January 23, 2020

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Friday, 15 February 2013 23:54

Italy: Antonio Maggio Triumphs in 'Giovani'

In February, millions of viewers expect to follow the annual Sanremo competition in Italy and this year is not any different with more then ten million viewers, averaging on each respective evening. The fourth evening has just come to an end with the winner of the 'Sezioni Giovani' revealed to the public following a public and jury vote, both accountable to half of the final votes in this evenings' showcase. The talent was extremely high and out of the four competing entries, there were at least three which deserved to do well and this was well regarded. All of the artists are backed by record labels by virtue of making such a notorious competition and the winner of the evening, Antonio Maggio is definitely gaining ground in the music scene.

Antonio Maggio took part in the first edition of the Italian version of the X Factor alongside another three members, collectively known as ARAM and they managed to triumph ahead of Giusy Ferreri. This was quite the achievement but unfortunately, things did not pan out in a positive manner their debut album did not really post successful results. In the meantime though, Antonio Maggio has been trying to establish a solo career having signed with an independent record label; Rusty Records in 2011 but since entering the Sanremo competition, he was contracted with Universal Music Italia and thus that is through which company his single Mi servirebbe sapere will be released. In second place this evening was Ilaria Porceddu with In equilibrio whilst the Mia Martini Critics Award was given to Renzo Rubino with the track Il postino (amami uomo). Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: RAI


Friday, 15 February 2013 19:30

Italy: Fourth Night of Sanremo 2013 - LIVE

RAI, the notable Italian broadcaster who is a member of the elite five at the Eurovision Song Contest has proudly committed to the event in recent years but nevertheless, still hosts a music festival for the Italian music industry with the beginnings of the European competition lying solely on the success of Sanremo. This evening, the renowned Italian town will once more be hosting an evening filled with music and it will be quite an entertaining evening due to the fact that artists competing in this years' Campioni category will take to the stage to perform some of the most notable hits from the history of the showcase. In the meantime, the final four of the Giovani will compete for that elite prize, one which will catapult them to fame in the industry.


This years' edition of Sanremo is being organised by Fabio Fazio, a renowned television presenter who is leading the showcase for the third year in his career. He is joined by Luciana Littizetto, a comedian who knows when it has become too much of a thing and thus been very light and funny at the same time. Her squeaky voice has not gone down well with international viewers but nevertheless, she does indeed get the job down. RAI 1 has been the broadcaster taking lead over the coverage and as a matter of fact, with around ten million viewers in Italy viewing last nights' proceedings, it is still extremely popular and many will tune in once more to see how the evening unravels. The running order for this evenings' show could be seen below and the international public could view the show through the official website of the broadcaster.

The Show (Part 1)

Luciana Littizetto and Fabio Fazio come down the stairs for this evenings' hosting duties and for the first time this week, the male host is wearing a completely different suit, probably due to the fact that this evening is somewhat more significant. He is joined by a lady who squeaks like Minnie Mouse but is wearing a beautiful cream dress. The hosts are somewhat prolonging their opening speech today but nevertheless, they do state that this is a historic evening in which the youngsters will fight to win the competition whilst the established ones will have their take on notable classics.

Running Order (Campioni) 

Malika Ayane con Paolo Vecchione e Thomas Signorelli: “Cosa hai messo nel caffè

Malika Ayani is the first artist to take to the stage and she is wearing a sleek beautiful black dress whilst being accompanied by two male dancers. The staging is just beautiful featuring blue and pruple and it seems that one will be relaxing quite a bit tonight because this showcase is just a reminder of the beautiful history that Sanremo has been proud to offer. The vocals are slick, and right on point and that has been the case with Malika throughout the rest of the week. It is quite intriguing to see this performance develop.

Daniele Silvestri: Piazza grande

Daniele Silvestri is one of the favourites for this years' edition of Sanremo and that is quite easy to denote especially due to the fact that he is presenting a specific message in his entry. Nevertheless, this evening, he has decided to take an intriguing track, away from the piano and more in the element of Lucio Dalla. The vocals are just beautiful and one just enjoys himself listening to the tracks that have made the history of the competition a reality.  He decided to take to the stage by himself actually and that makes it more unique in terms of presentation.

Annalisa Scarrone con Emma Marrone: Per Elisa



Annalisa, another contender to head to the Eurovision Song Contest is joined on stage by Emma Marrone, last years' winner of Sanremo and they are both clad in black clothing for this evenings' showcase. Per Elisa is one of my favourite tracks in Italians and the orchestra is clearly spot on with the performance considering that this track has a lot of violins. The vocals are both strong and strangely enough blend in well together, Both girls are the output of Amici and thus, it shows that some strong talent has been found over the years. A beautiful performance!

Marta sui Tubi con Antonella Ruggiero: Nessuno

Marta Sui Tubi are clearly trying to win back some respect with me personally after having the people listen to their atrocious entry throughout this years' Sanremo competition. The stage is dark, green and blue and they have a guest in the form of Antonella Ruggiero who is clearly the star of this performance. She is clad in dark attire and is wearing a flower on her hair. Her sultry Italian vocals are just stunning and she should take his spot in the competition with a song of her liking as long as her vocals are showcased. The lead performer of Marta Sui Tubi is accompanying her well. It turns into an umtempo number and I quite like this.

Raphael Gualazzi: Luce (tramonti a nord est)

Raphael Gualazzi is doing what may be my favourite ever song in Italian, Luce by the stunning Elisa and he is definitely giving it his touch. He is sitting down on the piano as always, and his eyes are closed and looks like he is constipated, something which does not come across very well. I cannot believe it but despite being a great performer, Luca will always remain best in its respective version and not in a weird jazz like version which is barely understandable. It is hurtful to say it, but he ruined it completely and this has got to be the worst performance of the evening. I really hope that things improve from here on end, because he might have just tarnished his victory chances for tomorrow.

Modà con Adriano Pennino: Io che non vivo

Moda are one of the most popular bands in Italy at the moment and this is shown with their runner-up finish in Sanremo just a couple of years back whilst also being second in tele-voting at the moment. The lead artist has a beautiful pitch to his vocals, and he takes on a remarkable track, giving it a slight rock touch. Io Che Non Vivo is a beautiful track and will definitely stick into the minds of people when the evening comes to an end. With several light changes throughout that performace, have to say, it was pretty incredible and clearly shows Raphael Gualazzi how a take on a song should sound like.

Simone Cristicchi: Canzone per te

Simone is renowned for his big hair and also for winning the 2007 edition of Sanremo but it is remarkable that he has gone for an extreme classic for this evenings' performance. Wearing a classic blaxk suit, he seems to always be sick with rosy cheeky and a red nose but nevertheless, that does not take away anything from his talent, stunning crystal clear vocals this evening. He has been improving with every night this week. The people are enjoying this performance and mid-way through decide to clap. The strings section in the orchestra.

Simona Molinari con Peter Cincotti e Franco Cerri: Tua

Peter Cincotti and Simona Molianari have really ranked high in my estimations as of late and I have been quite impressed with the overall performances they have given this week and this evening is nothing short of breathtaking. They are giving a sultry performance of a classic and with stripped backing in terms of orchestra, it sounds even more beautiful. Such songs have lived through the course of time and their performances tonight reflect on their appreciation by the leading stars in the industry. This was stunning, and heartfelt.

Maria Nazionale con Mauro di Domenico: Perdere l’amore

Perdere L'Amore has got to be the most beautiful song ever and I must say, that I am writing this knowing what a stunning performance Lara Fabian tends to give. Maria Nazionale is in a league of her own and the two vocals are distinct and both beautiful in their own way. The orchestra has decided to adapt the song to the vocals of Maria and nevertheless, there is a certain element of professionalism and lust about the whole presentation. The staging is kept quite dark with blue and red being used. Her tight dress suits her and she is enjoying every second. A class of her own!

Marco Mengoni: Ciao amore ciao

Marco Mengoni is becoming more and more likely to represent Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest because he is keen on the idea of expanding his career beyond national borders. He is wearing a black suits and keeps very traditional within his performance. Backing vocalists give the track definition but this is the type of song which he should really be singing because that performance was just stunning. An emotional Marco Mengoni finishes off the performance and it shows that this is a track which means a lot to him!

Elio e le storie tese con Rocco Siffredi: Un bacio piccolissimo

The Big Band Brothers would definitely be proud of this performance because following a retrospect introduction come Elio e Storia Tese. All of the members of the group members somewhat have extremely large minds and they have no problem showing them and this is more of an image issue really, giving them distinction amongst the other acts. The song seems to be a mixture of genres and this is coming across nicely on screen. Mid-way through, they have a conversation with the same man who introduced them and the performance continues. They are just mad, but I like them and this performance is great!

Max Gazzè: Ma che freddo fa

Max Gazze, an artist who barely needs any introduction having achieved success during the past two decades. His outfit resembles that of a circus master this evening and turning around to view it in full, it seems that he might have killed a peacock for the back feathers. This is a great vocal performance though and therefore, Max is continuing the trend of great performances this evening. The audience were not really moved with the performance though but nevertheless, they applaud at the end as expected. That was the twelfth performance of the evening and next up will be Chiara.

Chiara Galiazzo: Almeno tu nell’universo

Chiara, still the odds on favourite to win this years' edition of Sanremo is set to sing the ultimate Italian classic, Almenu Tu Nell Universo wearing a long black dress. The winner of the last edition of the X Factor is somewhat lacking the skills to perform this particular song and she sounds at times extremely nasal but nevertheless, she does give it her all. It seems that her soft vocals are just not ready to perform such material and this is the second carcrash following Raphael Gualazzi. The stage is shining in blue lights during this performance and the people are not enjoying this, despite being an overwhelming classic.

Almamegretta & James Senese: Il ragazzo della via Gluck 

Almamegretta have seriously become the joke of the competition because they seem out of touch with regards to the stage and have somewhat presented material which has not really gone down well with the public hence their disappointing tele-voting result. They are joined by Italian James Senese this evening and it seems that this is a mixture of reggae and rap, whilst this is supposed to reflect history and once more, another track is currently being butchered on television. How disappointing when one considers that this was a night of respect towards the great Italian industry!

Running Order (Giovani)  

Following a number of extended breaks, our hosts for the whole week are currently introducing the final of the 'Giovani' this evening and a matter of fact, half of the votes will be decided by tele-voting with the other half being within the hands of a professional panel of judges. Each participant has a conductor and one of them will be crowned winner at the end of the evening.

Antonio Maggio: Mi servirebbe sapere

 A brilliant track and Antonio seems extremely confident of his performance as he takes to the stage wearing a dark suit with a studded purple bow-tie. The genre of the song is slightly unexplainable really although one could instantly get the element that Malika has seemed to have introduced to the seen, made even more popular by Arisa in recent years. The vocals this evening are much better than yesterday and I believe that this could be crowned as the winner at the end of the evening. The male backing vocal is really a qiuant addition to the whole setup. This is coming across as great, and whatever happens, this will chart well. 

Ilaria Porceddu: In equilibrio

The first line of the song is performed without any music but it does indeed introduce something completely different because Ilaria Porcheddu has been coined to be the revelation of this years' Sanremo and the use of various instruments throughout the performance should be praised. It seems that she spent a lot of money on the dress because it returns for a second appearance this evening. She is performing the track well though and her pristine vocals which could also carry her to the finish line in first place. It is well worth noting how strong the competition is! Once more, Italy has found a star within this category and her name is Ilaria!

Blastema: Dietro l'intima ragione

OK! I have no clue how to comment on this song once more having literally obliterated this one during the performance that took place two days ago. I just cannot understand where this pop/rock song is heading, especially with such dire vocals. The staging is the only element which one denotes as brilliant because the change in genres throughout is well noted. Coming after two masterpieces, this sounds absolutely inferior and one would not understand how things came in this manner because there were better songs on the first night. Nevertheless, it is here and should finish in fourth (last) place!

Renzo Rubino: Il postino (amami uomo)

The fourth and final entry from the Giovani section is currently performing on the grand stage of Sanremo. The music is somewhat very similar to what the local people here in Malta would associate with the Għanja tal-Poplu competition which is extremely traditional. Raphael Gualazzi is the first name that comes to mind when I see Renzo Rubino performing his entry but nevertheless he connects much better with the camera and once more, the addition of a tenor as a backing vocal is a good idea because it gives the song an edge. This would have most likely done really well in the context of the Giovani category but Ilaria and Antonio are superior.


Prize for Contribution towards the Italian Language: Il Cile

'Mia Martini' Critics Award: Renzo Rubino

Giovani Award: Antonio Maggio

Published in Sanremo
Thursday, 14 February 2013 19:17

Italy: Third 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. On Tuesday, the 63rd edition officially commenced and all of the artists competing in the 'Campioni' category, now know which song they will be performing on Friday and Saturday, where they will be taking to the stage with their setlist of original songs. Journalists and critics alike have been very respectful of the first two evenings and the song quality has been commented to be far stronger than last year. 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 Show

This evenings' edition of Sanremo is opening up with video footage from the past, presumably a drama series, one of the ever lasting telenovelas that have been known to dominate television throughout the years. The audience is pretty quiet as they await for this evenings' opening act will include but nevertheless it seems that because this is Saint Valentine's Day, they could be a bit romantic and suddenly a well dressed couple walk on stage and wait, seeing the outfits up close, this is not really helping because Luciana is seemingly wearing a plastic skirt as opposed to Fabio is wearing the same suit as he has worn in the past two days. In a romantic gesture, he has given her some flowers but they are too big for her to carry and she drops them. They are having a lovely conversation early on.

Running Order 

Simona Molinari e Peter Cincotti

Following their qualification from the first evening, a big band sound which sounds really good as an opening number this evening. The orchestra is really giving a good vibe to kick off things. Simona's vocals are really impressive but nevertheless, Peter is surely to be congratulated on the effort he is putting into his performance. In Malta, we have an artist who genre is quite similar, Janvil. This looks much more polished today and that is definitely a much more positive attitude to give now that they have managed to qualify with this entry.


Marco Mengoni

Marco Mengoni takes to the stage and performs a strong powerful ballad as portrayed in the opening night of Sanremo. The emotion of the song is definitely being portrayed through the strong vocals which seem to be much stronger than the first evening to be honest. He is clad in a maroon suit as opposed to the blue which he wore the first time round. He seems to be quite stylish as is expected from a male artist who is predominantly Italian.


Elio e le Storie Tese

Elio and the rest of his buddies make up his band and they managed to get through with this mad song last night to be honest. At the beginning, the vocals were not so strong unfortunately but nevertheless, did eventually pick up towards the middle of the song. The song in itself is quite catchy and has a ring to it. It is quite intriguing that the gorup has a signature caricature look and are all dressed in vintage suits. The main singer also surprised the audience when he seemingly showed that he had four hands, albeit fake.


Malika Ayane

Malika takes to the stage and she is still in the running to represent Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest in a couple of weeks time. She has an extremely distinct look, elegant and classy attire as has been the case even during the initial performance. The song unfortunately is not my cup of team and is relatively monotonous, doesn't really show her vocal abilities. Her emotions are definitely running hight though because she is doing her best to show that this is a good song but fails. It lacks a special climax and makes it quite boring.


Marta Sui Tubi

The song a modern rock one performed by a band, very lively engageing song , vocals quite strong, becomes more mellow towards the middle before reaching the climax. Outfits are extremely casual considering how popular this event has become during the course of history but nevertheless, as expected once more, extremely stylish. I have to say that this has improved for todays' performance and that is good to note especially because I believe that this is a candidate for last place really.



Once more, another female and one has to denote that she indeed has an extremely sultry and romantic look but nevertheless, a mediocre voice whom I never understood how the public selected her as the winner of the X Factor competition. The song does indeed lack the substance for it to stand out and towards the end, the goes off pitch because it was the winning factor require for this particular competition. I am quite surprised how this artist is seemingly one of the favourites to win this years' competition because she lacks quite a lot in terms of a final package.


Max Gazze

Max Gazze is known to the local audience having performed with the renowned Ira Losco in recent months as she planned her comeback into the local music scene. This song is actually quite intriguing because it seems to have a lot of elements of the material that Malika Ayane and Arisa both brought to the music scene. The stage is extremely colourful and this is really important for the overall outcome on television. It seems that Max is enjoying himself out there and this year, everyone seems much more relaxed knowing that they will not be eliminated.



Another potential contender for the Eurovision Song Contest is Annalisa and one to start by pointing out that this dress sense is surely mis-represented and mis-understood because I cannot udnerstood how a sheer white top is well aligned with a pink skirt. On the first night, it seemed that Annalisa was not really up to performing but that has all seemingly changed this evening because in a stage lit up by stars in the backdrop, she is giving it her all and the orchestra sounds absolutely wonderful. Another hit in the making from the renowned performer and such a strong addition to Sanremo.


Maria Nazionale

Maria Nazionale is back on the Sanremo stage and having given the best performance of the competition this year, I will not expect anything less. She is wearing a completely different dress and this one is somewhat well thought of, because there is a melanchonic feel about the whole performance.The song is absolutely beautiful and the vocals are very similar to those provided by Pastora Soler during last years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Maria is showing that she should indeed finish high on the scoreboard on Saturday evening although, I believe she had a much stronger performance on the first night rather than this evening. Sensual, and just beautiful in its own right. Well Done!


Simone Cristicchi

Simone Cristicchi is clad in a much more suitable suit for the evening and this seems to be an extremely emotional song because he literally pours his heart into the performance. He manages to grasp the people in the best possible way and it has to be noted that everything has worked out in the manner that he wanted. It was rather unbelievable that I barely liked the guy a couple of days ago only to love this performance. This is a much better entry than the one presented back in 2007 in my opinion and that won, so who knows!



Another one of my favourites in this years' edition of the Sanremo competition is Moda who were of course the runners-up just two years ago when they performed Arrivera with Emma Marrone who went onto win the competition last year. The lead vocalist is in smart casual attire, and he is really enjoying his time on the stage of the Ariston Theatre. The camera shots are ideal this evening and it seems that they are more sure of the song this time round. The vocals are spot on this evening, much stronger than the first time round and the music has that winning potential. I think this is competition between three including Moda, Maria Nazionale and Daniele Silvestri.


Daniele Silvestri

Daniele Silvestri has just been mentioned in my previous post and that is to be noted that the running order this evening has been quite consistent with the favourites somewhat placed right after each other.I believe that this one will be walking out of this years' competition with at least one award because it has a distinctive message offered to those who unfortunately cannot hear and have to rely on sign language. The music of this track is almost inexistant but Daniele Silvestri is indeed playing the piano. There is a violin being played by the orchestra but otherwise, relatively silent. One could easily hear a pin fall with such silence, beautiful! The public applaud towards the end, and there you are, a public favourite!



Almamegretta have somewhat been increasing their fanbase in recent years but one would have to point out that they are clearly not the typical type of the Sanremo competition and present a pop/rock genre which is infused with Italian tones. Diversity is the key to success and as a matter of fact, it is good to see that such an element is kept and given important at the respective event. I do not really like the song though and thus, I cannot see it do well.


Raphael Gualazzi

One final performance for the 'Campioni' category this evening and it comes from Raphael Gualazzi who successful represented the nation at the Eurovision Song Contest just two years ago with the track Madness of Love (Follia D'Amore), finishing in second place. This song is somewhat similar but one could say that the genre has somewhat been characterised by him. Sitting down on the piano, he seems to have still not leanred to perform in front of cameras. This is a piano ballad, very typical for Italy but his vocals give it distinction from the rest. He does not seem to be enjoying the performance if just based from facial expressions but this is beautiful just by being different.


Giovani Category

Andrea Nadinocchi

The very first performance of the evening from the 'Giovani' Category is actually a track which is very typical off the urban charts in Italy a the moment. It seems that Andrea has the same problem that Raphael Gualazzi has because he doesn't seem to want to open his eyes throughout the performance. The lighting is somewhat helping the performance and with a couple of notes thrown into the chorus, in a form of 't-t-t-t', people start singing along. The music is not that catchy and I cannot say that I like this one.

Antonio Maggio

Typically Italian looking bloke takes to the stage this time round and this is a much catchier entry than the predecessor and Antonio is clearly taking the performance in because he looks stunning, a great choice of attire going for a red suit, very modern and loving the bow-tie. In the meantime, the song might get annoying for some people towards the end but nevertheless, I quite like this one and I would not mind hearing it once more tomorrow evening if I am being honest. This was well performed vocally and should do reasonably well this evening.

Paolo Simoni

It seems that the audience in Sanremo has somewhat slept because at the end of the performance, they just forgot to clap and that is not understandable because this song was just beautiful! The vocals were just right for the track but if something was wrong, it was the weird image which the performer decided to take up for some reason. That was a typically Italian sounding ballad and still much better than the first song although I believe that the second song is the one which is safely assured a spot in the final thus far.

Ilaria Porceddu

Being the only female in this evenings' competition will surely be positive for this artist but nevertheless, I just cannot understand why she wore that black & white dress, because this just looks silly at the moment. The song is a mid-tempo ballad which evolves steadily with the aid of vocals. In the background, it seems that rather than strings, there is slight brass. The vocals are really good actually and she might actually be one of the nations' future stars. In a Malika inspired ending, she speaks to the audience and I like this. This along with song two should make it through!

Qualified: Antonio Maggio

Qualified: Ilaria Porceddu

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 prior to a commercial break and yet another sing-a-long between the hosts. Tune into escflashmalta.com for another LIVE Report from Sanremo 2013 as Marc Calleja Bayliss 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
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
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 19:25

Italy: First 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 music competition has become somewhat of an institution and the 63rd edition will prove to be slightly different due to the fact that each of the selected artists will be performing two entries in the category formally known as 'Campioni' with reference to some of the renowned performers in the industry. The acts competing in the 'Giovani' category will be presented this evening but will not be performing according to our sources. 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 entry for the Eurovision Song Contest will not be the track that any of the artists will be performing and this is due to the fact that the record label would rather select something more international, as was the case with L'Amore e Femmina (Out of Love) by Nina Zilli in 2012, managing a ninth place finish after a mid-table result by the public and a top ten placing through the panel of jury. The year before that, Raphael Gaulazzi, a newcomer had managed second place with his Madness of Love (Follia D'Amore) and that put things into perspective. 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 first seven acts will present two entries each today, with another seven acts presenting two entries tomorrow. On the third night, they will be returning with just one song each though as the delibaration between the orchestra, public and the media will decide.

The Show

Honestly, it is brilliant to hear the Te Deum at the beginning of the broadcaster and following a quick word regarding adverts, Fabrizio Fazio is on stage wearing a black suit with a white shirt, black tie and looking ready to take over this show. The orchestra of Sanremo is already pretty busy because they are playing one of the successful compositions by Verdi. It wouldn't be Italian if a choir didn't show up on the opening night of the competition. Nevertheless, this adds to the grandeur of the show. This is absolutely beautiful and a roaring applause from the audience inside the Ariston Theatre. What a stage, this is incredible and several broadcasters should take note how a show should be hosted! Luciana Littizzetto has just arrived at the venue wearing an Audrey Hepburn inspired outfit and what is so stunning about this entrance is that it feels like it has come out of a fairytale. A monologue by our female host this evening, which includes several comic references including to the Former Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi. Following a commercial break, things are moving forward as our female host introduces the orchestra conductor and the first artist.

Running Order

Marco MengoniBellissimo and L’essenziale

L'EssenzialeMarco Mengoni is wearing a navy suit, a colour which is very much in fashion this year especially with regards to the males. This is one male artist who doesn't require an introduction having become famous through a talent show in Italy. The track, is a mid-tempo track which is being well received in the hall. His vocals are spot on this evening and it seems that he is enjoying his performance. The stage, incredibly bathed in blue and purple lights is just stunning and you could just look at it without noticing what's going on. The bridge is slightly a disappointment compared to the rest of the song but nevertheless, he picks it up well with the vocals and that is quite important. A good opening entry and loving the diction of the Italian.

Bellisimo: Well, I am not sure that it is a good idea for the same performer to sing his two entries right after each other and now we have a second track, an uptempo song which Marco is enjoying even more than his first performance. The lighting in this one is a mixture of red, yellow and blue but nevertheless, the focus is definitely on the performer whose stage charisma has come an extremely long way for his initial performances a couple of years back. He is the favourite to represent Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest and any one of these two entries would do well, although my theory is that this one would do better, especially as it has the addition of a guitar, and some backing vocals, giving it edge. Whoa! Am impressed earlier on!

Qualified: L'Essenziale

Raphael Gualazzi: Sai (ci basta un sogno) and Senza ritegno

Senza ritegnoRaphael Gualazzi, the 2011 representative at the Eurovision Song Contest is at ease as he takes to the stage on his piano, an element which has somewhat made his career as successful in recent years. He is wearing a blue suit, and it very much shows how much male artists in Italy look after their image. This is a pop song infused with jazz and his vocals, are as always, over the top but nevertheless beautiful. He is closing his eyes throughout the whole performance but it gives him solitude and characterization. The audience is not sure what to make of this performance but one gets the feeling that the orchestra are pretty much enjoying it. I am not sure such a song would be well respected at the Eurovision Song Contest because it comes with a particular audience.

Sai (ci basta un sogno): The second track being presented this evening is completely different from the first but one does initially get the feeling that Raphael is going to have difficulty performing this because he is being forced slightly from a vocal perspective. The musical notes in this one are much more beautiful, and it builds up beautifully with the piano, which he is playing once more. The star quality surrounding Gualazzi is stunning and he enjoys performing to the audience. This would definitely be a hit in Italy, although his vocals are sounding slightly strained to be honest and that could very much be the downfull of the track. Hitting the upper register was definitely not an issue but the people are clapping mid-way through and this seems to be the favourite to qualify out of the two!

Qualified: Sai (ci basta un sogno)

Daniele Silvestri: A bocca chiusa and Il bisogno di te (Ricatto d’onor)

A bocca chiusa: A typical entry for the Sanremo competition and Silvestri like his previous performer is playing the piano and suddenly, an orchestra is picking up the music and there is an element of silence about this song giving it an edge over the tracks performed before hand. This will be definitely one of the songs which will do well in the final night and something in this manner would very much be appreciated abroad. The vocals are good but one has to point out that it sounds more like a conversation between the performer and the audience. Behind Silvestri, there is a man who is doing sign language. The harmony near the end of the song is just beautiful we might have heard this years' Sanremo winner! I am actually sorry that I did not write more but it was too good to concentrate on writing at times!

Il bisogno di te (Ricatto d’onor): Daniele Silvestri takes to the stage to perform his second entry this evening and it is completely different from the first one which does not actually mean bad news because this is a pop track which sticks out from the rest. He has the additional female backing vocals in this one and that gives it a different sound. Nevertheless, despite being more modern than the first one, and the fact that the vocals do indeed sound more whole in this one, the other track is much more emotional and the people will surely head emotion considering that Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Daniele Silvestri might have it his way this year though! Enjoyed this performance but nevertheless, things are turning out to be serious as the hosts quickly stop the tele-voting.

QualifiedA bocca chiusa

Simona Molinari & Peter Cincotti: La felicità and Dr. Jekyll e Mr. Hyde

Dr. Jekyll e Mr. Hyde: A duet, the first and online of the evening is based on a novel, and a musical so we have to see what type of genre they will potray. Simona is wearing a short dress, which involced a red shirt and a silver blouse. Old school is the best way to describe the genre with big band fused into soul. Peter Cincotti is wearing a black suit and is very classically dressed near his duet partner. The staging is a mixture of red and blue, and once more, this looks incredibly on screen. That line in English goes a long way for the foreign viewers and the piano playing mid-way throug the song is also a positive addition to this track to which I am bopping my head to. The quality in this years' edition of Sanremo is stunning and RAI should be commended on the production values.

La Felicità: Once more, this big band sound sound very positive and the orchestra is playing a major role in the delivery noting that the playback version might not be that effective. Simona's vocals are much better in this track and one has to enjoy the background vocals of the male because they give the song a bit of distinction. The other song is more original musically but this one is performed extremely well. In Malta, this genre is somewhat attributed to Janvil and thus, here comes the Italian Charleston. This is catchier and more easy going on the ear. I really hope that this is the one which ultimately get through. Simona speaks about how much fun she had performing the songs.

Qualified: La Felicità

Marta sui Tubi: Vorrei and Dispari

Dispari: I have been warned that this will be very much love or hate and indeed, it is quite different to what has been played thus far, and following a long break, honestly, this still sounds better. The leader performer is wearing a typical rock ghetto and he seems to be sporting a moustache in the vein of Freddie Mercury. The song is somewhat undescribable as there is a fusion of several genres. The vocals are as good as one believes they should be in this type of song. Loving the cellos and the guitars mid-way through the song but this is not in my alley and the choice in my opinion would be on the song which I hate, the most!

Vorrei: This is a much better song than the first one but seriously, could somebody tell the lead performer that he cannot sing, he is straining the opening notes of this one and it sounds extremely wrong. The guitars are once more playing a huge role in this performance, and as a matter of fact, there is some authenticity. Shouting, Shouting, and more Shouting, gives you credibility in Italy it seems. Whoa! It seems that the break was actually better, as this is turning out to be a nightmare. There has to be one artist to spoil the fun at Sanremo and it seems that Maria Sui Tubi works all those angles. Both songs should be eliminated by one will have to pass!

Qualified: Vorrei

Maria Nazionale: Quando non parlo and E’ colpa mia

Quando Non Parlo: Maria Nazionale and her deep vocals take to the stage of Sanremo wearing a flaming pink dress. Ethnic and flamenco would be the best way to describe the genre of this entry and once more, the orchestra is very pivotal to the overall outcome of this track. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of Spanish eleemtns in the song, similar to something that would be performed by Monica Naranjo or Pastora Soler. The performer in the meantime is enjoying herself quite a lot on the stage and would do with a bit of dancing around as seen during the Melodi Grand Prix final with Lucky Lips. The lighting is stunning, with blue being predominant in order to make her stand out more. Beautiful track, I really like it.

E’ colpa mia: A whole flock of violins kicks this track off and one could easily note that this is more suited to the Italian market than the previously presented track. The music is kept to the bare minimum and that is why Maria's vocals shine through the song because she carries is beautifully. The people are enchanted by the vocals and they applaud loudly as it comes to an end. It is emotional and beautiful in every sense of the word and I cannot really identity Maria with being an Italian because she has a lot of sensuality about her making her sound extremely Spanish. Nevertheless, another contender for the victory at the end of the week.

Qualified: E’ colpa mia

Chiara Galiazzo: L’esperienza dell’amore and Il futuro che sarà

L’esperienza dell’amore: The first track from this years' bookies favourite, Chiara is a pop/rock type of ballad which evolves well. We have an artist who is somewhat inexperienced having just come out of the X Factor Italia competition a couple of months back. She is performing this as if it is her last performance on earth but I am not sure about the song per se, because it seems like it doesn't really go anywhere and it makes it difficult to really weigh in the seriousness of the performance. Her vocals are good, nothing outstanding but nevertheless, left a bit cold after stunning performances from Maria Nazionale and Daniele Silvestri.

Il futuro che sarà: Well, this is a completely different side to Chiara and the one which I was expected to come out relatively earlier. A jazz, soul type of genre complementary to the vocals that she knows to provide, with that slight raspiness. The track is much more current and would be more liked by the audience of the Sanremo competition, which is slightly older. Nevertheless, I still do not believe that Chiara has a winning entry in either of the two tracks but this is definitely the track that should head onto the next round because the other one was just plain disappointing. I believe that we should expect stronger tracks tomorrow but this evenings' winners were clearly singled out.

QualifiedIl futuro che sarà

The first evening of the Sanremo competition comes to an end as Fabio Fazio and Luciana Littizzetto recap the performances of the evening, those which did qualify and which will be performed for a second time on Thursday evening following the choice of another seven tracks tomorrow evening. Tune into escflashmalta.com for another LIVE Report from Sanremo 2013 as Marc Calleja Bayliss reviews the performances. Thanks for tuning in this evening and a hearty congratulations goes to RAI for putting up a magnificient show.

Published in Sanremo
Friday, 08 February 2013 13:45

Italy: Stage Design of Sanremo 2013 Revealed

RAI, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Italy within the Eurovision Song Contest decided to return to the international event two years ago with the winner of the Giovani section, Raphael Gualazzi achieving a first runner-up finish with the song Follia D'Amore (Madness of Love). In 2012, the expectations were considerably higher but Nina Zilli and her entry L'Amore e Femmina could only muster ninth place. This year, the rumours surround three artists but prior to the selection of the performer for the Eurovision Song Contest, another edition of Sanremo will follow and escflashmalta.com is committed to covering every evening LIVE due to the love of Italian music evident in the Maltese nation.

This years' producer is none other than Fabio Fazio, who will be taking over from former Eurovision Song Contest representative, Gianni Morandi who in turn will be replacing Rafaella Carra as commentator for RAI 2 on the night of the international showcase in May. Fazio who will be hosting alongside Luciana Littizzetto, has decided to make a couple of adjustments to this years' Sanremo competition including the element that each artist will perform two songs rather than one with the weakest of each performer being eliminated in a combination of public and jury voting. This idea was initiated in order to keep all of the singers in the competition till the very end and has been extremely well received by the Italian Music Industry who has been known to thrive off the Sanremo music competition for an extremely long time. 

  • Almamegretta (Mamma non lo sa / Onda che vai)
  • Annalisa (Non so ballare / Scintille)
  • Chiara (L’esperienza dell’amore / Il futuro che sarà)
  • Daniele Silvestri (A bocca chiusa / Il bisogno di te)
  • Elio e le storie tese (Dannati forever / La canzone mononota)
  • Malika Ayane (Niente / E se poi)
  • Marco Mengoni (Bellissimo / L’essenziale)
  • Maria Nazionale (Quando non parlo / E’ colpa mia)
  • Marta sui tubi (Dispari / Vorrei)
  • Max Gazze’ (Sotto casa / I tuoi maledettisimi impegni)
  • Modà (Come l’acqua dentro il mare / Se si potesse non morire)
  • Raphael Gualazzi (Sai (ci basta un sogno) / Senza ritegno)
  • Simona Molinari con Peter Cincotti (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide / La felicità)
  • Simone Cristicchi (Mi manchi / La prima volta)
The 2013 edition of Sanremo broadcast on RAI 1 will officially commence as of Tuesday and the organisers have just revealed the stage setup, as designed by Francesca Montinaro. It is an extremely modern staging which will surely come across well on the television screens. In the meantime, earlier in the week, Fazio confirmed a number of guest appearances during the week of the competition including from none other than Former French First Lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and renowned tenor, Andrea Bocelli. RAI has confirmed to the European Broadcasting Union that the selection of the artist will be taking place from the Artisti Category of Sanremo. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news from Italy as soon as it becomes available.
Source: RAI

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

Interest in the Eurovision Song Contest for Italy is still not as high as somewhat expected although the viewing figures improved during the past year and therefore, will give the opportunity to RAI to make sure that they secure another high profile artist who would like to have the opportunity to crack the European market noting that the record labels are seemingly aiming for this and thus, making the extra effort required. Sanremo in 2013 is set to be organised by Fabio Fazio and it is expected that an internal panel of judges as has been the case for the past two years will select the representative for Italy at the continental event. There have been a number of heavy weight performers mentioned but it seems that the public is either going for someone extremely popular like Marco Mengoni or for someone whose newcomer status is quickly changing in the form of Francesca Michielin who won the fifth edition of the Italian X Factor.

Nevertheless, there is one popular choice and that is Marco Mengoni from the amount of emails, tweets, and message on Facebook received by escflashmalta.com from a number of Italian followers. Marco Mengoni also rose to fame through the X Factor noting that his victory prompted his to success with his debut album entitled Solo 2.0 reaching number #1 in Italy and also achieving Gold certification. His participation in the 2013 edition of Sanremo follows his success achieved in the same competition back in 2010 noting that his second runner-up entry Credimi Ancora reached number #3 in the Italian charts and also managed to garner platinum status. It seems that negotiations have commenced with the possibility that Marco Mengoni could represent Italy but competitions, are seemingly becoming all too familiar for him and he might actually opt out of this one, which would be his biggest to date. Last year, Italy competed with Nina Zilli and her track l'Amore e Femmina which finished in ninth place garnering mostly support from the juries. It will be interesting to see how the Italian selection for the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest will technically unfold so stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Eurovision Rai, escflashmalta.com


Published in Editorials
Thursday, 13 December 2012 14:55

Italy: Sanremo 2013 Finalists Revealed

RAI has always been extremely influential in the concepts adopted by the European Broadcasting Union and in fact, one of the most popular music competitions to take place in Europe is surely Sanremo noting that surrounding countries are known to tune in and increase viewership during all of the evenings especially because the cream of the crop are always known to be in the final running order. Just a couple of hours ago, the broadcaster made the revelation of the fourteen artists who will ultimately compete for the elite prize. One of the acts will most likely also become the Italian representative at the Eurovision Song Contest considering that this years' representative; Nina Zilli competed amongst the established performers and ultimately achieved ninth place in Baku, Azerbaijan with her track L'Amore e Femmina despite being one of the bookies' favourites to win.

The fourteen acts that will be competing in the next edition of Sanremo will be performing two songs each and this element has been introduced by Fabio Fazio, the new director in a bid to let all of the renowned artists chosen to compete throughout all of the week with the best possible song as chosen by the jury and the public. The list of performers is actually quite intriguing this time round as it seems that there is more star power than the past two years in particular noting that artists from reality shows such as X Factor and Amici make a comeback in the form of Annalisa and Marco Mengoni. The latter is apparently the favourite of the public to represent Italy in the next edition of the Eurovision Song Contest and therefore his participation in Sanremo makes this a viable option by RAI should the broadcaster and his record label come to a general compromise.

  • Almamegretta (Mamma non lo sa / Onda che vai)
  • Annalisa (Non so ballare / Scintille)
  • Chiara (L’esperienza dell’amore / Il futuro che sarà)
  • Daniele Silvestri (A bocca chiusa / Il bisogno di te)
  • Elio e le storie tese (Dannati forever / La canzone mononota)
  • Malika Ayane (Niente . E se poi)
  • Marco Mengoni (Bellissimo / L’essenziale)
  • Maria Nazionale (Quando non parlo / E’ colpa mia)
  • Marta sui tubi (Dispari / Vorrei)
  • Max Gazze’ (Sotto casa / I tuoi maledettisimi impegni)
  • Modà (Come l’acqua dentro il mare / Se si potesse non morire)
  • Raphael Gualazzi (Sai (ci basta un sogno) / Senza ritegno)
  • Simona Molinari con Peter Cincotti (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide / La felicità)
  • Simone Cristicchi (Mi manchi / La prima volta)

It is quite intriguing that former winners return to the fray and 2013 seems to be no different because Simone Cristicchi who was propelled to fame following his victory in 2007, returns as well along with the 2011 runners-up Modà. Nevertheless, the biggest surprise is surely when it comes to Raphael Gualazzi who represented Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest held in Dusseldorf, Germany back in 2011 with Madness of Love finishing in second place just behind Running Scared performed by Ell & Nikki on behalf of Azerbaijan. Italy won the Eurovision Song Contest twice, the first time thanks to Gigliola Cinquetti with Non Ho L'Eta and the second time round with Toto Cotugno and his track Insieme. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com as we keep you posted with all of the latest happenings from Italy as we plan to cover the selection procedure as it unravels as we had done earlier year.

Source: RAI



Published in Sanremo