Media column “Credits”: Mille Grazie – Media

When a show master hears all evening how unbelievable it is that he of all people has made it to the new ZDF family presenter, that can inhibit or inspire him. Musician Giovanni Zarrella, who has been hosting his own Saturday evening show since the weekend, has opted for the latter. His Giovanni Zarrella Show should fill the gap, the Welcome to Carmen Nebel left in the ZDF program. It was difficult to say what the Schlager-Talk-Mix stood for. Therefore, Zarrella had a free hand to make the Berlin hall, as he announced, “our new living room, my new home”.

For the former casting show participant, this means, as he put it, turning the stage into his parents’ former pizzeria for a good three hours. There he learned “to be a good host and to make you happy at home”. Hence, he named his audience ragazzi, and artists like Andrea Berg, Kerstin Ott and Álvaro Soler, he called for their performances mille grazie after. All of this could have seemed artificial if you didn’t know about Zarrella’s musical reorientation: After his early years in casting band pop, Zarrella recently found his niche in the covers of German party hits in Italian. Maintaining the friendly waiter style and only exchanging the Parmesan grater for moderation cards, that now also seems to be his approach to hosting in front of cameras.

In conversation with his friend Pietro Lombardi, the moderator takes it too casual

Just because a new, younger moderator leads through such a public hit, doesn’t change the entire procedure of such an evening. You know that from Silbereisen’s shows in Das Erste, which rejuvenated Schlager but did not revolutionize it. The audience in the hall continues to clap along, sung playback, exaggerated opening of the mouth and increasingly insane stage elements are intended to distract from the asynchrony. Singer Maite Kelly, for example, entered the stage as a doll princess with a winding wheel on her back, a glowing plastic heart detached itself from her body and rose up towards the ceiling. A “crazy little idea” that almost didn’t work out, as she said afterwards. Zarrella’s crew had made the heart shine again the day before, even though it hadn’t worked for years – and if it wasn’t so cheesy, that could be the motto of the evening. Because Zarrella’s gratitude to be able to stand on this stage, the cuts to his family in the audience, the duet with Papa Bruno – all of that goes down well.

As is the case in a new home, Zarella also has to settle in first. At times he let it loose, especially as his “little brother”, he announced DSDS-Winner Pietro Lombardi, with his song was done. “I was told we should chat a little,” says Zarrella, introducing the part in which a talk should actually have taken place, but which should never really get going. These few moments, in which Zarrella let a look behind the facade, were reminiscent of dark Saturday evenings with another ZDF Italian: Markus Lanz at Bet that…? But you are forgiven Zarrella. Because where Lanz out of stranger shame had seldom made it to the end, Zarrella was still looking forward to a grappa.


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