Sanremo winners Mahmood & Blanco to represent Italy in Eurovision 2022

Italy gets ready for Eurovision 2022 in Turin.

Mahmood & Blanco were crowned the winners of the 72nd Sanremo Music Festival last night and will go forward to represent Italy in this year's Eurovision Song Contest which takes place in Turin on 14 May.

The winning act clinched victory with their song Brividi in the final round of voting from the Sanremo juries and the public.

It was second time lucky for the 29-year-old Mahmood who won Sanremo with his song Soldi in 2019 and went on to finish second place in the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv that year.

This time round Mahmood will be joined by the 18-year-old Blanco on the stage of Eurovision 2022 which takes place on Italian soil after Rome band Måneskin won the title last year with Zitti e Buoni.

Mahmood & Blanco had been hotly tipped as favourites to win Sanremo and when the winning result was announced the younger singer ran off the stage to hug his mother.

Second prize went to Elisa (who won Sanremo in 2001 with the massive hit Luce) for her song O forse se tu, while in third place was veteran Italian crooner Gianni Morandi for his song Apri tutte le porte, written by Jovanotti

The final evening of the five-night extravaganza was presented by the festival's host and artistic director Amadeus and co-hosted by Rome actress Sabrina Ferilli.

There were tributes to the singer-songwriter and musician Lucio Dalla on the 10th anniversary of his death, and to the Italian pop icon Raffaella Carrà who died last year aged 78.

Over the course of the last week millions of viewers in Italy have tuned in to watch more than 100 performances from the competing participants and guest acts, as well as speeches addressing important issues.

Italy and the Eurovision

Held every year since 1951, Sanremo is the world's longest-running annual televised music competition at a national level and was the inspiration for the Eurovision Song Contest.

For Italians, Sanremo has always overshadowed Eurovision, which Italy has only won three times in the competition's 66-year history, and which saw the country withdraw from the contest from 1997 to 2011.

However since last year's triumph by Måneskin there is renewed interest in the event which will be held in Italy - at the PalaOlimpico in Turin - for the first time in 30 years.

On Wednesday night the Sanremo festival revealed the hosts of this year's 2022 Eurovision Song Contest: Laura Pausini, Alessandro Cattelan and Mika.

Cover photo Vanity Fair