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  • Writer's pictureLiv Webster

Sanremo 2023 Highlights, Results & Iconic Moments: Night 1

Larger than life hosts Gianni Morandi and Amadeus

Welcome to five days of pure-distilled-Italian-genius which is the Sanremo Music Festival! For those who are unfamiliar - the competition is held in the picturesque town of Sanremo in the North-Western pocket of Italy. Beginning in 1951, many of the best known names in Italian music took part as competitors, guests or composers. For Italians it is *the* music event on the calendar and will propel artists straight to the top of the charts.

Half of the artists performed this morning during the five hour show with the other half performing tomorrow - here are the provisional results for the first fourteen artists consisting of a print and TV media jury (33%), a radio jury (34%) and a web media jury (33%):


Notable Performances

Marco Mengoni - 'Due vite'

Marco is back at Sanremo with another sublime entry that has social media excited. 'Due vite' has the hallmark of a classic Sanremo entry: the dramatic vocals, range and most importantly a standout melody. Marco gave the performance a raw and passionate presentation with stage presence to burn. It didn't really feel like the contest had started till he performed. One to watch to take out the whole contest.

Most Eurovision fans will recognise him for representing Italy at Eurovision 2013 with 'L'essenziale', placing 7th.

Elodie - 'Due'

Huge fan favourite Elodie is back with another great pop song. She competed in 2020 with 'Andromeda' winning over the Eurovision fan community. This year she's brought 'Due' to the competition with all of her usual class and stage presence. Plenty of vocal opportunities for her to show off and is one of the more sophisticated upbeat songs of the night. Brava!

Ultimo - 'Alba'

Another classic, quintessential Sanremo entry from Ultimo. After his dramatic and memorable second place at Sanremo 2019 with 'I tuoi particolari' he returns with a more commercial song 'Alba'. Very much a song that lends itself to the Sanremo stage, orchestra and juries but has more mainstream appeal than his previous attempt. Not his strongest vocals tonight and will need to lift to get to the pointy end of results. We can't overlook his huge fanbase and large presence at Sanremo this year.

Mara Sattei - 'Duemilaminuti'

This was Mara's debut at Sanremo. One of the biggest talking points of 'Duemilaminuti' is that is it co-written by Måneskin's Damiano David. Mara's performance was lovely with clear and stunning vocals. The song is a contemporary female ballad with enough classic elements to suit a Sanremo stage without sounding too "old-timey-Italian" to be internationally commercially viable. A fantastic debut.

Olly - 'Polvere'

Although not a jury favourite - Olly managed to capture online attention with this catchy upbeat number. He uses live vocal distortion (which admittedly was bit hit and miss this evening and needs improvement) and has buckets of stage presence for a Sanremo debut artist. This feels like one of those Sanremo entries that will just build momentum through the contest. Absolutely itching to hear the studio of this tune.

Iconic Moments

The literal President of Italy Sergio Mattarella watching the evening

Least years winners Mahmood and Blanco returning to perform 'Brividi'

Blanco having inner ear issues during his guest performance and deciding to give up on singing and destroy the rose props on stage...Gianni Morandi helped to sweep up the mess. The crowd was NOT impressed.

Piero Pelù giving us a slightly unhinged guest performance of his Sanremo 2020 song 'Gigante' - true to form with handbag swinging

This morning was the opening night of the five day festival - the rest of the week will proceed as follows:

Second Night - Thursday (06:40am AEDT)

  • The remaining 14 artists will perform their entries for the first time

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

  • A provisional combined ranking of all 28 artists will be given

  • Notable special guest: Black Eyed Peas

Third Night - Friday (06:40am AEDT)

  • All 28 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

  • Notable special guest: Måneskin with Tom Morello

Fourth Night - Saturday (06:40am AEDT)

  • All 28 artist will perform covers of iconic Italian or international songs from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s or noughties.

  • 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

  • Notable special guest: The cast of Mare fuori

Final Night - Sunday (06:40am AEDT)

  • All 28 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-eighth to the sixth position. The top 5 ranked acts will proceed to super final to decide the winner.

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

  • Notable special guest: Depeche Mode

For continued updates on all the Eurovision Song Contest news follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. All links at:


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