Previewing the Entrants of Eurovision 2019 – Part Thirty-Two: Portugal

Hello everyone and welcome to another Eurovision post on The Blogging DJ, where we will continue to look in-depth at the forty-one competing songs in this year’s Song Contest, this year held in Tel Aviv, Israel. We are into our last ten previews so today we are off to Lisbon and Portugal. They won the contest in 2017 courtesy of Salvador Sobral and “Amar Pelos Dois”; can they bring the contest back to the Iberian country with Conan Osiris and “Telemóveis”?

Selection Process

Ever since they joined the contest way back in 1964, the Portuguese EBU member station RTP have selected their entry through the national final Festival da Canção. Sixteen entries were announced as competing in two semi-finals; fourteen of these were directly invited by RTP, one won a place through an “Open Call” and the remaining one through a radio show called Masterclass. In this national final, 50% of the votes would be decided by a regional jury vote and 50% would be decided from the general public. Conan Osiris came second in his semi-final to progress forward and then received the maximum points in the jury and televoting categories to win the ticket to Tel Aviv. It has also been announced in the last couple of weeks that Portugal will perform quite late on in semi-final one, in position number sixteen.

Music Video

The Blogging DJ’s Review

This song was a bit of an enigma to me on the first couple of listens. I loved the ethnic undertones in the music and vocals but didn’t understand how they linked in with the contemporary dancing or the futuristic costuming. That was until I read the lyrics and then I understood perfectly what Conan is trying to highlight to the viewers. But Eurovision doesn’t allow you to eloquently explain the message of the song, you only have three minutes to get jury members and televotes on your side. Therein lies the only real problem I have with this entry; there is a disconnect between the elements. Most casual viewers, especially those who don’t speak Iberian languages, may be bemused rather than intrigued. If it remains an enigma to other viewers, I’m struggling to see whether Europe will respond to this, despite being a good entry by Portuguese standards.7.5

Live Performance Video

Odds

According to Oddschecker, you can currently get odds ranging from 25/1 up to 50/1 on Portugal winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, as well as odds up to 9/4 on them making the Top ten. This suggests the bookmakers see this as easily qualifying as then fighting in and around the top half of the leaderboard, though shouldn’t pose much of a threat for the win.

Record at Eurovision

Portugal have entered the contest on a huge fifty occasions since making their debut in 1964, performing in the Grand Final on forty-two of them. Unbelievably, their best result was a sixth place finish in 1996 (Lúcia Moniz and “O meu coração não tem cor”) until Salvador won Europe’s heart in 2017. They have also finished in last place on four occasions, as well as finishing with nul points in 1964 and 1997. Sadly for Cláudia Pascoal, “O jardim” did not avoid the former as the host country, finishing in twenty-sixth place with thirty-nine points.

So what do you make of Portugal’s entry for Eurovision 2019? Can it follow Salvador’s example and win Europe over again? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below and stay tuned for more Eurovision related articles in the weeks leading up to the contest.

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One comment

  1. It remains bemusing to me. I havent checked the lyrics yet so for me there is only something likeable about “ethnic and different” but it all doesn’t come together. Mind you, in 1983 I was bewildered by the Spanish song – along with Europe who gave it nil points – yet the song has become a top favourite of mine over the years once ethno pop become more popular and wide spread.
    Maybe I’ll catch on to this style soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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