Festival da Cancao
Portugal return to the contest after a one year absence. In the two years since they were last at the contest they have undergone some changes in the selection process to choose their Eurovision entry. As was tradition in the fifty-three-year-old contest, the competing songs where all sung in Portuguese. That was until this year when they amended the rules to although entries to be sung in any language. Will this make a change to their chances in Eurovision, and are we now closer to that first ever Portuguese win? I must say that over the years I have enjoyed a lot that Portugal has had to offer, and believe they are one of the most underrated countries in the contest.
Let’s see if any of the finalists in this year’s Festival da Cancao has what it takes to bring it back it home for the Portuguese.
Fernando Daniel- “Poema a dois”
Fernando has a great voice, which isn’t surprising as he appeared on talents shows such as the X Factor in Portugal. The song has a nice build and Fernando certainly gives the song light and shade with his voice, but it starts to loop after two minutes, the final burst of guitars saves it slightly, but it starts to sound a bit Rome 1991 by the end and we are heading to Kyiv in 2017. It is a decent entry, but I can’t see this as a winner.
My score: 5/10
Deolinda Kinzimba- “O que eu vi nos meus sonhos”
Winner of the Voice Portugal Deolinda comes to ‘FdC’ with her beautifully fragile voice. She proves why she won that competition as she belts this song out in fantastic style. This is a ballad that would have done well in the late 90’s early 00’s. It reminds me somewhat of Chiara in her delivery and while I enjoy the song for its nostalgic feel, I don’t think this would do well at Eurovision. Portugal is unpredictable in who they pick each year so this could win.
My score: 6/10
Salvador Sobral- “Amar pelos dois”
Salvador is such a personable perform, and his voice is so beautiful. I got lost in his voice and his performance, it had me almost in tears and I don’t even understand Portuguese, which speaks volumes. Salvador himself has compared this to many of the Great American Songbook songs crossed with a Bossa Nova sound which I can hear. It reminds me of the Soft Jazz ballads I would relax to on a Sunday afternoon, it is stunning and I would love to see this at Eurovision. I have fallen in love with it, but will the Portuguese public vote for it?
My score: 8/10
Viva La Diva- “Nova gloria”
With a Name like that I was expecting an up-tempo cheesy number, which I’m not averse to. Instead we get a sentimental Popera ballad. Her voice isn’t strong enough to carry the pop part of the song and therefore to my eyes the Opera part suffers as well. It all mashes into one and is difficult to listen to. I appreciate they were trying to go for something different, but I don’t think it works.
My score: 4.5/10
Lena D’Agua- “Nunca me fui embora”
This is a happy song, at least I think it is from its upbeat track. Although that is as far as it goes. Lena seems to be a bit miffed by the whole performance only really getting into it in the last minute. It is a song that would have done well in 2013. It reminds me a bit of Dr Bezzina from Malta, but not on the same par.
My Score: 4.5/10
Pedro Goncalves- “Don’t Walk Away”
Well there is no denying that this is the most contemporary song on offer. Pedro has a good voice and he sells this mid-tempo Bieber inspired number. If Portugal chose this it would be a radical departure from anything they have ever done before at Eurovision. It is a decent song, although personally music of this genre doesn’t excite me enough. I must, so while I may not score this as highly as others, I understand its potential.
My score: 6.5/10
Celina da Piedade- “Primavera”
I think that train is longer than Diana’s was in 1981. I do love a big woman with a beautiful voice and an accordion to boot. This instantly brings me back to those great ethnic entries that Portugal have done so well over the years, such as Lucia Moniz in 1996. This would be my winner, I would love to see this to go to Ukraine, it has a great charm to it, and could surprise people the way Fleur De Lis did in 2009.
My score: 8.5/10
Jorge Benvida- “Gente Bestial”
This will win, not that it is my favourite that is. It has that ska feel to it mixed with some traditional sounds, but it is as if someone has turn the record player from 78 to 33.5 rpm. It is fun, and completely out there in comparison to the other entries. This is my personal score, but I can still see this going to Kyiv.
My score: 5.5/10
Well Portugal are back, with mostly a standard bunch of songs. It is nice to see that the Language change hasn’t brought an end to the Portuguese language, and I think there is a great balance between the languages on show.
My top three:
1. Celina da Piedade
2. Salvador Sobral
3. Pedro Goncalves
Who is your favourite? Let us know below, enjoy the show 😀