The Sanremo Music Festival starts tonight in Italy: 20 acts will compete to win the festival and earn the right to reprsent Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015.

Last year’s act Emma Marrone will co-host the show with Sanremo’s 2014 winner Arisa and television presenter Carlo Conti.

Over the course of five nights a combination of televoting, music journalists and jury voting will decide the winning act in the competition.

At a press conference yesterday, assistant hostess and previous winner Arisa stated that she would “happily go to Eurovision if the winners declined the opportunity”, having missed out on her chance last year. However, before Arisa jumps the gun, let’s see who we can look forward to tonight as we preview night one:

The heavy hitters:

Lara Fabian is probably the most recognisable act for Eurofans. One of two Eurovision veterans competing in Sanremo, Belgian-born Lara represented Luxembourg back in 1988 and placed fourth. Her song ‘Voce’ (Voice) is said to be a little dated but her classy appeal might keep her in contention.

Chiara won Italian X-Factor and with her song “Straordinario” (Extraordinary), is tipped to be the “dark horse” of the competition.

Gianluca Grignani has been a repeat participant at Sanremo and experienced major international success. He’ll be looking to replicate that success with his song this year, “Sogni infranti” (Broken Dreams).

Ones to watch:

Multiple acts will be returning to Sanremo tonight. Malika Ayane (2009, 2010), Alex Britti (who won the newcomers category in 1999), Grazia di Michelle and Nek will all be returning to take another shot at the contest.

Malika’s song ‘Adesso è qui’ (Now is Here), has received strong praise and Grazia de Michelle will duet with Mauro Coruzzi,  famous as drag queen Platinette.

Outsiders:

Dear Jack and Nesli are new and have both entered distinctly untraditional entries to the festival. Bands aren’t the norm at Sanremo so Dear Jack may or may not have an edge as a result. Likewise Nesli has entered a pop rap track, “Buona fortuna amore” (Good luck love).

Here’s a full list of the 10 acts performing tonight:

AnnalisaUna finestra tra le stelle
Malika AyaneAdesso è qui (nostalgico presente
Alex BrittiUn attimo importante
ChiaraStraordinario
Dear JackIl mondo esplode tranne noi
Lara FabianVoce
Grazia Di Michele e Mauro CoruzziIo sono una finestra

GrignaniSogni infranti
NekFatti avanti amore
NesliBuona fortuna Amore

Who are you excited to see in Sanremo tonight? Who do you think will have the edge? Comment below!

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Ohi
Ohi
6 years ago

The winner of San remo goes to Eurovis ion?

D
D
6 years ago

Can’t wait to hear Annalisa’s song. I really love “Alice e il blu” and “Sento solo il presente” even though there’s not one of her songs I dislike. Really hoping she wins.

Mika
Mika
6 years ago

Hopefully Dear Jack does well… I love Domani e un Altro Film so hopefully this will be just as good

Edre
Edre
6 years ago

The best option would be Chiara in my opinion, she has a stunning voice and her last album has a nice, contemporary sound. I don’t really like Annalisa’s last work, she lost her creativity in order to gain more success, making quite generic songs, but maybe they could work the same at the Eurovision. Malika is awesome, maybe too “difficult” for the usual ESC fans, but juries would love her a lot! Beside them, i think none of the others would have success at Eurovision, even Lara Fabian (but in Italy actually few people know her, she won’t win), mainly… Read more »

BlandZebra
BlandZebra
6 years ago

Disappointed not to see Annalisa listed among the Heavyhitters. Can’t think of a song of hers I don’t enjoy. Can’t wait to hear this new one.