On November 26th, the crystal anniversary of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest will take place. Indeed, Georgia’s capital city of Tbilisi will host the 15th edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Therefore it is the perfect time to look back at the journeys of all of this year’s participating countries in the contest so far. Therefore, following Italy’s recent entry reveal, let’s take a look at Italy’s Junior Eurovision journey.
- Country: Italy
- Broadcaster: RAI Gulp
- Debut appearance: 2014
- Number of participations: 3 (2014-2016)
- Highest finish: 1st (2014)
- Lowest finish: 16th (2015)
Back to the very beginning…
Italy made their debut in the 2014 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, and what a debut it was! Following Malta’s victory the previous year, Italy announced that they were interested in making their debut in the 2014 contest. A few months later, in July 2014, that debut was confirmed! RAI Gulp, the national broadcaster’s children’s channel, chose to internally select their first ever Junior Eurovision entry, with Vincenzo Cantiello being the lucky artist.
Remarkably, Vincenzo was the only male vocalist in the 2014 contest. His bilingual ballad Tu primo grande amore competed against 15 female-led entries. Vincenzo’s extraordinary vocals and emotional performance earned Italy a victory on their debut, narrowly beating Bulgaria’s Krisia, Hasan & Ibrahim and Armenia’s Betty who completed a runaway top 3. It was later revealed that Vincenzo had finished top of the jury vote and third in the televote. Bulgaria had won the televote but finished fourth with the juries.
Italy’s journey so far
RAI declined the opportunity to host the 2015 Junior Eurovision Song Contest following their victory in Malta the previous year. Instead, we headed to Sofia after second-placed Bulgaria took up the opportunity! RAI chose to select their second ever representative for the competition via the national final Ti lascio una canzone. After technical issues rendered Chiara & Martina Scarpari’s victory in the initial final void, the sisters went on to win again in the re-run final a week later. Their song, Viva, was internally selected but unfortunately only went on to finish 16th in Sofia.
Nevertheless, last year Italy was back for a third attempt at the contest. RAI Gulp returned to a complete internal selection, choosing Fiamma Boccia to represent the country with her ballad Cara Mamma (Dear Mom). Fiamma was very successful in Valletta, finishing in third place with 209 points. Only 30 points separated Italy from the winning entrant from Georgia, Mariam Mamadashvili. Two podium finishes in the space of three years, quite an achievement indeed!
Looking ahead to 2017
This year, Italy will be represented by Maria Iside Fiore! She will sing Scelgo (My Choice) in Tbilisi. The entry was internally selected by RAI Gulp and the Italian delegation will be hoping to secure a second consecutive podium finish!
My favourite Italian entry!
So there’s only three to choose from, but it’s a fairly easy choice for me. Vincenzo has fantastic vocals and Chiara & Martina brought wonderful joy and energy to their performance. However, my favourite Italian entry is most certainly Fiamma Boccia’s Cara Mamma (Dear Mom). Fiamma’s vocal tone is gorgeous and is perfect for this emotional song. It’s a song that so many children, and adults, can relate to and do so instantaneously on first listen.
Which is your favourite Italian Junior Eurovision entry so far? Furthermore, are you looking forward to their performance in Tbilisi? Make sure you tell us in the comments section below and via our social media pages @ESCXTRA!