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
- Elodie – Tutta colpa mia
- Alessio Bernabei – Nel mezzo di un applauso
- Samuel – Vedrai
- Ermal Meta – Vietato morire
- Lodovica Comello – Il cielo non mi basta
- Al Bano – Di rose e di spine
- Fabrizio Moro – Portami via
- Fiorella Mannoia – Che sia benedetta
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?