Sanremo 2024: Time to bring out the ladies!

Yay, time for Sanremo again! This marvelous display of the fact that Italians look better, sing better, and party better than all the rest of Europe combined.

To get you started, here’s a quick Sanremo for dummies: For 5 succeeding nights, 30 artists compete to have the best new song in Italy. Tuesday ALL the artists present their original songs. Wednesday and Thursday half of them perform, and the other half present their competitors. Friday all competing artists sing a cover of an old song that may be a duet with a non-competing artist (see this year’s line-up here). And Saturday is the actual final. Everybody goes to the final day, which also sports a golden final of a few of them, but they collect points along the way which add to the result. There are several awards in the end, and the winner may choose to participate in Eurovision.

They opened with horses and horns, of course! Pic screenshot from RAI

Just as much as being the national selection for the best country in Eurovision, the contest has a very high national standing, as you would expect from a country of 60 million people who are completely bonkers about good-looking men, velvet voices, crazy drum machines, and women with no pants. In between the entries there are several intermediary acts by famous people such as Zlatan, which are best left on mute. We recommend watching it with delay and heavy use of fast-forward.

If you think this sounds all too much, we totally agree and wouldn’t change a thing. Here’s what to expect from this year’s contest, based on our impressions from the first night, which lasted so long we knitted a whole sweater while watching:

Qui mi trovo e creo il cambiamento! pic screenshot from Rai

First and foremost, let us just state that it is time for a female winner this year. We fully support Marco Mengoni’s message from last year: “Niente donne in finale? Bisogna cambiare qualcosa!”

Lucky then, that the ladies in this year’s final are up for the changing game. Personally, we are already huge fans of Annalisa, and she is nothing short of amazing this time around. If she loses to the snoozefest formerly known as Il Volo, we demand divine intervention from Marco. Another returning artist is Fiorella Mannoia. With a voice reminding us of the grand ladies of the 70s, a catchy song and a wedding dress, we wouldn’t mind her in the final either. Nor would we mind Big Mama, Loredana or Emma, the latter with a song by Davide Petrella.

Another absolute favorite and queen of the night is Angelina Mango, participating with a song by Dardust and Madame. We love all of it, including the dress she made from her grandmother’s curtains. A female favorite is also the youth participant Clara, who is very fresh and very Italian at the same time and seems a bit inspired by Mahmood, which is perfect, if you ask us.

Yeah, this gives us all kinds of ideas. Pic screenshot from Rai.

Speaking of Mahmood, he is also present. He put on a leather version of a plumber’s vest. Which is fine. He can do our plumbing any time. Also love his song. Guess if they just must send a man our way, we could do with him.

That’s it for now. There are 30 songs, and at least 25 of them are good enough to win Eurovision. But we prefer to keep things a wee bit shorter than the Sanremo producers, so let’s get back to the rest.

Us being…us, we would need to give Marco Mengoni an honorary mention. In the Tuesday event, he did no less than opening the festival, performing Due Vite, acting as co-host, singing a medley of all his most famous songs, and doing a little show that was totally incomprehensible, but involved handcuffs, so we were happy. He also changed costumes five times, showcasing what we knew already: Marco is Jesus and Spiderman and the holy virgin Mary and the pope. It’s Ave Marco from now on!

Is this the new Pope cassock, maybe?

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