Two years after having trod the stage in Vienna, Michele Perniola — the 18-year-old Italian singer who represented San Marino both at the Junior Eurovision 2013 and Eurovision 2015 — is ready to build a chain of light on Amici di Maria De Filippi.

On January 14, Michele earned a spot on Itay’s most watched talent show, which takes its name from its creator Maria De Filippi. If her name sounds familiar, she will co-host the upcoming Sanremo Music Festival.

Amici di Maria De Filippi

Neither like The X Factor nor The Voice, Amici has its own peculiar mechanism, unique in the world. It’s a televised academy school created in 2001 involving a class of about 20 young students (aged 18-26), who aspire to become professional singers, songwriters and dancers (classical, modern, jazz and hip-hop).

The established artists launched by the show are so many you could create a galaxy. Let’s name some singers who featured in previous series: Eurovision 2014’s rockeuse Emma Marrone, Sanremo winners Marco Carta and Valerio Scanu, multiplatinum superstar Alessandra Amoroso, redhead pop singer Annalisa, Wiwivision 2015’s finalists The Kolors, Sanremo 2017’s contestants Alessio Bernabei, Elodie and Sergio Sylvestre. We don’t have time to mention them all!

Undoubtedly a golden opportunity for Perniola who conquered his own “school desk” facing Riccardo Marcuzzo, one of the contestants of this season of Amici.

Michele lost the challenge — judged by Alessandro Massara, Universal Music Italia’s President. But his performance of “Master blaster” by Stevie Wonder and “Oggi sono io” by Alex Britti amazed the team of music teachers who decided unanimously to give him a place in the show anyway.

Michele Perniola

He might be only 18 years old but Michele has a long list of experiences behind him. In 2012 enfant prodige Michele won the sixth series of Ti lascio una canzone, a variety show for children aired by Rai 1. One year later he marked the debut of San Marino at the Junior Eurovision 2013 in Kiev with the song “O-o-O Sole intorno a me”.

In 2014 he took the first steps as actor on Braccialetti rossi, a teen medical comedy-drama television series, before taking the leap to the big stage in Vienna at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015. Michele performed the iconic “Chain of Lights” along with the Sammarinese singer Anita Simoncini. They missed the final and placed 16th in the semi with only 11 points.

In October that same year, Michele represented Italy at the New Wave Festival — the international contest popular in Eastern Europe that gave fame to Jamala and Sergey Lazarev. His song “Panico” reached fourth place.

What do you think? Can Amici di Maria De Filippi launch Michele’s career as a major Italian music star? Share your thoughts below!

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Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Stop criticising his hair!!! :-l

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

He had a better hairstyle in 2015.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Poor Michele – he can never seem to do much right with his fans on here. I wish him well, and I hope he’s okay.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

@ Unofficial Månsters Association – he looks like pretty much one out of three guys of his age in the south of Italy, so it’s not hard to find lookalikes here.

Unofficial Månsters Association
Guest
Unofficial Månsters Association

Just asking, does anybody think he looks similar to Fernando Daniel (who just won The Voice of Portugal recently) except for that haircut?

Tomas Davitt
Guest
Tomas Davitt

White guy with dreadlocks – FAIL

beccaboo1212
Guest

Amici di Maria De Filippi should definitely lower its minimum age to 16 in the future.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Whew, he’s looking tragic with that cultural appropriation haircut and untamed stash. Amici is the biggest talent show in Italy – and, unsurprisingly, the trashiest one.