On February 7 Italy will begin its search for their next Eurovision entrant. The long-lasting Sanremo Music Festival — which inspired our beloved pan-European singing contest — will crown a new winner, picked from 22 hopefuls with very impressive resumes. We are so excited!
Over the past few weeks, RAI has been promoting the show on its channels, using three different commercials that have sparked a lot of controversy.
The most logical thing to do to promote a singing contest is show the competing acts or perhaps the hosts. But RAI decided to take an alternate route and broadcast the weirdest set of adverts in Italian television history — featuring three fetuses, an alien family and a merry band of animals.
The first commercial shows three pregnant women sitting in the waiting room of a gynecologist’s office. One of them is listening to music on her iPod. Suddenly, the baby in her womb starts to sing the Eurovision 1964 winner “Non ho l’età” by Gigliola Cinquetti. The performance is irresistible, apparently. The fetuses of the two other women contribute to a kitsch pre-natal version of the song. At least someone could find this sweet.
That’s not the case for Elisabetta Ambrosi, journalist at Il Fatto Quotidiano, who describes the advert as “ugly, awkward, unaesthetic and full of clichés”. She also finds it a little grotesque, that the mother, presumably born in the late 80’s, has in the list of songs “Non ho l’età” by Cinquetti. And finally, the fetuses: “This is the worst thing of the commercial, and not because they sing, but because they seem like ugly, poorly made dolls and they don’t look like a real fetus at all”.
In the second commercial we see a family of aliens in a forest, who synchronously dance to a heavily autotuned remix of “Terra promessa” by Eros Ramazzotti, who won Sanremo Newcomers in 1984. Disquieting, to say the least!
Gianluca Nicoletti of La Stampa describes it as “more disturbing and enigmatic compared to the previous one”. He has no kind words for the protagonists of the clip: “Unsightly green aliens with big eyes and deformed bodies”.
OLD MACDONALD HAD A FARM…
The third commercial is undoubtedly the cutest among the three and doesn’t fail to get a laugh.
A pig, a horse, a goose, a dog, a cow and a donkey sing “Non amarmi” by Aleandro Baldi and Francesca Alotta, winners of Sanremo Newcomers in 1992.
After the amount of criticism received, perma-tanned tv host Carlo Conti gave an official response during the first press conference:
“The idea is fun and related to the slogan: Everybody sing Sanremo,” he said, referring to the catch phrase of the adverts which he speaks at the end of each commercial. “In 2015 we used a series of clips with Italians singing in different common places, last year we did the same with Italians abroad, for this third year we’ve thought of surreal situations”.