ranking. If Mahmood & BLANCO are in the top five–or better–after the jury votes are in, they have a good shot at victory.

If Brividi is outside the top five, particularly if the differential between it and the top of the jury scores is more than 150 points, they will not.

Or, rather, no one’s overcome that large a deficit previously…