What went wrong for Portugal at Eurovision?

Well, well, well. Eurovision can be cruel. One year you win it, the next you come last in the final. On your home territory! This was Portugal’s experience at the Eurovision 2018 final in Lisbon on the weekend.

So, unlike Salvador Sobral‘s Amar Pelas Dois (Love For Two) which won in Kiev in 2017 despite being so old-fashioned and so untypical of Eurovision, the equally untypical  O Jardim (The Garden), sung by Cláudia Pascoal, turned out to be the wrong song in the wrong time. It got just 39 points. That said, I much prefer it to Israel’s winning entry, Netta’s Toy, a song that I never, ever want to hear again!

Here is Cláudia in action.

The backing singer in the video is the woman who wrote the song, Isaura Santos, and I would have liked her to have played a more prominent part in it. She’s an interesting performer. Check this out:

Was there better options for Portugal?

Did the Portuguese “music authorities” err in their selection process for Eurovision 2018? The Eurovision entry is chosen at the annual Festival da Canção (Festival of Song). Here O Jardim scored 22 points, but so did another song, Para Sorrir Eu Não Precisco De Nada (I don’t need anything to make me smile) by Catarina Miranda. The latter was the jury’s top pick, but O Jardim won the televoting, and that clinched it for Cláudia.

Would Catarina have done any better? One thing’s for sure, the Portuguese don’t seem to go in for lively dance tunes! This is the song that came third at the Festival da Canção.

Despite the result, I am sure the Portuguese enjoyed the attention and the honour of hosting the event. Have you been to Lisbon? It’s a great city, as I explain on my travel website in a piece to coincide with Eurovision – Lisbon’s in the limelight.

Advertisements

Salvador Sobral tipped to do wonders for Portugal at Eurovision 2017

Portugal’s entry in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest is Amar Pelos Dois (Love For Two) by Salvador Sobral, and according to the various betting websites that I have seen, it is regarded as a strong contender and possible winner – some rank it second behind the Italian entry.

The song is entirely in Portuguese (applause, applause) and was written by Salvador’s sister, Luisa. It is a charmingly old-fashioned song, and sounds very Brazilian in a musical sense (though his accent is definitely not Brazilian).

It is a sad song (a man pining for his lover to come back) – and there is a sad real-life story about Salvador that has emerged in recent days – he is in very poor health and in urgent need of a heart donor (details here). For this reason, his sister sang the song at the early rehearsals. Salvador is saving his strength for the finals.

The lyrics of the song have been translated into more than 15 languages here, among them my four other Romances – French, Italian, Spanish and Romanian – as well as English. You can more about Salvador, the song, and some critical reactions to it, here. The following clip will also fill you in.

Good luck to him. The song has grown on me, and I really hope Portugal gets to win the competition for the first time in its history. I fancy going to Eurovision 2018 in Lisbon!