Italy’s top showman Fiorello again stole the show on the second night of the 70th Sanremo Song Festival.
The Sicilian entertainer descended the stairs of the Ariston Theatre in drag, dressed as popular TV talent show host Maria De Filippi.
He also joined the reunited foursome Ricchi e Poveri, as a fifth member, in a show-stopping act.
Fiorello also donned tennis shows for a duet with Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic.
Another highlight was Tiziano Ferro and Massimo Ranieri singing the song that won the festival for the veteran Neapolitan singer in 1988, Perdere L’Amore.
There was a standing ovation for late TV presenter Fabrio Frizzi on the day he would have turned 62.
Frizzi’s widow was present on stage.
“He would have loved to present this 70th edition,” said host and artistic director Amadeus.
After all the 24 big names have sung, Francesco Gabbani is in top spot.
Rapper Junio Cally, at the centre of a pre-fest row over allegedly violently mysoginist lyrics, is last.
Viewer numbers were up again compared to last year, at 9.962 million equal to a share of 53.3% compared to 9.144 million and a share of 47.35 a year ago.
Among the highly anticipated guests appearing Thursday night is actor, comedian and director Roberto Benigni.
The festival debuted Tuesday night with an average of 10.5 million viewers and 52.2% of the overall audience share – the highest since 2005.
The beloved festival and competition kicked off with a higher audience than last year’s event, which was presented by singer and song-writer Claudio Baglioni, when it garnered 49.5% of the share on the opening night.
The percentage registered Tuesday night was the highest since the festival opening night in 2005.
The week-long festival is a national institution in Italy and inspired the Eurovision song contest.
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