The ESC United “Expert” Panel is back. The Editorial team got to enjoy all 43 entries of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, review and rank them accordingly. Needless to say, this is all subjective and you may totally disagree with us. There is a reason we put quotation marks down. Which is why we included a poll and in the end we’ll compare the reader’s results to our results. So check out our comments first and the scroll down to vote in the poll. Let’s get rollin’!
Italy: Francesco Gabbani – Occidentali’s Karma
Robert – 10 Points
Oh Italy… This has to be done of the most “out there” Eurovision entries in recent years. I will happily admit to being one of the many hyping this one up. It has everything really. The lyrics are a fantastic witty analysis of modern life (covering Shakespeare, Marx and Buddhism inter alia) and the futility of so many of the things we worry about. I don’t speak Italian, but the punchy delivery and exciting music mean you get the idea if nothing else. The chorus bursts into life every time we hear it and it draws you in and does not let go once you’re there. The gorilla is a burst of genius and is just the cherry on the cake of this crazy and brilliant entry. How will other songs be able to compete with this in all seriousness?!
Calvin – 10 Points
It’s kind of surprising that something this warm and lovely is the across-the-board favorite. But the lyrics are smart and original, the vocal is charming, the orchestrations are delightfully retro-sounding, the melody is joyous, and the staging gimmick is a ton of fun. I’m especially partial to the moment when the guitar comes into focus at the start of the chorus and the melody of “Lezioni di Nirvana.” There’s been a lot said about the cuts to the song for Eurovision, but I’m fine with them; thinking about his live performance, they cut sections Francesco seemed to struggle a bit with.
Nenad – 10 Points
Cheerful song, High Quality – and very modern talking about an important social issue. I believed in the song since the first listening. Francesco’s song is very different and special. Catchy. Addictive. And his ape..Flawless! I have a strong feeling that this will do well in Kiev, I’m not even worried about it
David – 9 Points
“The naked ape is dancing” and as wrong it may sound, I wanna dance with it. The song has the all great things in it. The song is enjoyable, it’s full of life and very refreshing. However, I did have a hard time with the song, the first few times, because I didn’t understand the message, and that might be the thing that could cost Italy. The song would’ve been perfect, if it just got me on the first listen. Francesco also seems like a guy, who is having a great time during the song, and that joy will spread out to others.
Sean – 9 Points
Has clung on ferociously to the favourite title since being selected, and for good reason. It’s a real shame we can’t hear the full original at Eurovision because the composition and structure of this song is fantastic with catchy refrains. I’m a sucker for quirky or impressive instrumentation and it’s clear a lot of expertise and effort went into this clever entry. I expect to see, and hope for, Francesco lifting the glass microphone above his head in mid-May – and hopefully with a world hit to follow.
Zack – 9 Points
From the acapella beginning that slowly builds into a pop-centric beat that compliments Francesco’s vocals, the song hooks the listener. The song and performance are very smart in that they involve a very simple, yet memorable, dance and even audience participation in the chorus shout. The hype is justified! This is one to look out for in Kyiv!
Gerry – 8 Points
Fan favorite Occidentali’s Karma seems to be the one to beat this Eurovision season, and for good reason. Francesco Gabbani is a charmer: with his slicked back hair, contagious smile, and that cheeky twinkle in his eye, the audience is sure to be won over. Juries like it too, or it wouldn’t have made it to the top spot at Sanremo. While others might see the gorilla as a cheap gimmick, it’s a brilliant visual metaphor that should come across as entertaining even to those who don’t understand the song’s witty Italian lyrics. Gabbani, while his singing voice isn’t exactly the best, is a natural performer. The only thing I can fault the song for is the way it’s been cut down to fit Eurovision’s three-minute limit.
Matt – 8 Points
When a song is performed in a language that I don’t speak or understand, the performer needs to be able to effectively deliver it in a way it makes sense to me and Francesco is definitely delivering. He manages to convey the fun factor and the lightheardedness without turning it into a cheap gimmick. His raspy Italian voice isn’t necessarily something I’m drawn to, I personally prefer clear voices but I will make an exception for this one. He oozes personality and there is a reason so many people are drawn to this song.
Ferdi – 8 Points
This is the one to beat and I fully see why. It’s non-English in an English-dominated year, it’s catchy and fun and it’s got a great gimmick in the dancing gorilla. On top of all that, the entire song is very catchy and it has a very, very charismatic performer. I would love to see this win, although there’s some others I prefer – for several reasons.
Romeo – 7 Points
This is a good song, I like the craziness of it but I think it’s just a bit too silly and the use of an ape just makes me think it’s a comedy song. I will never get bored of listening to this, it’s fun, quirky, different. Will it win? I don’t think so. But.. I think it is literally anyone’s game this year so if people can look past the potential animal cruelty violation, then it could well be Roma 2018
Stefan – 7 Points
I just don’t get all the hype about this song. It is good, but for me it’s not a winning entry. Yes, the gorilla is an amazing effect, but it is not enough, not even Francesco’s looks and song. For me something is missing there.
Final Score: 95
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This is the current ranking of the Panel, you can see all Reviews by clicking HERE.