Diogo Picarra Anabela Cláudia Pascoal

Lisbon might be getting ready for Eurovision’s semi-final allocation draw later this month, but RTP is wasting no time on preparations for Festival da Canção 2018.

After allocating the composers in two semi-finals back in October, all eyes were on Beato’s Creative Hub to discover which 26 artists that will compete to represent Portugal in home soil.

Guess what: They didn’t disappoint. The Portuguese selection will celebrate diversity with names like Pop Idol winner Diogo Picarra, Eurovision 1993 singer Anabela, and The Voice Portugal singer Cláudia Pascoal.

Portugual’s commentator and Festival da Canção creative producer Nuno Galopim put it simply: “We have more songs and we have more diversity.”

After rebooting the Festival da Canção concept last year — which translated into the first ever Eurovision victory for the Iberian nation — RTP is keeping the same show structure while adding ten more songs than last year.

Each semi-final will have 13 songs and seven of them will advance to the grand final on 4 March. The voting system follows last year’s pattern: 50% televote and 50% jury in the semis, and 50% televote and 50% regional jury in the grand final.

While the two semi-finals were drawn back in October, the running order itself will be determined by the show’s producers. This Eurovision-style move is new for 2018.

Júlio Isidro — a well-known Portuguese television presenter and entertainer — will be back as the head of the jury, which consists of Ana Bacalhau, Ana Markl, Antonio Avelar Pinho, Carlão, Mario Lopes, Sara Tavares, Tozé Brito — and Eurovision-winning songwriter Luisa Sobral.

While the competition is open to songs in languages other than Portuguese, only two songs are in English. Perhaps inspired by Salvador Sobral’s in, Portugal’s national language is proving popular.

SEMIFINAL 1 – FEBRUARY 19

  • Joana Espadinha – “Zero a Zero” (Benjamim)
  • Peu Madureira – “Só Por Ela” (Diogo Clemente)
  • Anabela “Para Te Dar Abrigo” (Fernando Tordo)
  • Janeiro – “(sem título)” (Janeiro)
  • Rui David – “Sem Medo” (Jorge Palma)
  • José Cid & Gonçalo Tavares – “O Som da Guitarra É a Alma de Um Povo” (José Cid)
  • JP Simões – “Alvoroço” (JP Simões)
  • Catarina Miranda – “Para Sorrir Eu Não Preciso de Nada” (Júlio Resende)
  • Beatriz Pessoa – “Eu Te Amo” (Mallu Magalhães)
  • Joana Barra Vaz – “Anda Estragar-me os Planos” (Francisca Cortesão)
  • Bruno Vasconcelos – “Austrália” (Nuno Rafael)
  • Maria Amaral – “A Mesma Canção”(Paulo Praça)
  • Rita Dias – “Com Gosto Amigo” (Rita Dias)

SEMI-FINAL 2 – FEBRUARY 25

  • Susana Travassos – “Mensageira” (Aline Frazão)
  • Lili – “O Voo das Cegonhas” (Armando Teixeira)
  • Sequin – “All Over Again” (Bruno Cardoso)
  • Tamin – “Sobre Nós” (Capicua)
  • Daniela Onís – “Pra Lá Do Rio” (Daniela Onís)
  • Diogo Piçarra – “Canção do Fim” (Diogo Piçarra)
  • David Pessoa – “Amor Veloz” (Francisco Rebelo)
  • Cláudia Pascoal – “O Jardim” (Isaura)
  • Rita Ruivo – “Anda Daí” (João Afonso)
  • Dora Fidalgo – “Arco-Íris (Assim cantou Zaratustra)” (Miguel Angelo)
  • Minnie & Rhayra – “Patati Patata” (Paulo Flores)
  • Peter Serrado – “Sunset” (Peter Serrado)
  • Maria Inês Paris – “Bandeira Azul”(Tito Paris)

Who excites you the most and who do you think has the strongest chance to win? Are you excited for Portugal’s national final? Let us know in the comments box below!

READ MORE PORTUGAL EUROVISION NEWS

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Elsa
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Elsa

I’m excited about a few names here. Cláudia Pascoal will certainly be great. Emmy Curl (Catarina Miranda) also gives me high hopes, especially because the song is composed by Júlio Resende, and I’m curious about Beatriz Pessoa / Mallu Magalhães.
It will be a tight competition.

EscAU
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EscAU

hopefully their ‘diversity’ is including more 21st century songs opposed to last year’s fdc 😛

L'oiseau
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L'oiseau

🙂 Last year’s fdc produced a winner, though… ? But yes, I think it will have more contemporary songs, but I would say in a more “alternative” vein, so for some it will be a “boring” pre-selection, which does not necessarily mean it is not from the 21st century ;-). Also the jury is more diverse, which will help (I hope) to take the more modern songs to the final.

Jonas
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Jonas

EscAU – As a portuguese eurofan, you can imagine how i feel every year. THERE’S A HUGE prejudice against pop or eletronic music amongst many portuguese that watch Eurovision, specially after Salvador won, they became more annoying. It’s pointless to talk with them about it too, that’s why i prefer foreigners. RTP says they support diversity but they only invited like, 1 pop singer? lol and they only did that because he’s super famous here. i bet the artists who sent POPPY music got rejected by rtp. In other countries it’s mostly old people who act like that but here… Read more »

Tiago S
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Tiago S

What you say is totally true, Jonas. I’m one of those Portuguese who couldn’t stand Festival da Canção before, and love it now since they’re kicking out all the pop artists. I’m very happy that Salvador won and the path RTP is following 😉

joki
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joki

diogo is hot…

Jo
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Jo

Ok. I just can’t believe there’s a song called Patati Patata. LOOOOL

Milla
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Milla

I don’t have high hopes to be honest. I think last year was an on-off occasion. But you never know..

Matt
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Matt

Other than Sweden, you could say that (it looks like a one-off) about every country that won for nearly a decade. (The only winning country since 2009 to even come close to winning again was Sweden.) In other words, I agree that Portugal is most likely a one-off, but that doesn’t mean that they’re going to be any different than all of those other winners. (Personally, my gut feeling is that Portugal will finish around 15th this year.)

kitty
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kitty

Gut feelings are worthless.

Jo
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Jo

The lineup looks lit tho.

Jonas
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Jonas

I love when returning artists from long ago return, so I’m most excited about Anabela. Her 1993 entry was great, so it’s great to see her back 25 years later. See also Sara Tavares – if only she was singing, and not on the jury!

1993-4 saw two of Portugal’s best entries back-to-back. Now all we need is Lucia Moniz to perform during the show.

Miguel
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Miguel

Sequin!!! Wow! How cool is that!
I am also curious about Emmy Curl and Janeiro.
I was excited about Isaura, i am not anymore. Claudia is too much dramatic at singing.

DragKvinna
Guest

Sizzling artists especially Anabela até ser dia

azaad
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azaad

This lineup seems promising. Perhaps Portugal will be like Austria and not Finland- turning its out of character victory into a new phase of Eurovision strength rather than treating it like a blip on the radar.

desfolhada
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desfolhada

Stop saying that Piçarra will win or for win! There are 25 songs/artists. Isaura will slay with Claudia Pascoal, Claudia Pascoal is so lovely you should meet her! Also Emmy Curl will slay and probably many surprises will come!

isabel
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isabel

Yes, Emmy Curl (with Júlio Resende’s song) is the most promising to me.
I don’t care about Piçarra either (teenagers are going to vote for him, though).

Jake
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Jake

Interesting lack of former entrants and voice/xfactor contestants we’ve seen in other national finals

Lola
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Lola

probably because it’s the composers/writers who chose the singers and not the TV channel ^^

oli
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oli

Diogo <3 Portugal new Eurovision powerhouse after Salvador's victory? <3

Tom
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Tom

Wow, Sequin! Sequin! Sequin! Is Portugal ready to choose an alternative electro pop song to win the contest? It’s a good name to watch out for!

Other interesting choice is Janeiro, a perfect balance between artistry and contemporary pop.

Jonh Malt
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Jonh Malt

SEQUIN! OMG OMG OMG ???

LOA
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LOA

Diogo Piçarra will give Portugal its best result after Salvador.

Jo
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Jo

Portugal will deliver another great song.
And why Diogo has to win? We haven’t heard the songs yet. May the best one win.

L'oiseau
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L'oiseau

This looks really promising! I would just skip José Cid’s choice… and would love if Mallu Magalhaes would sing her own song. Really happy that JP Simoes and Diogo Picarra will sing their own song. Also looking very much forward to Capicua’s choice Tamin, a great soul singer, and Cláudia Pascoal. Can’t wait for the FdC!

L'oiseau
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L'oiseau

Looking also very much forward to Sequin and what Xinobi has produced. Might be a new Blanche in the making.

desfolhada
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desfolhada

also Isaura is like Blanche, but Isaura feat Cláudia will be something Soley or Aurora, idk Cláudia has a delicate voice. I can’t wait to see a portuguese song by Isaura!

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

Yes me too! It’s true that Cláudia has a more delicate voice, though

Geo
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Geo

Diogo Picarra for the win, I love both his look, his singing and his musical style…

Chris
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Chris

Love Diogo Piçarra!! Also very happy about Anabela’s return. Her song in 1993 is so special. Very curious about Peter Serrado