Italy: Review of the first night of Sanremo 2016

The Sanremo Festival 2016 has kicked off last night with the first ten candidates in the Campioni section taking the stage. The winner of this section gets the opportunity to represent Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. We look back after each night with a review of the show.

Italian broadcaster RAI will showcase the 66st edition of the Sanremo Festival in these five days. Twenty artists will compete in the Campioni section. Should the winner decide not to accept the invitation for Stockholm, broadcaster RAI will pick another participant internal.

The first show on Tuesday got a long and impressive guest list, including Laura Pausini and Elton John. These ten artists got on stage, but no one was eliminated yet. The first results will however be used for next Friday as well, when five of these ten candidates will leave the show. One of them will be saved a televote, leaving a total of sixteen artists for the final on Saturday. Here are these first results:

Night 1 saremo 2016

Take a look at our review of the first night of Sanremo, by clicking on the songtitles you can watch the performance of the song:

01. Lorenzo Fragola – Infinite volte
The winner of the eigth season of X-Factor Italy ended in tenth place in Sanremo 2015. His vocals were stunning for this ballad in a full blue stage. An instant Sanremo classic and a contender for a high ranking on Saturday as well.

02. Noemi – La borsa di una donna
Noemi took part in Sanremo 2012 as well, just like Emma Marrone and Arisa, who I will talk about later on. She came in third place that year in a superfinal, after finishing in first place originally. She gained some weight and is not performing as strong as was in the past, as she is making less eye contact with the camera. After this first night, she is in danger of not making the final, which can be considered as a surprise based on her name and fame, but not on the level of this song.

03. Dear Jack – Mezzo respiro
Dear Jack took part ast year as well, but have lost their lead singer Alessio Bernabei, who will be on stage solo tomorrow! The jury of Sanremo have expressed in the past that they want to keep the class and style in the contest, and not letting it become another talent show with bands switching their members. They did not give high points for this light rock song, which is placed in the bottom four.

04. Deborah Iurato e Giovanni Caccamo – Via da qui
A very interesting couple, with high expectations before the contest. Giovanni was the winner of the Newcomers section last year, whilst Deborah won a talent show called Amici di Maria De Filippi in 2014. It is not a typical duet, since Giovanni is singing the first 1.15 minutes and then Deborah starts singing along. Only in the last minute we have some interaction between the two, who got decent grades for this song.

05. Gli Stadio – Un giorno mi dirai
The big unknown artist of the first night was Stadio, who has been performing since 1977, but seems to lack tv experience based on a quick internet search. Based on his performance, I have to reconsider his chances, since he is working the camera perfect. He makes use of the backdrop as one of the few artists and sings a small melancholic song, which explodes into bombastic proportions. This was good for Sanremo, but for Eurovision I am not sure it will also score well.

06. Arisa – Guardando il cielo
The vocals are always of high quality when Arisa is on stage. The runner-up of 2012, behind Emma Marrone, gave a static performance on a pink and purple stage. Her song is still of high quality, but not such a strong contender as she has had in the passed. It is a mellow radio song, but not real song contest material in my opinion. But still something that should qualify for Saturday.

07. Enrico Ruggeri – Il primo amore non si scorda mai
In 1993 this artist represent Italy in Millstreet with the underrated Sole d’Europa. Apart from ’93 he also won Sanremo in 1987 and composed a lot of songs for other notable artists. His return on stage with his own song in a leather jacket. His vocals and stage experience are working in his favour, of course. This is a rock song, but Enrico is being a bit to static for this type of song to make it really work. Because of the great delivery of this decent song, this is a sure qualifier.

08. Morgan e I Bluevertigo – Semplicemente
This Italian rockband has been around since the nineties and tries to do something different with a mellow song and the use of several different instruments. The vocals are weak, which is making it hard to qualify in this field of contestants, who all did a better job.

09. Rocco Hunt – Wake Up
Rap is usually a genre that the jury in Italy does not fancy, but Rocco won the Talent section in 2014 and delivers a mainstream song. For Sanremo this is quite a modern song, but it is pretty good. The chorus is flashing in the backdrops, which are colorful and busy throughout the entire song. This is certainly a Wake Up call after the previous song.

10. Irene Fornaciari – Blu
Irene is the daughter of the very famous singer Zucchero and she got to close the night. Her performance of Blue was somewhat off kilter and lacking energy. The song is not helpig her as well, since it is kind of a continuing ripple. This probably will not qualify for the final on Saturday.