Italy’s Eurovision 2021 Entry

Last year’s Italian Eurovision entry was called “Fai Rumore,” which translates to English as “make noise.”

This year, the Italians took Diodado’s advice.

I watched all 25-plus hours of this year’s Sanremo Music Festival, and I don’t think I’ve recovered yet. Måneskin stood out early on, in part because they were performing gritty glam rock instead of tender ballads, spangly pop, or quirky pop rock. I bookmarked their YouTube channel, figuring I would do a deep dive into their back catalog after Italy picked Ermel or Annalisa.

So you can imagine my surprise when Måneskin made the superfinal. Then you can imagine my shock when Måneskin actually took home that weird trophy they give to Sanremo winners. What just happened?

Well, first of all, they weren’t exactly unknown qualities in Italy. They had already finished second on The X Factor there, and their debut album l ballo della vita was a triple platinum, chart-topping hit.

But enough history, let’s talk about that song. “Zitti e Buoni” has a raunchy riff, a smoldering bass solo that even sounded good when drenched with the Sanremo orchestra’s strings, and a big chorus that even those of us who don’t speak Italian can shout along with.

Singer Damiano David is an absolute rock star in all of glam’s preening, sneering glory. The shot in the official video of him in a suit chewing gum and swinging his microphone around captures him perfectly.

That the rest of the band can measure up to him says a lot about Måneskin’s cohesion as a group. They are tight as musicians, charismatic as performers, and no bystanders to Damiano’s stage presence.

I have listened to “Zitti e Buoni” a lot since Sanremo. I play it while I’m cooking, I crank it when I’m driving, and I accidentally clicked on it as I was finishing this review and listened to it again. I find myself humming it when I’m quietly working. It’s infinitely bad-ass.

As I write this, there does not seem to be any consensus on who is going to win Eurovision this year. I am not even going to try to make predictions. But I can say with confidence that “Zitti e Buoni” is my winner, regardless of other results in May.