Portuguese broadcaster RTP isn’t just hosting Eurovision 2018 — they also have a national final to run. RTP has taken another step in finding their successor to Salvador Sobral, with the allocation draw for the Festival da Canção semi-finals.
The random draw was made on Wednesday at RTP, hosted by RTP’s programme director Gonçalo Madaíl and Portuguese broadcasting legend Júlio Isidro.
As Madaíl looked on, Isidro drew the names of composers out of a glass bowl. This determined which of the two semi-finals the composers’ entries will perform in.
Like Eurovision, the allocation draw only decides which of the two semi-finals the acts will perform in. The show producers will later determine the precise running order of each semi-final.
Festival da Canção 2018 – semi-final allocations
Semi-final 1 – 18 February 2018
- Diogo Clemente
- Fernando Tordo
- Jorge Palma
- José Cid
- JP Simões
- Júlio Resende
- Mallu Magalhães
- Francisca Cortesão
- Nuno Rafael
- Paulo Praça
- Rita Dias
Semi-final 2 – 25 February 2018
- Aline Frazão
- Armando Teixeira
- Bruno Cardoso
- Daniela Onís
- Diogo Piçarra
- Francisco Rebelo
- João Afonso
- Miguel Ângelo
- Paulo Flores
- Peter Serrado
- Tito Paris
At this stage, the only confirmed element of the Festival da Canção 2018 acts is the song composers. They were named last month and feature a mix of established names and new faces.
Pop icon and heartthrob Diogo Piçarra and rapper Capicua are two of the big names in the list of composers, joined by Eurovision 1980 and Portuguese music royalty José Cid and Eurovision 1973 and 1977 act Fernando Tordo.
Jorge Palma is also a big name in the pack with a career that started way back in 1975. Isaura brings a contemporary approach to this year’s contest and Júlio Resende — Salvador Sobral’s bandmate in the Alexander Search project — will channel class.
The composers will create songs for FdC 2018 and match them with appropriate Portuguese performers.
This time around, each semi-final will have 13 songs and seven of them will advance to the grand final on 4 March. The voting system is yet to be revealed but it should follow last year’s pattern: 50% televote and 50% jury in the semis, and 50% televote and 50% regional jury in the grand final.
What do you think? Who would you like to see performing at Festival da Canção 2018? What sort of act should represent Portugal on home turf in May?