The below review features the opinions and views of the individual author and do not necessarily represent the views of #escYOUnited as a whole, Eurovision, Sanremo Music Festival, or the EBU.

The 74th Annual Sanremo Music Festival kicked off on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, and Europe’s most prestigious contest will conclude in a marathon extravaganza this evening.

We’ve already reviewed the first ten of the thirty participants, the second ten of the thirty participants, and here we will review the final thirty.

Scroll down to the bottom of this article to see ESC United’s final Sanremo ranking.

Reviewing Sanremo Music Festival LXXIV for ESC United:

  • David Popescu – Denmark by way of Romania, observe his average score increasing the closer we get to Eurovision itself.
  • James Maude – California by way of the UK and South Africa, observe his average score decreasing the more these national selections pile up.
  • Tyler Griffith – New Mexico by way of Alaska, he now gets bored to tears by people bringing up “Breaking Bad” instead of “On Deadly Ground.”
  • Yehonatan Cohen – Our newest writer hailing from Israel, and the voice of reason on many of these “expert panels.”

With introductions out of the way, in order of reveal on Day 1 of the festival, here is the third and final batch of ten entries…

Mr. Rain – “Due Altalene”

David – 2 – “I recall Mr. Rain’s song from last year “Supereroi”, which this song is actually very similar to, when it comes to it’s composition. Sadly, not as interesting nor as engaging. This song is slightly slower and a bit more lose, when it comes to it’s overall composition. Not much positive to overly say about the song in general.”

James – 5 – “Another sad emotional ballad, this one piano led. I guess he is called Mr. Rain because of all the tears he says he’s spilling. Do Italians do relationship break-ups in non-dramatic ways? I guess doing songs about two people amicably splitting would be boring. However, this ballad is probably the least dramatic of the night and leans more into nostalgia and sentimentality than the other break-up songs on offer.”

Tyler – 2.5 – “Oh wow, a wowmbo combo of vocoder masking non singing, playing at a piano on stage, and then recreating last year’s entry with the childhood swing imagery. The only thing missing is a children’s choir. I wasn’t a fan of Mr. Rain’s song last year at all, and “Due altalene” has done nothing to qualm my displeasure. Get it off my stage!”

Yehonatan – 4 – “Back to the Uninspired Male Ballad (UMB) corner it seems, no need to add more.”

Total: 13.5

Average: 3.375

Bnkr44 – “Governo punk”

David – 1 – “A lyrical and musical headache right here. I mean, what else to expect from a song titled “Punk Government”… the song is absolutely everyone and just all over the place, what to do or say about this song. Anyhow, it just screams that we have a group that were put together just for this, and not even a good one.”

James – 5.5 – “There’s a few good ideas floating around, but this boy band / pop punk / nostalgia / social commentary blend doesn’t really congeal into anything of note. For a bouncy, lite pop track it has cynical touches (“comb your hair with a 9mm”), but it doesn’t wholly commit to that lite / dark dichotomy. Is semi-sarcastic a thing? If so, we have the theme track for it. Additionally, there’s no stand out moment vocally and five lads pissing about dressed like they’re accompanying their moms to a Backstreet Boys gig at the San Bernardino County Fair won’t cut it for a stage show.”

Tyler – 3 – “This performance is a mess (and not in the good way). I don’t think Italian punk boy bands are at any point going to take off, especially when the performance being given is that they’re too cool to really care while performing? You’re at Sanremo, clearly you do care somewhat at getting your band out there. “Governo punk” is a bunch of nothing on stage that’s a mess and it at least stands out with bad hair and bad outfits.”

Yehonatan – 6 – “A cool indie pop rock entry, with interesting harmonic progression. I’ll vibe to it when it’s on and that’s about that.”

Total: 15.5

Average: 3.875

Gazzelle – “Tutto Qui”

David – 1 – “I’m not feeling anything here, we’re dealing with a very touchy ballad, and I’m just empty inside. Not much more to add.”

James – 2 – “Is it mean to say that Gazzelle is dressed like Noel Gallagher and sounds like he’s performing a musical number for “The Muppets”? “Tutto qui” also contains some strange lyrics, kicking off with some cobblers about him and the object of his affection being pandas and ending with something about him lying in bed with them while he has a cold? The song also plods along with no urgency, and being performed 23rd on the night, this is where Sanremo fatigue really starts to kick in.”

Tyler – 1.5 – “No. Am I disappointed that a giant gazelle didn’t walk out on stage and sing a banger? Maybe, but I’m not a rational person. But what we got from “Tutto qui” was…nothing! It wasn’t exciting, it sounded like a waste of time on this mortal coil, and it’s not going to win Sanremo, so why bring this into contention? I found myself sleeping. It’s just not exciting to me at all.”

Yehonatan – 4 – “You guessed it, it’s another UMB from Italy!”

Total: 8.5

Average: 2.125

Dargen D’Amico – “Onda Alta”

David – 6 – “Hell is loose once again, and why not. Chaos has ensued with Dargen’s arrival, and it’s always refreshing to have something now and then, which just sparks life and energy through the screen. Do you question, no, you just accept and enjoy it. Maybe it’s not exactly, as I describe it, but you get the idea when hearing the song.”

James – 7 – “It’s at this point in the evening where the cocaine you were given by some Italian far right politician in the mens’ room begins to hit and you neither notice nor care that some lunatic with teddy bears stapled to his suit has jumped on stage and started performing. This does admittedly sound like something Russia would have considered sending ten years ago or you’d see on one of their marathon New Year shows, but at this point in the evening you are at least thankful for the jolt of energy. Even if it all feels like a hallucination.”

Tyler – 6 – “Will putting teddy bears over his outfit be a good substitute for a bad song in “Onda alta”? Well the costuming is weird enough to be memorable even before the backup singers show up where stuffed bear binoculars. The song is fine, I don’t really remember any fun lyrics or vocals in the song itself, it’s all about the staging. I need the song to be better and the staging to support a good song.”

Yehonatan – 4.5 – “Seems like a trend in San Remo this year to have a big drop on a very dramatic instrumental that doesn’t really fit. It’s catchy enough but doesn’t stand out.”

Total: 23.5

Average: 5.875

Rose Villain – “Click Boom!”

David – 3 – “Alright… who would’ve thought, that this had a promising sound, a strong vocal, and then the chorus hits. To me, the song just dies whenever we reach the chorus, because it just throws out all of it’s build-up and momentum, for something this silly. I can’t say that the song captured me anyways, but come on…”

James – 2 – “This song starts well, and the pre-chorus and Rose’s vocals there are great. And then the chorus hits as subtly as a wet fart in a nunnery. And Rose rhymes “boom” with “vroom” with a deployment of onomatopoeia that would be cringe in a Junior Eurovision song. I have written before on Saliva’s “Click Click Boom” and P.O.D.’s “Boom” being the pinnacles of Western Culture, and that may influence my giving a low score to their almost namesake. Especially since Rose has now sullied the reputation of songs with “Boom” in the title.”

Tyler – 6 – “This is the same staging as “Onda alta” with the weird/interesting outfit that covers up a mid song. There’s less staging involved, but the costuming is certainly unique and that doesn’t make up for a chorus that I think is going to be a banger, but then the drop comes and it’s nothing to talk about. The song is full of crescendos and rising actions, and then just dies. This performance actually made me feel something slightly positive instead of nothing, so I guess this score seem appropriate.”

Yehonatan – 6.5 – “There is a weird contrast between the chorus and the rest of the song, but it kinda works? The ballad build is nice but gets boring quickly, so the ‘boom boom vroom vroom’ funny chorus actually makes this song more interesting.”

Total: 17.5

Average: 4.375

Santi Francesi – “L’amore In Bocca”

David – 5 – “I didn’t expect this song to take off this much, like, where did this power and energy come from? Maybe, it’s a bit slow for my liking, but when the beat hits, then damn it hits. This is also where Santi absolutely delivers it vocally, so it’s a shame the song ain’t more energetic overall. Very respectable, but also missing a lot.”

James – 7.5 – “It takes a while to warm up, but after the first verse Santi steps on the gas with some powerful vocals you didn’t expect, like he’s a Dodge Charger Hellcat who needed a warmup lap before putting the pedal to the floor. There is also a judicious use of a pause that is very well thought out, a touch of modernity in what you originally assumed was going to be a bog standard Italian ballad.”

Tyler – 6.5 – “I wasn’t feeling “L’amore in bocca” for the first half of the song nor the costuming. But then the beat changes into electronic pop and all of a sudden I’m a fan! I like the staging of Santi Francesi together on the stage, I need more moments from the keyboardist. This song could have potential and I’d be curious to see if there’s any fun changes.”

Yehonatan – 4 – “We have another song transitioning from ballad to pop. Unfortunately both parts are not very interesting and the result is rather bland.”

Total: 23.0

Average: 5.75

Fred De Palma – “Il Cielo Non Ci Vuole”

David – 7 – “Alright, this one is neat and on point, especially when it comes to the music. The mix of modern and classic just flows together so great and it’s just awesome melodic. Not the strongest vocal performance of course, but it’s respectable to the point, that the song is very enjoyable. A great composition overall.”

James – 8 – “I didn’t expect some modern and passionate electropop from a guy named Fred, but here we are. It has some great pacing, a great vocal performance and some great production on this blend of the modern and the classic ballad. Fred would be an unusual pick for Eurovision, and you’d question whether he’d be Top or Bottom Five, but this is a… dare I say that generic adjective again… great pick me up as we get to the back end of the thirty entries.”

Tyler – 4.5 – “Eh! This review may be slightly unfair since this is towards the end of an almost 5 hour Sanremo semi-final, but if any song at this point wants to be in my good graces, it needs to have a hook that I think is interesting, and “Il cielo non ci vuole” doesn’t have it! Fred seems to be a potentially good performer, but that’s about it, and I overall feel nothing about this song. Next!”

Yehonatan – 4.5 – “This is not really a CBDIMW (Club beat dramatic instruments & melodically weak) song because it’s not as dramatic, but it’s just as unimpactful as them. They are all not bad just making it clear, they are just very bland.”

Total: 24.0

Average: 6.0

Maninni – “Spettacolare”

David – 3 – “I wouldn’t exactly use the word “spectacular”, but a strong a nice performed song. That I can say, despite not really being that captivated by the song overall. Most of the performance for this song truly lies in the vocal delivery, which is all that I’ll praise. Musically on the other hand, very simplistic and boring.”

James – 7.5 – “Is it me or does Maninni look like a twink version of a young David Cross? Anyway, this is one of the warmer, more pleasant ballads on offer and Maninni has natural charisma and a great stage presence. In time, he can become a top tier crooner touring the casinos and concert halls of second tier American cities. But with an oddball song that begins with a strange reference to falling from grace like a Muay Thai fighter, the shot at Eurovision is long.”

Tyler – 5 – “Spettacolare” is fine! Maybe this score is boosted since Maninni is a cute twink, but the song itself is just filler. The singing and vocals are fine, the instrumentation isn’t amazing to me and is generic Sanremo fuel. Maybe Maninni will have more dynamic staging later to be memorable, but I dunno!”

Yehonatan – 5.5 – “Another Italian male ballad without any special characteristics, however this is probably one of the better ones of that kind. Maybe I was wrong and there are many of them in this San Remo.”

Total: 21.0

Average: 5.25

Alfa – “Vai!”

David – 7 – “This is probably something I absolutely would not expect to hear at Sanremo! The song goes hard and even has me going “Vai!”. What personally hits me, is how often I even use the word “Vai” myself. However, clearly far from being the best vocalist, but I don’t think that’s what the song aims for here.”

James – 4.5 – “Pop rock in the vein of Onerepublic, with a similar hook and whistling to their recent hit “Run.” A coincidence, I’m sure, that this is one is called “Go” then. Describing this sort of music is like talking about Cornflakes, so I will just leave it at that.”

Tyler – 4.5 – “”Vai!” might have some potential! With the whistles being included in the music, it gives me Malta 2014–um. Okay, sorry, I just got to the second verse and the radio static voice where we can’t understand a single word Alfa says is not good, never mind! Choices have been made here and unless those are fixed, this is just Sanremo filler so next!”

Yehonatan – 7.5 – “‘Vai!’ sounds like an Italian Avicci song that came straight from 2016 and I’m so here for it. It’s very simple and that’s exactly why it works.”

Total: 23.5

Average: 5.875

Il Tre – “Fragili”

David – 6 – “The very last impression I get from this, is definitely the idea of it being “fragile”. What a beat we got going, it just springs out and keeps going from there as soon we’re past the slow start. Catchy beat, and some fire rhymes, but the song does run dry eventually, and becomes very similar, but hit potential.”

James – 5 – “The rap verse does not convince in either its performance by Il Tre or its composition. Having Il Tre rap at the moment he does doesn’t aid the song and disrupts the flow he had going.”

Tyler – 4 – “I like rap, and when rap is good at Sanremo (like “Eden” by Rancore), it’s great and I want to see the song do well! But “Fragili” just isn’t that for me at all. I find the rapping to not be that good, and the rest of the song is just a slow ballad to show off passable vocals. The beat could be good if paired with a different song, this just melts together with a lot of the other solo male acts here this year, so it isn’t good enough to differentiate.”

Yehonatan – 5 – “The rap verse does not convince in either its performance by Il Tre or its composition. Having Il Tre rap at the moment he does doesn’t aid the song and disrupts the flow he had going.”

Total: 20.0

Average: 5.0

After our third batch of songs, Angelina Mango wins ESC United’s endorsement for Sanremo with an average of 8.5. We shall see if our pick makes it and if she represents Italy at Eurovision 2024.

  1. Angelina Mango – “La Noia” – 34.0 (Average = 8.50)
  2. Mahmood – “Tuta gold” – 31.5 (Average = 7.875)
  3. Annalisa – “Sinceramente” – 29.5 (Average = 7.375) * Median = 7.75
  4. Ricchi e Poveri – “Ma Non Tutta La Vita” – 29.5 (Average = 7.375) * Median = 7.5
  5. Fiorella Mannoia – “Mariposa” – 27.0 (Average = 6.75)
  6. BigMama – “La Rabbia Non Ti Basta” – 25.0 (Average = 6.25)
  7. The Kolors – “Un Ragazzo Una Ragazza” – 24.5 (Average = 6.125)
  8. Fred De Palma – “Il Cielo Non Ci Vuole” – 24.0 (Average = 6.0)
  9. Ghali – “Casa mia” – 23.5 (Average = 5.875) * Median = 6.25
  10. Dargen D’Amico – “Onda Alta” – 23.5 (Average = 5.875) * Median = 6.0
  11. Santi Francesi – “L’amore In Bocca” – 23.0 (Average = 5.75) * Median = 5.75 # HiLo Spread = 3.0
  12. Alfa – “Vai!” – 23.0 (Average = 5.75) * Median = 5.75 # HiLo Spread = 3.5
  13. Clara – “Diamanti Grezzi” – 22.5 (Average = 5.625)
  14. Irama – “Tu no” – 21.5 (Average = 5.375)
  15. Maninni – “Spettacolare” – 21.0 (Average = 5.25)
  16. Diodato – “Ti muovi” – 20.0 (Average = 5.0) * Median = 5.25
  17. Il Tre – “Fragili” – 20.0 (Average = 5.0) * Median = 5.0
  18. Alessandra Amoroso – “Fino a Qui” – 19.5 (Average = 4.875)
  19. Geolier – “I P’ Me, Tu P’ Te” – 18.0 (Average = 4.50) * Median = 4.50
  20. Emma – “Apnea” – 18.0 (Average = 4.50) * Median = 4.25
  21. Rose Villain – “Click Boom!” – 17.5 (Average = 4.375)
  22. La Sad – “Autodistruttivo” – 16.5 (Average = 4.125)
  23. Il Volo – “Capolavoro” -16.0 (Average = 4.0)
  24. Bnkr44 – “Governo punk” – 15.5 (Average = 3.875) * Median = 4.25
  25. Sangiovanni – “Finiscimi” – 15.5 (Average = 3.875) * Median = 4.0
  26. Francesca Renga and Nek – “Pazzo Di Te” – 15.0 (Average = 3.75)
  27. Loredana Berte – “Pazza” – 13.5 (Average = 3.375) * Median = 3.5
  28. Mr. Rain – “Due Altalene” – 13.5 (Average = 3.375) * Median = 3.25
  29. Negramaro – “Ricominciamo tutto” – 11.5 (Average = 2.875)
  30. Gazzelle – “Tutto Qui” – 8.5 (Average = 2.125)

(Note: higher median used as first tie-breaker, and lower hilo spread used as second tie-breaker. As there’s four reviewers, median equals the average of the two middle scores.)

Do #YOU agree with our reviewers’ assessments? Which artist are #YOU rooting for? Let us know in the comments below, on our social media, or in our forum.

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