Planning for the Sanremo Musical Festival 2021 has been underway for several months, but now Italian broadcaster RAI has confirmed the Eurovision connection. The winner of Sanremo 2021 will have first refusal at going on to be Italy‘s representative at Eurovision 2021.
The Italian broadcaster has released the rules for Sanremo 2021. There have been some slight changes to the format of the contest, but one thing remains the same from 2020. RAI has confirmed that the winner of Sanremo 2021 will have first refusal at representing Italy in Rotterdam.
If the winner turns down the opportunity to go onto Eurovision, then RAI will internally select the act from other Sanremo contestants. And like last year, competing artists will need to confirm in writing ahead of the competition if they wish to go to Eurovision
This rule was introduced at Sanremo 2020 and reportedly most acts were happy to be considered for Eurovision. Sanremo 2020 winner Diodato was the among the acts who had said yes to Eurovision, so he automatically got the ticket to Eurovision.
Changes to Sanremo 2021
The rules for Sanremo change from year to year. This year, the public will have their say much earlier in the show. A 50% televote will be used to determine the result on the first two nights, along with 50% demoscopic jury — last year it was the demoscopic jury alone.
The Newcomers section will take place in a reduced format with no semi-final. Instead the two finalists from each night will proceed directly to the Newcomers’ final on the fourth night.
And one very big change for Sanremo 2021 — the festival will take place one month later than usual. Due to the extra planning needed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Sanremo organisers have moved the festival to early March.
Sanremo Music Festival 2021 format
First night: Tuesday 2 March
- The first ten Big Artists will perform their competing songs for the first time. Voting will be done by 50% demoscopic jury and 50% televoting, with no eliminations.
- The first four Newcomer songs will also be performed. The voting will also be determined by 50% demoscopic jury and 50% televoting. The top two acts will qualify for the Newcomers final.
Second night: Wednesday 3 March
- The other ten Big Artists will perform their competing songs. Again, the voting will be decided by 50% demoscopic jury and 50% televoting, with no eliminations.
- The other four Newcomer songs will be performed, And again, the voting will be decided by 50% demoscopic jury and 50% televoting and the top two acts will qualify for the Newcomers final.
Third night: Thursday 4 March
- Covers night. All 20 competing Big Artists will perform a cover of a song originally recorded by a singer-songwriter. The competing artists will perform in duet with either Italian or foreign guest artists. Voting for this night will be made by the Sanremo orchestra musicians and the show’s backing vocalists. There will be no eliminations.
Fourth night: Friday 5 March
- The 20 Big Artists will perform their songs again. The voting for this night will be 100% press jury with no eliminations.
- The four Newcomer finalists will perform their songs again. The winner will be decided by 34% televoting, 33% press jury and 33% demoscopic jury.
Fifth night: Saturday 6 March
- The 20 Big Artists will perform their songs for the third time. The top three acts will be decided by 34% televoting, 33% press jury and 33% demoscopic jury. The results of the previous four days will also be counted to determine the top three.
- The top three acts will compete in the super final. The winner will again be decided by 34% televoting, 33% press jury and 33% demoscopic jury.
- The winning act will have first refusal at representing Italy at Eurovision 2021.
What do you think? Are you happy with the format of Sanremo 2021? Which acts would you like to see compete at the Ariston Theatre in March? Tell us your thoughts below!