Italian broadcaster RAI has announced some changes to this year’s Sanremo singing competition, the process they use for selecting their Eurovision Song Contest 2019 artist and song.
The Newcomers competition will now be held as a separate event in 17-21 December. It will feature 24 acts and the two winners will be invited to compete at the Big Artists competition at Sanremo in February. You can listen to the long list of 69 artists in the Newcomers competition here.
The February Big Artists competition then will also feature 24 entries (including the two winners from the Newcomers contest). It will take place in the Italian town of Sanremo from 5-9 February. The first night will see all 24 artists perform their song for the first time. They will then be split into two groups of 12. The first group will perform again on the second night and the second group will perform again on the third. The fourth night will see the artists pair up to sing their songs as duets. While on the final night (Sat 9 Feb) the artists will all perform one last time. The top three will make it to the superfinal and the winner will be decided from this top three.
No artists or song titles for the Big Artists contest have been announced just yet, but these tend to be unveiled in the New Year. Typically Sanremo plays host to some of the biggest international stars who join the show as guest performers. In the past this has included Ed Sheeran, Elton John, Shaggy, Sting, Ricky Martin, Robbie Williams, Hozier and Nicole Kidman. The 2019 edition will be hosted once again by Claudio Baglioni.
The winner of the Contest is given first refusal to represent Italy at Eurovision 2019. Last year’s winner Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro placed 5th at the Grand Final of Eurovision with 308 points.