After a week full of music, Italy crowned the winner of their prestigious song contest 'Sanremo'. After all the votes were counted, 'Soldi' was announced as the winning song and Mahmood will perform it on behalf of Italy at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.
After five show days, the final of Italy's annual Sanremo Festival took place in the Ariston Theatre tonight. Italian icon and Sanremo artistic director Claudio Baglioni hosted the show joined by the actress and comedian Virginia Raffaele and actor, comedian and TV host Claudio Bisio. They guided the audience through the 24 acts that took part in this year's competition, which awarded Mahmood with the first prize for his song Soldi (Money) after adding the cumulative vote of the journalists at the press centre, the music experts jury and the tv viewers.
Alessandro Mahmoud, aka Mahmood, was born in Milan in 1992 from an Italian mother and an Egyptian father. In 2016 he participated in the Newcomers Section of Sanremo with the song Dimentica. As a songwriter, Mahmood has written for Elodie, Michele Bravi and Marco Mengoni who represented Italy at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.
With Gioventù Bruciata, the title track of his EP published last November, he won one of the two available tickets for Sanremo 2019 via the newcomers' competition Sanremo Giovani 2018 where he also won the Critics Award. Soldi (Money) is the title of the song with which Mahmood has won the 2019 Festival di Sanremo written by Mahmood himself, Dardust and Charlie Charles.
Popular names and newcomers
This year's competition was made up of 24 acts. Some well known names in the Italian show business competed along with newcomers Einar and the eventual winner, Mahmood. This was the running order in tonight's final (final placing in brackets):
- Daniele Silvestri - Argento vivo (6th)
- Anna Tatangelo - Le nostre anime di notte (22nd)
- Ghemon - Rose viola (12th)
- Negrita - I ragazzi stanno bene (20th)
- Ultimo - I tuoi particolari (2nd)
- Nek - Mi farò trovare pronto (19th)
- Loredana Bertè - Cosa ti aspetti da me (4th)
- Francesco Renga - Aspetto che torni (15th)
- Mahmood - Soldi (1st)
- Ex-Otago - Solo una canzone (13th)
- Il Volo - Musica che resta (3rd)
- Paola Turci - L'ultimo ostacolo (16th)
- Zen Circus - L'amore è una dittatura (17th)
- Patty Pravo con Briga - Un po' come la vita (21st)
- Arisa - Mi sento bene (8th)
- Irama - La ragazza col cuore di latta (7th)
- Achille Lauro - Rolls Royce (9th)
- Nino D'Angelo e Livio Cori - Un'altra luce (24th)
- Federica Carta e Shade - Senza farlo apposta (18th)
- Simone Cristicchi - Abbi cura di me (5th)
- Enrico Nigiotti - Nonno Hollywood (10th)
- Boomdabash - Per un milione (11th)
- Einar - Parole nuove (23rd)
- Motta - Dov'è l'Italia? (14th)
After all 24 songs had been performed, including guest appearances from Italian superstars like Eros Ramazzotti, the night's top three (in bold) was announced, including Italy's act in Eurovision 2015 Il Volo. All votes received in the previous nights by the three finalists were also counted and the final performances were judged by the viewers (50%), the professional jury (20%) and the journalists (30%). You can read how Sanremo worked this year here and rewatch the show on broadcaster RAI's website.
As confirmed at the winner's press conference in Sanremo, Italy will participate in the Grand Final of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest on the 18th of May in Tel Aviv with the winner of the Festival di Sanremo 2019, Mahmood and his song Soldi.