After last week’s Sanremo Music Festival broke records for how long a show can last, and the will they won’t they uncertainty surrounding winning group Stadio’s Eurovision invitation, and the announcement that runner-up Francesca Michielin would be the one to fly the flag after all, we finally have a song for Italy.

This morning it was confirmed by composer Federica Abbate that Francesca’s Sanremo entry ‘Nessun Grado di Separazione’ will be the song to represent Italy in Eurovision 2016, thus bringing the tally of definite, confirmed, publicly available to 11 (well, maybe ten but we’ll ignore the Maltese situation for now).

Watch the music video for the song and have a look at what our team have to say about it.

Matteo: It is a surprisingly good choice. Elegant, modern and young. Hoping she won’t go for the same stern look she had in Sanremo – because that could hinder her chances. Knowing Italy, I hope they will put a bit more effort in the staging (or at least in the camera shots) – but as my best friend says: better than Zilli, worse than Mengoni. 8th place.

Nick: I just don’t know with this song. Francesca Michielin is a very talented artist and has done some great songs, but I’m not convinced this is as good. It’s not bad and in the field we currently have, it’s high in my ranking, but she’ll need to do some work. Especially the live performance in Sanremo was just static and didn’t always look too good. Another crucial point will be where she makes the cut to take those 40 seconds out. Despite my own doubts, I still expect this to be one of the bookies’ favourites in Stockholm and it will probably make the top 10.

Wivian: One of my fave Eurovision countries (especially after their return) has done it again! I really, *really* like this song, and Francesca too, even though I would, as in most cases, have preferred a male voice. Like Matteo says, it’s elegant, modern and young, but at the same time it has elements that are very traditionally Italian. This is without a doubt my fave so far (which, I have to admit, isn’t saying all that much, since I don’t really like any of the other songs that have been selected), and it has absolutely got the potential to stay on top for me. Finally a song I’m enthusiastic about!

Liam: As someone who has no grasp on the Italian language, this feels like there’s just too many syllables crammed into each line of the song. It’s very radio friendly but I mean that in a kind of negative way. It’s just a bit nothing. Not offensive at all but really, just kind of bland.

Peter: I think this is a lovely song and I’m so pleased that Italy is going with this as their song to take to Eurovision. Francesca has a pleasant tone that fits the delicate nature of the song well, although when it needs to be big, it’s big. Definitely one of my favourites to listen to so far, although I have to say I was surprised as well as delighted at the choice. As much as I like it, it doesn’t strike me as very competitive at all (which I know is a strange thing to say given it came 2nd at Sanremo but we all know that’s different!) and I can’t really see it flying at Eurovision. I would love to be proven wrong of course.

Rodrigo: Simply. Fucking. Awesome. This screams Italy from beginning to end. In all the great ways. The listener is transported to a fantasy universe on the first listen and it’s hard to forget it. The lyrics are simply stunning and the metric allows for the beauty of the Italian language to be highlighted throughout. Francesca is a solid performer and should be able to put a great act together in Stockholm. Her voice is a mixed reminder of the Laura Pausini style and Spain’s Beth. The way she masters the subtle falsetto during her performances is borderline orgasmic. She manages to give her ballad a very Mediterranean feel whilst remaining international enough that it won’t get lost. On top of her own merit, Francesca has the backing of Sony Music and a committed delegation which has done every effort to win since their return, so it’s easy to imagine that every detail of this staging will be thought through millimetrically.

Nathan: I like that this song carries the elements of a contemporary radio-friendly ballad and whilst on a first lesson, I can understand how it might not instantly win votes, in the long-run this song would be a real hit. It’s a shame for Italy that one three minute exposure won’t be enough for people to really get to grips with this song.

Max: Toilet break.

Join in the discussion and let us know what you think of Italy’s entry via our Twitter, @escXtra.

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