Tonight sees the conclusion of the 63rd Sanremo festival. During the show, RAI will announce the singer or band that will represent Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest in May. It is hard to predict who will carry the flag for Italy, but read on for a guide as to who the likely act will be.
Almamegretta – A highly unlikely choice as reggae and Italian music aren’t usually associated. Chances – 4/10
Annalisa Scarrone – She is a very young singer but very capable, as her performances this week have proved. She wouldn’t be a safe choice, but don’t rule her out. Chances – 6/10
Chiara Galiazzo – A former winner of the Italian X-Factor, either of Chiara’s songs would make a good entry, however, RAI are likely to go for someone more experienced. Chances – 5/10
Daniele Silvestri – He’s certainly experienced enough, but whether he would accept an invitation is another matter. If he did, then Italy could be very proud of their representative. Chances- 7/10
Elio e le Storie Tese – The average Eurovision fan would look at this band of jokers and think there is not a chance RAI would pick them. Wrong! They are very popular and would be unlike any act that Italy, or any country for that matter, have sent to the contest. The press in Malmo would love them and the delegation party would be an absolute scream. I think they would be very near to, if not at the top of RAI’s list. Chances 9/10
Malika Ayane – Malika is another of the favourites to be chosen. She is everything Italians look for in a singer; a great voice, a good interpreter of the words and oozing class. Chances – 9/10
Marco Mengoni – Another X-Factor winner, Marco has been the subject of much speculation about being the Italian entry in Malmo, although not by Italians, it has to be said. He topped the public vote on Thursday night, which could work in his favour. Chances – 8/10
Maria Nazionale – An established actress and singer, Maria’s songs are flavoured with her Neapolitan roots. This may count against her if RAI want a song that they think might alienate the rest of the country. Chances – 7/10
Marta Sui Tubi – Forget it! Not going to happen! They are mad without the humour of Elio e le Storie Tese. Chances – 1/10
Max Gazzè – Max would be a solid choice as he is a dependable performer and his songs have artistic merit, which is important in these days of juries. He is what could be described as eccentric, but in an appealing way. Chances 6/10
Modà – Their song from the 2011 festival, which they sung with Emma, would have made a fantastic entry in Eurovision. This year, either of the songs they presented would be suitable additions to the history of Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest. Chances – 9/10
Raphael Gualazzi – When Italy returned to the contest two years ago, Raphael carried the torch to a very credible second place behind Ell and Nikki. While this counts in his favour, RAI might not ask him again so soon. Chances – 7/10
Simona Molinari con Peter Cincotti – If Marta sui Tubi are at the bottom of the list, these two will be second bottom, especially if RAI want to do well. Chances – 4/10.
Simone Cristicchi – The former Sanremo winner would be a change of direction in terms of musical style, but he would show Europe that Italian music isn’t all about big voices and sweeping ballads. Chances – 7/10
Antonio Maggio – Antonio was a popular winner of the Giovani section last night and RAI have chosen this route in the past. It could happen again and the song (if it is to be the same one) would be something that certainly would not bring disgrace to nation proud of its musical heritage. Chances – 8/10
RAI have no shortage of credible alternatives to choose from so their decision will be difficult. In the end, they will go for someone who the whole nation will be behind. While I would be very happy if Elio e le Storie Tese were chosen, my money is on Malika Ayane. What song she will take with her on the plane to Sweden is anybody’s guess, but Niente would be a great choice.