La canzone è femmina! Italy changes its song.

It seems Per Sempre (Forever) was not meant to last as Italy’s Eurovision Song Contest entry. Instead, the big bosses at RAI and Universal Music have confirmed that Nina Zilli will take to the stage with L’amore è Femmina  (Love is feminine). Check it out below:

Italy 2012: L’amore è Femmina performed by Nina Zilli 

L’amore è Femmina was one of the three original songs in contention to represent Italy but was intially put aside in favor of San Remo entry Per Sempre. Now the songs have been switched.

I reckon this was due to two reasons: firstly, L’amore è Femmina is exactly three minutes long, as per EBU rules so they will not have to edit and re-record it as they would have had to with Per Sempre and possibly ruining it. Secondly, L’amore è Femmina is the title track of Nina Zilli’s new album so mayhaps the big wigs thought having it as the Eurovision entry would be very good for promotion and translate into album sales. It makes sense, especially since its the next single.

Whatever the reasons, I am personally quite happy with this decision. While I loved and lauded Per Sempre, I also had a nagging feeling that it was a bit too subtle to make an impact on the televoting audience. It would have done well with the professional juries to be sure, but it may not have been enough to score a good placing this time around. On the other hand, L’amore è Femmina is much more ‘instant’ and has a hook you can immediately latch on to, without compromising Nina Zilli’s unique sound and musicality we were introduced to with Per Sempre.

Was it the right choice? I guess we’ll find out in May. But it’s very nice to see the Italians take Eurovison seriously in their own, roundabout fashion.

Flying the flag high: Eurovision entries scale the iTunes charts.

As the 2012 national finals season for the Eurovision Song Contest approaches its final stages, we can see that plenty of Eurovision entries as well as national final entries enter the iTunes chart in their respective countries. Have a look below:

Perhaps the most surprising is the Netherlands, with the Dutch entry You And I by Joan Franka at # 2 (previously #1 last week). The last time a Dutch entry was a commercial hit on home soil was in 2010 with Sieneke’s Ik Ben Verliefd (Sha-la-lie). I suppose John de Mol deserves some credit in drumming up interest in the Eurovision Song Contest again and for making the entry a commercial hit, thus restoring some credibility to the Contest in the eyes of the Dutch public and media as well creating a bit of pride. That still doesn’t exonerate him from hijacking the Nationaal Songfestival and turning it into a ‘The Voice’ after-show.

Another welcome surprise can be seen in the Spanish iTunes chart, with the country’s newly selected Eurovision entry Quédate Conmigo in at #9. This has never happened before, at least in my recollection, to a Spanish entry. It means that the people are getting behind the song and are very proud of it. I think we can expect some really good viewing figures from Spain this year.

Unsurprisingly, we can see Cyprus’ entry La La Love in the Greek chart at #9. No surprises for guessing where Greece’s douze points are going to.

As usual, Sweden’s Melodifestivalen dominates the iTunes chart in the run up to the Finalen i Globen and we can expect this to continue over the next coming weeks as the Swedes turn their attention to Eurovison Song Contest preparations.

A few entries have fallen off the charts but will most likely appear again as the Contest looms closer. These include Norway’s Stay by Tooji and Italy’s Per Sempre by Nina Zilli, which I suspect may return re-incarnated in its Eurovision form.

I have to say, it’s really great to see countries getting behind their entries and turning them into commercial hits as well as worthy showcases of their country’s music heritage, culture and industry. Goes to prove that the Eurovision Song Contest is more commercially relevant than people are prepared to admit.

Nina Zilli’s Italian trio for Baku.

Since being declared Italy’s representative for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, it has been revealed that Nina Zilli and her management are torn between three songs that could go forward to the Contest. These include her Sanremo entry Per Sempre, the title track of her latest album L’amore è Femmina and the third being Per le Strade. As RAI stated before, Nina would not necessarily be singing Per Sempre in Baku, so now we have the other contending songs. Check them out below:

Per Sempre 

L’amore è Femmina 

Per le Strade 

Personally, I’m loving L’amore è Femmina. It’s got a whimsical, distinctive sound that seems to strike a fine balance between appealing to the general televoting public and scoring big with the professional juries. According to sources, the Italian entry may not be revealed until 19th March.