After a 53-year wait, it’s finally happening! The Eurovision Song Contest heads to Lisbon, Portugal. Perfect opportunity to count down to our five favourite Portuguese entries of all times.
Yesterday we kicked off our first part, looking back at some of Portugal’s most wonderful moments at the Eurovision Song Contest. If you missed it, you can check it out here. One thing we certainly established was what an underrated country Portugal has been over the years. Our second part, in which we look at the top five, is no different.
5. Carlos Paião – Playback (1981)
In 1981, Portugal was undoubtedly way ahead of its time when it send ‘musical doctor’ Carlos Paião to Dublin, with the satirical pop song Playback. There is really so much to like here. From the charismatic Carlos to his Teletubbies-dressed backing vocals. It was quirky, and fun. Yet again, the juries didn’t go for it at all. (Shame on you!) Carlos finished 18th out of 20. He went on to become one of Portugal’s most popular singers after the contest, until he died in a car accident seven years later on the way home from a concert.
4. Da Vinci – Conquistador (1989)
Speaking of car accidents. In 1989 pop group Da Vinci won Festival da Cancao, earning the right to represent Portugal at the 1989 Eurovision Song Contest. But tragedy stroke once again for the Portuguese delegation as one of the Da Vinci members was involved in a car accident, preventing him from attending the contest. All spotlights were on lead singer Lei Or instead who sang the pop song Conquistador, as a memory about the former Portuguese Colonial possessions worldwide. Fans will know this one for sure, as Eurovision 2014 representative Suzy, who’s also featured in our top ten, sings it on a regular basis at fan events. A classic hit in Portugal, but as so many times before the juries didn’t go for it and placed it 16/22 on the night. Shame on you, once more juries!
3. Salvador Sobral – Amar Pelois Dos (2017)
Well, the following man doesn’t need any introduction. Salvador Sobral finally managed to do what none of its predecessors managed; bring Portugal an overwhelming victory. With the highest score ever, the 27-year-old stunned everyone last week with Amar Pelois Dos, a jazz composition written by his sister Luisa. Eurovision fans compare the event to their Christmas, and Salvador’s entry had all the elements you’d expect for Christmas in his song; warm, gooey and just very heartfelt. What a winner!
2. Paulo de Carvalho – E Depois do Adeus (1974)
So who could possibly beat Salvador from winning our top ten? Well, there’s two contenders and the first one is Paulo de Carvalho‘s entry. E Depois do Adeus, is a beautiful ballad with fado elements. It’s so delicate and flows beautifully from start to finish. This is an absolute evergreen. Can you believe it achieved considerable fame as one of the two signals to launch the Carnation Revolution in Portugal against the Estado Novo regime of Marcelo Caetano? Literally the only song ever featured at Eurovision to kick off a revolution. Brilliant! At Eurovision however, it did not work either, finishing in 14th place with just 3 points. Outrageous!
and finally, who, in our opinion, produced the best ever Portuguese entry of all times? Well, it just had to be this one. She took Portugal out of it’s 4 year non-qualification streak in 2008, with plenty of drama, charisma and Portugal’s signature genre, Fado. It couldn’t be anyone else but
1. Vânia Fernandes – Senhora do mar (Negras águas) (2008)
What’s not to like here? Vânia teamed up with Croatian composer and Eurovision alumn Andrej Babić for this stunning dramatic ballad. It looked and sounded the absolute part. Was it rewarded for its efforts? Well not as much as it should have been. Portugal finished in 13th place in the grand final, making it their best Eurovision result since 1998. Check out her performance below:
And that concludes out Top Ten Favourite Portuguese entries of all times. Let us know if you agree or disagree and who your favourites are. We’d love to know!