Annalisa Minetti first won the newcomers and as that year's rules allowed the top-3 from there to join in the main caregory she went on to win it, too, ahead of Antonella Ruggiero with Amore lontanissimo (of Matia Bazar fame) while newcomers runner up Lisa scored a third place with one of the best songs ever in Sanremo. Annalisa Minetti protested firmly against her elimination from Eurovision as it became clear Italy is not participating - and for a reason. She was already quite a mediafigure beforehand having participated in Miss Italy 1997 (7th) and most of all being almost blind. The reason, she claims, why she was excluded from Sanremo 2006 as "there's no time to escort her to the stage". She didn't make it also in 2005 and 2008 but both times has been rescued by Toto Cutugno to duet with him instead. In 2005 Come noi nessuno al mondo comes 2nd. Lisa on the other hand scores a number one hit in France 3 years later with the same Sempre and it hits the charts also in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and most South American countries. What an entry that would have been for Italy! She will return to Sanremo in 2003 with Oceano (6th), later covered by Josh Groban.