Diodato Sanremo 2020 Winner Italy Eurovision

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!

Read more Italy Eurovision news here

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Mr Bean
Mr Bean
8 days ago

What do you mean by saying the winner will have the ‘first refusal’??? Its not a new thing the rule has been same for years. The one who had the chance of refusing to go to esc was the winner….

Protovit
Protovit
10 days ago

Quite, guys! Winner of Sanremo festival will go to Eurovision. In other years singers snobbed Eurovision, but in the last years, from Italy’s return in the contest, all singers knows going to Eurovision is a very delicious opportunity. Because Italy is very appreciate in Esc. Lots of love from Italy.

ESC8
ESC8
10 days ago

I personally thought that this year because of the change of the dates it was a sign that they were about to internally select Diodato, and it would be fair I might say. However, it is still not sure if the winner of San Remo wants to go to Eurovision. And in this is case I think that RAI would select Diodato. I think that even if the winner wants to do Eurovision, having the final of San Remo on 6 March, it would be very tight as a schedule, meaning that I suspect that the deadline for entries’ submission… Read more »

Milanolich
Milanolich
10 days ago
Reply to  ESC8

Unless Diodato participates in Sanremo there isn’t any possibility for him to go to Eurovision. If the winner doesn’t want to go RAI is going to choose among the other Sanremo acts, just like in 2016

Colin
Colin
10 days ago
Reply to  Milanolich

Yes, in 2016 the runner-up went to ESC, but in 2014 the previous winner (who didn’t participate in Sanremo 2014) was internally picked instead. Although you are likely right about the 2021 case, nothing in engraved in stone with Italy.
Still, Sanremo will be a joy to watch on it’s own. Even if nothing is guaranteed, the ESC entry will probably be among these 20 songs.

Jonas
Jonas
9 days ago
Reply to  Colin

2016 and 2014 are not the same situation, though…Emma was the plan all along, with Sanremo not involved at all.

Jonas
Jonas
10 days ago

I’m happy. This is how it’s done and I don’t want that to change.

Last edited 10 days ago by Jonas
Ashton
Ashton
10 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

That’s a bit heartless, Jonas.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
10 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Since 2015. We’re not exactly talking tradition here.

Whisker
Whisker
10 days ago

Ridiculous.

Nas
Nas
10 days ago

So basically, if the winner refuses to go to ESC, we’re getting a 2012 sort of situation, but the act for 2012 was announced before the Sanremo 2012 winner was… so it was somewhat different

Jonas
Jonas
10 days ago
Reply to  Nas

More of a 2016 situation.

Nas
Nas
10 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

But Francesca was 2nd and Sanremo didn’t pick her at random as a name… or did they?

Milanolich
Milanolich
10 days ago
Reply to  Nas

They’re not going to pick at random, they’re going to choose a song that they think it could do well among the artists that said they are willing to participate. It makes sense that they could choose the act that got the best result among them, just like they did with Francesca Michielin

Una
Una
10 days ago
Reply to  Milanolich

I am a bit confused. How do Italy pick their song for Eurovision? 1. Sanremo winner with the same song? 2. Runner-up in Sanremo if the winner does not want to go to Eurovision? 3. A Sanremo participant with their song? 4. A Sanremo participant with a different song? If so, how is that chosen? 5. An artist that did not go to Sanremo and a new song? Thanks.

Colin
Colin
10 days ago
Reply to  Una

Since their return on ESC in 2011, Italy hasn’t been fully consistent with their selection method. In general, the winner of the Sanremo contest is the first one to be asked to represent Italy on ESC and usually it’s with the same song (albeit often shortened and re-tweaked, because ESC requires it to be no longer than 3 minutes, which Sanremo songs often are). That is the situation which is considered to be a default, even though it happened only in 2015, and 2017-2020. Before that, the situation varied. As RAI and most Italian artists were skeptical to make a… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
9 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Marco Mengoni did not change his song. L’essenziale was the Sanremo winner.

Colin
Colin
9 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

True that it seems. Thanks for clearing my memory. IDK why I thought that he also won with a different song… Maybe there was a talk of changing it or at least some song he published in a similar period? Or my memory just plays tricks on me. To be far, before 2015, I followed none of the national selections, so I might miss a thing or two.

Jonas
Jonas
9 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Everyone had two competing songs in Sanremo that year, maybe that’s what you’re thinking of. Bellisimo was his other one.

Jonas
Jonas
9 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Only one song each past the first night, I forgot to say.

Una
Una
9 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Thanks for this, Colin.

Milanolich
Milanolich
9 days ago
Reply to  Una

By the new rules, every Sanremo artists who are interested in participating at Eurovision must sign a contract. If the winner of Sanremo has signed it they will go to Eurovision with the winner song, but if they haven’t RAI will choose the Italian representative among those who have signed the contract and they will go with their Sanremo song

Una
Una
9 days ago
Reply to  Milanolich

Great.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
10 days ago

I’d like to think that part of this decision is down to Diodato himself. I mean, there’s nothing in the Italian process that would make replacing him a necessity or an expectation like there is in other countries. Unless told specifically, I guess we’ll never know that one for sure.

Candy
Candy
10 days ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

He stated several times that he really wanted to do Eurovision. I can’t see him changing his mind – unless it doesn’t fit into his schedule at all – but given the current state of everything, I doubt that there even is a fixed schedule. I talked to an Italian fan a while ago, they said that some of the sponsors of Sanremo have gotten more interested in the Eurovision aspect of Sanremo over the past few years. Who knows, maybe those in power are afraid that they won’t get as many top notch participants at Sanremo Festival if they… Read more »

Joe
Joe
10 days ago
Reply to  Candy

Eurovision is growing in popularity pretty steadily in Italy. It’s a long-standing but really interesting facet of Italy’s Eurovision participation: as a counterpoint to, say, the UK, where bigger artists are hesitant to compete because they don’t want to risk looking like a fool, Italy’s historical ambivalence meant bigger artists didn’t feel a ton of pressure to do well. They did it for fun, and they weren’t risking anything by doing it: if they did well, they have the potential for more widespread success (it was Italy that provided Eurovision with quite possibly its most famous and internally successful entry… Read more »

Milanolich
Milanolich
9 days ago
Reply to  Candy

Even if Eurovision is finally getting traction it Italy, Sanremo is still the most important stage for italian artist. It’s the place you want to be if you’re an older artist who wants to stay relevant or relaunch your career and it’s the place you want to be if you’re a younger artist who wants to gain a big platform. The great placements Italy has been getting in the last few years and especially Mahmood’s international success in 2019 have been huge incentives mostly for young artists to aspire to Eurovision (as seen this year when it was reported that… Read more »

Last edited 9 days ago by Milanolich
Chessguy99
10 days ago

Nice that they have gone back to including public input in the initial round of voting. I Was really disappointed last year when they had no public voting until the final night.

Una
Una
11 days ago

*Gutted*.

James
James
11 days ago

Sanremo Music Festival always stays consistent with their complex voting system.

By the way, does the voting from Night 3 have any actual bearing on Saturday’s finale considering the Campioni artists are only performing covers? I’m a little confused by that.

Paule
Paule
10 days ago
Reply to  James

This year, the results from the covers evening were definitely relevant for the final results. It’s a bit bizarr for sure.

Jonas
Jonas
10 days ago
Reply to  James

The voting is not always the same. Sometimes there’s three voting groups, sometimes two. It can change from year to year, night to night. Their percentage of power can also change.

Milanolich
Milanolich
10 days ago
Reply to  James

Generally the voting on cover night doesn’t count for the overall score but last year it did and we have the same artistic director so I think it will count this year as well