While preparations for Sanremo 2021 continue, one subject continues to be debated: will Sanremo have a live audience? The Italian government still says no, while Artistic Director Amadeus has reportedly threatened to quit if the iconic music festival cannot have an audience. Meanwhile, supermodel Naomi Campbell has been confirmed as a Sanremo co-host.

Earlier in the month, the Italian government introduced new restrictions in an effort to curb the impact of Covid-19. The restrictions are scheduled to end on 5 March — one day before the grand final of Sanremo 2021.

The new rules permit television productions to go ahead, including those filmed in concert halls and theatres, provided safety measures are followed. However, the rules are clear that such events CANNOT be held with a live audience.

The Sanremo team have argued that while the Ariston Theatre is technically a theatre, it will effectively be used like a television studio. They see no reason why, if the production follows safely measures, Sanremo 2021 should not be allowed to use an audience of “extras”.

RAI’s plan is to find pairs of people from the region, who normally live together, to make up the Sanremo audience. By using cohabiting duos, this effectively means the pairs are in their own bubble and can safely sit beside each other, one metre away from other couples.

And unlike a normal Sanremo audience who has to pay for their tickets, in this case, the audience would be the ones getting paid — for their work as TV extras.

The Italian government isn’t budging

But the Italian government isn’t buying RAI’s plan. Minister of Cultural Heritage Dario Franceschini clarified the matter in a tweet, backing up earlier comments from Minister of Health Roberto Speranza. He wrote:

“The Ariston Theater of #Sanremo it is a theatre like all the others and therefore, as the minister @robersperanza clarified yesterday, the public, paying, free or extras, will be able to return only when the rules allow it for all theatres and cinemas. We hope as soon as possible.”

Amadeus isn’t happy

Sanremo 2021 Creative Director Amadeus has long been a supporter of Sanremo having an audience and he is reportedly not happy.

Italian media are reporting that Amadeus has threatened to quit the show if it is forced to go ahead with no live audience.

Perhaps Sanremo could look to Norway’s national final, Melodi Grand Prix. Its 2021 edition is being held without a live audience, yet the show is still enjoying strong ratings and the competing songs are making the Spotify charts.

Naomi Campbell to the rescue

But amid all the debate, there is one positive confirmation for Sanremo. The iconic British supermodel and businesswoman Naomi Campbell will co-host the opening night.

Amadeus spoke highly of the fashion icon, and promised that audiences will see many sides of her. “She will be able to tell us what the public does not know about her, her friendship with Nelson Mandela, her civil rights battles against racism.”

Naomi Campbell is also a good person to have around in a pandemic. The supermodel is known for being conscientious about hygiene and has shared videos of how she keeps safe when travelling during the pandemic.

Naomi Campbell joins Sanremo 2020 singer Elodie and Italian actress (and star of The Undoing) Matilda De Angelis as Amadeus’ cohosts.

Sanremo 2021 will run from 2 to 6 March. The winner will have first refusal to represent Italy at Eurovision 2021.

What do you think? Should Sanremo keep fighting for a live audience? Or should they adapt to not having one? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more Italy Eurovision news here

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Kaitlin
Kaitlin
3 months ago

Amadeus, you covidiot

mad-professor
mad-professor
3 months ago

Okay then, bye. Bring back Baglioni!

Heartbeater
Heartbeater
3 months ago

Why is this even a argument they should obviously worry more about the safety over having an Audience

Elsa Alves
3 months ago

Ridiculous this Amadeus…

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
3 months ago

Jesus Christ, in the middle of a pandemic?! You don’t need an audience at this time. Either get your ego under control or get out. The door won’t miss you.

Kyler
Kyler
3 months ago

There are millions of people who are sick and dying because of COVID. He can whine and cry all he wants because he is a rich guy and has no where near the experiences of everyday italians during this pandemic

Lord Stone
Lord Stone
3 months ago

*Insert Jeremy Clarkson meme* Oh no!!!! Anyways…

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago

Amadeus is one of those people you have to be careful when complimenting, because 5 minutes later he may be saying something that will annoy you. He’s a charismatic host and he’s been doing a great job as artistic director, but these facts don’t allow him to fight the pandemic reality in order to please his ego. Public health is the obvious priority and opening an exception to Sanremo would be also unfair to all the other theaters and concert venues that will stay closed for audiences.

Azaad
Azaad
3 months ago

Naomi Campbell is a GET, and to be honest she’s worked with so many Italian designers (she was Gianni Versace’s major muse) so she might actually know some Italian.

waitaminuteholdon
waitaminuteholdon
3 months ago
Reply to  Azaad

She’s a diva, but the kind you root for. OPULENCEEEE

Whisker
Whisker
3 months ago

This is so off-puting.

willchrisiam
willchrisiam
3 months ago

That’s all that San Remo needed – Naomi. She’s clearly an icon (deservedly) and a pioneer but have they not seen her host/judge other shows? She’s stiff and can be quite condescending and ruthless. She also doesn’t speak Italian and has no previous ties to the festival. It would make sense if they were trying to reach international viewers but when you don’t have multilingual subtitles and all the songs are in Italian it just seems pointless. Not to mention that it continues the tradition of having an older male host parading around his various arm candy. I might be… Read more »

sucof
sucof
3 months ago
Reply to  willchrisiam

there have always been international top models for an evening in sanremo, since the 90s.
eva herzigova conducted an entire edition learning a little Italian.
comment image

She it was a revelation

Last edited 3 months ago by sucof
sucof
sucof
3 months ago

hi Robyn,
Sanremo is a great carousel like it or not. On that stage all but all the world stars of entertainment cinema, sports and politics went up, from Madonna to Bruce Springsteen, from Gorbachev to Pavarotti, from Bono from U2 to Will Smith, from Celin Dion to Mike Tyson, including the top models.
for a star when he comes to Italy and appears in front of 15 million, it is a great advertisement.

Last edited 3 months ago by sucof
James
James
3 months ago
Reply to  willchrisiam

I’m sure there’s a teleprompter that would allow her to do her spiels if needed.

sucof
sucof
3 months ago
Reply to  James

yes.

Una
Una
3 months ago
Reply to  sucof

Does she have a language tutor? Ennunciation in Italian is not easy. Anyone who learns it as a foreign language knows that. Teleprompter is not enough especially talking an international song contest. It takes hours and hours of coaching and practicing. Does Naomi speak any language other than English? Even harder.

IDK
IDK
3 months ago
Reply to  willchrisiam

Eeeeeh y’all are completely new to sanremo (from 2010ish), and it shows… there’s no effort to please international viewers, they don’t care one bit about it. Sanremo has ALWAYs been like this, they always had international guests and we’ve seen it all. You were not here when we saw with our own eyes John Travolta massaging Victoria Cabello’s feet on the Ariston stage…

Jo.
Jo.
3 months ago

Frankly, my dear,…

Kalla
Kalla
3 months ago

If he’s threatening to quit then let him quit over something so futile. Speaking as a brit, you would think he would understand the gravity of what’s happening in both our countries. Pure arrogance and ignorance.

sucof
sucof
3 months ago

comment image

for non-Italians, this is Sanremo too!
The controversy serves to fuel the wait, every year they invent something 🙂

Una
Una
3 months ago
Reply to  sucof

IDK. There is “controversy” and there is being responsible about being controversial about audience or lack thereof. People have been hurt in protests agains lockdown or use of masks.

waitaminuteholdon
waitaminuteholdon
3 months ago

I mean wow, ok

Miss Uncongeniality
Miss Uncongeniality
3 months ago

A reason not to watch San Remo. Naomi Campbell, she has her hands stained by the money and jewels from dictators like Hugo Chavez and Charles Taylor

Fifi
Fifi
3 months ago

Let him quit, then. This is not the time for such useless debates. I find it very disrespectful towards all the people who are having a rough time, not only those in hospital but also those who lost a dear one to covid, or those who are in a bad financial situation, lost their jobs etc. I mean, this is the situation for many people, and he’s complaining about the empty theatre?

Denis
Denis
3 months ago

Is having an audience all that matters? I mean of course it’s no fun with no audience, it still hurts Mello won’t have audience but at least we have it and it shows what you can do without audience. Is an audience really worth of having a conflict? Be happy you have it and move on..

Nicky
Nicky
3 months ago

cancel Sanremo, and select Eros Ramazzotti internally pls <3

Samo
Samo
3 months ago

I agree with him. Having no audience defies the purpose of having a life show and frankly, all those national selections in empty halls look terrible. There is absolutely no reason to not have a properly separated audience present – I fail to see the difference between two people sitting alone vs all the production staff mingling with each other.

Last edited 3 months ago by Samo
Ermin
Ermin
3 months ago
Reply to  Samo

They want to keep the tradition. But mask is here to stay FFP2 is mandatory now.

Denali Danesh
Denali Danesh
3 months ago
Reply to  Samo

it’s like you’ve not lived in the same universe as the rest of the world!
You sound like an ignorant fool – perhaps do some research into how television and film is continuing to function – with their exclusive bubbles and regular testing and distancing protocols. Any kind of audience would contravene all the work they have put in.

So – in short – IT WOULD MAKE A MASSIVE DIFFERENCE!!!!!!!

Samo
Samo
3 months ago
Reply to  Denali Danesh

Again, broadcaster’s proposal features distance between individual groups of the audience. You can’t infect someone you’re not with. I don’t see how is it different than for example being in a restaurant.

James
James
3 months ago
Reply to  Samo

It still has to be in line with protocols set by Italy’s health authorities. If Ariston cannot host a live audience as per what is being dictated then that is what they must do.

Ermin
Ermin
3 months ago

Ok Amadeus you are a hero.
I want so much Moldova to win, but not with Kirkorov. Are you aware what Moldova has done? Not only the first woman president Maia Sandu, but she singlehandedly fights Putin.

Ermin
Ermin
3 months ago
Reply to  Ermin

If you vote political , Moldova is the IT country. Such a pity Kirkorov is involved.

James
James
3 months ago

On the next Days of our Sanremo Lives:
With Amadeus’ plans to have audiences holed up in a cruise ship/floating quarantine facility and hire paid locals to fill the seats of the Ariston Theater as a backup option forever dashed by common sense, is this the final straw for him?

And will Claudio Bagnioli save the day?

Tune in next week on As the Sanremo World Turns!

Last edited 3 months ago by James
Una
Una
3 months ago
Reply to  James

So funny LOL. Bring on the drama, please!!

Lorenzo Celli
Lorenzo Celli
3 months ago

Here in Italy, this has become such a big debate. I mean, I don’t get why it’s so problematic to have Sanremo with no public. Amadeus was a great host last year but his behaviour now just lets me down. I mean, would he rather put people at risk or ensure safety for everyone?

Una
Una
3 months ago

Mygod. Is that drama really necessary? Common good and public safety and health are not important enough? I remember the pictures of piles of … during the first month of the lockdown in Italy.
Adapt with times and leave ego behind.

EurovisionBenny_AUT
EurovisionBenny_AUT
3 months ago

Amadeus has to look reality in the eye. No one wants this pandemic, but we have to deal with it anyways. Restrictions such as no live audiences are a logical consequence. Threatening not to host if there’s no audience due to a global pandemic is nothing but ridiculous, if you ask me.

And after all, everyone who wants to watch Sanremo can just tune in on TV. The number of spectators won’t be significantly lower than in previous years, I am sure.

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
3 months ago

Wow, Naomi??? I wonder how much she got paid for this.