Italy will be competing at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv.
RAI, the Italian national broadcaster, confirmed their participation in Tel Aviv through the official Italian Eurovision Facebook page. RAI did not reveal how the next Italian representative would be chosen. Since their return to the contest in 2011, all representatives have been selected through the Festival di San Remo, except in 2014.
The Festival della canzone italiana di Sanremo 2019 will be held between 5th and 9th February 2019. A new festival, “Sanremo Giovani” (Young Sanremo) will take place over a week in December 2018 and be broadcast on RAI 1. This will allow young performers, under the age of 36, to compete to win two places in the Festival di Sanremo 2019.
Unlike in previous editions, there will not be “Big” and “Nuove Proposte” categories in the contest which contain established and newer artists, respectively. Instead, all of the artists involved in the 69th edition of the festival will compete on an equal footing.
This revolutionary approach to the festival has been secured by artistic director Claudio Baglioni and is designed to allow greater focus on the discovery of new Italian artists. The final of Sanremo Giovani will be split over two evenings with four earlier episodes allowing the artists to make their song and stories known to the Italian viewers. It is expected that the two winners, who will proceed February final, will be announced on 20 and 21 December 2018. 24 artists are expected to participate in Sanremo Giovani in total.
Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro won Sanremo in 2018 and represented Italy in Eurovision in Lisbon. The duo performed the song “Non mi avete fatto niente”, and went on to finish in 5th place with a grand total of 308 points. They finished 17th with the juries but ended the night in third with the public vote.
Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest
Italy debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1956 and has participated a total of 42 times to date. Italy returned to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011 having last participated in the contest in 1997, the country has withdrawn from the contest on a number of occasions in the past. Italy has won the contest twice, the first time being in 1964 and the latest being in 1990. Italy’s hosting of the contest in 1991 has been remembered as one of the most chaotic contests to date. Since their return in 2011 Italy has finished in the top 10 on six occasions.