Italy returned to the Eurovision Song Contest this year with a remarkable second place triumph for Raphael Gualazzi with his song “Follia d’amore/Madness of Love“. The catchy jazz-based bi-lingual number was beaten into the top spot by the rather more banal entry from Azerbaijan sung by pop duo Ell & Niki, who beat Gualazzi by 32 points. Sweden came third. Gualazzi had been chosen to represent Italy, absent from the contest for 13 years, after winning the newcomers section of the Sanremo Song Festival in February.
Despite being hosted by Italian pop icon Raffaella Carrà (pictured with Gualazzi), the live TV coverage on Raidue suffered a low audience rating with only 1,291,000 viewers, compared to 4,752,000 viewers for Italia’s Got Talent on Canale5. (source televisionando.it).
Italy has won the ESC twice, in 1964 and 1990.