It's been an absolutely magical Sanremo this year. With no obvious favourites and the lack of an audience it's been a strange beast, and almost impossible to totally gauge who's doing well and who's not. But in a way that's made it all the better. And of course, just as important - and perhaps even more so - there's been all the standard Sanremo nonsense pushed up to eleven. The guest performances have been incredible, with everyone from Diodato to Mahmood, via Loredana Berte, Gigliola Cinquetti and a fabulous Police orchestra, while the peerless Achille Lauro has almost literally destroyed the stage every night. On top of that, after a shaky start last year, the host Amadeus has found himself clearly more comfortable in such an important role, and his buddy act with Fiorello has been an absolute delight. Oh, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic keeps turning up too, but the less said about that the better.
Of the songs in the actual competition, it looked like it was starting to become a bit of a one horse race until last night. Old hand Ermal Meta seem to be running away with it, with only Annalisa putting up any resistance. But then this fella called Willie Peyote began to quietly creep his way up the table and out of nowhere we might just have a scrap on our hands tonight. There's an unexpected bandwagon that builds most years, and this might just be it.
In a contest dripping with overwrought ballads and pasty-faced autotuned rap lads, this cool skulk of a song has got everyone nodding their heads and pulling the right kind of faces to make us think that if he manages to get in the final three tonight, he could end up causing a bit of bother when we get down to the business of the evening. Of course, there's a lot of other stuff to watch tonight, and it can be quite a challenging and confusing watch if you're more used to the snappiness of actual national finals, so you'd be excused for not having Sanremo especially high on your priority list. But our suggestion to you if you don't entirely fancy it would be to keep it running along on a second or third screen somewhere within eyeshot and keep dipping in and out now and again when the songs come one. But we warn you, it's darned easy to get hooked on this beautiful mammoth of a show, and if you're not careful you'll end up as full five day lifers like the worst of us!