It’s been a life-changing year for Salvador Sobral — and not merely because he won the Eurovision Song Contest in May. Earlier this month the “Amar pelos dois” singer underwent a successful heart transplant, which came after several months spent waiting for a compatible heart. Today the celebrations continue as Salvador turns 28 years old. Parabéns, Salvador!
To celebrate his Eurovision victory, RTP — the Portuguese broadcaster — aired a two-part documentary called “Sem Fazer Planos do Que Virá Depois” (Without Making Plans of What Comes After). It aired on December 26 and 27 and proved to be a heart-warming retrospective that coincided nicely with the holiday season.
The documentary follows the journey of the Lisbon-born jazz star, his sister Luísa and the Portuguese delegation, beginning with the first days of the national final — Festival da Canção — and culminating with his win at Eurovision.
Directed by Portuguese Eurovision commentator and journalist Nuno Galopim and Miguel Pimenta, the first episode takes us back in time to some of the country’s old classics before delving deeper into preparations for Festival da Canção 2017. The national final came after a one-year hiatus, during which RTP paused, rethought its approach and rebranded the show to take it to new heights.
While sharing some exclusive backstage material from the show, Luísa Sobral explains how she wrote “Amar Pelos Dois” and when she decided Salvador was going to be the one singing it.
For the second episode we fly to Kyiv, where Eurovision insiders share their experiences and give insight into Salvador’s days on-the-ground. Featuring wiwiblogger Bernardo Tavares Pereira, attention turns to Luisa’s first rehearsals on the Eurovision stage, Salvador’s arrival on the red carpet and the events that led to the Portuguese victory in Ukraine.
“[The delegation] released him to the ‘circus’,” Bernardo explains. “When he arrived on the red carpet, you could see he was completely out of his comfort zone.”
“So the Portuguese delegation decided to close itself in a bubble to protect Salvador. With all the interest from the international press, they ended up coming to us [the other Portuguese in the press room] to get information on him. It was information we didn’t have.”
One of the most touching and emotive moments came when Salvador spoke about the victory speech that made waves around Europe — with some applauding his candor and others labelling it “beneath a winner”.
“There were like 40 meters to get to the stage,” he said laughing, “and I’m thinking: What am I going to say? I knew there was a speech.”
“If I had a speech prepared it could have been more serious. It could have had more meaning, I could have been a bit more coherent. But it was a strong, emotional moment. You want to say everything. I don’t know. It came out like that. Truly, it came out of the depth of my soul, because of everything I was feeling that week.”
You can watch both episodes of “Sem Fazer Planos do Que Virá Depois” on RTP Play in Portuguese. An international version is in the works and will be ready in the new year.
What did you think of Salvador’s documentary? Do you think his win represents a significant moment in Portuguese music history? Tell us in the comments section below!