They sat out of the competition for the last ten years. But after Salvador Sobral’s victory in Kyiv, Portugal’s broadcaster RTP decided it was time to bring the Portuguese children back to Junior Eurovision in 2017.
After a very competitive national final — Júniores de Portugal — 11-year old Mariana Venâncio won the right to represent the Iberian nation in Georgia with the uptempo track “Youtuber”.
The charismatic young talent oozed power, sass and control, giving the song — which producers made all of the children sing — major lift. She’s a kid, but she seems to have bossa nova in her veins. Give her a track and she’ll clearly deliver it with poise and attitude. Obrigado, babe!
All the juniors had the chance to sing the Junior Eurovision entry and impress judges and televoters. The winner came from a combination of both results.
Carlos Mendes (Eurovision 1968 and 1972), Inês Santos (Eurovision 1998) and Pedro Gonçalves (Festival da Canção 2017) decided 50% of the result.
Filipa Ferreira won the jury vote with Mariana Venâncio coming second. The televote gave its top mark to Mariana and second place to Filipa. Since both ladies had 9 points the televote broke the tie. Power to the people!
Júniores de Portugal was Mariana’s first musical competition. The Voice judge Aurea is her favourite singer and she loves to sing barefoot. Channeling some Loreen realness!
After singing “Youtuber”, Mariana gave a moving performance of Amor Electro’s “A Máquina”, showing off her vocal range and control.
Duarte Valença, Margarida Lima, and Matilde Leite were the three other kids that sang their hearts out in the hopes of getting to hold the coveted ticket to sing in Georgia, in November.
The tune, which may remind you of elevator music from the 1980s, is built around themes of love, social media and the pursuit of fame.
Chasing the limelight isn’t an end in itself — it’s an attempt to snag the singer’s crush.
“YouTuber, YouTuber, I wanna be a YouTuber. I wanna see everything and share everything with never-ending shares. I wanna be viral, cuz in the end I just want him to look at me.” We’ve all been there!
The overt reference to YouTube may still pose a problem for Portugal. As you’ll recall, San Marino’s Valentina Monetta had to remove the word “Facebook” from her Eurovision 2012 entry “Facebook, Uh, Oh, Oh” because of its reference to the technology company.
Portugal was second to last with Pedro Madeira in 2006 and Jorge Leiria in 2007. Will Mariana be able to change this trend?
What do you think of Mariana Venâncio and “Youtuber”? Does Portugal have a chance at winning Junior Eurovision this year? Tell us in the comments section below!