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Francesco Gabbani flies the Italian flag in 2017!

12 February 2017 at 03:10 CET
Francesco Gabbani, the winner of Sanremo 2017, will represent Italy RAI
Francesco Gabbani has just been crowned winner of Sanremo 2017 with the song Occidentali's Karma. The popular Italian Song Contest is also used as the Italian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest as the Italian broadcaster RAI offers the winner to represent Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest. For Kyiv 2017 Gabbani has accepted and he will perform the song Occidentali's Karma in May!

The Sanremo 2017 week has just ended with the celebration of the Campioni final. The show was hosted by Carlo Conti, also its musical director, alongside Maria di Filippi. After some eliminations during the week, 16 artists battled it out in the final where Francesco Gabbani received the highest amount of points from the audience and the jury to become this year's winner of the Italian Song Contest with the song Occidentali's Karma which will now become Italy's entry at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest.

About the winner

Singer/songwriter born in Carrara in 1982, he debuted at the Festival last year winning the Newcomers' category, and also won the critics' prize, with Amen. His histrionic lyrics and stage presence immediately become a favourite of the public. His song Occidentali's Karma (Western karma) was the only one this year that presented a dance routine, and it's an ironic reflection on the attraction that Western people have for the spirituality of oriental cultures.

Westerner's karma

As explained by Francesco Gabbani, the lyrics refer to the oriental culture and the fascination it has on the West. That’s why there are words like Buddha, Nirvana, Namasté. Not to forget the reference to The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris (1967), the zoologist who studied human evolution. The ape in question is none other than the man, who is hairless in contrast to gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans, but has a substantially similar behavior to that of other primates.

"You can guess from the title the combination of two different cultures. The lyrics look like a jumble of random words, but I think there are some ideas in them to think about the world today. They are ironic, in a provocative way, about our clumsy attempt to ape the Eastern habits to find inner peace. The truth is that in other people's cultures we will always be tourists”, the winner of Sanremo told to the magazine TV Sorrisi e Canzoni. Gabbani then added to news portal TgCom: "All my quotes, such as Heraclitus (Panta Rhei, that everything flows), are intended to provoke. I played on the fact that behind our way of being intellectuals in reality we are all apes with some clothes”.

The finalists

These were the participants in the final in running order (final ranking in brackets):

  1. Elodie - Tutta colpa mia (8th)
  2. Michele Zarrillo - Mani nelle mani (11th)
  3. Sergio Sylvestre - Con te (6th)
  4. Fiorella Mannoia - Che sia Benedetta (2nd)
  5. Fabrizio Moro - Portami via (7th)
  6. Alessio Bernabei - Nel mezzo di un applauso (15th)
  7. Marco Masini - Spostato di un secondo (13th)
  8. Paola Turci - Fatti bella per te (5th)
  9. Bianca Atzei - Ora esisti solo tu (9th)
  10. Francesco Gabbani - Occidentali's Karma (winner)
  11. Chiara - Nessun posto è casa mia (14th)
  12. Clementino - Ragazzi fuori (16th)
  13. Ermal Meta - Vietato morire (3rd)
  14. Lodovica Comello - Il cielo non mi basta (12th)
  15. Samuel - Vedrai (10th)
  16. Michele Bravi - Il diario degli errori (4th)

The rest of the Top 3 (in bold) had Ermal Meta in third place and Fiorella Mannoia as the runner-up. And these were the special awards:

  • Mia Martini Critics Award: Ermal Meta with Vietato morire
  • Lucio Dalla Press Award: Fiorella Mannoia with Che sia benedetta
  • Giancarlo Bigazzi Award to the best arrangement: Al Bano with Di rose e di spine
  • Lunezia Award to the best lyrics: Fabrizio Moro with Portami via

Francesco Gabbani with Occidentali's Karma will represent Italy at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final in Kyiv on the 13th of May. would like to thank RAI and Eddy Anselmi for his help in the making of this article