In a June 7th interview with Italian outlet Il Fatto Quotidiano, Sanremo host Amadeus Sebastiani confirmed that while he would host and act as artistic director for Sanremo 2024, the upcoming edition would also be his last.
Sebastiani has hosted Sanremo since 2020, and has hosted Sanremo Giovani in 2016 and since 2019. He did not specify whether he would continue hosting Sanremo Giovani or step down from that position as well.
Sanremo Giovani rules for 2024 have been released; That Eurovision Site’s take on them will be forthcoming.
Amadeus first addressed accusations of politicizing the contest, stating that “I’ve never taken sides politically. I’ve never asked a singer or a guest who they vote for, I’ve never chosen a song based on politics. I don’t have to know, and I don’t care.” (Translated from Italian.) The article then provided further insight into the song selection process for Sanremo. Sebastiani selects the entries personally; all artists submit multiple songs and he selects from those.
He also discussed the changes he’d made to the contest, trying to give a platform to newer artists rather than tying them to more established singers. He recounts how, when he first told Sanremo 2020 winner Diodato that he had been selected to compete, Diodato had asked him, “who am I singing with?”.
When asked if he knew Marco Mengoni would win this year’s Sanremo, he responded that while he didn’t know for certain that Mengoni would win, he trusted he would be among the frontrunners. Additionally, he addressed this year’s controversy surrounding Blanco. Sebastiani described the incident, in which Blanco damaged the stage, as a “misunderstanding”, and revealed that he had gone to court to testify about the matter. He took a similarly laid-back manner when discussing the controversial same-sex kiss between Rosa Chemical and Fedez, after which a “pro-life and pro-family” organization described it as being obscene to minors. Sebastiani dismissed the idea of observers from such organizations having input on the song selection process. The case was closed, ruling in favor of the artists, in March.
Italy’s Eurovision History
Italy have participated in the Eurovision Song Contest since the very beginning and have always been considered a powerhouse in the contest; Eurovision’s format was even based off of the Sanremo festival. Italy have won the contest on three occasions in 1964, 1990 and 2021. Italy withdrew after 1997, returning again in 2011 with Raphael Gualazzi who sang ‘Madness Of Love’. Raphael placed second in the 2011 Eurovison Song Contest after scoring 189 points.
Italy’s most recent entry in 2023 was “Due Vite” by Marco Mengoni. At the close of voting, Italy scored a total of 350 points in the Eurovision 2023 Grand Final, placing 4th. Of these, 176 points came from the juries, whilst the remaining 174 points came from the televote.
What do you think of Amadeus Sebastiani’s tenure at Sanremo? Who would you like to see follow in his footsteps? As always, let us know what you think by commenting below. Also, be sure to follow ‘That Eurovision Site’ on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok as we start our preparations for Eurovision in Sweden next year!
News Source: Il Fatto Quotidiano/FQ Magazine
Photo Credit: Matteo Bazzi