#PORTUGAL: Live blog of Festival da Canção 2021 from 22.00CET

#PORTUGAL: Live blog of Festival da Canção 2021 from 22.00CET

After two semi-finals, we’ve been left with 10 songs, all wanting to be the one to go to Rotterdam for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest. Tonight at the Grand Final of RTP’s Festival da Canção, we’ll find out who it’ll be.

The winner will be chosen by a 50/50 mix of jury and televoting. You can watch the action HERE.

And here we go!

Our hosts tonight are Filomena Cautela and Vasco Palmeirim. You might recognise one of them. They are, of course, in an empty studio with no audience.

And we’re getting Playback, the classic from 1981. But with different words. During this comedy song we get a tour of the RTP studios in Lisbon. Much like any major TV studios anywhere in Europe I suppose.

That was, of course, just the appetiser to the main course that’s about to start. Hashtag #ofestivalénosso if your inclined that way.

Ines is again in the Green Room. Wearing a large butterfly.

And now it’s time for the songs:

Karetus & Romeu Bairos – Saudade

Fado immediately breaks out at FdC. It has Andean overtones with the outfits worn by some of the performers. One’s dressed as a devil in a furry costume. It’s eye-catching and maybe relies a bit too much on the stage show more than the song. It could still work. A great opener.

Joana Alegre – Joana de mar

More quality fado-esque singing. Joana has a dancer and two instrumentalists with her. The song is nicely constructed and flows well. Her outfit is striking to say the least. I’m liking this as it’s very authentic and can only be Portuguese. Another goos song.

Fábia Maia – Dia lindo

A slower song now, still in the fado groove. But more Salvador Sobral than Simone de Oliveira. Fábia has a collection of instrumentalists on stage. It’s a very pleasant little heartfelt number that could stop certain fans dead in their tracks with its beauty. The song moves along nicely and I’m liking this final so far.

Valéria – Na mais profunda saudade

More fado from Valéria in a frock to remember. Lots of yellow fabric here. As fado goes, it’s very traditional, but maybe not quite to European tastes. If it wins obviously. On the plus side, Valéria has a terrific vocal range and you can tell she’s no novice. Picture yourself in a bar in Lisbon’s Bairro Alto and it would fit right in. On a stage in Rotterdam though…

Carolina Deslandes – Por um triz

Another song that could court the Salvador Sobral vote. It’s very pleasant and has a beautifully sweet quality to it. Even if you don’t understand Portuguese you’ll get the sentiment. It’s heartfelt. The two instrumentalists really set the song off too. I don’t quite get why the pink-haired Carolina has a presentation in black & white, but it’s yet another decent song.

Half way there, and it’s Green Room time. Don’t go away.

NEEV – Dancing in the Stars

Our first song in English. NEEV engages more with the camera this time. His ballad is sheer quality. He has a great range. On the downside, it could be a bit too Duncan Laurence. And it could be a little too dour for some tastes. But it’s in English – which can’t do any harm. And there’s that great instrumental break. It’s a good honest song, performed honestly.

Pedro Gonçalves – Não vou ficar

Pedro has ditched his semi-final shellsuit top. He means business tonight. We’re getting the most upbeat thong so far and it bounces along nicely. And there’s the saxophone instrumental break. This could be straight of a Sanremo. A decent effort.

Sara Afonso – Contramão

A slower song now. Sara has an interesting voice that wouldn’t suit every song. But it suits the downbeat nature of this. It’s a bit Norah Jones or Katie Melua in delivery and is really pleasant. And there’s a timeless quality to the song too. It’s not bad, but perhaps there are better songs tonight.


Eu.clides is sat down. In all white this week. Now I didn’t warm to this last week, and whilst I can see appeal in some quarters, it’s still missing something I think. He gives us a decent performance and again it’s the kind of song that would accompany a decent meal as background music. But not a winner I think. Sorry.

The Black Mamba – Love Is on My Side

Finally, our other English song. It starts in grainy black & white before moving to colour. Nice. This reminds me of a slow Beatles song, but I din’t know which one. The style is a bit jazzy, a bit groovy. And that will go in its favour. There’s a great guitar riff towards the end too. It could spring a surprise.

Songs over, and it’s back to Ines in the Green Room.

In the meantime, what’s my winner? Well, I can’t pick one. Let’s see if the recaps make it any easier. Erm, no.

Time for a history lesson now. FdCs from years gone by. We saw Carlos do Carmo (PT76), who sadly died on New Year’s Day. Ricardo Ribeiro is singing Estrela da tarde – a real fado song.

Continuing the fado theme, Ana Moura is now singing Uma flor de verde pinho (PT76).

If you like your fado, you’ll be having the time of your life.

More recaps now. Don’t go away.

It’s ‘publicidade’ time. That’s adverts to non-Lusophones. We’ll be back soon.

More singing now, from Dino D’Santiago. A popular bunny.

In the Green Room, they’re using cups on the ends of string to have conversations. It’s novel.

It’s nostalgia time again. Paris. And then back to the present. A certain Cláudia Pascoal is doing some stuff with some pals, Clã and Filipe Simbado.

More recaps. But what better way to spend €0.60 than voting for your favourite. Over and over. Don’t forget, the CD of the 20 songs is also available to buy.

We’re in the Green Room and having a round of Eurovision trivia. Dai-li-dou isn’t that well known. But Desfolhada Portugesa is.

Clã, Cláudia and Felipe are back now. They’re a Bohemian bunch. For several songs, they get joined on stage by Sergio Godinho.

More recaps now. Perchance a bit pointless as the phone lines are now closed.

Our hosts are now giving us another song. It celebrates our favourite TV show. No, not Happy Days, it’s Eurovision. And now more ‘publicidade’. Stay tuned.

Back again, we see Elisa. She won FdC last year, but we know what happened last May. She sings Medo de sentir.

We’re still here. The talk in the Green Room was of a group photo. Put together from the performers’ performances.

Now we get a recap of the winners of FdC from Salvador onwards. Who will take home the trophy this year?

Vote time! Regional juries.

Centro gives its 12 to Love is on my side

Lisboa e Vale do Tejo gives its 12 to Por um triz

Alentejo gives its 12 to Joana do mar

Algarve gives its 12 to Love is on my side

Madeira gives its 12 to Love is on my side

Açores gives its 12 to Contramão

Norte (after some technical difficulties)gives its 12 to Volte-Face

They get converted to 12 down to 1. Carolina therefore has 12 points. Pedro has one.

Public vote time now.

One point to Dia Lindo. Two points to Volte-Face.

Three points to Joana do mar. Four points to Não vou ficar

Five points to Contramão. Six points to Saudade

Seven points to Na mais profunda saudade. Eight points to Por um triz

Ten points to Love is on my side. Twelve points to Dancing with the stars

So the winner is Love is on my side!

Thanks for tuning in. Was it the right choice? Tell us what you think.

Author: John Stanton

Source: Eurovision Ireland, RTP

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