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The Sanremo Festival in Italy

Sanremo Competition began last night here in Italy. The thing I find interesting in Italy is that they still embrace older singers, allowing them to compete alongside much younger artist. Recording artist from the 80s and 90s still trot out on stage, sometimes at the expense of my second hand embarrassment for them, and perform. They are not chucked to the side, but given a space in the current culture. Actually the artist in the lead, Loredana Berté, looks at least 75 years old with long blue hair. All of the artist have to be able to sing and perform live with no microphone tricks to help them. It's obvious those who have it and those who struggle. But for the most part the vocals end up more honest than what we experience in the States, where weak vocalist are able to skate by with technological tricks.

But the young artist Angelina Mango captured my imagination. She reminds me of Lady Gaga at the beginning of her career - full of joy, a rawness and a capacity to delivery an entertaining performance. The entire energy of the song emanates from her. Even if you don't understand a single word, you understand the passion. I hope she wins.

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by Anonymousreply 72February 22, 2024 8:34 PM

No backing vocal tracks, performed with a live orchestra, a microphone and an artist's ability to deliver.

by Anonymousreply 1February 7, 2024 10:43 AM

Wait, what, I missed the first night? Of my favourite live ceremony that I look forward to each year? Fuck me.

by Anonymousreply 2February 7, 2024 11:34 AM

What were those spasms all about? More early Parkinson’s than early Gaga.

by Anonymousreply 3February 7, 2024 11:41 AM

Non li ho visti R3. Spasms? Dove? From what I remember Gaga's spasms took her to the floor. At least this young lady was able to remain upright.

by Anonymousreply 4February 7, 2024 12:29 PM

Okay, just caught up on the prima serata on the RAI website and I have some thoughts. So many heavy hitters on the first night already!

- I like this new relaxed, goofier Marco. Much better than the nervous, bashful version from last year.

- Irama tries again with a samey song and the shittiest hairstyle yet.

- Mahmood needs to spend less time with his stylist and more time with his vocal coach because dear Lord, what was that even? Only the higher notes worked. Fred De Palma showed him how it's done.

- Love both Diodato and Loredana (she is my patron saint) but they both came with just more of the same. And she was so uneven and shouty throughout, she practically shat that song out of her mouth. Has Diodato's hair always looked this wiggy?

- Mr Rain with a far shittier song than last year. He's so pretty, I'll look over the fact that he can barely sing. Like an angel of the Lord made flesh, so beautiful.

- The Il Volo guys are welcome to, as always, gangbang me senseless.

- Maninni is adorable and had the prettiest song of the night. That boy can sing.

Weak first selection, but I think I'll have to go with Santi Francesi, and not just for the looks. Rose Villain had an outstanding song, ruined by a truly horrendous chorus. Manga and BigMama brought something fresh, but not quite polished enough to win the whole thing.

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by Anonymousreply 5February 7, 2024 5:55 PM

Look how beautiful he is. The song is about oral, right?

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by Anonymousreply 6February 7, 2024 5:58 PM

I attended a few Sanremo broadcasts years ago, the festival really holds a place in my heart.

The staging, lighting, the big orchestra and conductors...it's impressive. It's sleek and elegant and campy and kitsch...all at the same time. I love how Italy holds on to gentility...the female singers get bouquets of flowers at the end of their performances. Never change, Italy...please, please...never change.

And yes, every year they haul out singers that were popular 40 years ago but are still a part of the culture.

And those orchestra conductors are celebrities in their own right too.

Be that as it may: I was rather disappointed in the performers competing last night.

The most interesting thing to me was having Marco Mengoni as co-host...it seems the RAI is grooming him to become a TV personality. He sure did rise to the occasion.

by Anonymousreply 7February 7, 2024 7:00 PM

[quote]Never change, Italy...please, please...never change.

It's comforting, but also indicative of the stranglehold tradition has on Italy, which causes many younger people to chafe under it. But it's getting better.

[quote]The most interesting thing to me was having Marco Mengoni as co-host...it seems the RAI is grooming him to become a TV personality. He sure did rise to the occasion.

It was like watching an entirely different person, I love this for him. He's far too pretty not to be used more.

by Anonymousreply 8February 7, 2024 7:12 PM

As an aside, didn’t it used to be spelled San Remo? When did it change to Sanremo?

by Anonymousreply 9February 7, 2024 7:15 PM

^ the town name, I mean

by Anonymousreply 10February 7, 2024 7:16 PM

[quote]The non-univerbated spelling San Remo features on ancient maps of Liguria and maps of the Republic of Genoa, Medieval Italy, the Kingdom of Sardinia, and the Kingdom of Italy; it was used in 1924 in official documents under Mussolini. This form of the name, now superseded by Sanremo both officially and in common usage, still appears on some road signs and, more rarely, in unofficial tourist information. It has been the most widely used form of the name in English at least since the 19th century.

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by Anonymousreply 11February 7, 2024 7:19 PM

In essence, the Sanremo form is preferred because the town's name is Sanreumo in Ligurian.

by Anonymousreply 12February 7, 2024 7:22 PM

[quote]It's comforting, but also indicative of the stranglehold tradition has on Italy

It is the country's strength. Only an American would describe it as a "stranglehold".

[quote]which causes many younger people to chafe under it.

Of course. Always has. Always will. Although from my experience, they're much saner than their Angloshere companions.

by Anonymousreply 13February 7, 2024 7:30 PM

[quote]Only an American would describe it as a "stranglehold".

I'm not an American, but only [insert your nationality here] would assume only an American would say something like that.

[quote]Although from my experience, they're much saner than their Angloshere companions.

I mean, their current prime minister famously and quite vocally hates the gays but okay, sure.

by Anonymousreply 14February 7, 2024 7:37 PM

R14 She's the most popular head of a Euro country, not to mention way more popular among the citizens than the US President is among his.

Today's NYTimes has a great article about her...my how they've changed their tune.

"Ms. Meloni’s growing footprint in Europe is rooted in strong support back home that has only grown stronger since she took office in October 2022. "

“...among the big European nations, the Italian government is perhaps the most stable.”

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by Anonymousreply 15February 7, 2024 7:58 PM

[quote]It's comforting, but also indicative of the stranglehold tradition has on Italy

As an American living here, and moving from the current climate in the States, I welcome it. It's nice living in a society that is civil, that still has boundaries, lines it won't cross. It's not a conversation, it's just intuitively felt. AND Italy feels less religious than America. I thought it would be the opposite. God is hardly mentioned in the daily discourse. Easter is a holiday for families to get together, not necessarily go to Church.

I also LOVE a culture that isn't youth driven. Love it. What an idea that kids 16-24 don't have all the answers and you don't have advertisers chasing after them. You have grown men dressing like grown men and not 17 year old skateboarders. You have women walking around clothes and not in a constant state of downward dog yoga pants. You can see the kids looking to the adults as to how to behave. Bratty teenagers still step aside to let an old woman pass, and not run her off the sidewalk. It's a great country FOR adults, and the elderly. Yes there is tradition, but you really appreciate how tradition can hold a society together. It's not a stranglehold.

R7 I think the men get flowers too. Or maybe solo quando they are dressed like Mahmoud do they get flowers.

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by Anonymousreply 16February 7, 2024 10:25 PM

John Travolta was just on and he looked like he would happily pay to be anywhere else on the planet.

by Anonymousreply 17February 7, 2024 10:53 PM

Ugh...that John Travolta segment was so embarrassing. I guess he agreed to all that, but WTF. I hope the Italian press crucifies whoever was responsible.

by Anonymousreply 18February 7, 2024 11:38 PM

R18 totally embarrassing. Especially that chicken dance they tried to make him do and he wouldn't put on the hat and just threw it to the side. Is he really that desperate for a gig?

As for the top 5 tonight. I simply cannot believe the ones they chose. The only one that deserves to be there is Annalisa's "Sinceramente".

Loredana Berté? Really?

by Anonymousreply 19February 8, 2024 12:36 AM

I bet Mahmood can't wait to get out of that corset

by Anonymousreply 20February 8, 2024 12:38 AM

It's hard to explain Loredana Berté. I'm not even going to try. Just always remember that Italy is the home of Federico Fellini.

Fun fact: she was once married Bjorn Borg.

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by Anonymousreply 21February 8, 2024 12:55 AM

In fairness to Loredana she did look better than Madonna

by Anonymousreply 22February 8, 2024 1:04 AM

I can't wait to see Ricchi e Poveri perform they're my all time favourites.

by Anonymousreply 23February 8, 2024 1:35 AM

[quote]Ugh...that John Travolta segment was so embarrassing. I guess he agreed to all that, but WTF. I hope the Italian press crucifies whoever was responsible.

Watching the Storie Italiane show this morning on Rai and they pretty much are. Everyone is saying that it was embarrassing and a waste of a talent like John Travolta. I don't think he needed the gig but was probably excited by a free, all expenses paid trip to Italy. Of course he could afford it himself, shit he could have even flown himself. BUT no matter how rich you are, FREE is always exciting.

I am looking forward to seeing Angelina Mango perform La Noia again tonight.

by Anonymousreply 24February 8, 2024 9:59 AM

I am surprised Mahmood is in competition again. He just won two years ago with Blanco? Anyway, I'll always like Mahmood. He was all over the radio the summer I first moved here. His song Klan, Soldi and Barrio erano ovunque - were everywhere.

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by Anonymousreply 25February 8, 2024 10:16 AM

Any sign of Mika this year?

by Anonymousreply 26February 8, 2024 10:45 AM

Not sure, but John Travolta was their international guest last night!

by Anonymousreply 27February 8, 2024 10:49 AM

Woops, should have looked upthread. Apologies.

by Anonymousreply 28February 8, 2024 10:50 AM

You are correct R27, much to his dismay....

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by Anonymousreply 29February 8, 2024 6:55 PM

I am DYING, R29. Thank you for posting this. Rafaellla would be proud!

by Anonymousreply 30February 8, 2024 7:17 PM

It is so great watching Italian television...the commercials are beautiful and classy....no prescription drugs!

by Anonymousreply 31February 8, 2024 8:20 PM

And infrequent!

by Anonymousreply 32February 8, 2024 8:33 PM

R31, absolutely NO prescription drug commercials, it's true. Whenever I use my VPN to watch something from the States, all of the drug commercials are so surprising. You can see why people think they are sick all of the time or think they are mentally unstable.

R27 save that video because supposedly Travolta didn't sign the right for it to be ever shown again.

Santi Francesi tonight was cute. I enjoyed his performance pf "L'amore in Bocca." Still not sure what that is suppose to mean exactly. Still waiting for Angeline Mango.

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by Anonymousreply 33February 8, 2024 9:40 PM

Russel Crowe's segment came off very well.

by Anonymousreply 34February 8, 2024 10:27 PM

R34, I know, I like the shade he threw at John Travolta. Mouthing "What the Fuck was That?"

by Anonymousreply 35February 8, 2024 10:32 PM

The group Ricchi e Poveri is a perfect example of how Italians don't throw away their legends but celebrate them. Ricchi e Poveri originally won almost 40 years ago. Yet here they are still in competition and the audience is still eating them up.

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by Anonymousreply 36February 8, 2024 11:11 PM

I love love love Ricchi e Poveri. They are Italian national treasures. And their song was good for a couple of septuagenarians

by Anonymousreply 37February 9, 2024 2:51 AM

I love it when celebrities have a second act career in another country or continent. Like Kelly Rowland going full EDM in Europe. And Mika becoming Italy’s favourite Englishman. I didn’t realise until he presented at Eurovision.

by Anonymousreply 38February 9, 2024 2:59 AM

Is Alexia or Neja there? How about Erika?

by Anonymousreply 39February 9, 2024 3:26 AM

Whoa..."Sweet dreams", beautifully done.

by Anonymousreply 40February 9, 2024 8:03 PM

Annalisa was incredible. Great choice of song too.

But the puppets aka Ricchi and Poveri? It’s as bad as Barry Manilow. Ouch.

by Anonymousreply 41February 9, 2024 10:00 PM

Leave Ricchi & Pavers alone! That woman is the embodiment of joy. She just looks SO! Excited to be on stage tonight.

by Anonymousreply 42February 9, 2024 10:03 PM

Travolta looks trim. Must be on the Ozempic.

by Anonymousreply 43February 9, 2024 10:49 PM

Ya gotta admit, the Italians sure know how to put on a show.

by Anonymousreply 44February 9, 2024 11:43 PM

They sure know how to dress too. I love the way the men dress. If Americans want to learn how to dress in a gender fluid way without wearing full on gowns or skirts or heels on the red carpet, look to the Italian men. The performers who chose to dress in a gender fluid way did it in a very subtle, yet masculine way. Other than that you had beautiful buttery leathers, tailored suits, cool styling. I wish there was a video of Santi Francesi and Skin singing Hallelujah. I think it was favorite of the duets next to Mahmood.

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by Anonymousreply 45February 10, 2024 12:50 AM

I guess it helps if I just got to Rai. But I can you guys see it there too?

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by Anonymousreply 46February 10, 2024 12:53 AM

[quote]They sure know how to dress too. I love the way the men dress. If Americans want to learn how to dress in a gender fluid way without wearing full on gowns or skirts or heels on the red carpet,

True. Without looking silly or trying to make a "statement".

by Anonymousreply 47February 10, 2024 12:57 AM

There was something very moving about Alfa con Roberto Vecchioni singing "Sogna ragazza sogn." I am not that familiar with either of them. But it was liking watching a Granddad and his grandson singing a song together. It was an evening of Duets and covers. This was a originally a song by Roberto Vecchioni years ago, but the way Alfa brings himself to the song and pays respect to it and watching Roberto Vecchioni take him in and the moment, was very moving.

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by Anonymousreply 48February 10, 2024 1:04 AM

I guess what I love is how you can create something new, move culture forward without throwing everything of the past away as if it is spent up and useless. That you can still honor those things and the people who created it. You don't have to tear it down, or pretend it never existed just because the sun has set on it and it is rising on you. These people, no matter what you think of their capabilities, should be seen, she be given a stage, an audience. And they shouldn't have to, at 65 years old, put on a thong and garters pretending like they are 35 still with 20 year old backup singers - just to prove they've still got it. If America didn't throw people away, insist that they sit down, move out of the way, the current state of affairs in entertainment might actually be better.

by Anonymousreply 49February 10, 2024 1:19 AM

Another night, another scandal. The winner of the Duets night booed by audience at Sanremo.

by Anonymousreply 50February 10, 2024 1:19 AM

R45 Si, si.

Still mediocre.

by Anonymousreply 51February 10, 2024 1:54 AM

For R46^^

by Anonymousreply 52February 10, 2024 1:55 AM

Santi Francesi is kinda cute but also kinda of trashy.

by Anonymousreply 53February 10, 2024 7:34 AM

Il Volo's performance definitely had me questioning whether I should die tonight by the end of their performance of "Who Wants to Live Forever?" The drama!

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by Anonymousreply 54February 10, 2024 9:56 AM

Is it watchable from start to finish if you don't speak Italian?

by Anonymousreply 55February 10, 2024 10:02 AM

R55, not really. For example, yesterday was a five hour long program. I've been in Italy close to three years now, trying to learn, study the language. After all this time, this is the first time I can sit and follow the show. I don't understand everything, but I can watch and enjoy it. I must say, that alone feels amazing and the reason why this year's Sanremo and it's artist will mean a lot to me. If you don't speak Italian, I would suggest going to the Rai Links above and watch the performances themselves. Not every performance is a powerhouse, but the ones suggested above I really enjoyed. I enjoyed the Bnkr44 con Pino D'Angio "Ma Quale Idea." I have heard the song for years but never realized that famous part was Italian.

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by Anonymousreply 56February 10, 2024 10:48 AM

Thank you, r56!

by Anonymousreply 57February 10, 2024 10:55 AM

Roberto Bolle came out and got all the seats in the theatre wet dancing Ravel's Bolero. I love how even the straight host couldn't help but run his fingers along his abs and wasn't afraid to say, "That's a beautiful man."

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by Anonymousreply 58February 10, 2024 9:59 PM

The host may the only straight thing on that stage…

by Anonymousreply 59February 11, 2024 1:12 AM

Was Dickey Greenleaf there?

by Anonymousreply 60February 11, 2024 2:27 AM

This show has everything... but the bloodhounds snappin' at their rear ends.

by Anonymousreply 61February 11, 2024 2:36 AM

It had rock, pop, ballads, opera, ballet, marching bands, dramatic readings, comedy skits...

It was The Ed Sullivan Show, The Hollywood Palace, The Grammys, The 1964 Miss America Pageant ...all rolled into one.

by Anonymousreply 62February 11, 2024 2:45 AM

I love how they literally have 30, 30! performances to get through but still take time for additional performers not in competition and comedy skits. Who does that? The show is over five hours long.

Poor Sangiovanni seemed so sad being in last place when he performed, talking about how you to take care of yourself and mental health.

He seened almost as sad a Geolier who was in 1st place but got booed last night for being first. Poor kid is only 23. He said it was brutal having to perform being booed. He looked miserable the whole night. Only time he smiled was when he lost. I guess he was relieved.

by Anonymousreply 63February 11, 2024 10:43 AM

At the beginning of last nights competition the list ALL. 30 performers according to their ranking for the competition up to that point. So being 30th is like being voted out first on Rupaul. Then the performers have to perform knowing their ranking going in to the finale. San Giovanni’s wasn’t the best song but definitely not the worst. And people were still booing Geolier when he was announced in First place at the beginning. And he had to go out and perform again.

by Anonymousreply 64February 11, 2024 10:58 AM

There is a very noticeable bigotry in Italy between the North and the South, kind of like America but more intense. People from the south are looked down on by people in the north. Geolier is from Naples in the south and Sanremo is in Liguria in the north. People were even speculating that Geolier’s first place spot was Mafia related. Interestingly, unlike America, the north is more conservative than the south, more bigoted.

by Anonymousreply 65February 11, 2024 11:05 AM

R65 Oh please. Amadeus is Sicilian. Rosario Fiorello is Sicilian. Teresa Mannino is Sicilian.

The winner of the this festival Angelina Mango is from Maratea, Basilicata.

And through Sanremo's history its winners have been mostly singers from the south.

So just stop.

by Anonymousreply 66February 11, 2024 1:44 PM

Interesting backstory on the controversy behind Geolier's song I P' Me T P' Te. It's not because he is Neopolitan, it's that the song is in a Neapolitan dialect.

The little know fact is that there are 100s of Italian dialects and that after WWII there was a big push to unify the Italian language. There as actually a program in the 60s called "Non è mai troppo tardi" It's never too late that taught Italians all around the country a codified Italian in an attempt to raise the literacy rates in the country and get everyone speaking the same language.

I would imagine the Sanremo Festival, which is a celebration of Italian songs, was also part of this push to unify the country under one common cultural umbrella. So the fact that a song written in a Neapolitan dialect was going into the last night of the competition as the song that would represent Italy at Eurovision, as the "Italian" song, rubbed people the wrong way.

by Anonymousreply 67February 11, 2024 1:50 PM

The rule for Sanremo is that songs must be in the Italian language. No foreign language. No dialect. Rules are rules.

Apparently it was Amadeus who decided the song could be in competition. It really wasn't a fair thing to do. Hence the polemic.

by Anonymousreply 68February 11, 2024 2:15 PM

Mahmoud is fucking gorgeous. And gay.

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by Anonymousreply 69February 22, 2024 10:23 AM

r69 Used to be a big fan, but that's a ChatGPT derivative of Soldi. And the aesthetic of most of his music videos is just hot guys standing around in pretty clothes in a council estate, with him cosplaying as a tough rapper. He's hopelessly caught in what makes him commercially appealing.

by Anonymousreply 70February 22, 2024 11:46 AM

[quote]Mahmoud is fucking gorgeous.

He's goofy looking. Hardly "gorgeous".

And the voice synthesizer he uses is trashy, old.

by Anonymousreply 71February 22, 2024 4:29 PM

Never forget Maneskin first winning SanRemo and then, also winning Eurovision Song Contest:

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by Anonymousreply 72February 22, 2024 8:34 PM
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