Betting Odds: 10/1
Mahmood won Italy’s Sanremo festival in 2019, amidst some controversy when a far right politician called on him to be expelled from the competition for not being Italian enough. Nonetheless Mahmood was victorious with his song ‘Soldi’. Here’s what we think of it!
I’m not usually one for buying into the hype of the Italian Eurovision machine. The nation usually get quite a lot of points for what in the past has been fairly mediocre songs. There’s no mediocrity to be found in ‘Soldi’. I found myself hooked from the opening ‘uhn’.
Anyone who can consecutively rhyme the words Ramadan, champagne and Jackie Chan deserves the Eurovision crown for that alone. But the lyrics of ‘Soldi’ go much deeper and explore Mahmood’s relationship with his often-absent father. He takes us on a deeply personal journey as he recounts times in his life where he thought his father was reaching out to him, to establish a relationship, when in fact all his father wanted from him was money. Even though he doesn’t have any money.
While Mahmood’s vocal reminds me of Blue’s Simon Webbe, particularly on his debut solo album ‘Sanctuary’, the raspy rap vibe is utterly unique. ‘Soldi’ is a quick paced song that powers through to a chorus complete with infectious clapping. The repetition ‘come va come va come va’ is a great hook and what’s more it also helps that Mahmood is extremely easy on the eyes. Hashtag drool emoji.
Mahmood has been marred by ill health in the lead up to the rehearsals when he revealed he has been suffering from a throat infection. He has powered through and performed in the lead up to the Contest with backing dancers and with images of Mahmood from his childhood. Mahmood is a strong contender for the win this year, but I think he will just come up short with a top 5 finish but no win.