It’s been a tense 48 hours for the Italian singer Irama. His Sanremo 2021 appearance was postponed from Tuesday until Wednesday as he awaited the results of a COVID test. Then it emerged that he would have to quarantine, completely ruling him out from performing at the festival. However, now, RAI has confirmed that Irama will not be removed from the competition and his rehearsal footage will be used instead.

Irama will not be disqualified from Sanremo 2021

RAI’s statement on the matter reads:

“The Direction of Rai Uno, in agreement with the Artistic Direction of the 71st Italian Song Festival, in consideration of the particular period due to the epidemiological emergency and the difficulties that the world of music and entertainment is going through – having acquired the authorization from all the artists and related record companies competing in the reference section and in order to allow the event to be held as complete as possible – admits the participation in the competition of artists unable to attend due to health restrictions related to the aforementioned emergency through the audio / video recording of a previous performance that took place in the Festival (in rehearsal or in a previous evening).

In the case of several previous performances, the one to be broadcast and considered for the purposes of the competition will be indicated by the Artist and by the relative record company.

In case of lack of previous performance during the Festival, the recording of the Artist’s dress rehearsal will be broadcast”.

The statement makes clear a number of points:

  • All 26 artists along with their record companies agreed to the measures
  • If an artist cannot perform due to the pandemic, they may use a performance from a previous night
  • If they have yet to perform, rehearsal footage can be used. This is the case with Irama
  • If an artist has performed multiple times before pulling out, they along with their record company can choose which previous performance will be broadcast.

Revised running order for night two of Sanremo 2021

In light of the new rule, the running order has been tweaked for the second night.

  1. Orietta Berti
  2. Bugo
  3. Gaia
  4. Lo Stato Sociale
  5. La Representative of List
  6. Malika Ayane
  7. Extraliscio
  8. Ermal Meta
  9. Random
  10. Fulminacci
  11. Willie Peyote
  12. Gio Evan
  13. Irama

Irama’s COVID-19 drama at Sanremo 2021

On Tuesday, it became known that a member of Irama’s team had tested positive for COVID-19. As a precuation, Irama had to be tested too. And while the singer’s test came back negative, a second member of his entourage received a positive reading. In accordance with local rules, Irama will have to go into quarantine for at least 10 days as he was a close contact of the infected person. This means that he won’t be able to perform “La genesi del tuo colore” on the Ariston stage tonight.

If the rules were to be applied strictly, Irama would be forced to withdraw. However, in a press conference, Amadeus proposed a possible workaround. He suggested that Irama’s rehearsal performance be used in place of the live one. Unlike Sweden’s Melodifestivalen, such a scenario is not accounted for in the Sanremo 2021 rules. Therefore, the artistic director and host must seek permission from the remaining 25 competitors. The acts and their record labels agreed, meaning that Irama can stay in the competition after all.

As there is a risk of other artists being placed in a similar position later in the week, this precedent will stay in place throughout the remainder of the competition.

Are you glad at the rule change? Are you excited to hear Irama’s song? Let us know below.

Follow all of our Italy Eurovision 2021 news.

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2 years ago

Italy always has such a grown up attitude about things like this. Well done to all the 26 artists for agreeing to be flexible and realising that this could’ve happened to any of them and it’s not in any way Irama’s fault.
Looking forward to his performance, rehearsal or not. He was really good last time.

2 years ago

I’m glad everybody (from Sanremo producers to the other contestants) were reasonable about the situation.

2 years ago

YES!!!! Irama is my favourite singer since 2018 and I really really wanted to see him performing at festival di Sanremo again!

Whether it’s close to his Nera, Arrogante and a Mediterranea hits or alike his 2019 performance at Sanremo, I’m sure he’s going to smash it! If not, let it be Francesca e Fedez <3

Best of luck Irama!

2 years ago

It wouldn’t be Sanremo without some drama. But I’m here for it xd
I’m so glad for Irama. I wish he could perform tho

Last edited 2 years ago by Alex