48 participations since their debut, Portugal are yet to make a serious dent in the Eurovision Song contest landscape. 2017 could, however, be a game changer, for the land of Port, who’ve chosen a very bold choice for Kiev.
If any of you regular readers, can name any Portuguese entry from any past Eurovision Song Contest, we’ll be very impressed. Yes, Portugal is a stubborn country when it comes to the contest. Traditionally, the country is the only one to stick to their national language in a mainly English dominated music competition. This year is no different. But what’s on offer is very very different to anything we’ve heard from Portugal before.ea
Just as they did in 2013, Portugal revealed it would not be taking part in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, citing another disappointing non-qualification urged them to rethink their selection method. In August 2016, it was confirmed Portugal would take part in Kiev and choose its artist through a revamped Festival da Canção. Contrary to previous years, RTP invited 16 composers, who were given the choice to pick their preferred artist. For the first time, it was also announced entries could be submitted in English.
Festival da Canção 2017 would consist of 2 semi finals and one grand gala, where the public and a jury would pick the Portuguese candidate.
Deteriorating health claims for an early favorite
27-year-old, former Pop Idol season 3 participant, Salvador Sobral came, saw and conquered. His nostalgic jazz ballad, Amar Pelos Dois
(Eng: Love for both), became the instant favorite, after featuring in the first heat. The love poem song, a composition, written by Luísa Sobral, Salvador’s sister proved an instant hit. Salvador’s geeky, timid appearance, and his ‘like butter melting’ voice were a magical match in heaven.
It was only after the performance, it was revealed the 21-year-old, was suffering from a serious hernia and had to undergo surgery, explaining the singer’s twitching and noticeable loose clothing. Only last week reports resurfaced, the singer may not be able to represent Portugal as he’s in need of a new heart. These claims have however been denied by the Portuguese team. The singer, won’t be taking part in any promo events, so he can concentrate on Kiev.
Thoughts on Salvador’s entry
48 participations in and for the first time, it feels Portugal has well and truly arrived at Eurovision. Yes, Salvador and his song are polarizing; You will either love it or loathe it. There’s no in-between with this one. Jazz and Soul is a relatively untouched genre at the contest, which is why fans have started comparing it to the 2011 Italian entry, which finished second. Is it destined to have the same effect? I’m not entirely convinced yet, but in my opinion, it stands out enough to challenge Portugal’s 6th place in 1996.
To have Amar Pelos Dois, included in this year’s line up, from a country which hasn’t excelled in the contest for years, makes it even more interesting. The fans are split into two camps; Magical, the camp we’re in, or too old-fashioned for 2017. Who will be right? We find out May 10, when Portugal will try to qualify from the first semi-final.