The dates and rules for next year’s Sanremo Festival have been announced by the Italian public broadcaster, RAI. This year, the show will kick of on the 9th of February, and over five days a winner with the right to represent Italy at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, Sweden, will be chosen.
Italian broadcaster RAI had already previously confirmed that the Sanremo 2016 winner will have the right to go to the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm for Italy. Today, the Broadcaster revealed the dates and the host of the series of shows titled Sanremo. Sanremo 2016 will start on the 9th of February and end on 13th of February. Carlo Conti will once again host all 5 shows. The exact progamme of Sanremo 2016 is as follows:
Serata 1: February 9th (Tuesday)
Serata 2: February 10th (Wednesday)
Serata 3: February 11th (Thursday)
Serata 4: February 12th (Friday)
Serata 5: FINALE – February 13th (Saturday)
As in previous editions, the contest will be divided into 3 stages, both first and second will be dedicated to the presentation of the 18 Campioni acts performing 9 in each of the two heats, the public through televoting and the press will cast their votes to predict who could make it though from the semi-final on the fourth night. On the third night, the 18 participants will cover songs from other artists and a special prize for the best cover, determined by televoting and the press will be awarded (last year NEK won that prize). The fourth night will feature the 18 Campioni participants performing their songs, 13 of them will qualify for the grand final. One out of the five which did not qualify, will get a second chance, as they will join the remaining 13 who went directly to the final, by a wildcard. The winner, proclaimed on the fifth and last night, will decide whether to represent Italy at the 61st Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm. In case they don’t want to go, Rai will select someone else who is willing to go to Stockholm.
Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest
Italy has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 40 times since making its debut at the first contest in 1956. It was one of only seven countries that competed at the very first contest. Italy competed at the contest frequently until 1997. After a fourteen-year absence, the country returned for the Eurovision Song Contest 2011, with a respectable second place to Raphael Gualazzi and Madness of Love. Italy has won the contest twice (1964, 1990).
Along with Germany, France, Spain and the United Kingdom, Italy, is one of the Big 5 who are automatically allowed to participate in the final because they are the five biggest financial contributors to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
This year in Vienna, Il Volo was one of the favourites to win. They finished third, but the Italian group was first in the televoting.
Below you can watch Il Volo performing their song Grande Amore at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest: