Ciao Italia – Welcome to out LIVE ROLLING BLOG of the Grand Final of the Sanremo Festival 2015 where Italy will possibly select their Eurovision 2015 entrant.
Crack open a bottle of Chianti and join me John Stanton for an Italian Feast of music tonight. My LIVE ROLLING BLOG starts at 20:35 CET. You know the score by now – you just refresh the page for my live updates on who I think is ‘Buono o Cattivo’ aka ‘Good or Bad’.
Remember that the winner tonight of the Campioni Section will be given the opportunity to represent Italy at Eurovision 2015. If they decline the offer then RAI will look for an internal selection to represent the country at Eurovision.
You can WATCH live HERE and HERE along with me and make sure to tweet me @eurovisionireland or comment below if you think I am totally on the ball or falling foul with my picks of the best. Tonight I have been asked to compare all the acts to Italian Food – expect lots of cheese and wine references.
ROLLING BLOG – 20:35 CET – Just Refresh The page
Buona sera a tutti (as I think they say in Liguria) and welcome to rolling coverage. The whole show is likely to last until the early hours of Tuesday, so I hope you’re sitting comfortably.
e;re subject to much talking, and reminded that music is a thing that brings us together. So to illustrate this we have an interpretive dance take on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet which of course was set in Verona. It’s not just dance, but the Montagus (Romeo’s clan and) mates are singing at us in the classic Broadway stylee. Juliet joins Romeo and we’ve now gone all Disney’s Frozen. It’s actually quite sweet.
We of course have a jury who are in the Ariston. We get introduced to Claudio who chairs the said jury. He in turn introduces singer Kaligola, who’s won a nice prize. He was a newcomer but got eliminated earlier in the week.
Next on stage is a young group who seem to take over the show. Our host Carlo doesn’t like to interrupt too much.
The first ad break has come and gone, and we’re greeted by a band. Turned out very nicely in their bestest uniforms and mostly playing clarinets. That is until they start jamming with the house orchestra and some random bass player) who’s probably quite famous). It turns out it’s the official start of the show.
We get introduced to a number of acts performing tonight, and then reminded that it costs €1 to vote, and you can vote up to five times.
Marco Marsini – Che giorno è
John’s Comments – Marco kicks off the competitive part of tonight’s show. He looks a little David Baddiel. Old enough to know better but showing the start of a hipster tattoo on his right wrist. It’s good old slow (lover’s?) rock that suits his gravelly voice. It has a very heavy orchestration and is a very gutsy song. A great opener.
Nina Zilli – Sola
John’s Comments – We all know the lovely Nina from Baku in 2012. i’m trying to not be [too] biased but she smoulders away with this downbeat jazzy number that Patricia Kaas could perform. It’s a rather cool arrangement of the song. Nina looks stunning as usual in a long sparkly dress. It maybe has just a little too much electric guitar but a song like this is in a safe pair of hands. Even host Carlo calls her chic and elegant.
Chiara – Staordinario
John’s Comments – Red-head Chiara gives us a more earnest ballad which relies heavily on a piano backing. She means every word as it soars into a lush chorus that needs a high volume. It’s another high quality song. Another thing in its favour is a very instant hook. Lovers of a typical Italian ballad will love this.
Dear Jack – Il mondo esplode tranne noi
John’s Comments – Our first group of the night are very guitar-heavy. There’s a young sound about this and it moves along really well. They co-ordinate well in matching silver-grey suits and the backdrop shows the lyrics behind them – which can often be a good trick. How it works with a full orchestra I’m not too sure, but the guitar riffs during the song make up for this slight incongruity. It may well get the yoof vote.
Malika Ayane – Adesso e qui (nostalgico presente)
John’s Comments – This starts as a very understated ballad which Malika almost speaks rather than sings. Once the singing starts we get the full range of a voice that belies her looks. In a good way, obviously. The sound has a slightly haunting quality that proves very easy on the ear. There could almost be a key change, but there isn’t and it doesn’t really need one. This could spring a surprise.
Before the next song, we get Gianna Nannino – a rock check with a Fausto Leali gravelly voice. She’s a legend by all accounts.
Nek – Fatti avanti amore
John’s Comments – We go a little more upbeat now, There’s a U-2 sound about this which may gain it a few votes. It’s another very instant song and to be on stage alone is quite a feat. There’s a huge cheer when the song finishes, and Nek seems very popular. Maybe another one to watch.
I’ve not gone away. We’re getting some local satire at the moment with Giorgio.
Il Volo – Grande amore
John’s Comments – Our three tenors follow in the tradition of three strong voices pitched at slightly different levels that can harmonise when necessary, but also hold their own with a tune. One of them even looks like Thunderbirds’ Brains. It’s good as a standalone song, but if Italy had this in mind for Vienna, they may be disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really good and the crowd love it. They’ve even been asked for an encore!
Annalisa – Una finestra tra le stelle
John’s Comments – We’re straight on with the next song and Annalisa is very easy on the eye. The song is simpler than some of the other ballads we’ve heard tonight, but features a lot of words and another soaring chorus. Lots of ticks in boxes going on here. The only criticism, if there is one, is that it finishes more with a whimper than a bang.
Another break, for a certain British singer called Ed Sheeran. Singing, erm, ‘Sing’. And then ‘Thinking out loud’. He poses for selfies with all the presenters.
Alex Britti – Un attimo importante
John’s Comments – Alex talks us through his song. Maybe not the best of starts, but he’s dressed very smartly. He’s gone for the nonchalant delivery which is an interesting take. By the time he gets to the chorus he sings a lot more, and the orchestra set this off a little better. For Italy, they may like it, but for Eurovision, it’s not a competition song.
Irene Grandi – Un vento senza nome
John’s Comments – Irene has a pleasant ballad for us. She also has a slightly gravelly voice and her maturity gives her a notable stage presence. It’s heartfelt rather than earnest, and very pleasant all the same. I quite like this and it would be a very nice winner.
Lorenzo Fragola – Siamo uguali
John’s Comments – Lorenzo looks very young and appears to be having problems with his earphones. He sings a mid-tempo song that benefits greatly from the string section of the orchestra. Despite the orchestra, it’s a very modern sound and he has a very good voice, if a little understated. He gets plenty of applause.
Bianca Atzei – Il solo al mondo
John’s Comments – This starts well with a piano motif going on. Her vocals are a little harsh but still easy on the ear. We have a short verse with another one of those soaring choruses demonstrating her range and the fact she can carry a tune in a bucket. There’s applause for this one even before it’s over.
Moreno – Oggi ti parlo così
John’s Comments – Moreno has opted for rap. He has a very un-rap-star look about him, going more for an opera singer’s idea of a bullfighter. Rap isn’t really my thing but there could be potential in a song like this. He has a cheery demeanour but I’m still a un-convinced that this is a winner.
Gianluca Grignani – Sogni infranti
John’s Comments – We go for more mid-tempo and Gianluca has a slightly breathy voice.He’s one of the few performers who’s had a backing band. This song needs it too. It’s not really right for an orchestra. in any other event, Gianluca’s vocals would be good. However, he seems to be struggling just a little. If he’s been doing this sort of schtick all week it’s bound to take its toll. Sadly, it’s not a winner – but what do I know?
Grazia de Michele & Mauro Coruzzi – Io sono una finestra
John’s Comments – Our only duet of the night sees them sat on stools. A cello gives us the introduction for this song. It’s a little offbeat and unlike most of the other songs we’ve heard tonight. Our singers are of mature years and you can tell they have years of singing experience behind them. To me it’s very wordy – not a bad thing in itself – though I’m not really sold by this one.
Nesli – Buona fortuna amore
John’s Comments – Waiting patiently for over two hours is Nesli. There’s a familiar look about him, but he must be unique in going for the jacket with the studs all around it. We get slow rock here with a strong chorus. After the wordiness of the last song, this chooses long notes and more gaps so we can hear the heavy orchestration and guitarist on stage with him. A nice way to end the presentation of the songs.
Tonight’s special guest is Will Smith. He has an interesting chat with host Carlo. It turns out they went to school together. Will was better at English and Carlo at Math (sic). Will also knows the chorus to ‘Nel blu dipinto di blu (Volare)’. That must mean he’s an honorary Italian citizen now.
You can see the first set of results below, with the top three being revoted on the typical ‘super-final’ format. In the meantime, a very bald Enrico Ruggeri takes to the stage. You may remember him from singing in a show-jumping arena in 1993. He sings a song called ‘Tre Signori’. Is this a sign as to who might have won tonight?
Now, what to pick? The first songs were on that long ago, it’s a tricky one to judge. If I could narrow it down I’d go for Nina Zilli, Chiara, Malika Ayane, Nek, or Irene Grande.
16 Di Michele & Caruzzi
14 Bianca Atzei
12 Irene Grandi
11 Alex Britti
10 Lorenzo Fragola
9 Nina Zilli
8 Gianluca Grignani
7 Dear Jack
6 Marco Masini
Nek, Malika Ayane and Il Volo are to be revoted on.
Before the final placings, Nek wins the Mia Martini Award, given by the Critics in the Newcomers’ section.
3 Malika Ayane
1 Il Volo
Author : John Stanton
Source : Eurovision Ireland