Italy – Our good friend Keith Mills guides us through the start of the Sanremo Festival 2014. This week will see several global names take to the stage with the contestants – not to be missed
Though it may not have any direct link with this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, European music fans will be tuning in their thousands for the next five nights to watch the mother of all song festivals, the 64th running of the famous Sanremo festival. Italian broadcaster has already confirmed that their entry in May in Copenhagen in May will be “”La Mia Città” (My City) sung by Emma Marrone, who won the Sanremo festival in 2012 with the song “Non è l’Inferno” (It’s No Hell). Despite early rumours to the contrary, it appears that Emma won’t now be returning to Sanremo, as a guest artist this year.
Sanremo is however much more than just a music competition, with guests from all parts of the entertainment industry being a major part of the show, which will be once again be presented Fabio Fazio and Luciana Littizzetto, a duo that can best be described as a “mixed blessing”. While this means that the show is often tortuously long and slow for non-Italian speakers, broadening its appeal has seen the television show once again becoming an enormous ratings success for RAI.
The format for this year’s shows are almost identical to 2013, when Marco Mengoni won the competition and went on to finish in the Top 10 in Eurovision. Fourteen acts will compete for the major prize while eight new talents will compete for a newcomers’ prize.
On Tuesday evening, the first seven acts will each perform two songs, back to back and a combination of a jury vote and a quick fire televote, will decide which of the two songs will be the chosen entry for that act in the later stages of the festival. The act that seems to be getting most attention is former “X Factor” star and 2011 Sanremo entrant Giusy Ferreri. The now 35 year old pop-rock singer has a large fan base and is considered to be one of the favourites to win the festival this year. Another act to watch out for on Tuesday night is another Sanremo returnee Raphael Gualazzi, who won he Newcomers’ section in 2011 and later went on to finish second in that year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Dusseldorf. In case that’s not enough to whet your appetite, the guests will include veteran singer and presenter Raffaella Carrà and English singer/songwriter Cat Stevens.
Wednesday night sees the remaining seven acts also performing two songs, with the same process, to being used to select their final entry. The names to watch out for that night are Franceso Rengo, who won Sanremo in 2005 with his song “Angelo” and Noemi, who came close to winning the festival in 2012 with her entry “Sono Solo Parole”, finishing 3rd behind Emma Marrone. The first three acts in the Newcomers section will also perform on and among the guests on Wednesday night, will be American singer Rufus Wainwright, who is promoting his new compilation album.
Thursday night sees the fourteen acts competing for big prize performing their songs once again and a mini-televote will go towards the overall Saturday night final vote. The three other Newcomers perform and the guests include Ireland’s Damien Rice.
On Friday, it’s “Samremo Club” night when the fourteen acts in competition choose their favourite old Sanremo entry and perform with a guest singer. There will be a couple of interesting performances for Eurovision fans as 1993 Italian entrant Enrico Ruggeri will be performing with Giusy Ferreri and Franco Battiato (Eurovision 1984) will duet with Arisa. The most interesting moment could be Raphael Gualazzi and his band the Bloody Beetroots teaming up with American rock Tommy Lee to perform “Volare”, Italy Eurovision entry from 1958. Scotaland’s most famous Italian Paolo Nutini, will also be guesting on Friday night.
On Saturday night, it’s the grand final, where a complex formula of a jury vote and televote (including Thursday’s televote) will choose the overall winner. The Newcomers winner will also be confirmed and the guest include popular Italian rocker Ligabue, Belgian singer and rapper Stromae and controversial comedian Maurizio Crozza. A long, but enjoyable night is guaranteed.
You can follow the show live HERE
Author : Keith Mills
Source : RAI