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Sanremo: Russell Crowe mocks John Travolta, Ramazzotti calls for peace

Russell Crowe in San Remo
Russell Crowe in San Remo Copyright Marco Alpozzi//Marco Alpozzi/ LaPresse
Copyright Marco Alpozzi//Marco Alpozzi/ LaPresse
By Fortunato Pinto
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This article was originally published in Italian

On the third evening of the Sanremo festival, the second half of the competing artists performed. Special guests were Ramazzotti and Morandi but there was also room for another Hollywood legend at the Ariston: Russell Crowe performed and poked fun at John Travolta.


If the old adage in theatre about 'it being alright on the night' is true, then this year's Sanremo song festival is doing its best to disprove it. The latest round of the contest on Thursday night was another messy affair. 

The hosts' game of presenting the singers who present the performers is still a misunderstood concept. Even on the second day. SabrinaFerilli, at the Ariston to talk about her return to national broadcaster Rai, also pointed this out. 

On the third evening of the Sanremo festival, the second half of the 30 artists in the competition performed, but as the night before, they were introduced by other, obviously embarrassed, contestants.

Mannino against the power of the white male

The co-host of the evening was Teresa Mannino. She jumped, cracked jokes, danced and sang, but the Ariston is not the Zelig stage. The monologue that arrived after midnight was like watching an episode of Superquark, but the criticism of the white, rich, western male was strong. 'Human animals prefer power, power over, over other men, over women, over children, over nature. I like power, but the power of, which has a whole other energy. The power to laugh and make you laugh, the power to dress me in feathers, to sing even if I am out of tune,' saidMannino.

Travolta's birdy dance

Embarrassment at Sanremo has been much talked about this week. John Travolta's gag with Fiorello and Amadeus on the 'Ballo del qua qua' or the 'Birdy Song' has become the biggest talking point of this 2024 edition. Travolta did not sign the release to show the scene again on TV, Amadeus and Fiorello have tried to defend themselves. 'Amadeus is insulting us all, if we had mugged two old people outside the post office they would have insulted us less,' Fiorello said in his speech during the evening. Some, however, said they were ready to dance like ducks. Last night's special guest Gianni Morandisang his C'era un ragazzo che come me amava i Beatles e i Rolling Stones. At the end of the performance Morandi said he was ready to go dancing with Fiorello outside the Ariston.

Eros at Sanremo: 'No more wars'

The singer-songwriter returned to the Ariston to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his Terra promessa, the song with which he won the contest in 1984.

"Will you make me do the qua qua dance?" joked Ramazzotti to Amadeus, referring to the gag with Travolta on Wednesday. 'I owe everything to Sanremo,' he said. At the end of the performance Ramazzotti made an appeal for peace. "Five hundred million children live in conflict zones, others will never see the promised land. No more blood, no more wars. Peace,' Ramazzotti shouted.

The tribute to the victims at work

"Sanremo is music but it also makes us reflect, in the last year every day four workers left home to go to work and never returned: 1,485 deaths that do not make the news, silent deaths," said Amadeus introducing Paolo Iannacci and Stefano Massini, singing L'uomo nel lampo. 'Protecting workers is a duty,' Amadeus reminded us at the end of the performance.

"There is a love that is never talked about, a fundamental love that we should have for our rights, which we are entitled to whoever you are. Everyone in life has their own loves that qualify them, identify them, give them identity, but there are also rights, in this world where everything is often branded as rhetoric. There is a word that is beautiful: dignity, long live dignity,' said Iannacci.

Rocker Russell Crowe lights up the Ariston and mocks Travolta

The New Zealand actor, who proudly revealed at Sanremo that he has Italian origins, played no part on the Ariston stage but sang with The Gentlemen Barbers Let the light shine.

A Grammy worthy performance to present his tour around Italy. Crowe also took the opportunity to make a joke about John Travolta. 'Despite your origins you don't have an Italian surname,' said Mannini who then cited DiCaprio, DeNiro and Coppola. "Travolta," said Crowe who then imitated the gesture from the Birdy Song Dance and added "What the f.... '.

Edoardo Leo: "Artists of democracy".

The Rai bandwagon rolled on with Edoardo Leo. He presented his new fiction and then a hurried monologue on freedom. Many learned quotations explained with emotion. Leo insisted on defending comedians. 'Laughing is an incredible act. It is an incredible signal to let others know that we are OK. Let's all laugh in the same way. Let's keep our comedians well. Artists are sentinels of democracy. They are the first targets of power. Comedy is the tale of serious and tragicomic life,' added Leo.

Who had the look?:  Emma is Barbie, Ghali is Michael Jackson

Less black, more flair on the third evening of the kermesse. Teresa Mannino wore animal print blouses full of feathers. Emma shone in Barbie pink and shortly after the presenter, Ghali emulated the King of Pop by wearing a jacket full of glitter, white gloves and moccasins with white socks.

Giuliano Sangiorgi of Negramaro wore elegant grey with the rest of the band in black (they remain in the shadows, only Sangiorgi is the protagonist). Grey was top choice also for Mr Rain. Dargen D'Amico sported a dress full of 'words'. Rich and Poor with an envy-inducing grit, introduced by BigMama with tiara, looked pretty in fuchsia pink,  reminiscent of The List Representative from three years ago.

Sanremo: Rankings

As on Wednesday, the top 5 revealed by Amadeus and Mannino were the results of the votes from the radio and TV audience. On Friday and Saturday, votes from the press room will also be included in the tally. 


Angelina Mango - Boredom

Ghali - My home

Alessandra amoroso - Fino a qui

Il tre - Fragili


Mr. Rain - Two swings

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