Everything you need to know about Italy’s Eurovision entry

Italy's Eurovision entry will be performing on Thursday in the semi-final, and again in Saturday's final. If Eurovision fever has passed you by, here's everything you need to know about her.

Everything you need to know about Italy's Eurovision entry
Francesca Michielin, Italy's Eurovision entry, in rehearsal. How much do you know about her. Photo: Andres Putting (EBU)

Who is she?

21-year-old Francesca Michielin will be representing Italy this year – and you may well have heard her music before.

She won Italian X Factor at just 16, and her single Distratto went double platinum. Since then, her albums Riflessi di me and di20 have been bestsellers in Italy, topping the iTunes charts.

Francesca studied piano and then electric bass as a child, and began singing in a gospel choir aged 14. Her brother introduced her to rock music, and after hearing Adele's album 19, Francesca began to compose her own songs.

She has said that performing at Eurovision has been her dream since the age of six, because “music is the most powerful and effective way to communicate.”

What will she sing?

No Degree of Separation is the title of her song, which will be performed with verses in Italian, and a chorus in English.

Here's the bilingual version.

Describing her song, Francesca said she hoped to communicate “a seed of hope and faith in a possible world with no war, even if momentarily it is troubled”. She also explained her choice to sing in English (the original version is entirely Italian) so that everyone could understand this message.

How will it look?

Francesca will wear floral dungarees to perform, with props including flowers, fruits, balloons and diamonds on a grass-covered platform. She will be accompanied by two off-stage backing singers.

Asked to describe her performance in three words, she said: “Green, tree and… no parrots or animals.”

Here's a sneak peek of how that's going to look.

She'll definitely be in the final

As one of Eurovision's 'Big Five' – the countries that give the most financial backing to the song festival, Italy automatically secures a spot in the final, along with France, Spain, Germany and the UK.

But Francesca herself feels that this system is a bit odd, telling her Twitter followers: “It's a strange thing, because if we are all the same, why do we [the Big Five] have to go directly to the final?”

…But she almost didn't make it

Francesca came second in the Big Artists competition at Sanremo Music Festival, a huge contest which is more famous in Italy than Eurovision. The victor usually gets the option to represent Italy at Eurovision, but 2016's winner, four-piece band Stadio, turned down the opportunity, and so Francesca was given the honour instead.

She's enjoying being in Stockholm

Francesca performed in several European cities including Berlin and Copenhagen before arriving in Stockholm for Eurovision, and she's loving the experience. She described Copenhagen as “paradise on Earth” and especially enjoyed the Oresund Bridge connecting it with Malmo.

Since arriving in the capital, she's been to Mamma Mia! The Party, and has tried out some traditional Swedish cuisine. In fact, she says her favourite thing about Sweden are the meatballs with jam.

And here she is with French contestant Amir, trying to say 'I love meatballs' in Swedish'.

She's a big fan of her rivals

Francesca isn't the competitive type and has described Eurovision as “a beautiful experience because there is a lot of sharing, a very beautiful atmosphere.”

“You feel really European when you are at Eurovision,” she added.

Here she is with fellow fans of Swedish entrant Frans.


As well as Frans, Francesca has said she is a big fan of Cyprus's entry.

…and their songs

A self-confessed Eurovision superfan, Francesca hasn't only been practising her own song, but everyone else's too.

Here she is singing France's entry, J'ai cherche, which will be performed by Amir – who Francesca has described as “bellissimo”. He performs a few lines of her song too.

And here's her take on the German entry, Ghost, which will be performed by Jamie Lee.

Anything else?

If you're looking for even more Francesca trivia, her favourite subject at school wasn't Music, but Latin and Ancient Greek, and she loves dinosaurs. In her spare time, she likes watching films (her favourite is The Shining), eating and learning new musical instruments. And her favourite Harry Potter character is Ron Weasley, “because he's a bit of a nerd”.

And although Francesca is loving the Eurovision experience, she is still missing some things about Italy. Specifically, her pet dog, and pizza.

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Turin chosen to host Eurovision Song Contest in 2022

The next edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in May 2022 will be held in the northern Italian city of Turin, organisers confirmed on Friday.

Italy's Maneskin performs during the final of the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam.
Italy's Maneskin performs during the final of the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam. Photo: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP

“Turin has won the race to become the host city of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest, having triumphed over 16 other competing bids,” read a statement on the contest’s official website.

“The Grand Final will be held in PalaOlimpico on Saturday 14 May with Semi-Finals on 10 and 12 May.”

“We won! Turin has won!” mayor Chiara Appendino wrote in a celebratory post on Facebook.

Italian state broadcaster Rai said Turin had beaten off competition from the cities of Milan, Bologna, Rimini and Pesaro to host the event.

READ ALSO: Italy wins Eurovision: ‘We just want to say to the whole world, rock’n’roll never dies!’

Turin will be the third Italian city to host the event after Naples (which hosted in 1965) and Rome (1991), after Rome-based rock band Måneskin’s victory in Rotterdam earlier this year with the song ‘Zitti e buoni’.

That event, watched by 183 million people, was Italy’s third Eurovision win and its first for three decades.

‘Turin is the perfect Host City for the 66th Eurovision Song Contest,” said Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl.

“As we saw during the 2006 Winter Olympics, PalaOlimpico exceeds all the requirements needed to stage a global event of this scale and we have been very impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment from the City of Turin who will welcome thousands of fans next May.”

“This will be the first Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Italy in 30 years and, together with our Host broadcaster Rai, we are determined to make it a special one.’

Turin was home to the 2006 Winter Olympics and is hosting the ATP Finals tennis tournament next month.