As the mid-September deadline passes, the confirmations for Eurovision 2018 keep coming. Next to say sì to Lisbon is Italy, the last of the Big Five to confirm.
Broadcaster RAI broke the good news with a tweet announcing “Lisbon 2018, here we come!”
— Eurovision Rai (@EurovisionRai) September 15, 2017
While the exact method of selecting the entry for Lisbon has not been confirmed, it is very likely that it will involve the 2018 edition of the Sanremo Music Festival.
Since 2015, the winner of Sanremo has had first refusal at being Italy’s act for Eurovision. But with Sanremo under new direction, it’s possible the selection method may change. Sanremo 2018 is due to take place on the week of 6th to 10th February 2018, with the new artistic director Claudio Baglioni.
Italy at Eurovision
Since Italy came back to Eurovision in 2011, they’ve established themselves as a power player, and are by far the most successful of the Big Five. They regularly place in the top ten and are often fan favourites.
In 2015, popera trio Il Volo placed third with their epic love song “Grande amore”, also winning the televote — and the hearts of many new fans. Il Volo’s success revitalised the appeal of Eurovision amongst Italian reviewers, prompting RAI to shift the Eurovision broadcast to its main channel, RAI 1.
In Stockholm last year, Sanremo runner-up Francesca Michelin performed “No Degree of Separation”, a bilingual version of her Sanremo song “Nessun grado di separazione”. It placed 16th.
And earlier this year in Kyiv, Francesco Gabbani (and his dancing ape) cheered audiences with “Occidentali’s Karma”. While the song had been a favourite to win Eurovision 2018, ultimately it only placed sixth.
Traditionally the participating acts for Sanremo are announced in mid-December, when all of Italy stops to discover who will be competing for the big prize – and indeed who also may be representing their country in Lisbon next May.
Who would you like to see represent Italy at Eurovision? Can Italy finally win in Lisbon? Share your thoughts below!