Turin is an orderly, quiet and too sober city if one does not have the time or patience to overcome its bourgeois surface. Here the unified Italy was founded and the old Savoy monarchy was based. But also a modern reign, embodied in the seventies by Gianni Agnelli, l’Avvocato, patron of Fiat and last secular monarch. The relevance of the city is inversely proportional to its modest size, and the only crowds that its citizens consent to are those generated by Juventus on an alternate Sunday. But the Piedmontese city has been immersed in a raucous euphoria of light and colorful characters for a week. Eurovision is held until Saturday here because last year Måneskin, a Roman rock group, won the contest with a powerful song that took them all over the world. Italy (three times champion) also helps to decipher an event that Spain dreams of winning this year, but that the dynamics of television geopolitics would advise giving to Ukraine.
Eurovision was built in 1956 following the mold of the San Remo Festival, which is still the passport for Italians who come here. But it never had the musical prestige of the Genoese contest. Italy exerted so much influence that the duration limit of the songs was even set at three minutes because of the Neapolitan Nunzio Gallo and his Chord of my chitarrawhich unleashed a tremendous beating in 1957. The contest abused the kitsch and there were no great artistic filters —yes, political ones— that gave rise to unorthodox performances that turned it into a paradise of freakism. However, its origins as an experiment in European communication, based on the reconstruction of the continent after World War II, are still valid at a time when the seams and ideas of a project in crisis are discussed (as evidenced by the presence of the very european Australia, which on Thursday managed to get through to the final with Sheldon Riley, a guy whose face is covered with a veil of pearls who was bullying at school).
War today is another and the challenges of the community artifact, very different. The doubt, furthermore, is whether an event arising from the old cathodic principles paints something in the digital world. The answer, for unbelievers, is in wild audiences. Some 183 million people watched last year’s final in 36 different markets – the most widely followed non-sporting event in the world.
The invasion of Ukraine excluded the aggressor from the contest —he is not seen to be very concerned at the moment— and morally strengthened the victim. Experts say —don’t miss the video analysis in this newspaper by Lluís Pellicer— that geopolitics is relatively important in this whole matter. And that in the event of a Ukrainian victory, it is better to speak of an “emotional vote”. But Kalusch Orchestra, the group that proposes this year a country martyred by bombs, was already one of the favorites before Putin decided to invade them. Pure folklore covered with electronic rhythms and rap. An Tutti Frutti sonorous that on Friday excited the euro fans pata negra that travel each year – a cocktail sociological in which members of the gay community, the universe freak and colleagues wanting to have a spree—and that brings together the necessary ingredients so that viewers can kick Putin in the butt from the sofa at home with their mobile.
And damn war. Because beyond the drama, the shame and the human misery, this could also be the year in which Spain painted something here again if it only told what will be seen on stage. The last victory was in 1969, with the I live singing of Salome. An encore, because the previous year he had won Massiel with the The, the, the. Since then, just beyond Anabel Conde’s second place (1992), Sergio Dalma’s fourth (1991) or Rosa’s seventh, that of Triumph operation. So the atmosphere in the Spanish delegation, after the success of the dress rehearsal on Friday and the buzz in favor of Chanel, is one of a certain euphoria. Nothing strange either in the particular management of national expectations.
“You have the best. After our country, she is the favorite. Make no mistake about it,” analyzes Anders, a Swedish supporter (his candidate, Cornelia Jakobs, is another favourite) in the exhausting fan arena located in Valentino Park, next to the Po.
The buzzword among Spaniards who have traveled to Turin – here the border between fans and journalists is somewhat diffuse—it is “chanelazo”. Obviously, it refers to the potential feat of the Spanish singer on Saturday, which has grown exponentially since her contested victory at the Benidorm Fest. A few months ago people wanted Rigoberta Bandini or Tanxugueiras. But success modifies perceptions at full speed. And now there is no one who doubts the victory of a hard-working artist, who sings and dances wonderfully to the sound of SloMoan hit Latin that, they say, should be for Jennifer Lopez. The bookmakers see her at the top, which give her more quota every day. And RTVE, of course, which has spent a significant amount of the public budget: 637,984.18 euros. Half (302,156.84 euros) will go to the broadcast of Eurovision 2022 and the three galas (two semifinals and the final on Saturday). A money that also contributes the geopolitical dimension of this edition, in which it is expected, at least, to appear in the photo of the five best. Chanel will sing in tenth place this Saturday. That is, in the first part of the gala. Something that does not usually play in favor of stimuli in the memory of voters.
In Turin, perhaps due to its own reserved and elegant nature, one does not see Italian flags or large euro fans nationals. The transalpine country, which lived for a few years with its back to this contest —it was Raffaella Carrà who insisted on relaunching it in 2008— always sends the winner of San Remo. And the invention has made Mahmood return this year, who won the contest three years ago and came second in Eurovision in 2019. This time he performs with Blanco to perform an ode to falsetto and is not suitable for diabetics. Playing at home could help. But the chances of success are also measured here in euros, and the bookmakers give more weight to the United Kingdom (perhaps somewhat affected in recent years by Brexit), Sweden, Ukraine and Spain. On Saturday night, however, he will have to speak to Europe.
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