Italy have decided to take it serious again for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. RAI have decided that the traditional Sanremo Festival will once again be used as a selection method for Eurovision. The winner of Sanremo 2016 will be asked to represent Italy in Stockholm.
Obviously, there is a possibility for the winner to decline the opportunity. Looking back at last year, all artists but Lara Fabian said they’d take the opportunity of Eurovision. If the trend continues, we can expect the winner of Sanremo in Stockholm. Italy, as a member of the Big Five, will be pre-qualified for the final. RAI have now also confirmed that the final will be broadcast on RAI Uno.
RAI have used Sanremo ever since returning to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011. That year, Raphael Gualazzi was selected for Düsseldorf after winning the Giovanni category (for young, new artists). In 2012, Nina Zilli was internally selected and in 2013 (Marco Mengoni) and 2015 (Il Volo) the winner of Sanremo went to Eurovision. The only exception was 2014, when Emma Marrone was internally selected without the involvement of Sanremo.
When RAI confirmed participation in Sweden a few weeks ago, they accompanied it with the hashtag ”#rematch”: Is it Italy’s way of saying they’re well and truly ready to bring the contest to Rome (or Milan, Turin, you name it)? Il Volo represented Italy in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest, where they finished in third after winning the televote.