The 2012 Festival di Sanremo has been taking place since Tuesday this week with the participation of 22 entries divided into the two traditional categories of established artists, "Artisti", and the newcomers, called "Giovani".
Just like last year, when Italy made a spectacular return to the Eurovision Song Contest placing second in the Final in Düsseldorf, the Italian artist for 2012 will be picked from those competing in Sanremo. Last year it was Raphael Gualazzi, the winner of the newcomer's category, who got the Eurovision ticket.
These are the ten finalists of the "Artisti" (Italian artist for Baku in bold):
Arisa (runner-up of Sanremo 2012)
Gigi D'Alessio e Loredana Berté
Emma (winner of Sanremo 2012)
Pierdavide Carone & Lucio Dalla
Noemi (3rd place in Sanremo 2012)
Nina Zilli (pictured below)
Four of the "Artisti" were eliminated before the Final: Matia Bazar, Chiara Civello, Irene Fornaciari and Marlene Kuntz.
The final of the newcomer's section took place last night. Declared winner was Alessandro Casillo and the ranking of the finalists of the "Giovani" competition is as follows:
And these four were eliminated in the duels last wednesday: Giordana Angi, Bidiel, Celeste Gaia and Giulia Anania.
The presenter of Sanremo, Gianni Morandi who represented Italy at the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest with Occhi Di Ragazza, introduced last year's winning duo from Azerbaijan, Ell/Nikki, to nominate the Italian artist for Baku, Nina Zilli (pictured above).
She performed the song Per Sempre - (Forever) - but RAI has informed us that so far they only picked Nina for Baku, so the Italian song in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest might be a different song than this Sanremo entry.