Luísa Sobral on brother Salvador: “Because of his health condition, he cannot be away that long”

On Sunday Portugal’s Salvador Sobral revealed that his ongoing health problems would force him to miss his first two rehearsals at Eurovision 2017, and that he would dispatch his sister to assess the lighting and sound in his place.

And on Monday Big Sis and “Amar Pelos Dois” composer Luísa Sobral told wiwibloggs exactly why as she spoke with us at the official launch of the Festival da Canção CD inside the FNAC music store in swanky Chiado.

“There are two rehearsals, but they have three or four days in between,” she explained. “It’s a whole week. Because of my brother’s health condition he cannot be away for that long.”

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“He has his health team that is here in Portugal, so he cannot leave for that long. We talked to the Eurovision committee and they said that it was okay if I would do the first two rehearsals — they are more lighting and sound — and it’s OK if I’m there and sing for him and they can see if everything is right with the visuals.”

“I am the one that usually decides on the visuals. I really like that stuff too.”

Initially she thought it strange that she would attend press conferences on her brother’s behalf.

“[I said], ‘It’s weird that I’m going to answer some stuff for my brother.’ But they said, ‘No, no — they know that it’s you so they’re going to ask stuff that’s meant for you and not your brother.'”

“He’s going to come to do the really important rehearsals. The ones that people already vote. We just figure that two weeks were too much for him to be away without his medical team.”

Salvador’s victory in Portugal catapulted the country up the oddstable to win Eurovision 2017, and he remains fourth favourite now.

Luísa says she doesn’t check the ratings, nor does she buy into them.

“Sometimes you’re in fourth and then suddenly you end up on like 30th and then you get really disappointed,” she says. “I don’t really look at those things…I don’t think we should rely on that. I think it’s a blank slate. He’s going to perform and [the audience] are probably going to react to that performance.”

Portugal: Salvador Sobral will miss Eurovision rehearsals owing to health issues

And while she’s tuning out that hype, she is reading all of your tweets and Facebook posts.

“Thank you very much for all your very nice messages,” she says — and in a way that shows she means it. “It’s really great to see that even though our song is in Portuguese a lot of people react to the song and to the melody and the way he sings it.”

“We know that music has no language, really. It’s a feeling thing. And it has been really nice to see that that’s true, so thank you very much for your support.”

Are you loving Luísa as much as we are? Do you now see precisely why the song has such a tender feeling? And what is your message for Salvador and his big sis? Let us know in the comments box below!