For years Portuguese Eurofans have noted how frosty Sweden is toward Portugal at Eurovision. Between 1975 and 2015, Sweden awarded Portugal only 51 points across every Eurovision event (semi-finals and grand final). Over the same period, the Portuguese gave Sweden 165 points.

Swedish voters obviously don’t enjoy Portugal’s Eurovision entries. Reviews from SVT’s commentators on its annual Eurovision pre-show help us understand why. The Swedish commentators frequently say the Portuguese entries are old-fashioned and boring, and that Portugal has not adjusted to the new era of Eurovision. It may sting, but it’s a much-needed reminder to RTP that it does not spend enough time planning for Eurovision and that it’s current selection method — Festival da Canção — is woefully past its prime.

And what about Portugal’s attitude toward Sweden?

The Iberian nation has been a part of Eurovision since 1964, participating a total of 48 times. Its best result thus far was sixth place at Eurovision 1996. It’s interesting to note that in the past 52 years, Portugal has withdrawn from the contest four times — and two of them were contests held in Sweden. In 2000, Portugal declined SVT’s invitation to take part in Stockholm because of Portugal’s string of poor results. Then in 2013, with the contest held in Malmö, Portugal declined SVT’s invitation again due to “financial issues”. Yet in 2001 and 2014 — just one year after it pulled-out — Portugal returned. Goodbye Sweden, hello Eurovision!

And what of 2015? Portugal is yet to accept SVT’s invitation for this year’s contest in Stockholm, though it has called on the public to offer suggestions on how to improve Festival da Canção, and rumours are swirling that Ronaldo’s sister may be internally selected.

So what do you think? Does Portugal bear some sort of grudge against Sweden for always throwing shade on its songs? Are they the best of frenemies? Let us know in the comments box below!

Follow all of our Portugal Eurovision news here

34 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
mama mia
mama mia
5 years ago

Is it me or.. swedish song 2016 is a message to Portugal? They haven’t made enough, it’s what the song is about… And the singer’s name, Frans? like Fr+ans = Friends + Enemies ?? frenemies?

André Rodrigues
André Rodrigues
5 years ago

I am Portuguese and I don’t like Sweden as a country; however, we just need to respect each other. And that’s the point: RESPECT: Sweden did not respect Portugal with rude and mean remarks. Even if I might like some Swedish songs I would never vote for them. I am pleased with the fact that Portugal has withdrawn ESC in the years Sweden hosts the event as I find Sweden a country which has been manipulating a lot the game of Eurovision which drives them crazy further to the lack of respect to Portugal. Here people don’t really care about… Read more »

Glam
Glam
5 years ago

Portugal was bullied by SVT in 2008:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=597IZmmjf2k

Bruno
Bruno
5 years ago

Aposto que a SVT tentou ensinar á RTP como ter um bom formato de seleção, serem mais produtivos, deixando de produzir musicas antigas e dar á Europa aquilo que ela quer ouvir e assim ter mais chances de ganhar o Eurovisão. A RTP, deve ter ficado ofendida, e casmurra, continuando igual a si própria, continua com o seu esquema soviético, ineficiente, fuleiro, etc…

Ricardo
Ricardo
5 years ago

I am Portuguese, I would say that Eurovision is not something that drives us crazy as it does with the Scandinavians! We actually think that contest is a bit stupid and cheap, and down deep there, we think that nordic countries (specially Sweden!) like such things because they have no strong culture like we do in south of Europe. We have the idea they spend all their year round thinking about eurovision starts again. They put all their efforts and enthusiasm on it, something that south countries (specially Portugal) don’t give a dam sh*t, (also Italy, they were years in… Read more »

Oostenrijk
Oostenrijk
6 years ago

Televoting Top 10 2015 of Austria (jury in brackets) 1st Italy (6th) 2nd Serbia (20th) 3rd Australia (1st) 4th Russia (3rd) 5th Albania (26th/last) 6th Sweden (2nd) 7th Romania (23rd) 8th Belgium (8th) 9th Israel (13th) 10th Estonia (4th) of Sweden: 24th Austria (12th) Televoting Top 10 of 2014 of Austria: 1st The Netherlands (7th with juries) 2nd Armenia (3rd) 3rd Poland (24th) 4th Romania (5th) 5th Germany (16th) 6th Switzerland (13th) 7th Hungary (4th) 8th Iceland (12th) 9th Norway (11th) 10th Sweden (1st with juries!) And Sweden to Austria: 1st in televoting, 1st in jury (I suppose Euphoria got… Read more »

Oostenrijk
Oostenrijk
6 years ago

Austria Sweden point exchange: Interestingly, except for 1999, Austria finishes last when Sweden wins :O Jury voting: 1977: AUT 17th, SWE 18th of 18: 0 vs 0 1978: AUT 15th, SWE 14th of 20: 5 vs 0 1979: AUT 18th, SWE 17th of 19: 0 vs 0 1980: AUT 8th, SWE 10th of 19: 1 vs 0 1981: AUT 17th, SWE 10th of 20: 2 vs 0 1982: AUT 9th, SWE 8th of 18: 0 vs 8 1983: AUT 9th, SWE 3rd of 20: 4 vs 8 1984: AUT 19th, SWE 1st of 19: 0 vs 12 1985: AUT 8th,… Read more »

Oostenrijk
Oostenrijk
6 years ago

To be fair not all of Europe is crazy for Sweden. In close years 1984 and 1991, when Sweden won with terrible songs, it was only their neighbours Denmark and Norway who made them edge to victory. Otherwise they wouldnt have won. In 1999 it was also the Scandobaltic block who pushed Sweden and Iceland to the top and Balkan countries pushed Sweden to victory, because they dont like Iceland (many Yugos emigrated to Sweden in the 90s). In 2012 and 2015 it was all fixed by the juries. In 2012 the televoters nailed it with a slight edge over… Read more »

Oostenrijk
Oostenrijk
6 years ago

I think I am one of few who genuinely love Portugal. Actually I love Mediterranean music and culture more than Scandinavian. Portuguese language is like music to my ears and every year Portugal comes up with a genuinely original track, unlike Scandinavian countries who have a recipe formular back a lack of originality.

Há um mar que nos separa, Quero ser tua, Deixa-me sonhar are for me pure gold, and I will always treasure them!

blondboybc
blondboybc
6 years ago

WTH does “frenemies” really mean? Some kind of doublespeak?

Zach
Zach
6 years ago

I think Portugal should try to send something more latin american based Brazil has some great songs, so it would be great to bring some of those nice sounds to a Portuguese entry also I think they should stick to singing in European Portuguese which sounds better to me. I wouldn’t mind Spain or Portugal sending a song in Galician. I would like to see one of the Carreira boys at Eurovision.

Ajit
Ajit
6 years ago

Also notable is that Sweden withdrew (for the first of only 3 times in Eurovision history) the same year Portugal debuted, in 1964.

(The other 2 times were in 1970 where both boycotted the contest and 1976 when they didn’t want to host again so soon).

Huh
Huh
6 years ago

lol If Portugal invites Michel Telo to perform, it will be like Azerbaijan who had Arash (and Aysel) back in 2009. Might be an instant qualifier, too.

Jake
Jake
6 years ago

Michel Telo is not Portuguese!!!!!

Mario esc-fan
Mario esc-fan
6 years ago

Portugal through internal selection should choose Michel Telo to represent the country in EuroVision <3 He could score the first top5 place for Portugal in the Vision!
His song *Ai Se Eu Te Pego* was huge worldwide hit back in 2012..
Its one of the most popular videos ever of all times in youtube & has over 650 millions views!

Denis
Denis
6 years ago

To be fair, Sweden isn’t the only country to give Portugal low score. Apart from Spain almost no country gives them high score, if they even give them. So why make this speculating article? The problems are many: singing only in Portuguese, sending songs with the same sound every year, lack of enthusiasm from everyone involved, sending outdated songs with 80’s-90’s sound, lack of exposure, HoD. Singing in English, at least once, to broaden their audience and give the song some exposure. Even Israel abandoned only national language entries and it worked. it could work for Portugal too. English, update… Read more »

Miguel
Miguel
6 years ago

Portugal this year will participate in Eurovision and with a bombastic music !!!
They believe it is the reality, and those who do not believe will see in a few months!

Jake
Jake
6 years ago

I do think that in the SVT pre-contest shows where their celebrity panels judge other entries that the Swedish panels go beyond constructive and often ridicule and are “mean girls” about the Portuguese entries. Even songs that have been widely praised like Senhora do Mar were mocked by SVT in these shows. It is funny and ironic (or is it ironic?) that the last two times Portugal pulled out from the contest has been when Sweden hosted the contest. And Portugal has yet to confirm their participation this year. Maybe RTP really hates Christer. Also, whoever mentioned Portugal should leave… Read more »

Huh
Huh
6 years ago

If this kind of assumption is accurately true, then it would be very ironic if Portugal wins next year.

Mafalda
Mafalda
6 years ago

I’m portuguese and in my opinion most of the things that you said are right. 1. No one cares about eurovision arround here … until the 80s maybe 90s it was a great deal … but now a lot of people ask why are we still on the show 2. Because of that the nacional television dont put a lot of money in to the organization of the nacional contest and most of the songs that are chosen dont reflects portuguese taste and a lot of people hate them 3. So yes I agree that we can look as out… Read more »

Firehunter
Firehunter
6 years ago

Melodifestivalen need to reduce the number of participants. It must be more serious game. Too many obvious craps are placed in this contest. One semi-final must be abolished. 21 entries in 3 semi-finals are optimal number. Two participants from each semi-final go directly to the final, another two from each semi-finals go directly to second chance. The rest is negotiable.

Mario esc-fan
Mario esc-fan
6 years ago

(If you allow me please to post this stats info…I hope that this comment will not get removed..) Here analytically on how many occasions Sweden voted 4 Portugal in our Vision since the introduction of the SemiFinals.. 2004 ~ 0 points on SF 2005 ~ 0 points on the SF 2006 ~ 0 points on the SF 2007 ~ 0 points on the SF 2008 ~ 5 points in the SF / 0 points on the Final 2009 ~ 3 points on the SF / 0 points on the Final 2010 ~ Sweden was in another SF / 0 points… Read more »

Ariso Light
Ariso Light
6 years ago

I think that Portugal sent good songs in 2014 and 2015 especially in 2014 but they failed to qualify and the 2015 song sounded better in English. I think it is a good thing they are sending songs from their culture!

Antranig Shokayan
Editor
6 years ago

Leonor Andrade + a proper rock song please. That might get them to like the Top 25 at least…

oooops
oooops
6 years ago

I am from Sweden and Quero ser tua was in my top 5 and I voted for it

Bart
Bart
6 years ago

Actually, there was one good song in the national selection of Portugal in 2014; Catalina – Mea Culpa. That one was half English, half Portugese, uptempo, i kinda liked it and i think it would have been in the top. But we need also an artist that is professional. Make the good choice this year, Portugal and send quality songs!

Hebbuzz
Hebbuzz
6 years ago

Well I guess the results from Sweden are at least 3 times better than the Portuguese, so no wonder they received more points than they gave from/to Portugal. I think this is just a stupid wannabe sensational article only proofing the traumatised writer knows noting about statistics and only bases his theory on loose facts that might support his silly view rather than checking the other countries, reasons etc. Dumb dumb dumb.

paco
6 years ago

Si claro, luego llevan a ESC algo moderno y los demas paises no lo identifica con Portugal ya paso en 1980 muy modernos y castigados al botton.

Katy
6 years ago

I think Portugal should collaborate with Brazil for Eurovision. Brazilians can do the art of making a song in Portugese a major international hit (Michel Telo, Loalwa Braz, Gustavo Lima, Sergio Mendes), so RTP should connect with the Brazilian market and music industry and get guidelines in how to make a song stand out without having to use English.

Mario esc-fan
Mario esc-fan
6 years ago

Yeah indeed…Well written.. Its good 4 Portugal to keep their identity & soul in their songs but they have to make them interesting,updated & modern losing the same cliche formula to have their songs with the same ‘zzzzzzzzz’ slow rhythm.. And it would help them indeed to have either their songs completely on english or partially the chorus of theirs.. I do not mean for them to ditch their language completely but i really want to hear english lyrics in Portugal’s songs at last.. The case that there is with Portugal is.. That you can not make your top list… Read more »

Erin
Erin
6 years ago

It would be fair to say that most Portuguese entries were probably pale or lacking in style, gloss, sophistication and relevance for the average Swedish voter. The Portuguese temperament comes across as melancholic or nostalgic in many of their entries and it simply doesn’t bode well with nations which are more carefree and unhindered… One can also look at it from an entirely different perspective: 4 out of the 5 countries which won the contest on Swedish soil were of Scandinavian / Viking ancestry (Denmark, Norway & Ireland), so does this mean that the 2016 winner is likely to emerge… Read more »

Josh Salmon
6 years ago

The problem with Portugal’s entries is that they almost sound the same every year. Whilst I’m all about celebrating national culture, it’s the same language and the same instruments year in and year out and it gets so repetitive. They need to update their sound and bring it to a 2015 level.

And perhaps singing in English (or at least half) isn’t a bad idea. It broadens the audience for your song immensely.

Mario esc-fan
Mario esc-fan
6 years ago

Well this makes just perfect sense because.. Portugal simply keeps sending in our Vision almost always all the time songs that are not good enough to get voted hitting the top10 so that’s why the portuguese songs have this poor record of limited number of points…Not only by Sweden but from other countries too…I’m sure that too many other countries have given LESS points to Portugal than Sweden has… It is just crazy that Portugal when counts 48 whole participations has just the poor 6th place as the best ever place in our Vision.. Portugal unfortunately is one of my… Read more »

Dar
Dar
6 years ago

Portugal’s problem is its songs lack an international sound ..
i like when the stick to something that sounds Portuguese however maybe have it feel some way appealing to a wide audience ..
however stick to Portuguese
language .. i don’t want every entry in english !!!