After travelling around Europe and beyond, we have reached our final destination, this year’s host country. It’s the land of port, fado and CR7. It’s Portugal!!!
Portugal made their debut in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1964. Prior to last year, their best result was in 1996, when Lúcia Moniz, who you might recognise as Aurelia from Love Actually, came sixth. Last year, Salvador Sobral not got Portugal through to the final for the first time since 2010, but he gave their first top five finish and first win with “Amar pelos dois”, ending their 53-year wait for a win. As such, the contest travels to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon for the first time in history.
The Portuguese broadcaster Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP) organised the 51st edition of Festival da Canção, which has been used to select almost all of Portugal’s Eurovision entries. RTP invited 22 composers to compete, who then selected the singers for their songs. A further four were selected through different ways, one picked by the radio station Antena 1, two from an open call and one by Salvador and Luisa Sobral, last year’s winning singer and composer. The festival consisted of two semi-finals and a final. Thirteen songs competed in each semi-final, where an in-studio jury (50%) and televoting (50%) sent seven songs to the final. In the final, the winner was chosen by regional juries (50%) and televoting (50%). As there was a tie for first place, the public vote took preference. Having won the public vote, Claudia Pascoal was awarded the right to defend Portuguese colours on home ground in Lisbon.
Claudia Pascoal was born on October 12 1994 in Gondomar in northern Portugal. The singer rose to fame in 2010, when she took part in Portuguese talent show Ídolos. In 2013, she participated in the first season of Factor X, and a year later she auditioned to become a host of Curto Circuito, finishing in 3rd place. She returned to participate in Ídolos for a second time in 2015, and also went on to compete in The Voice of Portugal.
The song that Claudia will sing in Lisbon, “O Jardim” (The Garden), was written and composed by Isaura, who will join Claudia on stage in Lisbon.
What Could Have Been
Boa sorte Portugal!
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Lastly, thank you all again for following the preview journey again this year. I hope you have a fabulous Eurovision week, wherever you are in the world. Até logo!
(Sources: eurovision.tv, RTP, YouTube)