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Eurovision: Viva l’Italia

The 2023 Eurovision song contest wrapped up on Saturday, May 13th in Liverpool and it was the most watched grand final in the competition’s history, with a peak of 11 million people watching.

The contest was won by Loreen of Sweden, who also made history becoming the first woman to win the contest twice. Her big win on Saturday night featured her power ballad, Tattoo. 

There was a lot of excitement throughout the song contest and Italian talent shined on stage. Representing Norway, Norwegian-Italian sensation Alessandra Mele who took 5th place in Eurovision 2023. Alessandra performed her debut single, Queen of Kings. The song was written as an inspiration from "the power of women, but also the power of all people, about how important it is to feel yourself,” Mele explained. The song was a favorite at the Melodi Grand Prix, Norway’s song selection competition for Eurovision. 

Representing Italy, the well-known singer and former Sanremo winner Marco Mengoni took the stage and gave it his all. The platinum-selling artist hoped his classic ballad “Due Vite'' would be his ticket to Eurovision victory. Although he fell short of the big win, he gave an incredibly emotional performance that stole the hearts of viewers around the world.

Mengoni’s rendition of the song "Due Vite" earned him 4th place in the competition and he earned the prestigious Marcel Bezençon Composer Award for best musical composition. This prize is awarded by the composers of the songs that compete in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Mengoni rose to fame in 2009 when he won the Italian version of The X Factor, winning a recording contract and being automatically selected as one of the participants to the Sanremo Music Festival 2010. He went on to win Best Italian Act and Best European Act at the MTV European Music Awards the same year and saw chart-topping success in Italy. 

While most of the acts at Eurovision 2023 took the stage for the first time, Mengoni previously represented Italy in 2013. He finished in seventh place in the competition, which was held that year in Sweden, with his song L'essenziale. 

When asked about the inspiration behind his song for the 2023 contest Mengoni said,

“It is my never-ending story because it is the story of a relationship between the ratio and the unconscious. I am devoting a lot of hours a week to my thoughts with a professional and I am realizing that my unconscious gives me more realistic input than everyday life. In the song I told this double life: the life of the night and dreams that become more real than the dreams themselves, and the life I live every day. I am a sinner, I am one who makes mistakes. There are slaps and you have to go on in life. There are moments of boredom and downsides that are needed like all things: for me, 'Due vite' is this.”

AJ Forrisi

Assistant Editor for America Domani, AJ Forrisi is a Brooklyn-based writer and photographer. His work focuses on food, travel, sports, landscapes, and urban scenes. You can find him on Instagram @aj.photo.works