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  • Writer's pictureNick Neumayer

Marco Mengoni wins the 73rd Sanremo Music Festival


Photo by LaPresse


The 73rd annual Sanremo Music Festival wrapped up on Saturday night, with Marco Mengoni taking first place. The festival saw large viewership numbers throughout the country, accounting for 66% of all television viewing, with 12.2 million people tuning in for the final night of competition.


Taking place in the city of Sanremo, it is one of the most well-known music festivals in all of Europe, with other festivals such as Eurovision drawing inspiration from it. Hosted every year since 1951 by Italy’s RAI radio and television networks, the festival has been an opportunity for artists to become beloved by their country, kickstarting the careers of some of Italy’s most iconic singers, such as Eros Ramazotti, Giorgia, and Andrea Bocelli.


The festival was hosted by Italian music icons Gianni Morandi and Amadeus, with 27 artists joining the ranks of Mengoni, including Elodie, Ultimo, Mara Sattei, and Tananai among others. The festival also hosted a number of guest performers, including Fedez and Massimo Ranieri, as well as previous Sanremo winners Mahmood, Blanco, and Måneskin.


Also making an appearance at the festival was Ukrainian president Voldymyr Zelensky, albeit not in the form that was originally planned. The festival had arranged for Zelensky to deliver a virtual speech on the closing night, but was met with extreme controversy and criticism from the Italian people, who saw it as a means to politicize Sanremo. In the end, the festival compromised, instead having Zelensky prepare a letter that was read in Italian.


The first and second nights of the festival began with artists performing their songs for the first time. They then performed their songs again the following night, being ranked by the press afterwards. Friday night saw the singers paired with a guest performer as they sang a song of their choice from 1960-2009. At the finale of the festival, the artists performed their songs one more time, with voting being opened to the public. The top five then performed again in a superfinal round, with viewers voting again to pick a winner.


Mengoni took the lead from the start, making quite the impression on the audience with his song “Due vite”. He finished the event taking 45.5 percent of total votes in the superfinal round. Coming in second place was Lazza with “Cenere” and Mr. Rain took the last place on the podium with “Supereroi”. Rounding out the superfinal round in fourth place was Ultimo with “Alba” and Tananai in fifth place with “Tango”.


Mengoni is no stranger to Sanremo or Eurovision, capturing the hearts of Italy with his song “L'essenziale" to win Sanremo in 2013. Ten years later, “Due vite” depicts a contrast between two lives, one in reality and one in dreams. The song is meant to advocate for mental health, as Mengoni in the past has admitted that he suffers from body dysmorphia. Many speculate that “Due vite” depicts Mengoni’s personal struggles and how he is trying to overcome them.


By winning the festival, Mengoni has the opportunity to represent Italy in Liverpool at Eurovision in May. Mengoni has already confirmed that he will be going to Eurovision, telling RAI: "Sì, vado a Liverpool e vado anche a Kiev.”


Despite being chosen to represent Italy, Mengoni still has not decided whether he will be doing it with “Due vite”. Eurovision rules state that songs must be no longer than three minutes, with “Due vite” coming out to be three minutes and forty-five seconds long. Mengoni must either shorten the song, or write a new song that fits the parameters of Eurovision.



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