The 63rd Sanremo festival continued this evening, with the Teatro Ariston hosting the second evening of the annual extravaganza. After seven of the Campioni acts performed last night, the remaining seven had their turn tonight, together with the first four acts in the Novita section.
Following the same formula as the first evening, the seven Campioni (the category for established acts) all performed their two songs, with one being eliminated via a combined public phone vote and jury vote, the jury being made up by members of the press. The remaining song will compete to be the Sanremo winner on Saturday night in the final evening of the festival. Four of the eight Novita (newcomers) singers also performed. Two of these would be voted out of the festival via the same voting system used for the Campioni. The remaining two songs will go through to the Giovani final on Friday evening.
The festival is sometimes associated with a certain type of song; the big, sweeping, emotional ballad with the full arrangement. The songs on show tonight demonstrated that there is more to Sanremo and Italian music than that.
The last time Moda took part in the festival was two years ago when they sang a duet with Emma Marrone. She went on to win the festival the year after. Will it be Moda’s turn this year? Their first song, Se si Potesse non Morire, started as a sensitive slow number but moved up a gear by the end to become a soft rock ballad. The second song, Come l’acqua Dentro il Mare, was in similar vein and seemed to be the more instantly appealing. However, when the votes were cast, it was Se si Potesse non Morire that qualified for the final on Saturday.
The winner of the 2007 festival, Simone Cristicchi, was on next with his pair of songs. Mi Manchi was soft, melodic and sincere and sounded the more likely of the two songs to put in an appearance on Saturday. His other song, La Prima Volta (che Sono Morto), was more cheery in sound, ironic when you consider the title, The First Time (That I Died). Both songs made use of the accordion and La Prima Volta (che Sono Morto) proved the more appealing, winning through to Saturdays’s final.
Crowd Favourite, Malika Ayane was the third singer of the evening. She won the critics prize when she took part in the 2009 festival. Her two songs were contrasting; Niente is a very quiet song with only a guitar to accompany Malika’s distinctive voice, while E se Poi has a bit more pace (not a difficult task to achieve) and seemed to amble along without going anywhere. However, it must have something as it was Niente which lost out.
Reggae band Almamegretta gave the audience what they were expecting – almost. The first song, Mamma, non lo Sa, was very much in the band’s usual style. The second song, Onda che Vai, seemed much the more likely to win the vote. It still had reggae influences (although that sound was kept to a minimum) and was much more melodic and had a flavour of southern Italy. In what would prove to be one of the biggest surprises of the night, Mamma, non lo Sa won through.
If you want a traditional sounding Italian song, then don’t listen to Max Gazze. He has his own style which is hard to pigeonhole. I Tuoi Maledettissimi Impegni is essentially a mid-tempo rock song but Sotto Casa is much more suited a party to get everyone up and on the dance floor having fun. The voters went for the fun song and so Sotto casa will be heard again in a three days’ time.
The youngest singer of the evening – in the Campioni anyway, gave a very assured performance of both her songs, which were at opposite ends of the spectrum. Annalisa’s first effort, Scintille is a slightly old-fashioned but very lively number and is immediately likeable. Non So Ballare is a downbeat ballad which does its job more than adequately. And the winner is…………Scintille!
Last, but certainly not least, was the unpredictable Elio e le Storie Tese. In the week that the Pope announced his resignation, the always entertaining six-piece were dressed as priests for their first song, Dannati Forever (Forever damned) then did a quick change into more conventional outfits for the second song, La Canzone Mononota. Both songs were very quirky and if any of them were chosen to go to Malmo, the audience would not quite know what to think. If RAI do give them the nod, then La Canzone Mononota is likely to be the choice, winning the battle of the odd ones.
The evening was not over yet as four of the Novita hoping to kick-start their careers fought for the two places available from this evening in Friday’s final. They were:
Renzo Rubino – Il postino (Amami Uomo)
Il Cile – Le parole non Servono Più
Irene Ghiotto – Baciami?
Blastema – Dietro l’intima Ragione
When all four had performed, they all returned to the stage for the results. With thankfully little ceremony (no exaggerated pauses here) Renzo Rubino and Blastema were announced as the lucky two proceeding to the Novita final on Friday.
Tomorrow, the remaining four Novita will compete for the remaining two places while the Campioni singers will sing the songs the public and press have voted for. While the songs will be voted on, the results will only count towards the final score awarded on Saturday and in no way give a clue as to who will win the big prize on Saturday.