Eurovision 2020

#ITALY: Sanremo Grand Final blog #joinus from 20.45 CET

ITALY: Sanremo Grand Final blog #joinus from 20.45 CET

Italy’s festival of music in the Teatro Ariston comes to a conclusion tonight with the Grand Final. The winner will probably go on to represent their country in Rotterdam in May. However, the Grand Final is an interesting affair of music and chat. We’ll be blogging for your pleasure. See if you agree with our thoughts.

The winner tonight will be chosen by a combination of 34% Public televoting; 33% Jury of the Press Room, TV, Radio and Web; and 33% Demoscopic Jury. But we’ll get to that later.

The action starts at 20.45 CET and you can follow the action HERE.

And here we go. Get comfy. It’ll be a long (and at times baffling) evening. After some words from our sponsors.

Amadeus is our host for the evening. And the Carabinieri Players are on stage too. For the national anthem.

The Carabinieri get a massive round of applause.

One of the head honchos in Italian Calcio (football/soccer) presents Amadeus with a football.

The Calcio lady and the Carabinieri have done their bit, so now leave us for the important stuff – possibly.

We’re getting details from the competition so far.

We won’t be seeing the acts in this order. Speaking of which, it’s time for song 1

Nell’astai o nel fango – Michele Zarrillo

Michele part sings, part speaks. He’s like a grey-haired DJ Chris Evans. The song emotes – naturally – and features what sounds like yodelling. It’s heavily serious but bounces along nicely even though there seem to be a lot of words crammed into it. A very good opener and will set the scene for what’s to come.

Andromeda – Elodie

This song is co-written by a certain Mahmood.

Lots of words from the sultry Elodie. It starts a little stilted, but there’s a disco vibe once it gets going that really catches you. A dance remix would go down a storm although this isn’t doing badly. This is very good. You can tell Mahmood has had his hands on this.

Mara is on stage now. Collecting a large bunch of keys. She’s not singing tonight.

Baciami adesso – Enrico Nigioti

Enrico is a rocker with a softly-spoken ballad. He’s got a nice line in sparkly jackets. His song – unsurprisingly – has emotion and a nice guitar riff in the middle. Is he playing it? Perhaps not, but it’s distinctive. Probably not a winner.

Ad break time now. TIM is popular around these parts.

We’re back, with one of our other hosts.

Amadeus is back, in a grey wig. What larks!

Onto song 4

Finalmente io – Irena Grande

Irena means business, with lots of words and emotion. Her song is great. It’s a song to get your teeth into, and the orchestra are loving it – especially the house drummer. She can carry a tune, she sells it very well too. Perhaps not a winner, but a classic Sanremo song. And it’s made me smile.

Time for more ads.

Il sole ad est – Alberto Urso

Albert Bear? Maybe. Lots of orchestration here and a big ballad with operatic overtones. Not a bad thing. Alberto starts with a static mike, but then moves amongst the audience. A popular move but it’s keeping the camermen on their toes. He’s got a lot of mates out there. The song is nice, but nice doesn’t win Sanremo, even with a big voice and cracking orchestration.

Diodato – Fai Rumore

Fai gets lots of cheers before he’s even started. Another ballad, but different in tone with just a piano accompaniment to start with. He’s got a quirky, yet, familiar, look about him. He manages the high notes with aplomb and it’s very very good. He’s got a great line in jackets too.

More ads, but not many. And it’s Sabrina on stage with Amadeus.

Il confronto – Marco Masini

Marco is sat at a piano and has the best facial hair so far. He’s half-singing, half-speaking. The song is quite downbeat compared to what we’ve seen. And then the chorus soars, showing off Marco’s interesting vocal style. It’s a challenging song, but not really my thing. Sorry, Marco.

The winner of the new stars category – Leo Gassman – is giving us a song now – not a competition song though.

More ads. And some more non-competition songs. From Tiziano Ferro.

Onto more competition…

Gigante – Piero Pelù

Piero is a rocker of a certain age. And has a frantic song delivered, well, frantically. His self-composed song is a wake-up after some of the stuff we’ve heard thus far. And that could go either way. The song has a very familar Eurovision-style construction, even though it’s not Eurovision’s usual fare. On balance, it’s not a winner. Definitely not when he runs off with a handbag of an audience member. That’s just theft.

After more ads, we meet Francesca. Amadeus likes her

Tikibombom – Levante

Levante reminds me of Nina Zilli looks-wise. Her voice is darker, smokier. She could be a proper rock chick if it wasn’t for the outfit. The song has a decent rhythm to it. And Levante sells it. And yet it doesn’t quite grab me.

It’s only Enrico Ruggeri (IT 93) being interviewed now.

Ringo Starr – Pinguini Tattici Nucleari

A band! About time. They look a bunch of likely lads. It’s a jolly old song that is really catchy. The guys have dressed up nicely for the part in evening dress. Classy. The chorus is perhaps a tad repetitive but there’s nothing wrong with this at all. It would be a fun winner and go down well in Rotterdam. But sadly I think it won’t win.

Me ne frego – Achille Lauro

Here’s an act and a half. A homage to Elizabeth I perhaps. That gets undressed over the course of the song. The song has a rock vibe. And perhaps a shock vibe. While I can’t find anything musically that really sets it apart from the others, the costumes are certainly unique. It’s good, but perhaps not the best.

Back after ads. And it’s a tribute to Louis Armstrong’s What a wonderful world.

No grazie – Junior Cally

This has a rock vibe, with a large vocal presence from backing singers. Junior has a gravelly voice. Twenty Rothman’s anyone? There’s not much else to this despite a repetitive chorus and a sudden ending. So much so that I didn’t get a screenshot of Junior. So here’s a library picture

Carioca – Raphael Gualazzi

Raph is back and looking the part. He looks comfortable in stage. He has a seven-piece brass ensemble with him too. The song is very funky. Very Latino. And very very good. It could almost be a Jools Holland production. One to watch definitely. But if he makes Rotterdam, the two dancing children may have to go. The crowd loves him.

Ho amato tutto – Tosca

We’re rattling through them now – for Sanremo. Tosca has a piano accompaniment. She’s giving us something slightly breathy, downbeat and melancholic. It could be a show song with the gentle orchestral arrangement. She gives a solid performance, faultless in voice and subtle on emotion. A beautifully understated interpretation.

Viceversa – Francesco Gabbani

What, no gorilla? No, just Francesco, meaning business. His delivery is the same as Occidentali’s karma, very relaxed, very confident. He will challenge for the win again, and he might get it. In my opinion, it’s a better song than Occidentali’s too. He’s very popular.

It’s now Part Two apparently. But the songs keep coming.

Niente (resilienza 74) – Rita Pavone

Rita is a singer of experience, and you can tell. She means business and is selling this like you wouldn’t believe. There are lots of words in the verse again, with a powerful chorus. Her voice is harsh but in a good way, especially for a rocky song like this. It proves you don’t need to be a teenager to mix it with the best Italy can offer. What a star!

Dov’è – La Vibrazioni

It’s band time again. They have a sign-language guy on stage. We’ve got us a good old solid song sung very competently in a style you’d expect a slow rock song at Sanremo to be sung. Lots of emotion, and flitting between power and precision. Another good performance, even if the chorus repeats the title many times over.

More ads, and only six songs to go now. Bu befpre them, another musical interlude.

Rosso di rabbia – Anastasio

Song 18! Electric guitars are the motif here. Anastasio raps his way through this with lots of anger it seems. There’s little more to say except there is quick rapping, and slightly slower rapping for the chorus.

Lo sappiamo entrambi – Riki

Riki takes things down several tempos. His mid-tempo ballad is very refreshing. He’s meaning what he sings and there is proper emotion and empathy with the words. It’s a performance with no bells or whistles. Just a simple song sung simply. With some synthesised singing thrown in for good measure.

Come mia madre – Giordana Angi

Giordana starts by speak-singing. It’s a popular trick hereabouts. Her voice is a tad gravelly but suits the song nicely. Having said that, it’s also a tad shouty. Sadly it’s nothing special.

Voglio pardatti adesso – Paolo Jannacci

We have another ballad, with a heavy orchestration. It’s heartfelt, and pleasant, with a bit of charm. Paolo seems an interesting performer. Almost more like an accountant. Definitely a pleasant song.

  • Musica – Elettra Lamboghini

Ooh. A proper Latino song! And a very contemporary beat. A real crowd-pleaser with a middle eight to really get you going. An audience even joins our Elettra on stage for that part. It could spring a surprise.

Eden – Rancore

Eden is angry rapper and has a lot to say for himself. This year’s Mahmood? In attitude anyway. There’s something I like about this I can’t quite put my finger on. Very interesting.

And with that, the televoting has closed. So we get some cabaret. It’s Sabrina. Of Boys (summertime love) fame. A heavy orchestration is a different take on this 1980s ‘classic’.

The results are coming in…

The voting is now open for the top three. So will it be Diodato, Francesco, or Pinguini? The televoters get to decide.

Our hosts are playing with a microphone that can add synthesised effects to a voice. It’s all very jolly, even at this late stage.

Here they come. The results! Well, after a word from our sponsors.

In third place are the Pinguini Tattici Nucleari!

The winner of the Mia Martini critic’s prize is Diodato!

The big prize goes to…


Well done for staying the course! Thank you and good night!

Author: John Stanton

Source: Eurovision Ireland, RAI

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