After its postponement from last summer, group stages involving 24 teams, and some shock results in the knock-out stages, the final of the UEFA Euro 2020 soccer tournament is here.
And don’t get salty with me about using soccer. The English invented the word.
Anyway, it’s going to be England vs. Italy at the Euro 2020 Final to be held at Wembley Stadium in London on July 11, 2021. But you’d know that already because every English person on the planet has been bellowing “It’s Coming Home!”
Regardless of whether that ends up being true or not, we here at ESC United decided to play our version of the Euro 2020 Final, but using our opinion of Eurovision songs put out by England / United Kingdom and Italy.
And for those unsure about the rules of Euro 2020 and how they could possibly relate to our great song contest, please do check out Lara’s excellent primer here.
But for our England vs. Italy Final and Eurovision interpretation thereof, here are the rules:
1.) We are going to be going through Eurovision year by year, particularly the years where both the United Kingdom and Italy appeared. Each writer will vote for their favorite UK or Italian song from that year, and the song with the most votes gets a point. E.g. in 2021, we’ll pit James Newman against Måneskin. If Måneskin prevails, Italy gets 1 point. If James Newman prevails, which is a possibility given ESC United is known for some of the more unorthodox opinions in the ESC fan community, the United Kingdom gets 1 point. Country with the most points after all eligible years compared wins!
(Warning: This video will signal that there may be some unusual votes ahead. We’ve already been dinged as one obvious 2021 entry is missing in this infamous Top 10 video.)
2.) As it’s only years involving BOTH Italy and the United Kingdom, you will see some heavy-hitters missing. Italy’s 1958 world beater in Domenico Modugno’s “Nel blu, dipinto di blu” (“Volare”) doesn’t have a UK entry to clobber, and you can’t make your mind up over whether Bucks Fizz is better than Italy in 1981 as they didn’t enter. Plus, the United Kingdom don’t have to worry about the likes of Jemini, Scooch and Daz Sampson stinking up this head-to-head comparison.
3.) Yes, it is Italy versus England, but we decided to keep non-English performers who turned out for the United Kingdom (i.e. the Welsh, the Scottish, the Irish and high-profile ringers from Australia and the United States). Being non-English has not given the UK an advantage or disadvantage, and sort of mirrors the England soccer team which has Jack Grealish and Declan Rice (who also had three caps playing for Ireland).
4.) We will also tally how the actual votes went for England and Italy year by year. The country that ranked highest that year gets the point.
5.) Ranking the songs for this England vs. Italy contest on behalf of ESC United is the following panel: a.) Making his Review Panel debut is our Poland based Facebook guru and trivia king Bartosz Konar; b.) Our social media king, antagonizer of all persons Greek (according to people who overreacted to his simple suggestion that the green screen effects for Stefania might just be a bit naff), and writer and editor Connor Terry; c.) The Lord of the Rings cosplayer with the cats James Maude; d.) Eurovision hipster, Georgia stan and follower of the Carpathian basin’s most obscure trap and deathcore Roy Postema; e.) ESC United’s legendary on-site Serbian correspondent and commentator Stefan Resimic. Their individual votes are denoted below with abbreviated first names and whether they selected “ITA” (Italy) or “UK” (United Kingdom).
Those rules out of the way, let’s go year by year and see who we think has had the better songs overall over the years. This is a year-by-year account, so if you want a quick view as to how the United Kingdom and Italy have fared against each other historically as well in the opinion of our ESC United panel, scroll down towards the bottom for the final scores.
1957 – Patricia Bredin’s “All” vs. Nunzio Gallo’s “Corde della mia chitarra”
Historically, a very close call. Hull’s own Patricia Bredin came in 7th, but the Neopolitan Gallo pipped her into 6th place at Italy’s second showing.
The Historical Tally: England 0 – 1 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 1 – 0 Italy (B: ITA C: ITA J: UK R: UK S: UK)
1959 – Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson’s “Sing, Little Birdie” vs. Domenico Modugno’s “Piove (Ciao, ciao bambina)”
Modugno ruled the summer of 1958 in America and Europe, with “Volare!” being belted out by drunk dads from Dallas to Dusseldorf. Modugno could not, however, beat the cute married couple of Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson, coming in 6th with his 1959 follow up “Piove” to their 2nd.
The Historical Tally: England 1 – 1 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 2 – 0 Italy (B: UK C: UK J: UK R: ITA S: UK)
1960 – Bryan Johnson’s “Looking High, High, High” vs. Renato Rascel’s “Romantica”
Teddy’s brother Bryan was up next for the United Kingdom, and he equaled his brother and sister-in-law by coming in second. The absurdist comedian turned singer Rascel could not top that, coming in 8th.
The Historical Tally: England 2 – 1 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 3 – 0 Italy (B: UK C: UK J: UK R: UK S: ITA)
1961 – The Allisons’s “Are You Sure?” vs. Betty Curtis’s “Al di la”
The Allisons, who were presented as brothers but were not, beat out Roberta Corti, who was presented at Betty Curtis. In a familiar story for the United Kingdom, they came in 2nd and Curtis came in 5th.
The Historical Tally: England 3 – 1 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 3 – 1 Italy (B: UK C: ITA J: ITA R: ITA S: UK)
1962 – Ronnie Carroll “Ring-a-ding Girl” vs. Claudio Villa’s “Addio, Addio”
This time it’s the United Kingdom who sent the fellow with the absurdist sense of humor, and he came in 4th, pipping Claudio Villa who came in 9th.
The Historical Tally: England 4 – 1 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 3 – 2 Italy (B: ITA C: ITA J: UK R: ITA S: ITA)
1963 – Ronnie Carroll “Say Wonderful Things” vs. Emilio Pericoli’s “Uno per tutte”
Carroll is back singing wonderful things, coming in 4th again. Pericoli’s cheeky kissing song narrowly pips Carroll by coming in 3rd, though.
The Historical Tally: England 4 – 2 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 4 – 2 Italy (B: UK C: UK J: UK R: UK S: ITA)
1964 – Matt Monro “I Love the Little Things” vs. Gigliola Cinquetti’s “Non ho l’età”
The United Kingdom brought the “Cockney Como,” a statement on intent considering he’d already established himself as one of the world’s best crooners. Cinquetti was an unknown 16-year-old girl with a song proclaiming she is not old enough. Innocence beat out experience as Cinquetti brought home Italy’s first Eurovision title, with Monro in a respectable second. A pity footage of this edition has been lost to fire and time (Cinquetti’s reprise excepted).
The Historical Tally: England 4 – 3 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 4 – 3 Italy (B: ITA C: ITA J: UK R: ITA S: ITA)
1965 – Kathy Kirby “I Belong” vs. Bobby Solo’s “Se piangi, se ridi”
Another UK statement of intent by sending the highest paid female singer in Europe at the time in Kathy Kirby. This time the UK’s experienced entrant lost to a French teenage ringer for Luxembourg and a Serge Gainsbourg injection of modernity by coming in second. Solo’s ballad fared okay, coming in 5th.
The Historical Tally: England 5 – 3 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 5 – 3 Italy (B: UK C: UK J: UK R: ITA S: ITA)
1966 – Kenneth McKellar’s “A Man Without Love” vs. Domenico Modugno’s “Dio, come ti amo”
The last time England won an international soccer contest (the World Cup 1966) was not a good year for the United Kingdom at Eurovision. McKellar came in 9th, the UK’s worst performance at the time. Pity poor Modugno, though, who dominated the United States and Europe in 1958 but came in 17th and dead last with Nul points in 1966. This is still to this day Italy’s worst ever performance at Eurovision (Emma’s 21st in 2014 was not last place).
The Historical Tally: England 6 – 3 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 5 – 4 Italy (B: ITA C: UK J: ITA R: ITA S: ITA)
1967 – Sandie Shaw’s “Puppet on a String” vs. Claudio Villa’s “Non andare più lontano”
After five silver medals, Sandie Shaw finally brought victory to the United Kingdom with “Puppet on a String.” Villa’s second appearance at Eurovision brought Italy 11th place.
The Historical Tally: England 7 – 3 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 6 – 4 Italy (B: ITA C: UK J: UK R: ITA S: UK)
1968 – Cliff Richard’s “Congratulations” vs. Sergio Endrigo’s “Marianne”
Were it not for Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, then UK legend Cliff Richard would have crushed it. Well, that’s the conspiracy theory, anyway. Richard came in 2nd, while Endrigo’s dedication to a disinterested manic pixie girl came in 10th.
The Historical Tally: England 8 – 3 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 7 – 4 Italy (B: UK C: UK J: UK R: UK S: UK)
1969 – Lulu’s “Boom Bang-a-Bang” vs. Iva Zanicchi’s “Due grosse lacrime bianche”
Scottish singer Lulu was one of the four winners in perhaps the messiest Eurovision to date. Iva was not, coming in 5th, though she did represent Italy as a country again… not at Eurovision, but as a Member of European Parliament. No inquest into the EBU’s actions in 1969 were ever proposed during her time there.
The Historical Tally: England 9 – 3 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 8 – 4 Italy (B: UK C: ITA J: UK R: ITA S: UK)
1970 – Mary Hopkin’s “Knock, Knock Who’s There?” vs. Gianni Morandi’s “Occhi di ragazza”
Welsh singer Hopkin was one the Beatles’s first signings for their Apple record label and already had a huge hit in the United States with “Those were the days.” So of course she came in 2nd for the UK. Morandi’s dedication to girls’s eyes does not sound like a serial killer anthem as the title might suggest, but could only manage 8th.
The Historical Tally: England 10 – 3 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 9 – 4 Italy (B: UK C: UK J: ITA R: ITA S: UK)
1971 – Clodagh Rodgers’s “Jack in the Box” vs. Massimo Ranieri’s “L’amore è un attimo”
The BBC sent the Northern Irish Rodgers as a gesture towards peace. Italy sent another singer, actor, director, car dealer, shoe shop owner combo in Ranieri. 4th and 5th, respectively.
The Historical Tally: England 11 – 3 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 9 – 5 Italy (B: UK C: ITA J: ITA R: ITA S: ITA)
1972 – The New Seekers’s “Beg, Steal or Borrow” vs. Nicola di Bari’s “I giorni dell’arcobaleno”
Guess what. Another big name with a big hit in America to their name represents the United Kingdom! Of course they end up in 2nd. The sun did not come out after the rain for di Bari as Italy came in 6th.
The Historical Tally: England 12 – 3 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 10 – 5 Italy (B: UK C: UK J: UK R: UK S: UK)
1973 – Cliff Richard’s “Power to all our Friends” vs. Massimo Ranieri’s “Chi sarà con te”
Two returnees in Cliff Richard and Massimo Ranieri go head to head here, though both do worse than their first time as Richard ends up in 3rd and Raineri ends up in 13th.
The Historical Tally: England 13 – 3 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 11 – 5 Italy (B: ITA C: ITA J: UK R: UK S: UK)
1974 – Olivia Newton-John’s “Long Live Love” vs. Gigliola Cinquetti’s “Si”
An Australian who would go on to be a global superstar and a prior Eurovision winner compete here, and Cinquetti comes in 2nd to Newton-John’s 4th. Two barely known couples from Sweden won in 1974, apparently. I wonder what happened to Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-Frid?
The Historical Tally: England 13 – 4 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 11 – 6 Italy (B: ITA C: ITA J: ITA R: ITA S: UK)
1975 – The Shadows’s “Let me be the One” vs. Wess & Dori Ghezzi’s “Era”
Cliff Richard’s backing band The Shadows, who also recorded on their own, entered for the United Kingdom and Italy got their own ringer in American Wess Johnson. Close result here as both countries did very well with two different approaches, with the Shadows narrowly beating Wess and Ghezzi in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.
The Historical Tally: England 14 – 4 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 12 – 6 Italy (B: UK C: UK J: ITA R: ITA S: UK)
1976 – Brotherhood of Man’s “Save Your Kisses for Me” vs. Al Bano & Romina Power’s “We’ll Live it All Again”
Italy sent another duo with an American in it (this time Romina Power). Unfortunately for them it’s the year of Brotherhood of Man, who crush the competition with their winning “Save Your Kisses for Me.”
The Historical Tally: England 15 – 4 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 13 – 6 Italy (B: UK C: UK J: UK R: UK S: UK)
1977 – Lynsey de Paul and Mike Moran’s “Rock Bottom” vs. Mia Martini’s “Libera”
1977 was an all-round terrible year for the United Kingdom, and de Paul and Moran’s optimistic and hopeful honky-tonkesque number that asked Britain to never give in to despair almost won, coming in 2nd. This time Italy sent the big gun in legendary singer Mia Martini, but here song about being free ended up in 13th.
The Historical Tally: England 16 – 4 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 14 – 6 Italy (B: ITA C: ITA J: UK R: UK S: UK)
1978 – Co-Co’s “The Bad Old Days” vs. Ricchi e Poveri “Questo amore”
This time the United Kingdom’s attempt to channel the zeitgeist did not work, coming in 11th, which was at the time the worst ever performance by the United Kingdom at Eurovision. Little did the fans of the ’70s know how bad it could actually get. They still beat Italy, as the group effort “Questo amore” came in 12th.
The Historical Tally: England 17 – 4 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 14 – 7 Italy (B: UK C: ITA J: ITA R: UK S: ITA)
1979 – Black Lace’s “Mary Ann” vs. Matia Bazar’s “Raggio di luna”
An entrant on a lot of “Worst ever United Kingdom Eurovision entries,” Black Lace’s “Mary Ann” did okay coming in 7th on the back of a Smokie plagiarizing scandal. Though it’s probably Black Lace’s later “Agadoo” that got fans irritated enough to retroactively hate “Mary Ann.” As bad as its reputation is, it still beats Matia Bazar’s love song about a moon beam illuminating the singer’s love, which came in 15th.
The Historical Tally: England 18 – 4 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 15 – 7 Italy (B: ITA C: UK J: ITA R: UK S: UK)
1980 – Prima Donna’s “Love Enough for Two” vs. Alan Sorrenti’s “Non so che darei”
Prima Donna represented a change in tack for the United Kingdom by sending something up tempo and unironically fun. The reward was 3rd place. Sorrenti may be king of the Eurovision mustaches, but his not knowing what to give his lover doomed him to 6th.
The Historical Tally: England 19 – 4 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 16 – 7 Italy (B: UK C: UK J: UK R: ITA S: UK)
1983 – Sweet Dreams’s “I’m Never Giving Up” vs. Riccardo Foggli’s “Per Lucia”
Riccardo Foggli came back for Italy after two years out with a ballad dedictated to Lucia. Eurovision was indifferent, placing it 11th. An unknown trio of teenagers promised to not give up for the United Kingdom, coming in 6th.
The Historical Tally: England 20 – 4 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 17 – 7 Italy (B: ITA C: UK J: UK R: ITA S: UK)
1984 – Belle and the Devotions’s “Love Games” vs. Alice & Battiato’s “I treni di Tozeur”
Alice & Battiato came in 1984 with a song about a white elephant public works project in pre-independence Tunisia. That song was not the one booed at the contest in 1984. Belle and the Devotions was on the receiving end of a lot of hate because – and it’s relevant to today’s Euro final – English hooligans ran riot after a game in Luxembourg on November 23, 1983. English clubs would finally be kicked out of European competition for several years after 1985’s horrific Heysel disaster. Alice & Battiato’s ode to luxe North African railroad came in 5th, and an English delegation weighed down by soccer and a singing scandal (three background singers were alleged to have done most of the singing off-stage) came in 7th.
The Historical Tally: England 20 – 5 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 18 – 7 Italy (B: ITA C: ITA J: UK R: UK S: UK)
1985 – Vikki’s “Love Is” vs. Al Bano & Romina Power’s “Magic, Oh Magic”
Al Bano and Romina Power came back for Italy in 1985 and ended up in the exact same position: 7th. Vikki restored the United Kingdom’s reputation somewhat by keeping the staging simple and effective, coming in 4th.
The Historical Tally: England 21 – 5 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 18 – 8 Italy (B: UK C: ITA J: UK R: ITA S: ITA)
1987 – Rikki’s “Only the Light” vs. Umberto Tozzi and Raf’s “Gente di mare”
Umberto Tozzi and Raf should be knighted for, separately, writing two of the greatest songs of the 1980s in Laura Branigan’s versions of “Gloria” and “Self Control,” respectively. Unfortunately for them, they were up against the Second Coming of Johnny Logan. Rikki came in 13th, a new low for the United Kingdom at the contest. Again, who knew then it would get a lot, lot worse?
The Historical Tally: England 21 – 6 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 18 – 9 Italy (B: ITA C: ITA J: ITA R: ITA S: ITA)
1988 – Scott Fitzgerald’s “Go” vs. Luca Barbarossa’s “Vivo (Ti Scribo)”
Much has been made of the scoring drama at Eurovision 1988 where the United Kingdom led until the final two rounds of voting, only for some unknown Canadian ringer brought in by Switzerland to pip him to the title. I wonder what happened to that gangly diva-in-training Celine Dion anyway? Scott Fitzgerald came in a cigarette paper width 2nd, while Luca Barbarossa came in 13th with a bog standard Italian ballad.
The Historical Tally: England 22 – 6 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 19 – 9 Italy (B: UK C: UK J: UK R: ITA S: UK)
1989 – Live Report’s “Why do I always get it wrong?” vs. Anna Oxa and Fausto Leali’s “Avrei voluto“
Another 2nd place for the United Kingdom, while Italy’s confused ex-lovers song set a strange tone and they ended up in 9th.
The Historical Tally: England 23 – 6 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 19 – 10 Italy (B: ITA C: UK J: UK R: ITA S: ITA)
1990 – Emma’s “Give a Little Love Back to the World” vs. Tito Cotugno’s “Insieme: 1992”
It seemed everyone and their mom wanted to try capture the zeitgeist of togetherness and the falling apart of human horror shows like the Soviet Union. Tito captured Europeans’ feelings on the times better than most, the 1992 being a reference to when the European Union would come into being. Welsh singer Emma did a soft touch appeal for the environment, coming in 6th.
The Historical Tally: England 23 – 7 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 19 – 11 Italy (B: ITA C: ITA J: UK R: ITA S: ITA)
1991 – Samantha Janus’s “A Message to your heart” vs. Peppino di Capri’s “Comme è ddoce ‘o mare”
Italy went old school by bringing Italian rock ‘n roller Peppino di Capri, and also a Neopolitan language track. The United Kingdom thought it was 1990 and the spirit of unity and recognizing there’s people worse off in far away places. Old school Neopolitan came in 7th to white guilt’s 10th.
The Historical Tally: England 23 – 8 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 20 – 11 Italy (B: ITA C: UK J: UK R: ITA S: UK)
1992 – Michael Ball’s “One Step Out of Time” vs. Mia Martini’s “Rapsodia”
Only Johnny Logan could solicit more old lady underwear thrown at the stage than Michael Ball. Which explains why a Logan penned song beat Ball and also Mia Martini’s return. Martini, however, did a Poli Genova by greatly improving on her first appearance (4th vs. 13th).
The Historical Tally: England 24 – 8 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 20 – 12 Italy (B: ITA C: UK J: UK R: ITA S: ITA)
1993 – Sonia’s “Better the Devil You Know” vs. Enrico Ruggeri’s “Sole d’Europa”
Sonia’s entry has got to be the dumbest ever for the United Kingdom, but it is unapologetically fun that you can’t help but forgive it. And Europe did to a degree, giving it 2nd place. Ruggeri’s was a serious entry about shining a light on Europe’s problems, a far cry tonally from three years ago, coming in 12th.
The Historical Tally: England 25 – 8 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 21 – 12 Italy (B: UK C: UK J: UK R: UK S: UK)
1997 – Katrina & the Waves’s “Love Shine a Light” vs. Jalisse’s “Fiumi di parole”
Italy took three years off but returned to a contest where the United Kingdom walked on sunshine and won with Katrina and the Waves’s “Love Shine a Light.” Jalisse’s rock ballad came in 4th.
The Historical Tally: England 26 – 8 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 22 – 12 Italy (B: ITA C: UK J: UK R: UK S: ITA)
2011 – Blue’s “I Can” vs. Raphael Gualazzi’s “Madness of Love”
The United Kingdom sent an ageing boy band and Italy sent a hip and up-and-coming jazz pianist in the Harry Connick, Jr. and Josh Groban mold. This was the right choice for Italy after 14 years out of the contest and they came in 2nd. Remember how we mentioned earlier the United Kingdom’s lows in the ’70s and ’80s seem laughable now? Blue’s 11th place has not been bettered by the United Kingdom since.
The Historical Tally: England 26 – 9 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 22 – 13 Italy (B: ITA C: UK J: ITA R: ITA S: UK)
2012 – Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Love will set you free” vs. Nina Zilla’s “L’amore è femmina (Out of Love)”
The United Kingdom sent an absolute legend, but he tanked relative to an Italian Amy Winehouse tribute act.
The Historical Tally: England 26 – 10 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 22 – 14 Italy (B: ITA C: ITA J: UK R: ITA S: ITA)
2013 – Bonnie Tyler’s “Believe in Me” vs. Marco Mengoni’s “L’essenziale”
The United Kingdom sent another legend with a song written by one of the United States’s most famous rock songwriters, but they tanked relative to an Italian pretty boy X Factor winner and balladeer.
The Historical Tally: England 26 – 11 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 22 – 15 Italy (B: ITA C: ITA J: ITA R: ITA S: ITA)
2014 – Molly’s “Children of the Universe” vs. Emma’s “La mia città”
This will be a rare one-up for the United Kingdom over Italy in the 2010s, even though neither the United Kingdom and Italy bothered the left side of the scoreboard this year.
The Historical Tally: England 27 – 11 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 23 – 15 Italy (B: UK C: ITA J: UK R: ITA S: UK)
2015 – Electro Velvet’s “Still in Love with You” vs. Il Volo’s “Grande Amore”
Il Volo were already legends in the United States’s NPR set, with them guaranteed sold out halls in places like Fort Lauderdale and Omaha and Thousand Oaks. Them coming in 3rd was a letdown of sorts for viewers based in the USA, but it was not a surprise that Electro Velvet tanked, especially with amateurism from the BBC helping to deep six an already out-of-place neo-swing act.
The Historical Tally: England 27 – 12 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 23 – 16 Italy (B: ITA C: ITA J: ITA R: ITA S: ITA)
2016 – Joe and Jake’s “You’re Not Alone” vs. Francesca Michielin’s “No Degree of Separation”
It was the UK’s Voice vs. Italy’s X Factor in the battle of the bland singer franchises. Michielin’s 16th edges out Joe and Jake’s 24th in the battle of two songs no-one can remember.
The Historical Tally: England 27 – 13 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 23 – 17 Italy (B: ITA C: UK J: UK R: ITA S: ITA)
2017 – Lucie Jones’s “Never Give Up on You” vs. Francesco Gabbani’s “Occidentali’s Karma”
The gorilla suit was very high on the crap scale, but Gabbani had a lot of hype entering Eurovision 2017 and ended up in 6th place regardless. Jones’s 15th place was the best since 2011, and at this point British fans will take any placement with a one as a leading digit.
The Historical Tally: England 27 – 14 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 24 – 17 Italy (B: UK C: UK J: UK R: ITA S: UK)
2018 – SuRie’s “Storm” vs. Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro’s “Non mi avete fatto niente”
An obnoxious Jeremy Corbynite activist did SuRie no favors (or even Corbyn or whatever cause this bozo was trying to champion) with his stage invasion. Oddly, Italy’s entry was an entreaty to peace written right after the terrorist attack in Manchester after an Ariana Grande concert, coming in 5th to SuRie’s 24th.
The Historical Tally: England 27 – 15 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 24 – 18 Italy (B: ITA C: UK J: ITA R: ITA S: ITA)
2019 – Michael Rice’s “Bigger Than Us” vs. Mahmood’s “Soldi”
Curiously, these two have a lot in common. Two young lads who worked hard to be taken seriously to overcome class and race stereotypes, respectively. The results were vastly different with Rice coming in dead last and Mahmood second.
The Historical Tally: England 27 – 16 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 24 – 19 Italy (B: ITA C: ITA J: ITA R: ITA S: ITA)
2021 – James Newman’s “Embers” vs. Måneskin’s “Zitti e buoni”
This is the first time the United Kingdom and Italy ended up on the extreme opposite sides – dead last for a two time Grammy nominee and first for a fresh out of nowhere Italian rock band. And it is possible the Italian band will be the biggest sensation out of Eurovision since Celine Dion. Don’t count out Newman, though. He helped Kesha to a comeback, and he’s probably got a few more Billboard Hot 100 compositions left in him.
The Historical Tally: England 27 – 17 Italy
ESC United Tally: England 24 – 20 Italy (B: ITA C: ITA J: UK R: ITA S: ITA)
So when you look at head to head results from Eurovision, the United Kingdom placed higher than Italy 27 times and Italy placed higher than the United Kingdom 17 times.
When you take the opinion of five guys from ESC United reviewing songs head to head in 2021, then the margin narrows slightly with ESC United writers favoring the United Kingdom over Italy in 24 years and Italy over the United Kingdom in 20 years.
Is this an omen for today’s Euro 2020 final? Perhaps only if Kalvin Phillips can sing as well as he can press the opposition and pass the ball to his teammates.
Either way, may the best country win, and in Eurovision and soccer let’s keep things polite and reasonable.
Do #YOU think England or Italy will take home the Euro 2020 trophy? Do #YOU think Italy is that good at Eurovision these days that they can overhaul their losing record against the United Kingdom? Let us know in the comments below, on social media, or in our forum.