Sanremo, February 13 – Tuscan singer-songwriter Francesco Gabbani won the 2017 Sanremo Song Contest on Saturday with 36% of preferences for his song Occidentali’s Karma.Second and third places in the five-day televised music bonanza presented by Carlo Conti and Maria De Filippi went respectively to Fiorella Mannoia with Che sia Benedetta (33% of preferences) – which also won the press corps’ Lucio Dalla prize – and Ermal Meta, of Albanian origin, with his song Vietato Morire (31%). The final evening was watched by an average of 12,022,000 million viewers or 58.4% of audience share. This was the best result for the equivalent night since 2002. The final evening of the 2016 festival, which was also presented by Conti, was watched by an average of 11,223,000 viewers. Audience figures at this year’s festival in the Ligurian seaside resort averaged 10,848,000 viewers and 50.7% of share over the five days, the best result since 2005.
This compares to an average share of 49.6% in 2016 and 48.6% in 2015, when Conti presented the contest for the first time. The popular TV presenter reaffirmed earlier statements that he would not be hosting Sanremo for a fourth time next year and announced that he would be donating 100,000 euros – allegedly his net fee for presenting the festival – to Italy’s civil protection department. De Filippi, who was ‘lent’ to state broadcaster RAI by her rival private employer Mediaset for the occasion, said the festival had been “tiring”. “Everyone says it’s difficult, but I never thought it would be like this. You step into a blender, you don’t even know what your name is any more,” she added. De Filippi also congratulated RAI for the “great teamwork” shown during Sanremo. “We need to learn this cohesion of intentions,” she added in reference to Mediaset.