Friday, July 20, 2018


Should Sanremo festival 2019 act also as the Italian national selection for Eurovision song contest next year ( and we have no reason to believe it wouldn't) there's a major change in rules coming up. Claudio Baglioni, man in charge for the second year in a row hoping to repeat his succesful 2018 edition aims to separate the newcomers and the Big artists totally. That means that the Newcomers, or Nuove proposte aka Giovani will be held already in December instead of along the festival in February. The winner gets a freebie for the Big category.

Update: The dates for Sanremo Giovani are December 16-21, with four pre-shows before the two nights primetime shows on 20 and 21. The top-2 will join the cast of the Big in February festival (dates might yet change, btw). All this is also due to all these reality and talent shows; placing the winners and artists to Sanremo has become a very tricky task the past few years - who's big enough for a Big? There are some rules based on sales and releases, but they don't always correspond the image people have of their success and creates confusion and critic every year.

Somewhat similar system was used already in 1998 when the top-3 of newcomers joined the Big ones in the final and rather questionable way Annalisa Minetti, Newcomers winner won also the Big category while her runner up Lisa placed 3rd among the Big. Otherwise the winner would have been Antonella Ruggiero (ex-Matia Bazar, ESC 1978) followed by Paola Turci and Silvia Salemi. But back then it all happened together. And it wasn't a popular change.... and didn't last another year.
Now with the two separate Sanremos - the Newcomers coming from Casinò di Sanremo in mid December, and the main festival from Teatro Ariston as usual on February 5-9 we get more Sanremo, and the newcomers have more primetime on national television. Also their number will be increased, as will be the Big ones from 20 to 24. And it all should work better than the let's-do-it-all-together-and-get-very-confused 1998. 
And this way, the newcomers winner might end up to Israel 2019. 
The newcomers selection was introduced in 1984 and most notable winners include Eros Ramazzotti (1984), Michele Zarrillo (1987), Mietta (1989), Marco Masini (1990), 
Laura Pausini (1993), Andrea Bocelli (1994), Paola e Chiara (1997), Anna Tatangelo (2002), 
Dolcenera (2003), Fabrizio Moro (2007), 
Arisa (2000), Raphael Gualazzi (2011), Giovanni Caccamo (2015), 
Francesco Gabbani (2016) and has launched the careers of many other non winners. 
As we see three newcomers winners have done also Eurovision: Gualazzi as internally chosen for Italy's comeback to the contest in 2011, Francesco Gabbani and Fabrizio Moro as winners of that year's Big category. Special mention to Marco Masini who did Eurovision 1987 in Italy's backing team.

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