After a new buck like Moldova, it’s time to switch to one of the veteran entrants to the contest, and the one that’s been waiting longest for a win. Out of 45 entries, Portugal has yet to win a contest, or even reach the top 5. Perhaps their determination to only send Portuguese-language entries has something to do with that, but maybe it’s the songs too.
One of the most western nations of the contest, they have always planted themselves in the middle of the road. There is always some fondness for Portuguese entries, usually with some pleasantly photogenic female singer.
But this only gets them so far – at best a mid-table finish in the final. At worst, like last year’s protest entry about the credit crunch (or at our best guess it was about that, who knows what they are going on about really), they came second-last in their semi-final.
I really doubt this is going to buck the trend though, again they have sent a strong female vocalist, not as endearing as some of Portugals more recent entrants, but she’s got a powerful voice. The song is a bit of a drag though, no idea what it’s about though, and it’s rather dated. Ballads are always a force to be reckoned with if they are contemporary, but this is really not.
I do feel for Portugal, I hope they get a great result one day, but I really doubt it will be this year. As admirable as it is to be so devoted to your native language, if Portugal really want to win this one day, they really need to consider sending something in English, and find other ways to express their national identity.
Curiously I had the idea that Portugal had a strong voting bond with Spain in the same vein as Greece/Cyprus but it seems this isn’t the case. Historically they have received most of their cumulative points from France, and given most of theirs to the UK. More recently Portugal give more points to Ukraine than their Spanish neighbour! A little bit to add to the argument about cultural voting rather than geographical voting. After all, why would Spain particularly vote for a song in Portuguese, and vice versa? God knows why Portugal like Ukraine so much though!