All Aboard: Diogo Picarra, Cláudia Pascoal and Anabela among Festival da Canção 2018 singers

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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!

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