Since Italy returned with a bang to the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2011, their national competition 'Festival di Sanremo' has been directly linked to their international participation nearly every year. Since 2015, the winner of 'Sanremo' has the right to represent Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest. Here's everything you need to know about this year's competition, which kicks off tonight.
The contest, which will take place at the Ariston Theatre, runs for five nights from Tuesday's premiere to Saturday's final. Unlike in previous years, the 24 participating acts have not been divided into categories.
Each night, acts will be receiving votes from different juries; a consumer panel made up of 300 people, the journalists in the press centre and eight entertainment industry professionals. Viewers at home will also be given the opportunity to cast their vote.
Just like last year, no songs will be eliminated throughout the week, which means every competing song is automatically qualified for Saturday's final. To grow viewers' anticipation, each night the top-eight, middle-eight and bottom-eight of the jury vote wil be revealed, without giving away each song's exact placing.
The event will be broadcast live on RaiPlay.it and can be watched from anywhere in the world. The shows start at 20:35 CET.
Two Claudios, one Virginia
Italian icon and Sanremo artistic director Claudio Baglioni returns to the competition as host. He will be joined by the actress and comedian Virginia Raffaele, who already hosted Sanremo in 2016, and actor, comedian and TV host Claudio Bisio.
Sit back and relax—this is the schedule!
- Tuesday, 5th of February
All 24 acts will present their songs and, at the end of the night, the songs are allowed to be made available to download platforms and streaming services. The 21st song in the running order to be performed will be the 2,000th competing song in Sanremo's history. Only one of the results will be revealed, either the viewers (40%), the consumer's panel (30%), or the journalists at the Press Centre (30%). Among the guests, world reknowned tenor Andrea Bocelli.
- Wednesday, 6th of February
Only twelve of the acts will perform. A different jury's result will be revealed, either the viewers (40%), the consumer's panel (30%), or the journalists at the Press Centre (30%).
- Thursday, 7th of February
The remaining twelve acts will perform. A different jury's result will be revealed, either the viewers (40%), the consumer's panel (30%), or the journalists at the Press Centre (30%).
- Friday, 8th of February
All 24 acts will perform a revised version of their entry, together with another non-competing artist. Last year's Sanremo winners will join two of the acts: Ermal Meta will be on stage with Simone Cristicchi, who sang Non Mi Avete Fatto Niente in last year's Sanremo, while Fabrizio Moro will sing together with Ultimo. All the votes received in the previous nights are counted, but this night's performances will be judged by the viewers (50%), the professional jury (20%) and the journalists (30%).
- Saturday, 9th of February
All 24 acts will perform their song again. Eventually, votes will be cast for the night's top-three. Like the night before, all votes received in the previous nights by the three finalists are counted and this night's performances will be judged by the viewers (50%), the professional jury (20%) and the journalists (30%).
Last but not least—the participants
This is the list of acts competing in this year's 'Festival della canzone italiana' Sanremo:
- Francesco Renga - Aspetto che torni
- Nino D'Angelo e Livio Cori - Un'altra luce
- Nek - Mi farò trovare pronto
- Zen Circus - L'amore è una dittatura
- Il Volo - Musica che resta
- Loredana Bertè - Cosa ti aspetti da me
- Daniele Silvestri - Argento vivo
- Federica Carta e Shade - Senza farlo apposta
- Ultimo - I tuoi particolari
- Paola Turci - L'ultimo ostacolo
- Motta - Dov'è l'Italia?
- Boomdabash - Per un milione
- Patty Pravo con Briga - Un po' come la vita
- Simone Cristicchi - Abbi cura di me
- Achille Lauro - Rolls Royce
- Arisa - Mi sento bene
- Negrita - I ragazzi stanno bene
- Ghemon - Rose viola
- Einar - Parole nuove
- Ex-Otago - Solo una canzone
- Anna Tatangelo - Le nostre anime di notte
- Irama - La ragazza col cuore di latta
- Enrico Nigiotti - Nonno Hollywood
- Mahmood - Soldi
We can be fairly certain that one of the first questions asked to the winner of Saturday's Sanremo will be whether he, she or they will want to represent Italy in the Grand Final of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest!