Olá! The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has landed in Lisbon. We are taking a taxi to Belém Tower, on the top of which we will listen to Salvador Sobral‘s Eurovision 2017 song “Amar pelos dois” (Love for both of us). Will it be love at first listen? Or send us fleeing from Portugal? Read on to find out!
Salvador Sobral – “Amar pelos dois”
About Salvador Sobral
Salvador Sobral was born in Lisbon 27 years ago, but also resided in the United States and Spain as a child. In 2009, he competed on season three of Ídolos, Portugal’s version of Pop Idol. He placed seventh in the competition. His sister, Luísa Sobral, is also a singer who previously placed third on season one of Ídolos. Salvador won Portugal’s Eurovision selection Festival da Canção 2017 with the song “Amar pelos dois” (Love for both of us), which was written by his sister.
Owing to ongoing health issues, Salvador won’t attend the first two rehearsals in Kyiv, dispatching his sister Luisa to stand in for him instead. “He has his health team that is here in Portugal, so he cannot leave for that long,” she told wiwibloggs in April. “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.”
“Amar pelos dois” reviews
William: Dreamy from the very first note, “Amar pelos dois” takes nostalgia and longing and turns it into something that’s painful but beautiful. Vocally Salvador is assertive yet soft, competent but never flashy. His quirky delivery adds to the tenderness and charm. He proves, perhaps better than anyone this year, that you don’t have to sing loudly to be heard, nor do you have to shriek to stir drama. A sheer joy.
Josh: An absolute pleasure for the ears. Many fans have labelled this year’s contest as Balladvision 2017, and whilst “Amar pelos dois” is obviously a ballad, the timeless quality and unique presentation set this song apart from all the other entries this year. Listening to the song, I’m taken back to my childhood watching old-school Disney films. Viewers will feel some sense of nostalgia in this song. A surprisingly brilliant effort.
Chris: Eurovision songs of the 50s and 60s often have a charming, dreamy quality about them. That’s great for the 50s and 60s — not 2017. Salvador’s performance is uncomfortable and confusing to watch: his illness doesn’t explain those head throws. There will be people who love this (and there obviously are), but I feel that the Eurovision bubble may be protecting it somewhat. Anywhere else, this would bomb.
Bogdan: “Amar pelos dois” is a perfect, pure, timeless love song that contrasts heavily with Salvador Sobral’s awkward, hipster-chic, disheveled look. This is his forte, along with his equally perfect, pure and timeless voice. Unlike other acts, the singer is striking in his modesty and is letting the song take centre stage. Instead of flashy outfits, pyrotechnics or vocal gymnastics, Portugal is sending something not for our eyes or ears, but for our hearts.
Deban: Fusing vintage chanson and cabaret, Salvador Sobral takes listeners on a musical journey. Underscoring the strength of his expressive performance is a delicate touch. Crafted in the style of when Eurovision was a high-end black-tie event, there is fragility and a nostalgic quality to “Amar Pelos Dois”. However, this throwback isn’t a throwaway number. I liked it at Festival da Canção, and I love it more now.
Robyn: This is just gorgeous. “Amar pelos dois” sounds like it could have easily been entered in Eurovision 60 years ago, but yet Salvador brings his own jazzy hipster style to it. It’s so sweet and romantic and unlike anything else we’re going to see at Eurovision this year. In a song competition that loves big, bold performances, it’s just nice to find an entry with a stripped-back simplicity and a big heart.
Bernardo: This might be a biased opinion but here it goes — Portugal is my winner of Eurovision 2017. Salvador Sobral brings to Eurovision what the competition has needed for many years now. Among fireworks, LED displays, big shouty divas and technology, “Amar Pelos Dois” is a timeless piece of jazz/pop art that reminds us of the genesis of the contest. Yes, the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s 1956 and it’s 2017. His performance transcends borders, transcends language and touches hearts.
Edd: One thing I can’t stand is when people call something “a masterpiece” purely because it’s a classical ballad. However, this really is verging on masterpiece. Salvador’s vocals are smoother than extra creamy Philadelphia, and his look and pronunciation are so hipster that he convinces me that old-fashioned ballads are cool. In fact, this sweet, airy production stands out so much from the pack that I would put money on it to win the whole thing.
In our Wiwi Jury, we have 36 jurors but only room for eight reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:
Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 0 and a high of 10.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 6.56/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!