Eurovision

#PORTUGAL: Live Blog of Festival da Canção SF2 from 22.00 CET

#PORTUGAL: Live Blog of Festival da Canção SF2 from 22.00 CET

Portugal’s broadcaster RTP continues the search for a song for Rotterdam tonight. In this second semi-final, ten more songs will compete for five more places in the Grand Final of Festival da Canção on Saturday 6 March.

A familiar 50/50 combination of expert jury and televote will determine the five songs that will proceed. You can watch the action HERE.

And here we go. Our hosts Tânia and José Carlos will guide us through tonight.

We have a Green Room – Ines, again – and there will be an expert jury who’s deliberations will contribute half the vote tonight.

And it’s onto the songs!

Da Chick – I got music

This is a nicely clappy number, and Da Chick is in a poncho made of big beads. The song is in English and has a disco-ey vibe about it. It’s a little repetitive but the backing track sort of makes up for it. I am worrying about the baking dancers that spend most of the song gyrating on boxes. Health & Safety? A qualifier? I’m not sure.

Tainá – Jasmim

We go down to ballad-tempo now with what shapes up to be a very pleasant song. I’m actually thinking ‘Girl from Ipanema’ in parts to the arrangement. Tainá’s microphone stand is plaited with flowers – presumably jasmine – which is a nice touch. It’s a lovely bit of chilled-out music. I like it.

Ariana – Mundo melhor

Ariana is in a striking red outfit and is very sultry. She mixes English and Portuguese and it works well. The song is nice little funky R&B number, as demonstrated by the five dancers in white boiler suits. Again, there’s a chilled-out vibe to beat. And it shows off Ariana’s vocal range nicely. Very good.

EU.CLIDES – VOLTE-FACE

Euclides has one of those very earnest attitudes to his performance. He’s sat in front of a microphone on a stand, and all he’d need is a dark rum & coke and a beachy backdrop for the full effect. His song is quite downbeat and whilst it has its charm, it might not quite have enough oomph to get it further.

Joana Alegre – Joana do mar

A stood-up performer now, in a long floor-length dress. There’s a bit more of the fado about this, but a bit more uptempo, and she has a very good voice, almost a bit folksy. I love a good folksy voice. The song is very well constructed and really suits her. There’s also obviously some backing singers off stage who provide very good harmonies. Best thing tonight so far for me.

Half way through the songs and it’s over to the Green Room.

Pedro Gonçalves – Não vou ficar

Pedro has a small band with him for this little number. It starts ordinarily enough before the chorus kicks in that’s very good. It strikes me as something I’ve heard before in its phrasing, maybe at a Sanremo. That’s not a bad thing. Ooh, and then we get a saxophone solo. A very contemporary number that should pull in the votes.

Ana Tereza – Com um abraço

A local instrument sets us off here. That’s drawn me in straightaway. Ana is a flower child, because she has them in her hair. The songs moves along, well, OK. But I get a bit disappointed midway through. Even with the key change. I’m not sure. There’s nothing to really grab you.

Carolina Deslandes – Por um triz

There’s black & white TV in this one. It’s another one with a couple of instruments on stage, but a big orchestral backing track. That suits the gentle nature that – maybe, just maybe – has a hint of something performed by a certain Salvador Sobral a few years ago. Very Portuguese, very sweet, and very classy. I like this a lot.

Graciela – A vida sem acontecer

Dramatic camera work here, for kimono-clad Graciela. There’s a slight 80s-vibe to the backing track that is definitely different. With a slightly different mix, this could be a great disco number, but it’s just missing something for me. Maybe it’s an unusual song construction. Or the mixing doesn’t seem quite right. However she does give it everything.

NEEV – Dancing in the stars

NEEV is singing in English and is sat at a piano. Channeling his inner Duncan Laurence perchance. No, the song is very good. He’s putting a lot of meaning into the lyric and it builds. From a darker stage to him being surrounded by a ring of light. It then calms down for the last chorus. Ooh. That’s good.

With the songs over, it’s back to the Green Room. But my five, based on their performances, would be Tainá, Joana Alegre, Pedro, Carolina and NEEV. Let’s see if I can do better than last week.

Green Room chat over, so the phone lines are thrown open. €0.60 to vote for your favourite. What could possibly go wrong?

Now we get to meet the jury. The lovely Rita Guerra (PT03) is the head. Also on the jury are Paulo de Carvalho (PT74), Vanessa Augusto, Rita Carmo, NBC and Marta Carvalho.

More Green Room chat now, with a reminder of those all important phone numbers.

We now go back to FdC 1996. The lovely Lucia Móniz won of course, with O meu coração não tem cór. It was Portugal’s best result until they won. And here’s Lucia!! My night is complete!

Another recap for the televoters now. There’s still time to get [insert name here] through to the final next Saturday.

Time for adverts. Don’t go away.

We’re not far from the results now. Possibly. After we’ve spoken to the jury members again. And been back to the Green Room.

Phone lines are closed!

Whilst we await the results (yes, really), there’s more history. FdC 1971, won by Tonicha with Menina. She went to the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin. And then a song from former entrant Paulo de Carvalho. Agir performs it, and Paulo looks on with pride. And then we get E depois du adeus (PT74). This song has a history to it.

It’s time to announce the finalists…

They are: Joana Alegre, Carolina Deslandes, Pedro Gonçalves, NEEV, and Eu.Clides

OK. I got 4 out of 5 tonight. I’ll take that.

Thanks for sticking with this. The Grand Final of Festival da Canção 2021 takes place next Saturday, 6 March. Tune in next week for more Lusophone fun and games.

Good night.

Author: John Stanton

Source: Eurovison Ireland, RTP

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