Participant: Sofia Song: Foi Magia Writer(s): Paulo Neves Composer(s): Paulo Neves
Many people only think of Fado when they think of Portugal. The country has used their chance well to prove the world wrong by sending such a different variety of songs to the Eurovision Song Contest - representing Portuguese music to an international audience. Unforgotten are evergreens like "Bem Bom" sung by Doce in 1982, "Silencio E Tanta Gente" by Maria Guinot or "O Meu Caracao Nao Tem Cor" by Lúcia Moniz, which became 6th in the final in Oslo 1996. Portugal has often chosen ballads to represent the country - those entries usually managed to add a lot of style and glamour to the contest every year. Unfortunately they never were rewarded with many points - for example last year in Riga where Rita Guerra sang one of the greatest songs of the evening but went home only with 13 points. Due to this, Portugal has to participate in the qualifying round on May 12th of this year and is not allowed automatically to the final on Saturday.
This year the Portuguese managed to breathe new life into their national final: Like Spain they were using a TV format called "Operacao Triunfo" - some kind of Portuguese "Pop Idol". The singer Sofia managed to win with a catchy up-tempo song called "Foi Magia". The Portuguese entries are usually sung in their native language which might prove to be a disadvantage in comparison to other countries with difficult languages, for example Turkey, who decided last year, to sing in English in order to improve their chances of winning. The rest is history… Hopefully there will be an English version of the Portuguese entry presented this year in Istanbul.