In view of the 70th birthday of the Sanremo festival, Eurofestival News celebrates with a series of articles that trace the history of the Italian musical festival par excellence.
Throughout the month of December, and until today, we have offered you a reading every week to celebrate anecdotes, artists and songs from the contest closely linked to the Eurovision Song Contest.
The 2000s (2010-2019)
The 2010 edition of the Sanremo Festival is conducted by a woman, Antonella Clerici. The fourth ever after Loretta Goggi (1986), Raffaella Carrà (2001) e Simona Ventura (2004).
The peculiarity is that Clerici chose to run the event alone, without using valleys or co-hosts.
The artistic direction is entrusted to Giancarlo Mazzi, a position he held several times in previous years.
The differentiation between Big and New Proposals remains in force, however the categories are called Artists and New Generation.
The neo-melodic singer made her debut in the main section Maria Nazionale and three faces of the talent shows, now cleared through customs at the Festival. There are Valerio Scanu from Friends of Maria De Filippi is Noemi is Marco Mengoni from X Factor. The latter enters Ariston by right having won the third edition of the program.
The winner of the 60th edition of Sanremo is Scanu with "For all the times that …", written for him by the talented colleague Pierdavide Carone. A victory that started – for the regulation of the year – with the provisional elimination of the singer, who was then fished out on the third evening.
The unpredictable trio formed by baby, Emanuele Filiberto is Luca Canonici – they too were first eliminated, then fished out – with the patriotic "Italia amore mio" and Mengoni with "Believe me again".
Among the young, the other ex is remembered X Factor Tony Maiello, winner with "The language of surrender" e Nina Zilli at the festival debut with "The man who loved women", third and critics' prize.
Sanremo 2010 is still remembered today for many bitter controversies. The first concerning Morgan. The former Bluvertigo leader had been announced as a competitor with the song "La sera", but after an interview with the monthly Max in which he claimed to snort cocaine as an antidepressant, Rai decided to expel him from the race.
The others revolve around the figure of Emanuele Filiberto. The scion of the Savoy household was harshly criticized and whistled after each performance.
In particular, on the final evening, after the announcement of the eliminations of Malika Ayane and Noemi – and the consecutive finals of Scanu, Mengoni and Pupo with Filiberto and Canoni – the audience erupted in shouts of protest and the orchestras, who had participated in the vote, crumpled up and threw the scores into the air disagreement.
The two women turned away from Ariston. "Ricomincio da qui" – winner of the Critics' Award – and "Per tutto la vita" were the most successful radio and sales songs, pulling their respective albums.
2011 is a historic year for Eurovision lovers. Italy after fourteen years of absence from the competition – the last participation dates back to 1997 when i Jalisse finished in fourth place with "Rivers of words" – back in the race and chooses the Sanremo Festival for selection its representative.
Leading the event is Gianni Morandi, assisted by Belén Rodriguez, Elisabetta Canalis, Luca Bizzarri is Paolo Kessisoglu. Mazzi is confirmed artistic director.
In the Artists section they debut Franco Battiato – paired with Luca Madonia, the duo The Crus, Davide Van De Sfroos, the Spanish girl Raquel Del Rosario – coupled with Luca Barbarossa, Emma Marrone from Friends – at the Festival with i Fashion, Giusy Ferreri is Nathalie from X Factor.
Betting agencies have no doubts: Emma and Modà will win with “Arriverà”.
But in the end it is Roberto Vecchioni – returned to Sanremo after thirty-eight years – which with "Chiamami ancora amore" overwhelms colleagues at televoting with 40% of preferences, and also obtains the Critics Award.
In third place is placed Al Bano with "Amanda is free". Track inspired by the murder of the 28-year-old Nigerian Doris Iuta, a prostitute from Livorno.
Other pieces of the edition include Ferreri's "The immense sea", Nathalie's "Vivo suspended" and Van De Sfroos's "Yanez", which despite being sung in the Tremezzino dialect, has gained national relevance by winning the gold disc.
In the Youth section, the home jazz singer triumphs Sugar Music Raphael Gualazzi. His "love madness" is also rewarded by the critics.
Subsequently, the artist was selected by Rai to take part in the Eurovision in Düsseldorf, Germany, with a partially English version of the song entitled "Madness of love".
Surprisingly, Gualazzi ranks second, behind only Azerbaijan, driven by the vote of the quality juries which sees him first with a good gap.
Morandi is confirmed at the helm of Sanremo also in 2012. The singer and conductor joins this experience by the actor Rocco Papaleo and the Czech model Ivana Mrázová, then revised at Big Brother VIP.
In the early evening, however, Ivana is not present on stage due to a neck pain, Morandi then calls on colleagues Belén Rodriguez and Elisabetta Canalis, queens of gossip, to inaugurate the new edition.
Among the beginners at Ariston in the Artists category are i Marlene Kuntz, Chiara Civello and the ex Friends Pierdavide Carone, who is accompanied by the master Lucio Dalla in the song "Nanì".
It was the last television appearance for Dalla, who died of a heart attack, less than two weeks after the end of the event.
Facebook is used to choose the competitors in the Youth section, for this reason the category is renamed Sanremosocial.
To win the young Alessandro Casillo, launched by the talent of Canale 5 I sing, with "It's true (you're there)".
Among others in the race Erica Mou with "In the bathtub of the time" – Critics Award, Marco Guazzone with "Breakdown", the novice Giordana Angi with "Incognita poesia" e Celeste Gaia, which launches the moderate catchphrase "Carlo".
2012 was a women's edition. On the podium, in fact, three female artists – it hadn't happened since 1999: Emma Marrone, who returned after the good debut of the previous year, and triumphed with "It's not hell", Arisa second with "La notte" and Noemi third with "Sono solo parole".
On the podium the couple formed by should have actually climbed Gigi D'Alessio is Loredana Bertè with "Respirare", third in televoting in the final, but the regulation provided that the press room assigned a "bonus" to an artist, making him go up by three positions in the ranking.
The bonus went to Noemi who finished fourth, finishing in first position, turning on to the final.
Other songs of the year include "A balloon" by Samuele Bersani, winner of the Critics' Award, "Your beauty" by Francesco Renga, "See you at home" by Sweet black and "Forever" by Nina Zilli.
The latter was also chosen by Rai to represent Italy at the Eurovision in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The singer initially chooses the song from Sanremo, but then changes it in favor of a bilingual version of the lively song "Love is female", with which she finishes ninth in the ranking.
2012 was also the year of Adriano Celentano's return to the stage. Il Molleggiato monopolized the first evening with a very long monologue, in which he attacked the Catholic press and the Constitutional Court harshly.
The controversies flared up and Rai itself declined the artistic direction of the Festival, for the third consecutive year in the hands of Mazzi.
After thirteen years, Fabio Fazio he returned to Sanremo in 2013, holding both the position of conductor and artistic director. For this new adventure he chooses his long-standing professional partner Luciana Littizzetto.
To mark a detachment from previous editions, Fazio brings to the stage a remarkable novelty, not without criticism.
Shorten the list of Champions to just fourteen names, but each artist enters the competition with two tracks.
During the first two evenings, the public and the press room choose the song with which the singers will continue their path in the Festival.
Ariston made his debut Almamegretta, i Martha on the Tubes, the American Peter Cincotti – paired with Simona Molinari, Annalisa of Friends is Chiara of X Factor.
The winner of the edition is Marco Mengoni with "The essential". The Lazio singer, after a period of crisis, relaunches himself in style, then over time becoming one of the most solid names on the Italian music scene.
Mengoni will also fly to Eurovision in Malmö, Sweden, ranking seventh. To date, his song remains one of the most appreciated by fans of the European competition.
In second place are the winners of the Critics Elio e le Storie Tese that with "The mononote song", a witty and complex song all built around the note DO, immediately gain attention. Terzi i Modà with "If you could not die".
Other pieces of the Festival obtaining success in the "Sotto casa" ranking of Max Gazzè, "What if then" by Malika Ayane and "Happiness" by Molinari and Cincotti.
In the Youth category he is awarded Antonio Maggio – former competitor of X Factor with the Aram Quartet – with "I need to know", which gets a good sales response.
In the same edition we find the colleague of talent Ilaria Porceddu, Chile is Renzo Rubino, critics prize with "The postman (love me man)", a song that deals with the love story between two men.
The controversy chapter features the comedian Maurizio Crozza.
On the inaugural evening of the Festival, the imitator takes the stage disguised as Silvio Berlusconi, giving rise to the protests of some members of the audience in the hall, who yell at him to leave the scene and leave politics out of the event.
Fazio's intervention calms the spirits and allows Crozza to continue, imitating Pier Luigi Bersani, Antonio Ingroia is Luca Cordero di Montezemolo. At the end of the guest, the audience applauds him.
Following the good success of the previous year, in 2014 Fabio Fazio was confirmed as the conductor and artistic director of Sanremo. With him, Luciana Littizzetto also returns.
Despite the criticisms, Fazio proposes the 2013 formula. Fourteen Champions in the race, each with two pieces to be proposed to the public at home and in the press room.
Since the confirmation of the host, criticisms flare up on social media.
One of the most affected aspects during the event is the scenography, designed by Emanuela Trixie Zitkowsky, which like that of the previous edition, created by Francesca Montinaro, is considered too poor and gloomy, degrading for an event like Sanremo.
Maurizio Costanzo, interviewed a Sunday In, he says: "I have rarely seen a darker and uglier scenography". The ratings will eventually drop steeply, as will the sales of songs and albums from previous years.
The edition turns out to be unlucky from the start. The first evening starts with two unexpected events: the curtain that does not go up and an attempted suicide by two unemployed men.
They debut on the Riviera Giuliano Palma, i Disturbance with "The only one" and The Bloody Beetroots, on stage with Raphael Gualazzi.
The winner of the Festival is Arisa with "Controvento", who, however, will not enjoy the opportunity to represent Italy at Eurovision.
In fact, only for this edition does Rai favor an internal choice, unrelated to Sanremo.
Emma Marrone will then sing for our country at the Eurovision in Copenhagen in Denmark. With "My city" it will be placed in twenty-first place, marking the negative record for Italy in the European event.
We also remember the songs "Vivendo ora" by Francesco Renga, "Bagnati dal sole" by Noemi and "I take you to dinner with me" by Giusy Ferreri.
To win the critics' prize is Cristiano De Andrè with "Invisibili". Curiously, the song is not the one chosen by the press room and the televoting to continue the race, defeated by "The sky is empty".
The New Proposals section launches Rocco Hunt with "Nu juorno buono", Diodato with "Babylon" e Zibba with "Senza di te", critics' prize. They are also in the race The Niro is Filippo Graziani, son of Ivan.
2014 is also remembered for the disqualification of Riccardo Sinigallia. After performing "Before going away", it turns out that the song by the Roman singer-songwriter is not unpublished, as required by the regulation, but has already been presented on several occasions before the Festival.
Fazio decides to disqualify him but allows him to present his piece, out of the race, on all the other evenings of the event, including the final.
Sanremo 2015 comes to life from a vigorous change of course. Once Fazio is filed, the helm changes to Carlo Conti, for years in the smell of the Festival, and considered by many to be the natural heir of Goofy Baudo.
Conti calls with him two ex-winners of the Festival, Arisa and Emma Marrone, along with the Spanish model Rocío Muñoz Morales.
Stop the double track, back to the Sanremo custom. Among the Big, many newcomers: Bianca Atzei, the pair of comedians Biggio and Mandelli, Mauro Coruzzi – on stage with Grace Of Michele, The flight, Lara Fabian, Nesli, Lorenzo Fragola from X Factor, i Dear Jack is Moreno from Friends.
Conti gives new life to Sanremo. The 2015 edition is in fact the most viewed edition since 2006. Also from the discographic point of view, the selection proves to be a success.
To win hands down Il Volo with the bursting as classic "Great love" – composed twelve years earlier – which will become a pan-European hit thanks to their participation in the Eurovision in Vienna, Austria.
The trio will take third place in the contest, however winning the continental televoting.
Other successful tracks from the edition are "Come forward love" by Nek, "We are the same" by Lorenzo Fragola, "A window among the stars" by Annalisa, "Extraordinary" by Chiara and "Now and here (Nostalgic present)" by Ayane, awarded by the critics.
The New Proposals section is also level, which at the behest of Conti is moved at the beginning of the evening – the segment most viewed by the public – to give more visibility to competitors.
To win is Giovanni Caccamo with "I will come back to you" – which also brings home the critics prize. There are also competitors Amara and Enrico Nigiotti.
Rai can only confirm Conti for Sanremo 2016. The conductor and artistic director chooses a trio consisting of Gabriel Garko, Virginia Raffaele and the Romanian model and actress Madalina Ghenea.
The success is overwhelming and with an average share of 49.52% it also exceeds that of 2015.
Few newcomers among the twenty Champions: the rapper Clementino with "When I'm away", Francesca Michielin from X Factor is Deborah Iurato from Friends – paired with Giovanni Caccamo, third with "Via da qui".
There is also a curious "race in the race" between Alessio Bernabei, the first solo experience, and the singer's former band Dear Jack, again at the Festival with the voice of Leiner Reflexes.
The edition is remembered for the rainbow ribbons.
During the five evenings many of the singers in the competition performed with objects and decorations recalling the flag symbol of the LGBT movements, to support the approval of the DDL on civil unions promoted by the senator Monica Cirinnà.
Starting from the bottom in the rankings of the betting agencies, the Stadium they emerge as winners with the touching song "One day you will tell me". However, they refuse to go to Eurovision, leaving Rai to select the Italian representative.
The choice falls on the second classified Francesca Michielin with "No degree of separation", the real success of Sanremo 2016.
The Venetian singer brings on the stage in Stockholm, Sweden, a bilingual version of the song, entitled "No degree of separation", finishing in sixteenth place.
Valerio Scanu's "Finally raining" by Lorenzo Fragola, "Wake up" by Rocco Hunt, "We are infinite" by Bernabei, "Di me e di te" by Absolute zero and "Huge skies" by Patty Pravo, Critics Award.
The New Proposals section ends up in the spotlight during the third evening. The challenge that contrasts Honey is Francesco Gabbani, sees the female singer triumph at first.
During the live broadcast, however, an error in the calculation of the votes in the press room was announced, due to a technical error.
The correct result sees the verdict reversed, and in the end Gabbani will be the winner of the entire category with the hit "Amen".
It is striking to read the cast of the 2016 Youth selection Ermal Meta with "I hate fairy tales", Irama with "What will remain" and Mahmood with "Forget".
Three names that will stand out in Sanremo – and beyond – just a few years later.
Tris by Carlo Conti back in the forefront also in Sanremo 2017. For this third consecutive edition, the Tuscan conductor does things big and invites the main face of Canale 5, Maria De Filippi.
The public appreciates and with 50.7% average share, the Conti-tris still improves the already excellent results of previous years.
In the Samples section they appear for the first time Lodovica Comello, Raige and Giulia Luzi, Alice Paba from The Voice of Italy – paired with Nesli, Michele Bravi from X Factor, Elodie is Sergio Sylvestre from Friends.
But all the attention is on Fiorella Mannoia, which is part of the race after the last festival appearance of 1988.
Francesco Gabbani is also back in the race, who manages to win the main category for the first time in the history of the Festival after having won the New Proposals category only twelve months before.
It is the unsettling "Westerners' karma" that makes him hit the highscore. An uptempo and a dancing monkey on stage perform the miracle by beating the competition of "Let it be blessed" of Mannoia.
Gabbani knows a success that has not been seen in Sanremo for some time. In addition to conquering radio airplay, he gets six platinum discs for the over three hundred thousand copies sold by the single.
He arrives at the Eurovision in Kiev, Ukraine, as the absolute favorite, according to European betting agencies. However, at the end of the contest he will finish in sixth place, however entering the top ten of the best-selling singles in Europe.
"Occidenti's karma" holds another record: with over 230 million views, it is the most viewed Italian music video on YouTube (if you don't consider … The chick Pius).
Among the other successful songs of the "Vietato die" edition by Ermal Meta – third place and critics' prize, "The diary of errors" by Michele Bravi, "Take me away" by Fabrizio Moro, "All my fault" by Elodie and "Make yourself beautiful" by Paola Turci.
Unlike other years, the New Proposals section does not prove to be strong enough to repeat success. The ex is the winner Friends Lele with "Ora mai", which goes unnoticed outside the Ariston.
The Critics Award goes to the second place Clumsy with "Song for Federica".
Rai continues to woo accounts, King Midas of plays, but the presenter is satiated with Sanremo (at least for the moment).
We therefore think of the hypothesis already tested with Gianni Morandi, a successful singer transformed into a coductor for the occasion.
The choice falls on Claudio Baglioni, who after some hesitation, also accepts the role of artistic director.
The singer of "A thousand days of you and me" reports to Ariston Michelle Hunziker and call the actor with him Pierfrancesco Favino.
After the glittering editions of Conti, there are those who just don't believe in the success of the Baglioni Festival.
The singer-songwriter is an object of ridicule, there are those who think he does not have the right verve to face the kermesse and it is a common idea that the Festival turns into a show that is too radical chic, as happened with Fazio, with the listening to peak.
But Baglioni amazes everyone and his Sanremo 2018, against all expectations, manages to do better than Conti. 52.16% average share, most viewed edition since 2006.
They begin in the cast Roy Paci – which accompanies Diodato, Enzo Avitabile – paired with Peppe Servillo from Avion Travel, The welfare state, Mario Biondi and i The Kolors from Friends.
The favorites since the announcement of the Big names are Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro, who came together to sing "You did nothing to me", a song to exorcise the terror caused by the terrorist attacks in recent years.
Immediately after the first run, their position in the race falters.
At the Dopofestival it is pointed out that their song would actually be a plagiarism of "Silenzio", proposed by Amber Calvani is Gabriele De Pascali for the Youth section of Sanremo 2016.
The author of "Silenzio" is Andrea Febo, the same signature of "You did nothing to me". It also turns out that the song was proposed by the couple in the Musicultura competition in 2017.
These are hours of chaos, but in the end Rai decides to leave Meta and Moro in the race, since the song is considered a remake of the previous one, with a different theme, and only a third of the two songs coincide.
The controversy does not go away but the two songwriters still manage to triumph, gaining the right to represent Italy at Eurovision.
The two fly to Lisbon, Portugal, without attracting the attention of bookmakers.
However, the public seems to appreciate the song, and "rewards" them with third place on televoting, thus overturning the opinion of the quality jury that had placed them only in seventeenth place. In the general classification, they close in fifth place.
Despite the excellent ratings, Sanremo does not leave a big mark on the charts. In addition to "You did nothing to me", only the other two tracks on the podium are certified: "A life on vacation" by Lo Stato Sociale and "Il mondo prima di te" by Annalisa.
However, there are those who manage to do best of all starting from the New Proposals. He is the Roman singer-songwriter Niccolò Moriconi, in art Last, which won the gold medal with "The dance of uncertainties", then certified with three platinum discs.
Critics Awards are awarded to Ron with "Almeno pensami" – unpublished written by the late Lucio Dalla – e Mirkoelicane, second place among the young people with "We're all fine".
Also for Sanremo 2019, Rai confirms Claudio Baglioni, this time accompanied by Claudio Bisio and Virginia Raffaele.
The artistic director brings a varied cast to Ariston with many exponents of rap and the independent scene, many of whom are newcomers.
There are Achille Lauro, i Boomdabash, the Ex-Otago, Ghemon, Motta, Livio Cori – competing with Nino D’Angelo, i The Zen Circus, rancor – on stage with Daniele Silvestri. From Friends they also arrive Federica Carta – paired with Shade – is Brig – who accompanies Patty Pravo.
For this edition Baglioni "cancels" the New Proposals section, opting for a single group with twenty-four names.
Two of them from the separate competition Sanremo Giovani, aired in December 2018, which saw the ex Friends Einar Ortiz is Mahmood gain access to the 2019 Festival.
Among the participants there is also Ultimo with "Your details". The 2018 Youth champion returns to the race with the aim of winning the Festival and everything seems to be inclined for this to happen, given the huge following conquered by the Roman singer-songwriter, already in the smell of stadiums.
In the end, however, it is the almost unknown Mahmood who wins against all the odds with an atypical piece for the event.
"Soldi" is a r & b track with hints of trap, composed by the singer with two of the producers and authors of the moment, Dardust is Charlie Charles.
A victory that drags on political and critical exploitations, also due to the fact that it was the press room and the jury of honor that led to the triumph of Mahmood, while the televoting was hanging on the side of Ultimo (which wins almost 50% of the consents from home).
Perhaps scalded by the lack of victory during the last conference, Ultimo argues with some journalists in the room.
The same evening, he refuses to pose for the traditional cover of Tv Smiles and Songs with Mahmood and Il Volo, third with "Musica che resta".
Any sterile controversy is erased from Mahmood's achievements in the rankings.
"Money" is a resounding and international success. Four platinum records in Italy, two in Spain, 145 million views on YouTube, entry into Spotify's global ranking.
Not only Sanremo. Mahmood also flies to Tel Aviv, Israel, for Eurovision. It ranks second, entering the rankings in various countries of Europe.
First in Greece and Lithuania, second in Israel and Estonia, third in Iceland, fifth in Spain and Switzerland, eighth in Sweden. In the top 20 in Austria, Norway and the Netherlands. It also peeps out in the UK at # 73.
Various pieces of the Festival get awards in the charts: "For a million" by Boomdabash, "The girl with the tin heart" by Irama, "Rolls Royce" by Achille Lauro, "Without doing it on purpose" by Federica Carta and Shade, "Grandfather Hollywood ”by Nigiotti,“ Rose viola ”by Ghemon and“ Solo una canzone ”by Ex-Otago.
It is worth mentioning the Loredana Bertè case. The singer presents "What do you expect from me", and gets the audience standing ovation after each performance.
In the final evening, however, he ranks "only" fourth, remaining off the podium. When the Bertè position is announced, the public starts to whistle and rant in disappointment.
The artist returns home as a "moral winner". To win the Critics Award is Silvestri with Rancore for the song "Argentovivo".
Read the other retrospectives on the Sanremo Festival:
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