Festival di Sanremo review
Sofia Rositani – Editor-in-Chief
The Festival di Sanremo, an annual event that happens in Sanremo, Italy where the most popular singers perform and get a chance to try and get to Eurovision, happened on Feb. 1 through Feb. 5. It was an extremely exciting five-day event the RAI channel let international fans watch for free.
I was thankful to be able to watch the show because sometimes the show is not available to international audiences, which is sad because I grew up watching it with my family.
This year, the festival was amazing, even with the COVID-19 restrictions making certain moments not possible, it was still the highlight of the year.
The show was hosted by Amedeo Sebastiani, an Italian tv presenter. This is his second year hosting.
This year, there were many familiar faces performing, such as Irama, SanGiovanni, Michele Bravi, Mahmood, and Blanco for the younger audiences, but for the older audiences who have been watching since the conception of the festival, singers like Massimo Ranieri, who had me crying my heart out, and Gianni Morandi are two popular singers who have been performing since the beginning of this contest.
“Hosted by Amadeus, the week-long televisual extravaganza has seen over 100 glittering performances from the competing participants and guest acts, with shows running late into the night,” according to Eurovision Song Contest.
The festival does run extremely late into the night, usually due to final decisions on the winner. For this year, it went as late as 2 am.
Last year’s winners of Sanremo 2021 and Eurovision 2021, Maneskin, has stolen the heart of the world, and their worldwide success is a first that has come from Italy. This band has changed the whole outlook this festival can have for singers who win.
While there were fun moments at the festival, there were also moments that made some people uncomfortable, such as Achille Lauro’s performance.
Sanremo Bishop Antonio Suetta said the performance contained “words, attitudes and gestures that are not just offensive to religion, but to human dignity,” according to ABC News. In a statement, Suetta said he considered not saying anything, knowing that his protest would only draw attention to the performance. But he said he also felt he couldn’t stay silent because Italy’s RAI state television had allowed images that “mocked and profaned the sacred signs of the Catholic faith by evoking the gesture of Baptism in a dull and desecrating context.”
As a Catholic, that did make me uncomfortable to watch, and I have never been a huge fan of Lauro prior, but this really ruined my outlook on him. I do not want to support a man who uses such sacred moments in a religion. Getting baptized is a moment between you and God, you become your purest at that moment and to mock it in a room full of Italians, who are most likely Catholic, does not look good.
Now for the winners of the annual Festival di Sanremo: in third place, we had Gianni Morandi with “Apri tutte le porte” (Open all the doors), in second we had Elisa with “O Forse Sei Tu” (Or maybe it’s you), and in first place we had Mahmood and Blanco with “Brividi” (Chills).
“Before competing in Sanremo, all contestants are required to tell broadcaster Rai whether they would be willing to represent Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest should they triumph… shortly after the show, the pair confirmed that they will travel to Turin,” according to Eurovision Song Contest.
This is Mahmoods second win, his first being in 2019 with his song “Soldi” (Money). While Blanco is not the youngest to win Sanremo, he is still young at the age of 18 years old winning the contest. They will be representing Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy this May.