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Marymount - International School Rome

Blanco booed for trashing flowers at Italy's Sanremo Music Festival

Gianni Morandi helped to clean up Sanremo stage.

Italian singer Blanco faced a backlash in Italy on Tuesday night for destroying the floral set on the stage of Sanremo, the nation's biggest music festival, on live television.

Blanco, 19, kicked over the roses that framed the stage at Teatro Ariston, smashing vases of flowers onto the ground in an apparent fit of rage that was not appreciated by the audience.

The singer attempted to justify his actions to the festival's host and artistic director Amadeus by claiming he had audio problems halfway through the performance of his new single L'isola delle rose.

"I couldn't hear myself in the headphones" - said Blanco, who along with singer Mahmood won last year's Sanremo festival - "But I had fun anyway."

"You made a mess", Amadeus said to the singer, mistakenly calling him Salmo and offering him the chance of performing again later in the evening.

This proposal however was met by sustained boos, whistling and insults shouted from the audience, and in the end Blanco did not reappear.

Veteran Italian crooner and Sanremo co-host Gianni Morandi, 78, joined the clean-up operation after Blanco's outburst and was photographed sweeping up the trodden flowers in images that went viral.

Earlier that evening actor Roberto Benigni dedicated a monologue to the Italian constitution, to mark its 75th anniversary, in the presence of Sergio Mattarella who became the first president of Italy to attend Sanremo in its 73-year history.

The song contest, Italy's biggest showbiz event of the year, is taking place in the seaside town of Sanremo on the northwest Ligurian coast, with 28 artists battling it out over five nights from 7-11 February.

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