It’s the long-running song festival that was the inspiration for the Eurovision Song Contest. Italy’s Sanremo Music Festival has now also been confirmed as the national selection for Italy in Eurovision 2017.
Last month, Italy confirmed their participation in Eurovision 2017, but with no word on their selection method. As Eurofestival News has reported, the rules of the competition were recently published and broadcaster RAI has confirmed that Sanremo will be the source of Italy’s act for Kyiv.
As with previous years, the winner of Sanremo will have the first right of refusal to become Italy’s Eurovision act. If the winner decides not to go to Eurovision, broadcaster RAI will then choose another act to take their place.
At Sanremo 2016, classic rock band Stadio won with their song “Un giorno mi dirai”. They opted not to go to Stockholm, and instead the honour went to runner-up Francesca Michielin with a new version of her Sanremo song “Nessun grado di separazione”.
Sanremo 2017 is also bringing some changes to the structure of the show. A bigger Melodifestivalen-style second-chance round has been introduced, giving three more acts a place in the final.
- First night: All 20 acts will perform their songs. Televoters and the media jury will vote, but there will be no eliminations.
- Second night: The first ten acts will perform their songs again. These performances will be voted on by televoters and the media jury, with their scores added to the results from the first night. The top six acts will qualify directly to the final, the bottom four will later compete in the second-chance round.
- Third night: Same as the second night, only with the remaining ten acts.
- Fourth night: The 12 acts who have qualified for the final will perform a cover of a famous song, and will be scored by televoters, the live audience jury and the expert jury. There are no eliminations.
The eight songs that did not earlier qualify for the final will perform again in the second-chance round and will be scored by the same three groups. The top three acts will qualify for the final.
- Fifth night: The 15 finalists (12 + 3) will perform their songs, and will be voted on by the same three groups. The top three acts will then perform again in a super final, where the winner will be determined after a fresh vote from the three groups.
The 2016 rules now require that songs must be no longer than 3:30 — closer to the three-minute limit for Eurovision. It’s a big change — the Sanremo version of “Nessun grado di separazione” was 3:40, while Il Volo’s original “Grande amore” was 3:45.
Since Italy’s Eurovision comeback in 2011, the Sanremo Music Festival has usually been the source of Italy’s Eurovision entry — and it’s thought to be why Italy is the only Big Five country who regularly places in the top 10 at Eurovision.
The Sanremo Music Festival 2017 is due to take place over the five nights from 7 to 11 February. It will again be hosted by the perma-tanned Carlo Conti, also the artistic director of the competition.
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