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  • Writer's pictureLiv Webster

Italy: Sanremo - everything you need to know before the contest

The stage for Sanremo Music Festival 2022

The 72nd edition of the illustrious Sanremo Music Festival begins in just over 24 hours. For anyone new to the premier Italian Music Festival - it runs over five days with around five hours per show for an outstanding 25 hours of entertainment.

Since the 1977 Sanremo has been hosted at the iconic and historic Teatro Ariston (Ariston Theatre) - a significant cultural hub for the Mediterranean nation.

Last year for the first time in festival's history - the contest was performed to an empty audience, much to the disappointment of both artists and public alike. However, under strict COVID-19 conditions the event will be hosted once again to a maximum audience capacity in 2022! Meno Male (Thank goodness)!

Co-host Rosario Fiorello entertaining the stand-in crowd of 2021

Notably, the winner of Sanremo is given the opportunity to represent Italy at Eurovision - however, if the winner declines it is up to Italian broadcaster RAI to choose another participant from Sanremo to compete at Eurovision. In 2016, Sanremo winner Stadio forwent the opportunity with runner-up Francesca Michielin selected to participate instead.

Allora, here is a crash course in the 2022 contest - from participants, hosts, format and everything in between:


The wonderful, stupendous and utterly fantastic Amadeus is the artistic director and host of Sanremo for the third consecutive year. He will be joined by Ornella Muti, Lorena Cesarini, Drusilla Foer, Maria Chiara Giannetta and Sabrina Ferilli on their respective nights to co-host. Fear not Fiorello fans - it's confirmed he will be making an appearance on the first night of the contest.

Amadeus and his co-hosts on the cover of Sorrisi e Canzoni Magazine

Format, dates and times:

Watch all shows via RAI

First Night - Wednesday (6:40am AEDT)

  • 12 of the artists will perform their entries for the first time

  • Voting will be done exclusively by media juries: a print and TV media jury (33%), a radio jury (34%) and a web media jury (33%)

  • A ranking of the 12 acts will be announced at the end of the show

  • Confirmed special guests: Rosario Fiorello, Måneskin and Meduza

Second Night - Thursday (06:40am AEDT)

  • The remaining 13 artists will perform their entries for the first time

  • Voting will be revealed and performed in the same manner as the first evening.

  • A combined ranking of all 25 artists will be given

  • Confirmed special guest: Laura Pausini

Third Night - Friday (06:40am AEDT)

  • All 25 artists will perform their entries

  • Voting will be split between a demoscopic jury (50%) and televote (50%)

  • A provisional ranking combining results from all three evenings will be given

  • Confirmed special guest: Checco Zalone

Fourth Night - Saturday (06:40am AEDT)

  • All 25 artist will perform covers of iconic Italian or international songs from the 60s, 70s or 80s.

  • Artists may perform solo or together with an acclaimed Italian or international guest

  • Voting will be televote (34%), combined press jury (33%) and demoscopic jury (33%)

  • A provisional ranking combining results from all four evenings will be given

  • Confirmed special guest: Cesare Cremonini

Final Night - Sunday (06:40am AEDT)

  • All 25 artists will perform their songs for the third and final time

  • At the end of televoting, the final ranking will be drawn up, determined by the average between the percentages of the final evening and those of the previous evenings, which will establish the final ranking from the twenty-fifth to the fourth position. The top 3 ranked acts will proceed to super final to decide the winner.

  • Votes will be reset. Of the top three in the super final - the winner will be decided by televote (34%), press jury (33%) and demoscopic jury (33%).

  • Confirmed special guests: Banda musicale della Guardia di Finanza and Orietta Berti with Fabio Rovazzi

Participants and song titles:

  • Achille Lauro - ‘Domenica’

  • AKA7even - ‘Perfetta cosi’

  • Ana Mena - ‘Duecentomila ore’

  • Dargen D’Amico - ‘Dove si balla’

  • Ditonellapiaga & Donatella Rettore - ‘Chimica’

  • Elisa - ‘O forse sei tu’

  • Emma - ‘Ogni volta è così’

  • Fabrizio Moro - ‘Sei tu’

  • Gianni Morandi - ‘Apri tutte le porte’

  • Giovanni Truppi - ‘Tuo padre, mia madre, Lucia'

  • Giusy Ferreri - ‘Miele’

  • Highsnob & Hu - ‘Abbi cura di te’

  • Irama - ‘Ovunque sarai’

  • Iva Zanicchi - ‘Voglio amarti’

  • La Rappresentante di Lista - ‘Ciao ciao’

  • Le Vibrazioni - ‘Tantissimo’

  • Mahmood & Blanco - ‘Brividi’

  • Massimo Ranieri - ‘Lettera al di là del mare’

  • Matteo Romano - ‘Virale’

  • Michele Bravi - ‘Inverno dei fiori’

  • Noemi - ‘Ti amo non lo so dire’

  • Rkomi - ‘Insuperabile’

  • Sangiovanni - ‘Farfalle’

  • Tananai - ‘Sesso occasionale’

  • Yuman - ‘Ora e qui'

Amongst the line-up are six former Eurovision representatives. These include, Iva Zanicchi (1969), Gianni Morandi (1970), Massimo Ranieri (1971, 1973), Emma (2014), Fabrizio Moro (2018) and Mahmood (2019).

"If last year we decided to go to a courageous dimension - no one would have ever imagined that Måneskin would win Sanremo (and then Eurovision) - this year's songs will follow our basic needs: to love, to dance, to meet, to talk to each other." - Stefano Coletta, RAI 1 Manager.

Sanremo Giovani 2021:

On December 15, 2021 Italian Broadcaster RAI hosted the annual Sanremo Giovani competition - aimed at finding and platforming up-and-coming young artists within the nation. Since 2019, top placing artists have been given the opportunity to compete the Sanremo Music Festival - replacing the 'Newcomers' previously seen at the contest.

Yumen - winner of Sanremo Giovani 2021 with 'Mille notti'. They will sing ‘Ora e qui' at Sanremo 2022.

This year the top three artists of Sanremo Giovanni will compete amongst the 22 'Big Artists' for a total of 25 participants, these artists are:

  • Yuman (1st)

  • Tananai (2nd)

  • Matteo Romano (3rd)

Note these artists will be performing different songs at Sanremo to what was performed at Sanremo Giovani.

FantaSanremo 2022:

FantaSanremo is the Italian music industry version of AFL Fantasy for footy fans. Essentially fans can compose a 'team' by choosing five of the artists in the competition, appointing a captain and based on the competition results you earn or lose points. Watch out because the captain is crucial for the final evening where their points are doubled (both good and bad).

The whole affair is very tongue and cheek and extremely popular locally. The competition is open to international participants!

Who will perform on the first or second evenings?

Released by RAI today - the left are the 12 artists performing on the first night and right are the 13 artists performing on the second night.

Who to watch:

Of course it's impossible to predict before we get the songs released to the public - but based on local media whom do have access to the entries, these are the artists that have turned heads:

  • Elisa - ‘O forse sei tu’

  • Mahmood & Blanco - ‘Brividi’

  • La Rappresentante di Lista - ‘Ciao ciao’

  • Emma - ‘Ogni volta è così’

  • Achille Lauro - ‘Domenica’

It's going to be one crazy week full quintessentially Italian music, production and probably a generous dose of drama. I can't wait!! Ci vediamo dopo!!

To stay up to date with the announcements from Italy follow @aussievisionnet on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

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