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 It’s interesting to note that in the past 52 years, Portugal has withdrawn from the contest four times — and two of them were contests held in Sweden.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!