Valerio Scanu (EMI) was the winner of the 60th edition of Italy's flagship Sanremo Festival.

The competition concluded chaotically on Saturday (Feb. 20) amid concerns about the voting system.

Scanu came first with the song "Per Tutte le Volte Che" ("For All the Times That"), while a trio consisting of Pupo, Emanuele Filiberto and the tenor Luca Canonici came second with "Italia, Amore Mio" ("Italy, My Love") released by Universo Multimedia.

The third place went to Marco Mengoni with "Credimi Ancora" ("Still Believe Me") released by RCA/Sony. The "Youngsters" section, which concluded on Friday night (Feb. 19), was won by Tony Maiello, with "Il Linguaggio della Resa" ("The Language of Surrender") released by Non ho L'età.

Sanremo Festival was broadcast live over five nights on the state-owned Rai Uno network. It averaged a nightly audience of 10 million viewers, although this rose to 12 million on the final night.

For the second year running, the Sanremo winner was a product of Italy's TV talent shows. Scanu came second in last year's edition of "Amici de Maria De Filippi" ("Friends of Maria De Filippi"), which is broadcast on the Berlusconi-owned Canale 5 network, while the 2009 Sanremo winner, Marco Carta (Warner), had taken first place in the talent show's previous edition.

The third placed singer at Sanremo, Marco Mengoni, won the most recent edition of "The X Factor," which is broadcast on Rai Due. The Sanremo Youngsters section winner, Tony Maiello, is also a product of "The X Factor" and is signed to the label of the show's chief jury member and talent scout, Mara Maionchi.

According to Universal Music Italy president, Alessandro Massara, "the leitmotif of this year's Sanremo was the triumph of TV talent shows and the festival's 'televoto' [telephone voting] system."

However, there were concerns about some unusual results.

On one evening, the elimination voting system was entrusted to the festival's orchestra and a jury that had been picked to represent the demographics of the Italian population. Scanu and the Pupo-Filiberto-Canonici trio were initially eliminated from the competition, but were readmitted when the vote was left to TV viewers, who could express their preference by text message.

Many observers - and several festival competitors - were incensed by the apparently special treatment accorded to the Pupo-Filiberti-Canonici trio. Emanuele Filiberto is the grandson of the Italian king Umberto II, who was exiled at the end of the second world war. The family was readmitted to Italy in 2002 and since then the 37-year-old Filiberto (who was born and raised in Switzerland) has carved out a career as a (largely non-musical) media personality.

Critics felt that his trio's over-the-top patriotic song was given an unfair advantage in winning phone votes when Marcello Lippi, coach of Italy's national soccer team, appeared as a Sanremo guest and expressed his liking for it. On that occasion Emanuele and his partners even sang a slightly altered version of the lyrics, which is technically against the Festival regulations.

On the final night, when it was announced that Pupo-Filiberto-Canonici had come second, the members of the Sanremo Festival orchestra tore up their sheet music in protest. The consumer rights group Codacons has even called for the Festival result to be suspended, amid claims that the telephone vote may have been rigged.

Enzo Mazza, president of Italy's major labels representative body FIMI, says, "It was generally a good Festival, but the Filiberto business was disgraceful."

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