Wiwi Jury: Cláudia Pascoal is our favourite to win Festival da Canção 2018 with “O Jardim”


On Sunday, Portugal will select their entry for Eurovision 2018 and the country is on hold to see who will succeed to Salvador Sobral’s magical performance.

There’s only one thing missing: the Wiwi Jury. Our in-house panel of music unprofessionals dived into Portuguese traditional music and came up with their favourites.

Given time constraints we weren’t able to evaluate all 14 songs in the usual Wiwi Jury way. Instead, 11 members of team wiwibloggs listed their top-five candidates along with a review of their favourite. Let’s find out who we want in Eurovision!


1. Cláudia Pascoal – “O Jardim”

Strangely enough, the FdC performance of “O Jadim” sounds like a stripped-down acoustic performance of a much bigger, fuller production. The strength of the song means that it could stand up to either treatment, but a Eurovision performance could handle a bigger, bolder production. Cláudia has an ethereal sound and look and brings clear emotion to the performance. Portugal doesn’t need a Salavdor sequel to win FdC. “O Jardim” goes in the right direction.

2. Lili – “O voo das cegonhas”
3. David Pessoa – “Amor veloz”
4. Joana Barra Vaz – “Anda estragar-me os planos”
5. Susana Travassos – “Messageira”


1. Cláudia Pascoal – “O Jardim”

In terms of production, “O Jardim” is an interesting piece that combines a ballad construction with modern beats. Add to that meaningful lyrics and a distinct and unique voice like Cláudia and you have a diamond ready to be polished. In fact, Cláudia brings a lot to the song. Her presence is engaging and her body beautifully connects with the song, especially important when you’re singing in Portuguese and few know what you’re trying to say. If it wins, Portugal will continue its new trend of sending quality entries and should be proud in Eurovision, no matter the result.

2. Janeiro – “(sem título)”
3. Peu Madureira – “Só por Ela”
4. Lili – “O Voo das Cegonhas”
5. Peter Serrado – “Sunset”


1. Cláudia Pascoal – “O Jardim”

Simplicity at its finest sung in such beautiful way. Claudia Pascoal’s “O Jardim” is not a song but a journey of emotions and placid tempos that conducts you to a more peaceful state of mind. The way Claudia and Isaura both perform and the emotion they put into it make this song already a worthy experience to feel. Both voices merge amazingly while dripping with sensitivity. And despite Eurovision already have some other ballads, this one does sound timeless and overall mesmerizing.

2. Janeiro – “(sem titulo)”
3. Catarina Miranda – “Para Sorrir Eu Não Preciso de Nada”
4. Lili – “O Voo das Cegonhas”
5. Peu Madureira – “Só Por Ela”


1. Janeiro – “(sem titulo)”

This is the only song from Portugal’s selection that utterly seduced me at first listen. It feels like Janeiro is baring his soul in this beautiful, untitled poem set on guitar chords. I can see him in a deserted park at night singing to the stars above. (The sound of the ambulance siren in the distance is a very nice touch.) It is so intimate yet so powerful at the same time. And the lyrics, my God — you have to check them out. If Portugal sends Janeiro to Eurovision, I will be as ecstatic as I was last year.

2. Cláudia Pascoal – “O Jardim”
3. Peu Madureira – “Só per ela”
4. Lili – “O voo das cegonhas”
5. Anabela – “Para te dar abrigo”


1. Cláudia Pascoal – “O Jardim”

“O Jardim” is a delicate pleasure that’s hard to see on a big stage. Portugal has the option of presenting such a quality song in the final of Eurovision, and they should not waste it. Cláudia’s voice is familiar, yet distinctive enough to make an impression: she has peaks like those of the big pop divas, but then also masters the whispers of an acoustic performance. The performance would need some polish, especially with some closer camera shots, but this is good to go already.

2. Janeiro – “(sem titulo)”
3. Lili – “O voo das cegonhas”
4. Maria Inés París – “Bandeira azul”
5. Catarina Miranda – “Para sorrir eu não preciso de nada”


1. Catarina Miranda – “Para sorrir eu não preciso de nada”

This is a sweet song with an even sweeter message, but the real star is Catarina. Her quirky look, smooth voice and deeply endearing performance style warms your heart. The song does need some added instrumentation to give it a bit more personality (some violins and xylophone would do wonders), but the potential is there — and whilst this may not stand out in a selection of almost exclusively non-contemporary ballads, it would do at Eurovision come May.

2. Peu Madureira – “Só por ela”
3. Anabela – “Para te dar abrigo”
4. Peter Serrado – “Sunset”
5. Joana Barra Vaz – “Anda estragar-me os planos”


1. Cláudia Pascoal – “O Jardim”

I was quite glad I had a large pile of ironing to do while listening to the 14 finalists, as it gave my mind something else to focus on and stopped me drifting off during many of the performances. However, there was one song that made me put down the iron and watch it all the way though. While “O Jardim” has the ‘non-fast food music’ feel that Portugal seem to want in their entry, it also still feels relatively contemporary unlike many of the other entries. Additionally, although there are a number of ballads in the selection Cláudia is the only one to fully put her emotions into the song, which you can feel even within the first few notes. This would give Portugal the opportunity to show Europe that they can honour their Eurovision winner, but still not be stuck in a cycle of recycling the same thing every year.

2. Peter Serrado – “Sunset”
3. Lili – “O voo das cegonhas”
4. Joana Barra Vaz – “Anda estragar-me os planos”
5. Catarina Miranda – “Para sorrir eu não preciso de nada”


1. Lili – “O Voo das Cegonhas” 

Those heavy bass beats at the start showed me we had something a bit special and different here. After winning with a very traditional Latin song, what Portugal really needs is to send something crazy and modern this year. Everything is so unoriginal and interesting here; the bouncy drum beat, the electronic sounds, and Lili’s voice is so different and transcendental… it just has me enraptured. I really don’t think that Portugal we able to do two wins in a row, but as a host country, it would be awesome if they sent something as off-kilter as this.

2. Cláudia Pascoal – “O Jardim”
3. Joana Barra Vaz – “Anda Estragar-me os Planos”
4. Catarina Miranda – “Para Sorrir Eu Não Preciso de Nada”
5. Peu Madureira – “Só por Ela”


1. Cláudia Pascoal – “O Jardim”

What was clearly a two-horse race with the now-ousted Diogo Picarra has now become a much easier feat for Claudia Pascoal. Claudia delivers a somewhat haunting piece, with a beat, rhythm and atmosphere that grows little by little across three minutes. Even though it lacks the typical crescendo, its absence seems fitting and oddly appropriate to the tone of the song. Ethereal and enticing, Claudia’s garden seems like the place to be.

2. Peu Madureira – “Só por Ela”
3. Peter Serrado – “Sunset”
4. Catarina Miranda – “Para sorrir eu não preciso de nada”
5. Lili – “O voo das cegonhas”


1. Lili – “O voo das cegonhas”

Lili and Cláudia Pascoal stand out as the two best choices for Portugal in 2018 and both have good songs. Lili edges out Cláudia because her song sounds the most current of the bunch and would not sound entirely out of place on the radio either. In a national final with many songs hoping to replicate last year’s success, Lili doesn’t follow the same script. “O voo das cegonhas” would be a refreshing change of pace for Portugal.

2. Cláudia Pascoal – “O Jardim”
3. David Pessoa – “Amor veloz”
4. Anabela – “Para te dar abrigo”
5. Joana Espadinha – “Zero a zero”


1. Peter Serrado – “Sunset”

The effect of Salvador’s win is very visible at this year’s Festival da Canção, as everyone tries to play the same cards, so Peter definitely stands out of the competition with his mid-tempo country song, which resembles Douwe Bob by its arrangement. It’s a cheerful song, and you can definitely feel that something is happening here. As a conclusion, Festival da Canção is an artistic time-machine this year, which has just enough songs that prevent it from turning into a snoozefest.

2. Peu Madureira – “Só por ela”
3. Catarina Miranda – “Para sorrir eu não preciso de nada”
4. Minnie & Rhayra – “Patati Patata”
5. Cláudia Pascoal – “O Jardim”

What are your favourite Festival da Canção 2018 songs? Who do you think should represent Portugal at Eurovision? Share your thoughts below!