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Wednesday, 13 February 2013 19:17

Italy: Second Night of Sanremo 2013 - LIVE

RAI, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest has gained worldwide recognition for hosting the annual Sanremo competition in the Ariston Theatre and this year will be no different. The 63rd edition officially came to a debut last night when seven acts presented fourteen tracks, two each with the public and the media selecting their favourite, and announced just after the performances came to an end. The system will be roughly the same this evening, with another seven acts taking to the stage with two entries each. Many critics have spoken out that this evening, will prove to be better in terms of quality due to the fact that several of the favourites will be taking to the spotlight. The show could be watched through RAI 1 on Satellite, although one could find it on Reception Television. Follow the show online through the official website of the competition.

The representative for the Eurovision Song Contest will be selected through the Sanremo competition but it is relatively unlikely that the chosen entry will be the same one performed during these nights which will lead up to Saturday evening. Since their return, Italy have done extremely well at the international showcase, reaching ninth place with Nina Zilli and her entry L'Amore e Femmina (Out of Love) last year as opposed to their first runner-up finish in 2011 with the track Madness of Love (Follia D'Amore) performed by Raphael Gualazzi who took to the stage last night as he is one of the artists in the category 'Campioni'. This years' Sanremo competition is being hosted by Fabio Fazio and Luciana Littizzetto, the former being none other than the producer for this years' proceedings. The second set of artists from the 'Campioni' category will take to the stage alongside four artists from the 'Giovani' category, out of which two will qualify to the final set forth for Friday night. 

The Show

Around thirteen million tuned in to watch the first evening of Sanremo last night and many believe that the best acts will be taking to the stage this evening. Following a grand opening last night, this evening seems to be more sombre and a well dressed male takes to the stage with a monologue which involves some tracks which have been coined as classics by critics of the industry. Mid-way through his monologue, he sits down and starts playing an acoustic guitar, and one has to note that he is a pretty good singer. He stands up and now he is performing on the illustious Sanremo stage which is bathed in blue lighting and a bit of smoke. We just got to know that this is Beppe Fiorello and indeed, he is clearly talented! Fabio Fazio, our male host is out on stage in what seems to be an exact replica of last nights' suit. One has to agree that it does indeed look good, but changing the look slightly would definitely pan out well in my opinion. Clad in an extremely beautiful sky blue dress is Bar Refaeli who will be a guest throughout the evening and now, comes the female host of the competition Luciana Littizetto who is wearing a white shirt, which looks more like a dress. Whatever that is, it looks horrible on television.

Running Order (Campioni)

Modà: Come l’acqua dentro il mare and Se si potesse non morire

Se si potesse non morireThe runners-up of Sanremo in 2011 are back in the competition on their own, without the aid of Emma Marrone. The first track opens up with the piano playing, followed by a cello in the background and the vocals of the front man take form as well, and this sounds like a ballad earlier on, one which is relatively slow building but suddenly takes more form in an emotional manner. The lead vocalist is not spot on but the Italian language has a lot of twists and ends and vocals might sound either hoarse or off. The music is simple but the people are enjoying this and mid-way through, they are clapping seemingly showing their appreciation towards the group, favourites for the competition. This is just beautiful and I am really intrigued to see what their second song sounds like. 

Come l’acqua dentro il mare: Of Monsters & Men as well as Mumford and Sons are clearly the inspiration behind the second entry which is building up quite beautifully and it is going to be quite difficult to decide between the two. The lead vocalist is having an easier time performing this track and this could be because of the fact, that this is the more feasible song but he seems to be speaking to the audience and the cameras whilst performing. The chorus is pretty strong but I think the first track was all round stronger. Adriano Pennino is known in the Eurovision Song Contest for having arranged the entry for Bosnia & Herzegovina in 2012. This is an extremely good song but since they have another one, I would rather choose the first one considering it has more chances for victory.

Qualified: Se si potesse non morire

Simone Cristicchi: La prima volta (che sono morto) and Mi manchi

Mi Manchi: Ouch! That was a terrible opening by Simone because he was clearly off-key and not in an Italian manner. The music nevertheless, based on the guitar and the violin is very simple and easy going and one starts bopping along with the track. Old school and very seaside. The lyrics are seemingly dedicated to someone special in his life because he is crying apart from the fact that the title speaks for itself. I really cannot fault the songwriters of this track but I am not a big fan of his vocals and never really understood how he won Sanremo a couple of years back because Italy have produced some great stars. The audience seemed to have enjoyed that. I would definitely not imagine this type of song at the Eurovision Song Contest because it would be lost within all the other ballads that might be presented.

La prima volta (che sono morto): This already sounds much better and more well suited to his type of vocals, and indeed, being a co-writer does indeed help the situation. There is a jazz feel and once more, it seems that this is a fast paced conversation with the audience or even so, a story. The instruments come in beautifully within the chorus and this sounds completely. I must say that his vocals are steady in this one and he seems to be enjoying his performance much more this time round. Sing-A-Long moment at one point and this should be the one to make it through to the next phase and the people seem to agree with me as this time they clapped within the audience. Beautiful!

Qualified: La prima volta (che sono morto)

Malika Ayane: E se poi e Niente

Niente: Loving the early camera work by RAI, as they would like to get the viewers to respect both the orchestra, and the performers. Malika is wearing a long black dress and she sports blonde hair. The lighting is extremely dark with blue and black being predominant. She is performing a ballad, one which she clearly seems to be enjoying. Her gestures are comign across as extremely natural. The raspiness of her voice is quite charming and it gives the song identity. Malika is one of the favourites for the Eurovision Song Contest and such a song would be well appreciated in my opinion. The audience are in love with this song and her second song needs to be stunning to beat this one!

E se poi: No opening music for the second track, it just commences with Malika's raspy vocal and that is already an element which I do not like. The staging for this one is dark but nevertheless, on the screens, bars of yellow colours come up and give the song a bit of shade. It is a ballad but the tempo is slightly faster than the first track although, once more, I would definitely choose the first track because there was more effort put into it by the performer. Presenting two entries has surely been challenging for each artist because some of them would surely have their favourite out of the two. The bridge in this one involves a conversation which is aided by a background noise of violins. Prior to ending, the camera focuses on them, and reminds the people that live music still exists. Well done to Malika for presenting two strong entries.

Qualified: E se poi

Almamegretta: Mamma non lo sa and Onda che vai

Mamma non lo sa: Almamegretta take to the stage for their very first performance and despite gaining credibility within the Italian music scene in recent years, one would say that they are surely not typical of the Sanremo competition because their genre is quite different to what is normally expected from such a competition. One has to understand that Fabio Fazio chose such a group along with an expert panel of judges for the simple reason that he required diversity in terms of audience as well. The vocals which are very raspy, are good but really do not understand the track and thus this is quite out of line.

Onda che vai: The second song is on and the stage is suddenly bathed in green lights, somewhat retospect of a forest. The music of the second track is much more relaxed and based on guitars and drums. This is very Italian and sound typical of what Sanremo has offered in recent times. One cannot help but choose this over the first track for several reasons, including the fact that his vocals are stronger and he is enjoying this performance much more. There is a feeling amongs online critics that this is the one coming across better and it would be a mistake to choose the first one.

Qualified: Mamma non lo sa

Max Gazzè: Sotto casa and I tuoi maledettissimi impegni

I tuoi maledettissimi impegni: Max Gazzè takes to the stage with his first song and many Maltese will remember the performer for duetting with Ira Losco. Clad in dark attire and playing an electric guitar, his vocals are quite good but this seems to be a mixture of pop/rock and some electro, providing an interesting outlook on the genre. The build up for this one is good but one is left cold and disappointed because the track lacks that special something that would make it stand out both on the charts and in this competition. It is an album track and nothing more, should not even be a single. What I quite like about it is the strings being played towards the end. The lighting is also quite impressive but that is a mention with regards to the positive setting put forward by RAI.

Sotto casaMax Gazze seemingly has the most typical Italian vocals that I have heard this evening and has anyone noted that he is only the second male this evening. The second songs from the artists this evening have been much stronger but nevertheless, the voting has gone for the first song on both counts before hand. This is a really nice song and the backdrop for this one is really colourful. The doorbell, the electronic organ and the guitars really make this track stand out from the rest presented. Seriously, this track is the one for the press and the public to choose to enjoy it once more on another night. Max is a stunning performer and he is accustomed to Sanremo, this being his fourth appearance in total.

Qualified: Sotto casa

Annalisa: Non so ballare e Scintille

Scintille: Another potential artist to be heading onto the Eurovision Song Contest is Annalisa Scarrone and wearing a sheer white shirt with trsouers, she takes to the stage. It seems that the Italian music industry is changing because there are a lot of these type of songs in this years' edition of Sanremo. Mid-tempo with a fast paced track which make artists sound very content. This is looking beautiful on screen but isn't the staging, very much similar to the one used to Emmelie De Forest for Denmark, including the colours. Vocally this sounds brilliant and considering that she is barely breathing through that one, it sounded epic!

Non so ballare: Annalisa stays on stage and finally breathes as she takes to the microphone for a second performance and the genre for this one is completely different, because it seems to be a calm, easy flowing ballad. I am in the right because even the staging is toned down for this one with black, blue, and white lighting being predominant along with smoke. The attire is not well suited for this performance but that will surely be addressed once the track is chosen. The vocals in this one are good but went slightly off within the chorus which has a string of high notes. Had I been voting, I would have chosen the first one.

Qualified: Scintille 

Elio e le storie tese: La canzone mononota and Dannati forever 

Dannati forever: The final act of the evening from the 'Campioni' category are Elio e le storie tese and as the saying goes, if one cannot beat them, then one has to join them. This is old school by numbers and the orchestra sounds as if coming from the forties for this performance. The band are clad in priests' attire and that gives it an image which many people will remember when voting I guess. The tune is extremely infectious and the lyrics are quite sing-a-long material. One cannot fault the vocals because they are spot on although, it has to be pointed out that the song is relatively simple. The addition of a couple of words in English is a good idea, but not enough for an international touch. Something along these lines in Eurovision would succeed.  

La canzone mononota: A completely different genre to the first entry giving them an edge because they have decided to present their entries in a different manner but wait, I spoke too soon as this has turned into a big band uptempo number where the backing vocals are given a lot of importance. The genre continues to develop quite well and it seems that there is a bit of pyschedelic about them. The vocals are spot on and they are clearly enjoying their performance on stage whilst the audience are also doing their best to try and not smile as much as they are. This is brilliant. Anyone of the two would do really!

Qualified: La canzone mononota

Running Order (Giovani)

Renzo Rubino: Il Postino

Renzo is clad in a maroon suit and he is sitting down on a classic brown piano. The staging is predominantly blue and purple but nevertheless, the screens are changing colour. I have to say, that he has star quality as much as Raphael Gualazzi had two years ago when he entered the competition with Follia D'Amore which then finished in second place at the Eurovision Song Contest. The vocals are perfect, one cannot fault him and this is honestly one of the better songs presented this evening. The addition of a male tenor as a backing vocal works wonders and this could very much work at the Eurovision Song Contest should they like to go through the 2011 route once more.

Il Cile: Le parole non servono più

The stage is bathed in green lighting for the second time this evening and despite showcasing a group, the main focus is surely on the lead performer who wears a beard, and is extremely scruffy around the edges, in a bad boy manner. The song is a mixture of pop/rock but seems to find itself within the mid-tempo route. It is well performed and getting Peppe Vessichio to conduct is surely an important element to win a couple of members within the press. The vocals are strong and he is not having any issues with giving it his all, at least this evening. The electric guitar solo is a nice addition and slows down the tempo. I love this song, and I think the 'Giovani' are really giving it their all this year.

Irene Ghiotto: Baciami?

Irene seems to be a sassy woman as she dances in the opening seconds of her song. This is completely different from what has been presented before it and thus could look really good with the media and the public at home. It seems to be pretty electronic in the beginning but nevertheless, changes into a mid-tempo pop song which she enjoys performing. Clad in a flowery black/yellow dress, she is really taking in the moment. Unfortunately, performing to such an audience, she should have learned to use her face better because it looks way too maddening. I quite like the song though, so I cannot fault her although I believe that the ones before it were in a stronger league.

Blastema: Dietro l'intima ragione

One final song for the evening and it comes from the youngters' category as well in the form of Blastema and one has to point out the distinctive vocal that he brings forward to the show especially in the beginning of the song but this pop/rock type of entry is not really my favourite genre and as a matter of fact, becomes pure noise within the refrain. When looking at the vocals as a whole throughout the performance, there were parts which were extremely strained. Seriously, this is not a case of leaving the best for last because this is my least favourite of the day. The first two should qualify.

Qualifier: Renzo Rubino: Il Postino

Qualifier: Blastema: Dietro l'intima ragione

The second  evening of the Sanremo competition comes to an end as Fabio Fazio and Luciana Littizzetto announce the first qualifiers of the 'Giovani' category. Tomorrow, there will be another four acts competing in the Giovani Category whilst the focus will be on a number of special performances between the renowned Italian singers and the competing artists in the 'Campioni' category. Tune into escflashmalta.com for another LIVE Report from Sanremo 2013 as Amy Grech has a look at the show tomorrow night whilst reviewing the performances. Thanks for tuning in this evening and a hearty congratulations goes to RAI for putting up a magnificient show.

Published in Sanremo

RAI, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest have enjoyed relative success on their return to the competition in the past two years with the acts chosen from the Sanremo competition achieving top ten results. An internal panel of appointed music experts were behind the initial two decisions whilst a consensus also needs to be reached with a particular record label which would represent a number of the competing artists within the competition, whether in the Campioni or the Giovani category. Rumours have been on the increase in the past couple of weeks, noting that the public would like to see Marco Mengoni fly the flag on behalf of the country. It could be a strong consideration if the broadcaster, RAI is aiming for high viewing figures.

This years’ edition of Sanremo will be taking place in the week starting 11th February and escflashmalta.com will be on hand to cover the event in the best possible manner. Our senior editor, Elaine Camilleri will be taking over her annual duties to cover the event along with the rest of the editorial board. Italy have won the Eurovision Song Contest on two occasions, the first time in 1964 with Non Ho L’Eta performed by Gigliola Cinquetti and the second time in 1990 with Insieme: 1992 sung by Toto Cotungo. RAI confirms that the choice of the artist will be made from the Sanremo competition and therefore the list of potential candidates has been brought down to twenty one (21) acts in total, eight competing in the Giovani category with thirteen (13) competing in the Campioni Category. The list of potential representatives could be found just below.

Campioni Category:

Giovani Category:

Whilst it is highly unlikely, there is a possibility that former representative; Raphael Gualazzi might be select to represent Italy for a second time. He has gained considerable fame since his experience in Dusseldorf and might choose to take up the proposal again but in the meantime, there are a number of intriguing candidates including Max Gazze’ who has performed with 2002 Eurovision Song Contest representative; Ira Losco in the past couple of months during one of his notable tours. Competing in this years’ Sanremo as well is former winner; Simone Cristicchi. In the meantime, we would like you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news from this years’ edition of Sanremo as well as the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Malmo, Sweden.

Source: RAI, Eurovision.tv


Published in Sanremo