Perché Sanremo è Sanremo! The Italian music festival — the most successful TV show of 2019 with a share of 49.38% — is preparing to turn 70. But it looks younger than ever.
From 4 to 8 February 2020, the historic Ariston Theatre will host a celebratory edition, with 24 established singers ready to battle for the iconic Leoncino d’Oro and the chance to represent Italy at Eurovision.
The musical spectacular will be hosted by Amadeus, the man born as Amedeo Umberto Rita Sebastiani. He’s also the artistic director for 2020. And on 14 January he unveiled his roster of co-hosts.
The list includes one name in particular that will be familiar to those who follow Eurovision selections across Europe — Alketa Vejsiu, the presenter of Albania’s recent Festivali i Këngës 58.
Sanremo 2020: Hosts
Sanremo became famous, especially in the 1990s, for its tendency to have two showgirls on stage — a blonde and a brunette — next to male host.
Of course, such practices have long been outdated. But they remain in the collective memory. For this 70th edition, Amadeus has decided to introduce a novelty for the Festival. Not one, not two, but eleven women will join him across the five evenings of the competition.
The lineup draws from different professional backgrounds and ages and includes names that are known and loved by the Rai 1 audience.
Prima serata — Diletta Leotta and Rula Jebreal
On the first evening, sports journalist Diletta Leotta and Israeli Arab foreign policy analyst, novelist and screenwriter Rula Jebreal will be on stage. The latter has been involved in a big controversy instigated by right-wing political parties in recent days. The fuss saw her first excluded from the Festival and then confirmed.
Seconda serata — Emma D’Aquino, Laura Chimenti, Sabrina Salerno and Monica Bellucci
In the second live show, we will see four women at the Ariston Theatre. TG1 newsreaders Emma D’Aquino and Laura Chimenti, singer Sabrina Salerno and actress Monica Bellucci. Salerno is best known for her 1987 single “Boys (Summertime Love)”, which topped the charts in France and Switzerland, and peaked at number three in the UK.
Terza serata — Georgina Rodriguez and Alketa Vejsiu
There will be space in the third night for the Argentine model Georgina Rodriguez, life partner of the Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, and Alketa Vejsiu.
You will remember Alketa from the latest edition of Festivali i Këngës, the Albanian Eurovision selection, where she served as presenter and artistic director. She was also involved in the controversy following Arilena Ara‘s victory over fan favorite Elvana Gjata.
Sanremo will be her first Italian TV gig.
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@giovanna_e_amadeus questa è sicuramente una notizia fantastica per L’Albania! Il Festival di @sanremorai e stato per tutti noi la colonna sonora di tante vite e generazioni. Arrivare al Festival di Sanremo per me e stato il più grande sogno della mia vita professionale. Amo L’Albania ma vorrei dire a voce alta “Amo L’Italia perché é il Paese più bello del mondo” e gli italiani sono “il popolo più bello del mondo in assoluto” ! #amoitalia #ilpaesepiubellodelmondo #fratellanza #italia #albania @giovanna_e_amadeus sarà un bellissimo Festival e tu te la meriti Amadeus??? L’Albania ti è grata. Gratitudine sempre per @paolaperego che e stata la prima a sostenermi e a @luciopresta un Grande! ???????????????? #conferenzastampa #sanremo2020 #raiuno
Quarta serata — Antonella Clerici and Francesca Sofia Novello
The fourth live show will be the one of Antonella Clerici – already at the Festival in 2005 and 2010 – and Francesca Sofia Novello, model and girlfriend of multi-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi.
Quinta serata (Finale) — Mara Venier
On Saturday’s final, Amadeus will be joined by Mara Venier. She’s veteran of Italian TV and hosts the long-running Sunday entertainment show Domenica In.
Stay tuned for other news about Sanremo 2020. Which host are you most excited to see? Tell us in the comments.