Portugal - James Lindley

Portugal and RTP went south this year, to sunny Algarve, to host the final for their National Selection. It was March 2nd 2019 and Portimão was the chosen city and it all started with “hosts legends” Margarida Mercês de Melo and Júlio Isidro bringing to stage the hosts: Vasco Palmeirim and Filomena Cautela. It was fun the redemption of “Chamar a Música” (ESC 1994) with adjusted lyrics.

Maybe because we had only 8 songs, it took a bit for the show to really start. They went on and on with some more redemptions of all time favourites from Festival da Canção.

And then…

SONG #1: Calema “A dois”

When RTP started to reveal details of this year’s Festival da Canção, Calema were always pointed as one of the acts to watch for. It is a nice pop ballad, well sung, it talks about living a life as two. Nice start for the show.

SONG #2: Mariana Bragada “Mar doce”

This is a bit of a snooze feast, even though she tries her best to sing about the sea, and hope, and all of that we are used to hear from Portugal. We knew immediately she was a contender for last place.

SONG #3: Matay “Perfeito”

Matay has a very powerful voice and delivered this ballad very well. It was another love song, very classy with piano, harp, violins on stage. Maybe the biggest surprise from the semi finals was for sure on the race to win the whole thing.

SONG #4: Surma “Pugna”

Well? Who would tell we could see something like this in Festival da Canção? This was very alternative, different and intriguing. Not a bad proposal at all…

SONG #5: NBC “Igual a ti”

NBC sailed to the final easily, and many said it was because semi final 1 all most of the contenders and semi final 2, which he won, was the weakest one. Mainstream pop, which he delivers well, another “hymn” to being yourself, respect the others, not to be afraid of being who you are and all that. It had power to fight for the first place.

SONG #6: Madrepaz “Mundo a mudar”

We went back to the “traditional” Festival da Canção with this “World changing” song. Very sweet, inoffensive and competent mix of pop and folk.

SONG #7: Conan Osíris “Telemoveis”

Well… you heard about the YouTube visualizations, the number of likes, and all the fuss around this smart phones song. It is … different. We had Fado, we had North African sounds, we had a guy falling from the stairs… and we also had the public going crazy with this song that was always the favourite to win. Like it or not, you cannot be indifferent. Conan’s performance in the semi final was way better, though.

SONG #8: Ana Cláudia “Inércia”

Inércia is not a bad song, but nothing to call home about. Ana tries her best, but coming after broken smart phones, not much she can do.

The show went on and on and on until we got to the voting. No surprises here…

Conan won both the jury and the public vote and is representing Portugal in Tel Aviv

NBC got 2nd

Matay finished in 3rd

… like everybody was expecting, more or less