Tuesday, February 05, 2019


Tonight's the night and the 69th Festival della Canzone Italiana in Sanremo starts and goes on until Saturday night when we will know the winner, and hopefully also the one going to Tel Aviv and Eurovison song contest 2019. A major change this year is there is only one category as the Newcomers were sorted out already in December in a festival for them alone and two winners got the ticket to the Big category: Mahmood and Einar. 
Tonight's guest stars are Giorgia, Andrea Bocelli with his son Matteo, last year's host actor Pierfrancesco Favino, actor Claudio Santamaria and actor/director/writer/musician Rocco Papaleo.
The hosts next to Claudio Baglioni this year are fabulous comedian, actress, impersonator Virginia Raffaele and actor, presenter, comedian, writer Claudio Bisio. 
All 24 artists will perform their song tonight for the first time. The voting is 30% press center, 30% demoscopic jury and 40% televote.
A notable mileston will happen tonight as well: Anna Tatangelo's song will be the 2000th Sanremo song when she enters the stage as 21st....

Francesco Renga – Aspetto che torni ***1/2
Renga's (50) 8th Sanremo delivers a beautiful melodic song in true Sanremo form. Never been a bit Renga fan but this is good. He already won in 2005 and two further top-5 finishes. This could also work for Eurovision, the Italian way.
Nino D’Angelo e Livio Cori – Un’altra luce ****
Napoletan realness with debutant Cori )28) and D'Angelo's (61) 6th festival. Atmopsheric, ethnic chic and again a very beautiful melody. Eurovision? Why not, would be something else! I have always had a soft spot for napoletan music....
Nek – Mi farò trovare pronto ***
Nek (47) returns after placing 2nd behind Il Volo in 2015 and two previous festivals. Less electric than Fatti sentire, more rock. Catchy but... maybe the eexpectations were too high, I feel a bit disappointed. Maybe. Eurovision? Nek yes, this song no.

First commercial break leaves timee to comment the stage. Nah... I don't feel it. So far it looks dark and dull. Different from before yes but it's not working yet..... And everyone dressed in black or dark anyways doesn't help....

The Zen Circus – L’amore è una dittatura *
Debutants bring a marching semirock with a lot of words. Not my cup of tea, even if towards the end it does get rather boombastic. Eurovision? No.
Il Volo – Musica che resta ****
This is Il Volo 100%. Not maybe as catchy at first hearing as Grande amore, but it's more pop and Ignazio's rock voice well displayed alla Gianna Nannini. Eurovision? Yes, but sadly not strong as Grande amore so.... maybe better not, it would be too hard to bis their previous success. Huge applause though!
Loredana Bertè – Cosa ti aspetti da me *****
Loredana's (68) 11th festival, one of them with sister Mia Martini. She's again more popular than ever perhaps and this song is a good example. For me the best so far; catchy and Italian, and she behaved and managed it vocally, too. It would be very interesting to send her to Tel Aviv, she's a Big Personality :-)

First guest star is Andrea Bocelli who won the Newcomers 25 years ago and went on to household name globally..... He sings with Claudio Baglioni his winning song then, Il mare calmo della sera. And he gets a standing ovation. Of course.
Enter his son Matteo (21) and symbolic change of jacket, the very same Andrea won wearing. Then they sing Fall on me, their duet hit.

Daniele Silvestri – Argentovivo **
Daniele (50) and his 65h festival, including 4 top-10 finishes. This is the critic's love song, they are all going gaga but I'm not into these spoken songs with important lyrics. Enter rapper Rancore and this is the first one with some sort of staging really. Eurovision? No! This is more like a musical number summing up the whole story. On the other hand this makes me think of Giorgio Faletti's Signor Tenente and that finished 2nd, a long time ago....

Then it's time to interrupt again with Bisio's monologue and then enters Baglioni for some singing.....
And still the most colorful thing so far is Bisio's jacket.

Federica Carta e Shade – Senza farlo apposta **
Finally somee color, grazie Federica! She (20) sings and he (31) raps and they try to bis their previous joint succss. The song is rather anonymous sadly. Propably a future radio hit but propably not going very high here come Saturday. Eurovision? Nah... They're young and cute but also a bit lost.
Ultimo – I tuoi particolari ****
Niccolo Moriconi (23) tries to do Francesco Gabbani and win Newcomers and Big back to back. It is possible. His song is very Sanremo, very. It's also pretty and very melodic. He sits by the piano first and on screen we have writings a là Non mi avete fatto niente. One of the big favorites and propably a certain top-3 awaits. Eurovision? Why not?
Enter last yar's host Pierfrancesco Favino and Virginia gets to imitate Michele Hunziker. She also has the first dress change. And then they went into big music film spectacular with Freddie Mercury and Mary Poppins....
Paola Turci – L’ultimo ostacolo ****
Paola's (54) 11th feestival, but only 7th among Big (long story...) Last three have been top-5 finishes and she's up there this year, too. A good pop rock, melodic and her voice is fab as always. Easy enough to please many. Elegant and convincing. Eurovision? Why not?
Motta – Dov’è l’Italia ***
Francesco Motta (32) is the big unknown to the great public. He has already won to prestigious Tenco awards but still most people have no idea who he is. It may all change tonight. He's song is instant enough, rather catchy and pop. It's interesting to see how this will be voted, or rather him. Eurovision? Maybe not....
Boomdabash – Per un milione ***
Pop reggae. Cute. Enjoyable but maybe they need someone like Loredana Berté in vocals to really stand out? A bit too nice, I was expecting more energy and ... aggressivity? Anyways, "nice"....  Eurovision? No, not for Italy.
Patty Pravo con Briga – Un po’ come la vita **1/2
Mattia Briga (30) is debutant but Patty Pravo (70) in her 10th festival, first one was in 1970. She is a creature but has her voice and it's a miracle she still manages to sing, speaking is another matter it seems. The song is rather anonymous, tender ballad. Eurovision? No.
Simone Cristicchi – Abbi cura di me ***
Simone (42) in his 5th festival, he won in 2007. Another half spoken ballad with important lyrics, but very calm and captivating somehow. No wonder this has been described as a prayer. Not bad but not for Eurovision. Even if this could be the winner.

Time for another superguest: Giorgia. Her career also started in Sanremo 25 years ago among Newcomers but she won among big in 1995, and has placed also 2nd and 3rd so she has a full collection of those lovely golden lions! She sings a medley of her covers from her latest album Pop heart. If the Sanremo winner should say no just send her, I've been waiting for her since 1995....
Then she sings with Baglioni hr winning song, written by Eros Ramazzotti btw, Come saprei. What an Eurovision entry that would have been! (And Baglioni totally showed it's not an easy song to sing, lol)

Achille Lauro – Rolls Royce *
Debutant Achille De Marinis (28) is a rapper turned Sanremo rocker. One can only wonder what Baglioni was thinking when adding him to the line up. The title of the song becomess very evident...
Arisa – Mi sento bene ***
Rosalba Pippa (37) aka Arisa has once again expressed her dream to do Eurovision this year. This is her 6th Festival and has won both Newcomers and Big, and also has a 2nd place. But... this song certainly is different but is it good? It's uptempo but not a good one in that. Maybe... First hearing leaves me a bit cold. Eurovision? Arisa yes, this song no.
Negrita – I ragazzi stanno bene **
Second festival for them (since 2003). Soft rock with whistling and spoken verses. Nothing special really but still rather enjoyable arrangement. Not for me nor Eurovision.
Ghemon – Rose viola ***
Giovanni Luca Picariello (36) aka Ghemon debuts in the festival. He's another odd name in the list. The song isn't bad nor very original nor is he a great vocalist. Hard to say where this end in the scoreboard. I suppose the studio version is rather enjoyable maybe. Eurovision? No. Polite applause.
Einar – Parole nuove **
Cuban born Einar Ortiz (25) won a ticket to the festival in last December's Newcomers. He offers a pop ballad with sugary lyrics like a real teenage idol should. Pleasant radio pop that goes in one ear and comes out from another without leaving much.... Eurovision? No.
Ex-Otago – Solo una canzone **
The band debuts in festival. It's more pop than rock pleasant but nothing  indie, memorable or not heard before. Eurovision? No.
Anna Tatangelo – Le nostre anime di notte ***
Anna's (32)career started by winning the Newcomers in 2002. Since then she has participated in six festivals scoring one 2nd and two 3rd places, but that's over ten years ago... Her song is a typical Sanremo/Italian ballad. Eurovision? Anna yes, this song.... no. Even if it's a milestone song: number 2000.
Irama – La ragazza con il cuore di latta ***
Filippo Maria Fanti (23) aka Irama was in Newcomers 3 years ago without success. He found enough of it elsewhere to be included among Big this year, and even one of the favorites. Spoken verses, gospel choir, catchy chorus, important lyrics. He walks off the stage among thee audience.  This will go far I suppose. Eurovision? Why not.
Enrico Nigiotti – Nonno Hollywood **
Like Irama also Enrico (31) did Newcomers without success 4 years ago and has meanwhile found fame elsewhere to become a Big. Another traditional Sanremo ballad. I expected more from him. Eurovision. No.
Mahmood – Soldi *****
Alessandro Mahmood, half Egyptian, half Sardinian tried Newcomers 2016 but was left 4th after likes of Francesco Gabbani and Ermal Meta. Last December he won a ticket to the festival just like Einar. I don't know why but I likee most everything h does; he has a voice you can't mistakee and his songs aren't samee old. he has written also for Marco Mengoni some great tracks. He sings also in Arab here? Special arrangement. The most interesting song for sure. Eurovision? Yes please!

Here the partial results by demoscopic jury tonight (30%, and as all group of votes in course of five nights are added up this ventually counts less than 2%!)) divided in top, middle and bottom groups:

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