Portugal’s entrant in the 2015 Eurovision song contest is a Lisbon law student and TV actress, Lenor Andrade. She rose to fame as a contestant last year in season 2 of The Voice Portugal (won by Rui Drummond), usually performing soulful, bluesy numbers that enabled her to show off her powerful, gutsy voice.
Here she is, for example, doing a cover of Nina Simone’s Feeling Good – see how quickly she convinces judge Mickael Carreira!
Lenor subsequently took part in, and won, the annual Festival da Canção (from which Portugual’s Eurovision representative is chosen) with a more upbeat pop/rock song Há Um Mar Que Nos Separa (There Is A Sea That Separates Us). It is a song suited to a nation perched on the western coast of Europe, and which has a fascinating maritime history.
I like the song, it grows on me, but I find it a little subdued, vocally – at least as recorded here. Perhaps it comes across better live. English and Spanish versions of the song will be on their way soon, apparently.
Funnily enough, you won’t hear the exact title in the song. Instead the chorus starts with Se é o mar que nos separa… (If it’s the sea that separates us...)
The Portuguese lyrics and English translation are here on the Lyrics Translate website., where Dutch, Catalan, German, Spanish and French translations can be found too.
Mickael Correira, incidentally, sang on the Portuguese market version of Enrique Iglesias’s big hit Bailando – you can see it and the Brazilian and Spanish versions here.
Portugal’s best performance at Eurovision was in Oslo in 1996 when Lúcia Moniz came sixth with O Meu Coração Não Tem Cor (My Heart Has No Colour).
Lúcia was very young at the time, but went on to have a successful singing and acting career, both in Portugal and overseas: British heartthrob Colin Firth proposed to her in the film Love Actually! Perhaps similar opportunities are in store for young Lenor.
Here’s a more recent performance from her… the song is smooth, she is sultry.