Submitted by our regular reader and Sanremo expert, DurhamBorn.
Over the last several years, RAI moved Sanremo back into the premier league of music shows. Carlo Conti delivered contests that were packed with contemporary singers and new talent show acts, yet there was still room for the purists like myself to enjoy.
Fans of the contest were worried that in handing Sanremo to Claudio Baglioni, RAI would be taking the contest backwards. This lineup confirms those worries; it has very little to appeal to younger viewers. What’s more, it contains only four women, which is disastrous; not because of some crazy left-wing ideology, but because aside from the music, Sanremo is a huge fashion event. What will the press write about? Given the depth of Italian female music stars, surely the show could have added more balance to the lineup?
Having said that, there could be some real gems in this lineup with a few acts capable of doing extremely well in Lisbon. A different style of Sanremo might yet provide a very strong top three podium finish and a great Eurovision entry. The contemporary acts have less competition than usual, which could define the podium. The duets night on the Friday looks like the highlight of the week.
- Roby Facchinetti & Riccardo Fogli – Il segreto del tempo
- Nina Zilli – Senza appartenere
- The Kolors – Frida
- Diodato & Roy Paci – Adesso
- Mario Biondi – Rivederti
- Luca Barbarossa – Passame er sale
- Lo Stato Sociale – Una vita in vacanza
- Annalisa – Il mondo prima di te
- Giovanni Caccamo – Eterno
- Enzo Avitabile feat. Peppe Servillo – Il coraggio di ogni giorno
- Ornella Vanoni feat. Bungaro & Pacifico – Imparare ad amarsi
- Renzo Rubino – Custodire
- Noemi – Non smettere mai di cercarmi
- Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro – Non mi avete fatto niente
- Le Vibrazioni – Così sbagliato
- Ron – Almeno Pensami
- Max Gazzè – La leggenda di Cristalda e Pizzomunno
- Decibel – Lettera dal duca
- Red Canzian – Ognuno ha il suo racconto
- Elio e le Storie Tese – Arrivedorci
It’s hard to form an opinion on most of the enrties until they are performed live. Many are from older artists who havent been at this level for years. However, several artists should be the main interest and are capable of challenging the podium.
Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro – Non mi avete fatto niente
This is the standout entry on paper with one of the best song writers in Italy in Ermal Meta. Both artists are very popular. They had top drawer songs last year, finishing third and seventh. For both artists to return the year after success suggests a lot of work has gone into this entry and it likely to be strong.
It focusses on the terrorist attacks in Manchester and Europe and is rumoured to have a folk-based melody. Given Ermal’s skill at writing, the subject matter will be wrapped into song well. Everyone seems to think they will win, but it’s not a certainty. The song, while strong, might come across as virtue signalling to a frustrated, right-leaning Italian public. If it does, the televote might not be as strong as people expect. There are also a lot of jury acts this year that might split that side of the scoreboard. My personal betting is to keep them slightly green as the ones to beat, but take them on with better value acts in the hope they get turned over.
Annalisa – Il mondo prima di te
Annalisa finished fourth in the most recent strongest year (the one with Il Volo) and returned with what promised to be a very strong song in 2016. That didn’t go to plan. Given almost all talent show artists failed to secure a place this year, that points towards her having a better song that possibly focusses on her vocal power while ticking the important jury and televote boxes. Her song is rumoured to be an electronic piano ballad. Can she fuse the contemporary with the traditional? As always, her delivery will be 100%, and given the lack of contemporary acts, the root to the podium could be less crowded. Her duet on the Friday night with Michele Bravi will be a highlight and should help given Michele’s televote power.
Max Gazzè – La leggenda di Cristalda e Pizzomunno
Max has the ability to really stand out and could be a dark horse for the podium. He has previously finished 8th, 4th, 12th and 7th. It’s highly likely he will try to combine his contemporary synth sound with that of the live orchestra. That might sound very risky, but it should be one of this year’s highlights.
Ornella Vanoni feat. Bungaro & Pacifico – Imparare ad amarsi
Ornella at 83-years old is one of the great Italian artists. Bungaro has three Sanremo critics awards and Pacifico is one of Italy’s finest song writers, which includes Malika Ayane’s jury winning Adesso E qui. This is a top-drawer trio and they are sure to bring a competitive entry. It might not be a winning song, but it is likely to do very well indeed. Pacifico will probably play the piano while Ornella and Bungaro deliver the duet.
Lo Stato Sociale – Una vita in vacanza
An electro pop band formed by three former DJs back in 2009. Not your usual Sanremo act, but a very talented bunch of guys, nonetheless. The key to this group is that the make up of this years festival might gift them a great chance to shine and do well. It’s expected they will have an uplifting, melodic song that the crowd and televoters can get behind. Not many can boast that this year. The bookies have them as outsiders, but I think they have that wrong. If the group can deliver live they will have a chance to grow throughout the contest.
Ron – Almeno Pensami
Ron won Sanremo back in ’96 and at 64-years old is still a much loved and respected artist. He has always been his own person and been willing to take risks. Some songs flop badly, but others do extremely well. The key to this song is the fact Lucio Dalla kept it unpublished, which suggests it could fly. Being friends with Baglioni might help as well. The press/critics have votes this year, and i could see them going Ron’s way, which could put him in contention.
Le Vibrazioni – Così sbagliato
The Vibrations hit the big time in 2003 and had a very good time of it in Italy for a couple of years. They then fell off the radar by 2010 only to reappear in the Campioni at this year’s Sanremo. There are huge question marks over whether they can deliver live in the Ariston. If they can, the song should go down well. One to watch.
Enzo Avitabile feat. Peppe Servillo – Il coraggio di ogni giorno
Enzo’s work is rooted in the Neapolitan traditions. Peppe won Sanremo in 2000 and has written songs for the likes of Fiorella Mannoia and Patty Pravo. As a duo, I don’t expect them to reach the podium, but they might challenge Ron for the critics prize.
Diodato & Roy Paci – Adesso
Diodato won the MTV award for Best New Generation. He also spent his early years working and learning his trade in Sweden, then won the newcomers section at Sanremo in 2014. Roy Paci is an Italian trumpeter whose sound is probably best said to be Sicilian Jazz. Again the bookies have these rank outsiders, but if the crowd get behind them, they might do better than the odds suggest.
The Kolors – Frida
Conti tried to get The Kolors every year yet failed. How ironic that they choose to take part this year. They became very popular in Italy for a few years, but they seem to be losing their allure of late. The question is are they here just to give their career a boost? If they are to do well they will need a song that can unite the younger viewers’ votes, so expect them to go for a full frontal radio friendly song with a signature hook laden refrain. I doubt they will be going after the jury, though. Frida is the Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo – a bit of culture there for us hardened gamblers.
This is a very different Sanremo to the ones we have seen over the last five-years. The lack of contemporary acts, women, record company influence is concerning. It’s also a very tricky place for punters outside of Italy to be getting involved due to bookmakers books closing before we hear the songs. However, for people wanting to take a punt BET365 have odds available and there is an exchange market on Betfair.
Will the pre-show favourites, Ermal and Fabrizio take this? Is there a dark horse lurking to take them down? Will one of the few contemporary acts unite the televote to win and upset the purists? As ever, your thoughts and ideas are very welcome below.