Tel Aviv 2019

Italy: RAI introduces major Sanremo revamp

"Sanremo multiplied by two"

In June, we reported that Sanremo 2019 will take place between February 5-9 next year. Recently, RAI revealed more information and added major changes to the format of the show for next year. 

A new contest rather than a ‘newcomers’ section

The biggest change to the format involves the creation of a separate show, entirely dedicated to so-called the ‘newcomers’. The show will see the participation of 24 “under 36” artists who will compete to win two spots to participate in the 2019 edition of Sanremo. This also means that they will also be competing for victory at Sanremo, something newcomers weren’t able to do until now.

An effort to find new talents

RAI says that the idea comes from the show’s Artistic Director and popular Italian singer Claudio Baglioni, who believes it is very important to strengthen RAI’s efforts to find new Italian musical talents. RAI 1’s director Angelo Teodoli praised the changes saying:

This is a clear sign of RAI 1’s willingness to invest in new Italian musical talents, offering them more visibility and better quality and, for the two first places, a unique opportunity”

Show to run from December 17 to 21.

The shows will run for between December 17 and 21. The two final nights whose winners will win the ticket to Sanremo will take place on December 20 and 21. Before that, singers will have the opportunity to introduce their music and personal stories to the public through evening shows of 45 minutes each. The shows will be aired on RAI’s main channel, RAI 1.

No confirmation of participation at Eurovision yet

Although Sanremo is confirmed, RAI has not yet confirmed whether they will participate in Israel next May. Last year, the confirmation came in September so we may need to wait a little longer to hear about the broadcaster’s Eurovision plans. Furthermore, it is not known whether Sanremo will be the selection method for the entrant or whether RAI will opt for internal selection, like in 2014. Usually, the winner of Sanremo gets the offer to represent Italy in the big Eurovision stage.

Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest

Italy was one of the seven countries that competed in the very first contest in 1956. So far, it participated at Eurovision 44 times, winning twice in 1964 and 1990. The country regularly participated at Eurovision until 1997 when it withdrew for 14 years. Italy returned to the contest in 2011, represented by Raphael Gualazzi with “Madness of love” earning 2nd place. Since returning, Italy ranked in the top 10 in six out of eight occasions, including two top 3 finishes in 2011 and 2015. In Lisbon the duo Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro represented Italy. Although they placed 17th with the jury, they came 3rd with the televote, coming 5th overall.

What do you think of these changes? Do you think they will help Italy win the trophy? What is your favorite Italian entry so far?
Let us know in the comments below or on social media @ESCXTRA.

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