What a great coincidence – Portugal has won the Eurovision Song Contest last year in Kiev with the highest amount of points ever could be achieved. So Portugal has now the honour to be the host country of the ESC. This is also the 50th anniversary of Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest. The long persistence has paid off now. Participating 50 years long and mostly ending up at the bottom of the scoreboard is not very motivating. Thanks to the wonderful performance of “Amar Pelos Dois” by Salvador Sobral this has changed completely. It’s also another proof that calm and emotional music with high quality has equal chances as pop music. Salvador Sobral has rescued the Portuguese glory. Therefore he has become a national hero.
This year the Portuguese broadcaster has organised a lavish pre selection in the Festival da Canção 2018 with two semi-finals and one final. Out of 14 entries in the final two songs have reached the same amount of points. At the end the one with the higher public televote was declared as winner, due to the rule. So Claudia Pascoral has been chosen to represent Portugal on home ground. This is a special task.
There is no Eurovision without any scandal, also in Portugal. The big favourite Diogo Piçarra with “Canção do Fim” had too much similarity to the song “Open Your Eyes” by Bob Culls. Hence this strong song had to be withdrawn.
Cláudia Rafaela Teixeira Pascoal was born in São Pedro da Cova, Gondomar (east of Porto) in 1994. In the age of 15 she learned to play the guitar. As a street musician she gained a lot of experiences. Later on she took part various casting shows such as Pop Idol, X Factor and The Voice of Portugal.
The song “O Jardim” is another melancholic Portuguese entry. It’s about the tragic death of Claudia’s grandmother. She is still suffering a lot from this blow and the song is helping her to overcome and handle the situation. In “O Jardim”, which means the garden, she remembers the precious time she spent with her grandma, who has also been her best friend. The sung will be sung in the native Portuguese. These is an extract of the beautiful lyrics:
All the flowers, they’re my place Now that you’re gone I’ll take care of your garden All the flowers, they’re my place Now that you’re gone I’ll take care of your garden
With this decent host entry, Portugal is still showing its own way and this will definitely awarded by the juries and televoters, even if there are strong similarities to the song “Viðrar vel til loftárása” by the Icelandic band Sigur Rós, in particular in the harmony of the song.
Finals: 40 (3 since 2004)
Top 10: 9
Chances for Top 10: 18%
Chances for Final: 38%
This year it’s the 50th anniversary of Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest! Congratulations! With this honour Portugal is also the host country for the ESC for the very first time. Thanks to the wonderful performance of Salvador Sobral singing “Amar Pelos Dois”, the country at the south east corner is now hosting the 63rd edition of the ESC. Last year the Portuguese broadcaster has been celebrating its 60th anniversary as well. After an endurance of 50 years, Portugal finally received the well-earned crown of European music.
Portugal has joined the Eurovision Song Contest in 1964 with the debut song “Oração” by António Calvário and came last with zero points unfortunately. This should not been taken as a bad omen, but Portugal is a country which has never won the ESC before. Portugal has made it 42 times in the Grand Final, out of 49 participations, and reached the Top10 only 9 times. So there is a chance of 18% chance to reach the Top10 for Portugal.
It’s a pity that Portugal seldomly made it in the Top 10. There were so many great and outstanding songs in the past. Especially the 80’s were packed with outrageous songs, which would probably have shaped higher nowadays, because 50% of the votes comes from the public via televoting. Especially the juries have always been strict with the points for Portuguese entries and Portugal has always been so eager to shape up well. The songs from Portugal have often been very folkloristic and became more modern in the recent years. Sometimes the Portuguese even send traditional Fado to the ESC, which is a great cultural enrichment, but often brought not enough points. But a lot of emotion and drama can mostly be found in the Portuguese entries even in the more contemporary songs. Last year’s winner Salvador Sobral is the best example that calm and emotional music will also be heard and awarded.
Let’s hope that the general interest and the enthusiasm receives a great kick due to the fact of hosting the ESC in wonderful Lisbon. This should also encourage other countries, which never won to choose really good songs of high quality.