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The entry from Italy doesn’t need to go through the process of securing a place in the final of Eurovision by competing in a semi-final heat. As one of the big five countries, Italy automatically goes through to the main event on Saturday 18th, May along with Germany, France, Spain and the United Kingdom. The big five countries don’t tend to claim the prize regularly although, on occasion do finish pretty well (aside from the UK in recent years.) Representing Italy this year is Mahmood with the track “Soldi.” It is sung in Italian, yet has the ability to transcend language barriers. I have been hard pressed not to get swept up by the catchy melody and sing-a-long refrain in the chorus of this song.

The first few times I heard it, I was much of the opinion that it was an OK song. I have found myself invested in it more and more as the weeks have passed by. I am neither the biggest fan of rap or urban pop, as a rule. Mahmood’s Italian accent without a doubt has helped to broaden the appeal of this entry, ultimately to bring me onside with it. Truth is, “Soldi” has gotten into my head and whether those around me like or not I randomly break out singing it, for absolutely no reason in particular. I feel the chances are, this is the slow-burner of the competition. Believe me, it is a song which grows and grows with you.

I haven’t heard a bad live rendition by Mahmood of “Soldi” yet. He is pretty consistent and is bang on with the vocals every time. As far as predictions go, I have no hesitation in awarding “Soldi” as my big five winner. I am especially going to be looking out for the audience reaction to the Italians entry, during the final of the competition. I hope those lucky enough to be in the Expo arena really get behind it.

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