RAI has announced rule changes for Sanremo, meaning that artists can no longer consider Eurovision participation after winning the contest.
The Italian national broadcaster RAI has announced the rules of Sanremo 2020, which have a new clause regarding the Eurovision Song Contest. The rules of the competition state that all participants and their record companies must submit a form to RAI stating whether the artist will take part in the Eurovision Song Contest. All parties must inform RAI by the first night of the contest whether they wish to take part in Eurovision.
The rule means that the 2020 edition will not see a repeat of the winning artist contemplating whether they want to go to Eurovision after Sanremo has taken place. Mahmood took a number of days after winning the contest to decide whether he wished to represent Italy in Tel Aviv.
In the event that an artist who does not submit the form by the required deadline wins Sanremo 2020, then RAI will select another artist of their choosing to go to the contest in Rotterdam.
The full format of Sanremo 2020 is as follows:
Night One – February 4
- First 10 Campioni songs will be performed, the audience jury on stage will vote for the acts
- First 4 of the Nuove Proposte songs will be performed, the audience jury will vote for the acts, two acts will qualify for the semi-final on night three
Night Two – February 5
- Final set of 10 Campioni songs will be performed, the audience jury on stage will vote for the acts
- Final set of 4 of the Nuove Proposte songs will be performed, the audience jury will vote for the acts, two acts will qualify for the semi-final on night three
Night Three – February 6
- All 20 Campioni performers will cover a song form the history of Sanremo, the scores will be determined by a jury of Sanremo musicians and backing singers
- The four semi-finalists from Nuove Proposte will perform again, two qualifiers will be determined by 34% televoting, 33% press jury and 33% audience jury
Night Four – February 7
- All 20 Campioni songs will be performed again, the songs will be voted on by the press jury
- The two finalists of Nuove Proposte will perform again, the winner will be determined by 34% televoting, 33% press jury and 33% audience jury
Night Five – February 8
- The 20 Campioni songs will be performed again, with the top three selected by 34% televoting, 33% press jury and 33% audience jury. The score from this night will be combined with those of the previous four nights to create the top three
- The top three will then either perform again or have their performances show in a recap. The winner will be selected by 34% televoting, 33% press jury and 34% jury voting
Mahmood represented Italy in Tel Aviv with the song “Soldi”. He finished second in the Grand Final with 472, equaling Italy’s best finish in the contest since their return in 2011.
Source: Eurofestival Italia
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 seven occasions.