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Wednesday, 15 October 2014 01:24

Italy: An In-Depth Introduction to Sanremo 2015

The prestigious Italian Festival will next year take place between the 10th and the 14th February, hosted by none other than Carlo Conti, who is one of the most popular TV presenters on RAI 1, mainly known for the quiz show “L’Eredita”.

Infact, Conti himself has just recently published a sort of handbook for the festival, which will also include some new concepts. The festival will yet again be divided into two categories, mainly the “Giovani” (Italy’s upcoming talent) and the “Campioni” (Famous Italian singers). Unlike the previous years, the “Campioni” will be competing with one song and not two. The shows will be divided as follows:

10th February 2015: 8 “Campioni” will premiere their songs and 4 “Giovani” will do the same (2 will proceed to the semifinal round held on 12/02)

11th February 2015: 8 remaining “Campioni” will premiere theirs songs and the next 4 “Giovani” will do the same (2 will proceed to the semifinal round held on 12/02)

12th February 2015: The 16 “Campioni” will perform cover versions of famous songs, normally in a duet. The 4 “Giovani” will be heard again and 2 will proceed to the final.

13th February 2015: the 16 “Campioni” will fight for 12 spots in the grand final. “Giovani” final will be held on this day.

14th February 2015: “I Campioni” final

Neitherless, each night will be a one to remember, in which the competition will be infused with a number of special guests, whom will be announced most probably sometime around January 2015. For the first time ever, during the 2015 edition of Sanremo, the public can also vote via internet and also through an application, which for the Italians is a huge step forward indeed! Here pops the question - how will the votes be shared then? I have your answer below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgT4h-Fv7l8

In the first rounds, the public (50%) and the accredited journalists (50%) will vote. In the semifinals and finals, the vote will be split between the public (40%), an expert jury (30%) and an opinion poll panel (30%). Yes, Italians are sophisticated and confusing indeed. Last but not least, the winner of the festival, that is the “Campioni” winner, willbe automatically chosen to wave the Italian flag in Vienna at the Eurovision Song Contest. 

And (yes, there is an ‘and’!) if the winner decided not to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, no worries, RAI will hold an internal selection as a special committee will select the artist. Italians surely know “how to do it best”! J Let’s eagerly wait for the artists to be revealed now ... and get to hear some really good, and yes, romantic music I guess (maybe it will be the theme for the final night, seeing that is is falling on Valentine’s day). We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: RAI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPrKYs2iDKQ

Published in Sanremo

Buona Notte! Sanremo is back, and is bigger than ever! In the past two (2) evenings, the fourteen (14) artists competing in the Campioni section, and representative of the established music scene in Italy took to the stage, performing two (2) songs each with the Press and the Public deciding which of the songs should get through. Tonight! All of the fourteen (14) artists in the Campioni section will return to the stage to perform the songs that got through following the first round of voting.

Fabio Fazio and Luciana Littizetto will be the hosts for the evening, as they have been for the first two (2) evenings of the event. As always, there will be a number of guests present including the renowned vocalist; Renzo Arbore who was present in Malta not too long ago. The stage, is representative of the old days, when music was considered to be even more prestigious than the present day. All the songs are played with a major orchestra, under the tutelage of several maestros, whether male or female.

The Show (Part 1)

Fabio Fazio is currently on stage, speaking to our opening act of the evening, or rather the Maestro directing a beautiful piece of classical music in celebrating the recent speeches made by the renowned designer, Renzo Piano. Currently, Fabio is introducing the tele-voting numbers and the running order for the rest of the evenings that lie ahead. Luciana Littizetto is introduced onto the stage, and she seems to be in a brilliant mood this evening, as she makes fun of some of the artisti.

Renzo Rubino - Ora

Visibly less nervous than he was during the first night of the competition, Renzo Rubino is playing the piano whilst clad in a dark blue suit. The first impression of this song is that it could very much be a radio hit, and it seems to have incorporated the same high level of energy required for it to succeed. Renzo was a newcomer to the scene just a couple of months ago and did not even win the Nuovo section, finishing in second place. 

I will not lie, would have preferred his second song to go through but nevertheless, this is still a very good track and one which I would have also enjoyed at the Eurovision Song Contest. The reason being that it has a specific sound, one which is not that much available in mainstream music. Well done to Renzo and this is a fantastic start to the competition this evening.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgT4h-Fv7l8

Giusy Ferreri - Ti porto a cena con me

Giusy, a true class act, and one who seems to be enjoying her return to the stage of Sanremo. She is wearing what seems to be a short zebra print dress, albeit in mint but it suits her figure perfectly. The stage is bathed in green and the orchestra are creating a wonderful vibe for this entry. The vocals are much more assured today and this seems to be the typical type of song which is assured a top three position at the end of the week.

The emotion is just wonderful and Giusy is feeling the lyrics of her song to each and every syllable. I was not too sure of her songs in this years' Sanremo but I can understand them much better and I cannot help but admire the professionality of the artist. Impressed! Seriously am! She made a huge leap in terms of quality over just a day and a bit and that means a lot in the music industry. She just went up there, and this has officially become a contender in my eyes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1fZ4Zi8syk

Frankie Hi-NRG - Pedala

I will be super honest, and denounce rap as one of the lowest forms of music that could be presented unless done in a manner where it could be original. Meaningful lyrics should be added to musical prowess and not to such music. Frankie is apparently a popular rapper in Italy but even the image is wrong. Since when do rapper where extremely expensive looking suits? but of course, this is Sanremo!

Both of his entries, presented during the first night of the competition were flat, awful and just plain boring but one of them had to get through. The backing vocalists are echoing the title of the song more several occasions, making it even MORE annoying that it already is. I am sorry but I just cannot find a positive element in this song and that is just my opinion but I believe that such music should not be given importance in such an elegant and formal event.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgJ78qNY7DU

Raphael Gualazzi ft Bloody Beetroots - Liberi o No

In 2011, Raphael Gualazzi kicked off his career at the Eurovision Song Contest, finishing in second place and has never looked back since then, going onto release more than one studio album and is ready to kick-off this brand new  collaboration with the Bloody Beetroots. There is a gospel choir on stage, and that seems to prove somewhat interesting, adding to the final quality of the song.

There is something absolutely special about the way that the song is being presented, and whether it is Raphael on the piano with his wonderful voice or the Bloody Beetroots playing the guitar, I have no clue but it just works and I would not be surprised if the press go for this entry because it is just beautiful, musically! Today, the performance is much stronger than it was earlier this week!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KBkDzFbw-0

Cristiano De André - Il cielo è vuoto

One of the most relaxed entries in this years’ edition of Sanremo and starts in the form of a monologue, one which is aided through some very calming music. Cristiano then starts to get into the melody better, and suddenly, one could feel the audience also understands the melody better. This is the type of songs that tends to do well in Sanremo though and in a Melodifestivalen set-up, one could very much see the use of effective lighting. 

The staging is to be commended and well done to the producer and RAI Television for putting up some an amazing showcase for the Italian Music Industry. This song is not my cup of tea as it just gets by you in an instant. It would be ideal to listen to this song whilst drinking a hot cappucino or maybe a drink at the bar but other than that, I cannot see it’s wider appeal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plGt_Km9AaI

Francesco Sarcina - Nel tuo sorriso

One of the male vocalists whom despite actually being known for being the lead vocalist of a popular band, is somewhat new to the scene as a soloist and this could very much affect his credibility as a performer. Nevertheless, clad in a black suit, one which is very much envisaged in Italy, Francesco is enjoying his time on stage. The vocals are spot on and he seems to be much more at ease than he was earlier on this week.

I am not too sure that the general public will go for this type of pop/rock entry especially when it comes to Sanremo, where females have somewhat dominated in recent years, albeit Marco Mengoni who was pretty much the exception. Nevertheless, this is beautifully executed and deserves recognition by the press. Had I been there as a member of the press, I would have definitely given this one a high mark. Well Done Francesco!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0LoQT2ZeUQ

Pertubazione - L'Unica

Another pop/rock type of group but the difference this time round is that the audience for this particular track seems to be much more limited than the previous one. The lead vocalist is wearing a suit, as are most of the men this evening, please take note if performing in a national final across Europe. The band are definitely getting the vibe of the song although the music is a bit too simplistic for my liking. 

Dull! I just cannot believe how the organisers of Sanremo and Fabio Fazio in particular would let certain groups and artists take part in the competition and ultimately demean the show into something which it is not. Anyways, this just sails away into the abyss.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO-62OJATiU

Francesco Renga - Vivendo adesso

Elisa, a former winner of Sanremo is the songwriter of this entry, one which evolves beautifully. RAI are really showing that they appreciate this entry in the manner that the camera shots are being acted upon. Francesco is truly a class act and clad in a black suit, he performs on a stage bathed in purple and yellow lighting. The vocals are good, and he is also very much enjoying his time on stage. The idea of a competition is seemingly not present today, ascertaining positive performances from all artists.

Francesco Renga is the typical Italian male vocalist; beard included and all but it is an image which works even with the song. He is seemingly passionate and that is why, the lyrics are very much being understood even through the movement. I must say that Sanremo is improving based on the performances of the artists, especially knowing what the songs are and the quality is just above average at best. Wonderful performance! I truly enjoyed that and I did not really like it the first time round.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7XFpxTgV1c

Riccardo Sinigallia - Prima di andare via

My My! It seems that Riccardo is very much the older version of Francesco Renga and he also imitated the style of clothing. There is a certain aura surrounding the artist, but nevertheless, this song is just plain boring and does not do it for me, at least not in the confines of a competition. It does have some interesting moments but they are not enough to keep the flame going throughout the whole track.

It is quite funny that Riccardo Sinigallia who does not have a difficult song to sing, is actually somewhat out of tune throughout parts of the song, unless that is his vocal range, but I am clearly not a fan. Technically speaking, he is the third act I would not have selected to get through to the final list presented by Fabio Fazio and RAI earlier this year. Nevertheless, here he is, ready to try and launch as a soloist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bR1F-LqHrg

Noemi - Bagnati del Sole

It was two (2) years ago when Noemi finished in third place during Sanremo, having given an astonishing performance of her entry Sono Solo Parole but unfortunately, this years' song is nowhere near that prowess. Noemi has toned down her look and has gone for the longer hair along with a more subtle type of gown, dark blue, and slightly black. The look works wonders and hopefully detracts attention from her vocals.

I do not remember Noemi being the most outstanding vocalist in Italy but nevertheless, this is completely out of tune and she does not seem to realise that she is just not hitting the notes. She is enjoying the performance though as she bounces around on the stage. The additional aid of backing vocalists is just immense and give the song a required punch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTYSpoO8d2A

Antonella Ruggiero - Da Lontano

I Evighet by Elisabeth Andreassen is the first song that comes to mind in hearing Antonella Ruggiero especially in the beautiful head voice she emits. She has taken to the stage like a subtle diva in dark attire, suited for her physique. The attention though is all about her voice and how it compliments the orchestra. There seems to be a simulataneous merge. 

This is going to divide public opinion due to the fact that the song is a bit too simplistic but the vocals are just superb. It is a stunning piece when it comes together, one which I totally see the press supporting when it comes to the vote. The ending is subtle, calm and very rewarding to the Italian music scene. This was a powerful presentation and required after a relatively long period of time-off.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8GSz7HeFRw

Arisa - Controvento

Clad in a grey/silver type of dress, the camera work has seemingly been improved upon and what is this? Arisa is seemingly much more confident in her performance this evening. The public are enjoying this performance as much as I am, having had the opportunity to applaud the singer/songwriter in the middle of the song. Her vocals are stunning and I could understand why Sanremo would select this entry rather than her other song presented during the first night.

I had the opportunity to obtain her just release studio album and I must say that there is such a beautiful mixture of songs, in different genres and such. I am going to call it! It will be Arisa who will win this years' Sanremo, at least, the public vote for sure and I seriously hope that the press do not abandon her. We all know she was the true winner two (2) years ago with La Notte peaking at number #1 for weeks on end.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPrKYs2iDKQ

Ron - Sing in the Rain

Well, it seems that there has to be a song with a title in English, and this year, it belongs to Ron who showed clear support towards this entry after tele-voting came to a close. Should this have been a national final, this would have been the winner considering the whistling, a la Switzerland as well as last years' Danish winner. Ron is smiling throughout the performance, whilst wearing a suit and playing a guitar.

It has a feel good type of vibe, somewhat similar to that evoked by Firelight and Gianluca, Malta's representatives in the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 and 2013, respectively. I do not know about it competing in Sanremo but I do not mind it at all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x-qOsTGrDg

Giuliano Palma - Cosi Lontano

We are down to the final entry of this evening, and this is written by Nina Zilli who represented Italy in the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. As a matter of fact, one could definitely listen to her work clearly by virtue of that Amy Winehouse feel in the music.

Giuliano Palma might not be the best man to perform this song though, I mean he seems to be lacking that certain rasp to the voice. Nina Zilli would suit her own work much more, giving it that special something, and boosting this song into a possible winner. It seems that it resembles Per Sempre a tad too much.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSG6X9Ftz0A

The Show (Part 2)

Well, due to the fact that we did not cover the songs of the Giovani last night, we decided to keep fair and then cover the whole final. In the meantime, we would like to thank you for tuning into escflashmalta.com for another evening of LIVE reporting, today from Sanremo. We urge you to join us in a couple of hours, as we follow this evenings' proceedings, which will see some of the most prolific songs in Italy being performed as the best of the industry is celebrated.

Published in Sanremo

RAI, a public broadcaster in Italy, responsible for Italy’s participation at the Eurovision Song Contest has taken to the media to reveal the names of the artists competing in next years’ edition of Sanremo, which in turn has been the selection pool for the international showcase for the past two (2) years. As a matter of fact, it was Nina Zilli who carried the flag in 2012 with the song L’Amore e Femmina with Marco Mengoni doing the honours earlier this year with his entry L’Essenziale. Both managed a top ten placing but it is to be noted that Italy does expect to win the near future.

At this point in time, it is unknown whether RAI will be putting forward this competition as a selection process in the manner that has been conducted in recent years, with rumours of an internal selection brewing up with every passing day. Nevertheless, escflashmalta.com is proud to cover Sanremo, an event which is followed by a large part of the population due to the popularity of the artists within the general music scene. The selection of the artisti was in the hands of a panel of experts, which included; Fabio Fazio, Claudio Fasulo, Pietro Galeotti, Massimo Martelli, Francesco Piccolo, Stefano Senardi, Michele Serra and Mauro Pagani

Arisa

(Lentamente / Controvento)

Noemi

(Bagnati dal Sole / Un Uomo e’ un Albero)

Raphael Gualazzi ft Bloody Beetroots

(Liberi o No / Tanto Ci Sei)

Petubazione

(L’Unica / L’Italia Visti dal Bar)

Christiano de Andre

(Invisibili / Il Cielo e’ Vuoto)

Renzo Rubino

(Ora / Per Sempre e Poi Basta)

Frankie Hi-Nrg

(Pedala / Un Uomo e’ Vivo)

Giuliano Palma

(Cosi’ Lontano)

Riccardo Sinigallia

(Prima di Andare Via / Una Rigenerazione)

Antonella Ruggiero

(Quando Balliamo / Da Lontano)

Giusi Ferreri

(L’Amore Possiede il Bene / Ti Porto a Cena Con Me)

Francesco Renga

(A Un Isolato Da Te / Vivendo Adesso)

Francesco Sarcina

(Nel Tuo Sorriso / In Questa Citta’)

Ron

(Un Abbraccio Unico / Sing in the Rain)

As you might have realised, the system for next years’ Sanremo will be similar to this years’, with each of the fourteen acts performing a total of two (2) entries each on the first night and with the public and the orchestra selecting the best song to go forward with for the rest of the week which will feature a second performance, as well as an evening of celebration and duets. From the list, one recognizable name is that of Raphael Gualazzi who represented Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2011 with Follia d’Amore, finishing in second place. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: RAI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8oaxDV1q6o

Published in Sanremo
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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1K8PB8eIy50

Published in Sanremo