Return of an old friend
Italy return to the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time since 1997 when Jalisse finished in 4th place with Fiumi Di Parole.
Raphael Gualazzi won the newcomers section of the 2011 Sanremo festival in Italy with Madness Of Love. The juries at the festival decided that Raphael would be the best person to represent Italy in Europe's Favourite TV Show upon their return. He is one of the most relaxed and laid back artists this year.
New album release today
Raphael released his new album in Germany today. He was asked about what the highlights of his career to date were, he added "I did a project in the United States with a member of Kool & The Gang, that was great. I enjoy performing this genre of music. Going forward I would like to work with more world renowned pianists."
When asked about how he felt about representing the Italian colours, Raphael added "I am very pleased I was selected, and proud to represent my country at this great event. It has been a wonderful experience meeting all of the other participants, collaborating with them and listening to all of the styles of music."
Three minute rule
The rules of the Eurovision Song Contest stipulate that songs must be no longer than three minutes in duration. Madness Of Love was considerably longer than this when Raphael sang it in Sanremo. He was asked about how difficult it was to cut the song to comply with the rules.
He said "I respect and understand the rules of the competition and we must stick to them, I have been working hard in the studio for the last months on the song, so it was not so difficult to still work within three minutes."