Next year, Sanremo, the iconic Italian music festival, will celebrate its 70th edition. Last week, Italian media reported that popular presenter Amadeus will be in charge of the artistic direction and hosting of Sanremo 2020.
“A dream come true”
Amadeus, stage name of Amedeo Sebastiani, is a known face in Italian TV and has been active in the industry since the 1980s. Originally a DJ, he has since hosted a series of high profile TV shows across various channels and is perhaps most known for hosting early evening quiz shows. He takes over popular artist Claudio Baglioni. Baglioni must be credited for his hard work and determination to improve the contest which yielded great results at Eurovision. When asked about his appointment as Sanremo artistic director, Amadeus responded:
When you are a child your dream is to host the Sanremo Festival when you grow up […] I am extremely happy. I want to thank everyone who strongly wished I was the one to host the next edition of Sanremo. Now a few short days of holiday and we will soon get to work, because let’s not forget it will be the 70th edition of Sanremo, it’s an important number. It will be everyone’s Sanremo so: Viva Sanremo!
An ambitious plan to celebrate the 70th edition
Influential figures who have marked the history of the contest will join Amadeus throughout the five evenings. Possible names include comedian Fiorello and established Sanremo hosts Fabio Fazio and Pippo Baudo. RAI promises a show full of surprises, filled with celebration that will engage the whole organization to celebrate the 70th edition. Sanremo Giovani will once again take place also in an effort to remain up to date with new musical styles. Mahmood began his journey in last year’s Sanremo Giovani and went on to become the runner-up of Eurovision 2019.
No confirmation of participation at Eurovision yet
Although Sanremo is confirmed, RAI has yet to reveal whether they will participate in The Netherlands next May. However, confirmation came in October last year 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. However, it is extremely likely the winner will also be able to represent Italy at Eurovision.
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 45 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 seven out of nine occasions, including three top 3 finishes in 2011, 2015 and 2019. In Tel Aviv, Mahmood continued the successful run of Italian entries, finishing in second place, just 27 points shy of the coveted trophy.
Are you excited for Sanremo 2020? Who do you hope to see in the line-up? Will Italy finally manage to win Eurovision in 2020?
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