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Italy’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest Journey so far

Next November 25th, Minsk Arena will host the sixteenth Junior Eurovision Song Contest. It will be the second time that the event takes place in the venue in Belarus’s capital. With Ukraine’s last minute confirmation, a record-breaking 20 countries will participate. Therefore, it is the perfect time to look back at the journeys of all of this year’s participating countries in the contest. Today, let’s take a look at the journey of one Junior Eurovision’s newer countries (that also happens to be my country): Italy!

Quick facts

  • Country: Italy
  • Broadcaster: RAI Gulp
  • Debut appearance: 2014
  • Number of participations: 4
  • Highest finish: 1st (2014)
  • Lowest finish: 16th (2015)

Back to the very beginning…

Italy made their Junior Eurovision debut in 2014 in Malta with Vincenzo Cantiello and his song “Tu Primo Grande Amore“. He won the show with 159 points giving Italy a triumphant debut. Interestingly, it was the first time since the first contest that a debuting country won the show. Vincenzo was also the only boy competing in 2014.

Italy’s journey so far..

Since their victorious debut in 2014, Italy has continued to participate every year. Despite winning in 2014, RAI opted to not host the show in 2015 and runner-up Bulgaria hosted it instead. In the short history at the contest, Italy enjoyed both excellent and disappointing results. In fact, following the success of Vincenzo, Italy placed 16th and second to last in 2015 with twin sisters Chiara and Martina Scarpari. Italy then quickly returned to the podium in 2016 in Malta with Fiamma Boccia and her song “Cara Mamma” finishing 3rd. In Tbilisi, Maria Iside Fiore flew the country’s flag and just narrowly missed out on being in the top 10, finishing 11th with 86 points. 

Looking ahead to 2018

As we reported back in July, RAI Gulp is collaborating with Istituto Antoniano to select the country’s representative in Belarus. The deadline to submit entries was in July 27th. Make sure you keep checking ESCXTRA for more updates on Italy’s entry. 

My favourite Italian entry!

So this week it is my country’s turn. If you have followed our feature you probably noticed I can be very picky when it comes to Junior Eurovision Songs. Well my own country isn’t safe from this either. While I don’t really dislike any of the songs we sent, only one song is my cup of tea and it’s  “Cara Mamma” by the amazingly wonderful Fiamma Boccia.

Vincenzo is an amazing performer and the song is great, but too sweet and romantic for my taste. Chiara and Martina have an amazing energy but their song was weak (and I am not a fan of the lyrics either). Maria Iside is such an amazing person but her song doesn’t fall down my alley. Instead, Fiamma’s song is really my cup of tea. As I said in the Armenia journey article I am totally mommy’s little boy and being Italian this song really speaks to me. It’s so soothing yet powerful and Fiamma is a great performer. The staging was simple but that was exactly what the song needed. However, if in previous articles I said that I didn’t mind a combination of English and other languages, in this case I really really wished she just sang in Italian. I think my language is so beautiful that we should just send songs (both at Eurovision and at JESC) entirely in Italian. Nevertheless, the song is so beautiful that I totally forgive her. I am proud of her performance and though I am happy with 3rd place, I would have been very happy if she won. 

Our countries’ journeys so far: 

  1. FYR Macedonia
  2. Armenia
  3. The Netherlands
  4. Israel
  5. Ukraine
  6. Georgia
  7. Russia
  8. Malta

My favourite was 201,6 but what is your favourite Italian entry at Junior Eurovision? What kind of song are you hoping they will send to Minsk?

Don’t forget to come back next Tuesday for another journey down another country’s Junior Eurovision memory lane! 

Let us know in the comments below or on social media @ESCXTRA.

Riccardo Maddalozzo

Born in Italy, I have lived in 5 countries in 3 continents. I discovered Eurovision by accident in 2010 and became a superfan in 2013. I attended both Eurovision and Junior Eurovision events and covered several national finals on the ground and hope to continue doing so for a long time!

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