It’s a bit of a cliché to say it’s an honour just to be nominated, but when it comes to Italy’s storied Sanremo Festival, it really is true.

On February 7 Italy’s highly anticipated Sanremo 2017 kicked off with a very long clip comprised of songs that didn’t win the contest, but went on to become huge successes in Italy. It included Eurovision 2016 star Francesca Michielin and her Sanremo number “Nessun grado di separazione“.

The nostalgia whet our appetites, but of course the main event was the first set of performances from eleven of the 22 competing Campioni contestants — the big names from which Italy’s Eurovision 2017 artist will be chosen.

On Tuesday, in the official daily press conference, tv host and artistic director Carlo Conti announced that the next Italian Eurovision representative will be chosen by the final ranking of the festival. If the winner decides not to go to Kiev, broadcaster RAI will then invite the artist who finished second, and third, and so on.

This is something new. In the last two editions, the rules generically stated that in case the winner refused, RAI would choose “another act” to take their place…opening up a can of worms about favouritism, the people’s voice and more.

During the first live show we enjoyed special guest appearances from Italian singers Tiziano Ferro — who opened the show crying on stage while singing “Mi sono innamorato di te” by Luigi Tenco, and later performed his latest singles “Potremmo ritornare” and “Il conforto” together with Carmen Consoli.  And international superstars Clean Bandit and Ricky Martin rocked the stage with “Rockabye“, “Vente pa’ ca” and “La mordidita“, among other hits.

Anyway, all of our attention has been focused on the main event for Eurovision fans: the original numbers, heard by the public for the very first time, as required by sanremese tradition!

After four hours of songs, torrents of words, a crowded stage and plenty of on-air downtime (oops), the results were revealed in random order. Sadly one of your big favourites to win is among the temporarily eliminated acts.

SANREMO’S FIRST NIGHT

TOP 8

BOTTOM 3

The three provisionally eliminated artists will sing their entries again on Thursday night (Cover night), together with the three temporarily eliminated acts of Wednesday’s show.

Tomorrow night will feature eleven more artists, including your hot favourite Michele Bravi, Sanremo Newcomers 2016 winner Francesco Gabbani and former Amici‘s alumni Sergio Sylvestre. Who are y’all excited for?

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Antonio
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Antonio

Anyone could be Eurovision winner. So disappointed.

AngieP
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AngieP

First of all: a great first night of Sanremo! I really liked the guests. Ricky Martin did what he does best, entertain people! I also liked Tiziano Ferro. I didn’t have the chance to listen to him, but now I did and he was amazing! As for the acts: I was dissapointed by Giusy’s song. I expected much better. Lodovica the same. Mannoia is a great singer and she can deliever the message. But the song is dated for Eurovision. I liked Elodie cause she SANG the song in her own way. I did like Ermal. His song has a… Read more »

ct_greece
Guest
ct_greece

@ diabloroma I agree with almost everything you wrote. But I have to note that apart from the vocal issues of Alessio, Giusi and Ludovica, Samuel has a pretty forgettable song and Ermal has a pretty unpleasant timbre. So in terms of ESC songs for me it’s between Giusi and Alessio provided they both manage to sing them better live (just heard the studio version of “Fatalmente male” – what a song!) In terms of performance, style and showmanship Elodie is the one with the whole package for ESC. But in that case we will just get another shouty female… Read more »

DiabloRoma
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DiabloRoma

I don’t know what image of Italian music is in your mind, but I feel some of your judgments are at least awkward. Bernabei showed ONCE AGAIN that he absolutely need to train with his voice. He gets worse year after year. Elodie has a seriously out of date song. Seriously, even though she sang it well. It sounds like 1000 other songs heard before… About Fiorella Mannoi: her singing style is that one, we know it. But it gives feelings: she has been very well received and she deserves it. She CAN deliver the message of Che sia benedetta.… Read more »

Mark
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Mark

Lodovica, that dress….

Mark
Guest
Mark

Al Bano, I don’t know if Eurovision is on the cards with that song.

PP
Guest
PP

RAI change rules winner or second… wili go to Eurovision, not like in past year when they choose from older or newcommers from festival 2011 to 2016.
and they did male singer sang in 2011,2013,2015 , female singer sang in 2012,2014,2016 , and we saw that male singer had better result 2,7,3 and female 9,21,16 place in eurovision final.

PP
Guest
PP

Lodovica not good song and she don t sing very well.

PP
Guest
PP

My TOP 3 from first evening
1.Elodie
2.Alessio Bernabei
3.Ermal Meta

If RAI want good result only Elodi and Allesio have good chance for good place in final at Eurovision.
Today we wili hear other songs .

Ola
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Ola

Elodie by far!

Griffin
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Griffin

Alessio Bernabei FTW

MarioMario
Guest

Alessio Bernabei’s song is STUNNING.I can see it getting a top 5 spot in Eurovision already. Elodie and Ludovica also have strong acts. Fabrizio’s also stood out to me.

Fiorella, Samuel and Ermal Meta have very nice entries as well.

chessguy99
Guest

Alessio Bernabei has the best song, but he lack the vocal strength to carry it to the win. Ermal Meta has the song I like the best, but will it score well with the jury which doesn’t go for edgy stuff. I also like Samuel and Elodie. Fiorella Mannoia is giving me the same vibe the I got from Stadio last year, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see her in the final three at the end. I was disappointed in Giusy Ferreri’s song and Lodovica Comello’s vocal. Out of tonight’s group, Samuel probably has the best combination of song,… Read more »

Andreas Casablancas
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Andreas Casablancas

I liked elodie and Alessio

Chris (frostyw)
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Chris (frostyw)

Elodie is rather good, but Samuel is my top pick so far!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Giusy truly disappointed, along with pretty much everyone else.
Elodie’s song is a screamfest (you can tell it’s Emma who wrote it).
Fiorella Mannoia… m’annoia. This literally means that she’s boring. Her song is very forgettable, just like the rest of her discography.
Lodovica was also very disappointing, I expected an uptempo from her.
Alessio Bernabei would be the most Eurovision-friendly act out of all these (I don’t like him, but it’s just like that).

mad-professor
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mad-professor

Elodie to Eurovision (or even Marianne).

Marco
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Marco

I only like it 3 song 😀
1.Elodie – Tutta colpa mia
2.Lodovica Comello – Il cielo non mi basta
3.Fiorella Mannoia – Che sia benedetta

Sparrow
Guest
Sparrow

Elodi absolutely destroyed the other competitors, like I knew she would. This was her night, she’s already won. Book her for Eurovision now.

D
Guest
D

Elodie was easily the best.

beccaboo1212
Guest

I’m so happy to see Lodovica in the Top 8! 😀

Marco
Guest
Marco

Elodie was THE BEST!

Paul D.
Guest
Paul D.

I really liked Ermal Meta – ”Vietato morire”, it sounds even better in the studio version.
Lodovica song is also good, catchy, but her vocals weren’t the best