Monty’s Eurovision Countdown 2023 Part 20 – Italy

Due Vita by Marco Mengoni.

I followed Italy’s Marco Mengoni very keenly in Malmö a decade ago when he first competed in Eurovision. His song was one of the best and, well, he was quite dreamy, wasn’t he? My efforts eventually paid off with a photo of us together in which I’ve never seen anyone looking more like they don’t want to be there than him. To be fair he’d seemed a little socially awkward all week, whereas I was somewhat more ebullient at our meeting. And drunk.

The song was a hit finishing 7th and now ten years on Marco’s back for another try. The years have been kind to him. He seems more relaxed and confident now, and well, even more dreamy as time has passed.

I adore this most in its unedited version from Sanremo. Its melody sweeps and soars, at once contemporary whilst evoking classic Eurovision ballads of old, and the lyrics are beautiful as Italian so often can be. And of course, it’s lifted by the live orchestra, although the edited studio version he’ll sing to does a pretty good job as well.

In any other year I’d say this was a contender to win. I’m not writing it off completely: it’s Italy after all and my does he bring it to life on stage. But I think pop is just so well represented at this year’s Contest that that is the pool from which we’ll see the winner. This is far and away the best ballad though.