Just last week, we jokingly speculated that Portugal might not head to Sweden because of the frosty relationship between the two nations. Little did we think that our little Eurovision curiosity would actually come true! But according to OGAE Portugal, the Iberian nation will not participate at Eurovision 2016. Pass the tissues!

In a post on their official Facebook page, the fan club outline details of the withdrawal. Apparently, during a meeting with RTP, the Portuguese national broadcaster, they were told that the country would not field an entry in the Stockholm contest. The EBU has already been informed of their decision. Allegedly, they plan to make an amazing comeback in 2017. As of yet, the broadcaster has not made a public statement on the matter.

Update: RTP has released the following statement:

RTP communicates that we will not take part in this years edition of the Eurovision Song Contest held in Stockholm, Sweden (10, 12 and 14th of May 2016). After a long and careful evaluation of our participation at the event and the need to replace and create new program contents, RTP’s Program Direction team decided not to consider ESC as one of them. After decades of participation on this great event, we’re taking a break, but we promise a comeback at 2017’s edition.

They have given no further reasoning regarding their decision.

READ MORE: EUROVISION CURIOSITIES: ARE PORTUGAL AND SWEDEN FRENEMIES? 

Y’all will remember that it’s a mere two years since the country last withdrew, also in a year when the Swedes were hosting. Since their comeback in 2014, they’ve enjoyed rather lacklustre results. Suzy’s “Quero ser tua” became a fan favourite, but Leonor Andrade’s “Há um mar que nos separa” was greeted with almost universal indifference in 2015. Neither act qualified to the final.

Nevertheless, it is still a shock to see Portugal pull out. We had so much to look forward to. We’d even drawn up a whole wishlist of potential acts. And now there’s zero chance of us seeing Katia Aveiro – sister of Cristiano Ronaldo – strutting her stuff on the Eurovision stage. BOO!

But you can still enjoy all of the live performances (and interviews) from the recent Eurovision gala in Setúbal, Portugal below.

FOLLOW ALL OF OUR PORTUGAL EUROVISION NEWS HERE

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Gerald McCauley
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Gerald McCauley

Viva Portugal!

Bla
Guest

Im glad Portugal is not participating. We are constantly being disrespected. We should have one in several years due to musical quality. The 1969 entry is one of those examples.

Desfolhada (1969)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F2JUjMU0io

Ricardo
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Ricardo

Aposto que a SVT tentou ensinar á RTP como ter um bom formato de seleção, e deixar 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 estilo soviético, ineficiente, fuleiro, etc…

Liam Davis
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Liam Davis

Personally.. I don’t think portugal should have left. What they can do, is get someone to sing for them as they rebuild their selection shows. It would be nice, after all a sister of a well known footballer wants to try it.. Let her go for it.

dade
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dade

Hello all I’m an Italian ESC-fan living in Switzerland and I’ve watched every ESC since 1988. I have to say that I’ve always been a fan of songs sung in the singers native language, and Portugal is one of a few countries who stays true to it’s musical tradition and language. I thinks it’s ok to sing in English, but sometimes countries like Sweden or Azerbaijan could bring us some of their true music in their native language. Sweden never sung in Swedish if they weren’t forced to, that’s sad. Where is the EURO in this vision??? I wonder why… Read more »

Eugene ESC UK
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Charles :- Beat you to it!! Yes if only it was back to being only about the song, songwriting and vocals perhaps more Top European stars might enter again? We agree it’s all about the music. With SVT now being a member of the Eurovision Reference Group for the next 3 years I shudder to think what new changes are coming, perhaps more than 6 performers on stage or backing vocals on the backing track and not live, (both like Melfest.) Who knows? I hate to say it but unless both old school Portugal and Italy “conform” to the “package”… Read more »

Charles
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Charles

@Eugene ESC UK: You stole every single word out of my mouth. What you’ve just described goes along with my views on the real problem Portugal (or RTP) has with Eurovision. I still insist on this idea: RTP refuses to acknowledge that Eurovision became a complete overwhelming world to handle with as musically it showcases stuff the Portuguese in general don’t necessarily appreciate or even get, it changed too much and too fast from the what it used to be up into the 90s … according to their musical culture, music is just that … singing, delivering emotions, words, melodies,… Read more »

Pedro
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Pedro

@ESCAddict we don’t miss you as well so get away with your stupid comments

Eugene ESC UK
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RS :- Someone from Portugal who actually understands what is going on instead of being “bloody minded” or stubborn. Yes the ESC has moved on a hell of a lot, and you either move with it or you get left behind. It’s about recognising what is required and the “package” needed these days to do well and you either conform and join in in THIS contest if you want to do well or THIS contest is not for you. RTP needs to decide. The alternative is to bulldoze your way through with a WOW song like also old school Italy… Read more »

dutchie
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dutchie

@jose
Success goes a long way in changing the minds of the general public and artists about Eurovision. Just send a proper song and watch what happens.

All the countries that don’t take Eurovision seriously anymore are the countries that haven’t had any success in it lately. It used to be the same in Holland. A kid like Douwe Bob wouldn’t have touched Eurovision with a ten foot pole if it weren’t for Anouk and the Common Linnets. Ironically, he wrote his song for next year’s contest in Lisbon.

Azaad
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Azaad

ct greece: it was ORF and EBU who invited Australia- it was Austria, not any Scandinavian nation, that was responsible for that decision.

Portugal’s issue isn’t that they send traditional Portuguese music- it’s that the music they send is bad. National and folk songs can be great- Molitva won and Lejla came third. Clearly they can do well.

Portugal should also try and send music representative of their country.

RS
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RS

As a Portuguese myself, I don’t necessarily agree with the point of view of José. The portuguese people is proud of their roots, have a complicated history and influences from different cultures but the question here is that Eurovision has evolved as everything else in the world. It is possible to sing half in English/Portuguese or totally in English in a Song Contest that is supposed to be an entertaining show without questioning our cultural identity. The same applies for the type of music. What i mean is that Festival da Canção is outdated, old-fashion and a new format is… Read more »

Racal
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Racal

@José: Thank you! Totally agree with you.

ESCaddict
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ESCaddict

Normally I would be sad to hear of a country withdrawing but Portugal’s recent songs have been so bland, I won’t miss them.

davve
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davve

chickens can stay out of ESC… its not all about winning

José
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José

RTP had big investments this year to bring Champions League back to it, what even lead TVI to ask for an investigation, since the planend investment from this private owned broadcast was extremely lower than the one from RTP, what was found suspicious according to them (to answer to those who believe RTP lacks on budget to create a good national selection or to host the ESC). RTP is a massive broadcast with over 15 radios and 8 channels, it’s the main culture diffuser in Portugal and the former African colonies, and the responsible to organize and broadcast most of… Read more »

Racal
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Racal

I don’t see why everybody is bashing on Festival da Cancao, it’s just a normal TV singing contest. They can change everything they want to it, if they don’t have good songs to start with, it will not bring them any points in the actual ESC. And it did produce a couple nice songs, the 2010 entry for example (Ha dias assim). They don’t need a new oven, they just need good ingredients. Melodifestivalen works well for Sweden, but it did produce some major crap too. Just to name a few in the recent past: The Ark, Charlotte Perelli in… Read more »

Freyah
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Freyah

This is sad. I love Portugal and their entries (Suzy, Vania Fernandes, Flor de Lis etc.) and I respect that they sing in their own language. I do think the problem is Festival de Cancao, because Language certainly isn’t a problem if the song is quality (cough, Moltiva, Grande Amore, Crno I Belo just for examples). They really need a selection which goes for song an artist, rather than just inviting famous composers. I hope that when they return, they kick ass, because I really want to go to Lisbon for Esc 2018 or something.

Azaad
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Azaad

The main problem is Festival da Cancao (apologies to Portuguese or any Lusophone readers for my spelling). It is an antiquated system that expired musically somewhere in the seventies, but unlike Eesti Laul or Supernova, which are both very recent selection processes, Festival da Cancao has been around for so long that it can’t actually be gotten rid of. It needs to evolve like Melodifestivalen (which is even older) did. Of course whether RTP would want to emulate SVT right after this incident is debatable. Or maybe it won’t change and the Portuguese entries will keep being stuck in the… Read more »

Racal
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Racal

The last two times that the ESC was hosted by Sweden (2000 and 2013), Portugal withdrew and Denmark won. The pattern seems to continue, so Denmark is in a good spot to claim victory in 2016! 😀

All jokes aside, it’s too bad. Portugal is a veteran country, having participated almost 50 times since 1964. And on top of that, they are one of a handful countries that still sing in their beautiful national language. Too bad we will not see them next year…

Mario = Legend
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Mario = Legend

Mario, I fail to see how they always send boring songs. The legend that is Suzy? Her song was everything BUT boring! #SuzyShake. We needed her in the final.

Charles
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Charles

@Jake. Based on everything you’ve said and taking into consideration that every word makes perfect sense …Wouldn’t it better for RTP leave the whole thing behind and move on? I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – Portugal not only has no clue of how to fit it with this new Eurovision but also doesn’t identity with it … they find it too overly commercial and not a platform for the kind of music that till echoes some recognition within the country. Portugal still retains the idea it should all be about their language, national pride and musical… Read more »

Mario esc fan ~ YOU did this to yourself Portugal so its all because of YOU..
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Mario esc fan ~ YOU did this to yourself Portugal so its all because of YOU..

Yeah indeed.. Its Portugal that has done all this damage.. With having them sending always lame boring songs in the Vision this factor has affected portuguese people to lose their interest in watching the contest so that’s why so many people in Portugal do not give a damn about their country’s outcome.. They could had do an internal selection with sending Nelly Furtado that is big super star worldwide…With the right song she could do perfectly in the Vision.. 4 Christer Bjorkman to mock their songs was not like out of the blue…He was simply given the right to do… Read more »

Jake
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Jake

Love all the comments that this news has gotten. Can’t remember seeing such a popular post on here. I think it reinforces that fans of the contest hate to see countries drop out especially old-school ones. RTP has been a total failure in organizing their national final and the issue is not Festival da Cancao itself. It comes down to RTP and how they have been unable to evolve it. Always inviting the same composers, never opening it to a wider pool of composers, never being open to songs in a foreign language, always utilizing the same producers, never inviting… Read more »

Mario esc fan
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Mario esc fan

If Portugal is displeased with Sweden 4 me its like.. Seeing a brat annoying student that has not read his homework to accuse the teacher about why he took on his test a low grade.. At least if Portugal was TRYING making considerable efforts to go with good enough songs to our Vision all these years this would make me to change my opinion & attitude 4 this country.. I must like only not even 5 songs all together from the many dozens that Portugal has sent to EuroVision all these decades.. This year in Vienna’s Vision Portugal’s song was… Read more »

Wanda4Österrike*BussiBaby*
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Wanda4Österrike*BussiBaby*

Scandinavian host countries have a very discouraging effect it seems. In Norway the number of participants dropped for the first time since 2006 under 40. Then Germany won and many countries, like the recent winner Austria, were thrilled to return and it was 43 again. In 2012 it was also almost 43, but Armenia was discouraged for very obvious reasons. 2013 Sweden turned many countries off and we were back at 39. In Copenhagen even down to 37 as most of Balkan countries pulled out. Austria however encouraged Czech Republic and Cyprus to return, they made strong efforts to bring… Read more »

Eugene ESC UK
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It’s not a “singing contest” it’s supposed to be a song contest but it should be a songwriting contest in my view. For the majority of ESC’s 60 years it was all about the music, the lyrics and the vocals. Yes have the staging, but allow the jury to vote on the song mainly, not have bias towards staging and performance and the song as secondary. The ESC is definitely NOT about the best staging money can buy in my view. Some countries have very small budgets and that is unfair to them. ALL countries should have a fair chance… Read more »

Zanderzion
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Zanderzion

This saddened me so much I feel like grieving. Portugal’s always be my favorite but Im so hopeful they made to return in 2017.

Wanda4Österrike*BussiBaby*
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Wanda4Österrike*BussiBaby*

For me Portugal in Eurovision is pure gold, but only treasured by few.

Há um mar que nos separa, Quero ser tua, Deixa-me sonhar (so más uma vez), Foi magia, ….. are fantastic and better than most Swedish winners…..

Only Senhora do mar is in my opinion overhyped cr*p derived from a generic Eurovision formular….. however I wouldnt have minded a win at any time…..

Wanda4Österrike*BussiBaby*
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Wanda4Österrike*BussiBaby*

I like the Portuguese way of saying “F U Sweden”… 😀

btw. Scandinavian host countries are a financial stretch for many participating countries, because accomodation is extremely expensive as well as food.

Há um país que nos abandona y’all!

Denis
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Denis

If this truly was singing contest, then we all either watch the video clips or listen to the studio-versions of each entry and judge and vote based on that.
But then there wouldn’t be any need for a show at all, and no need for artists.
And I doubt people would watch it..

Mario esc fan ~ There's the crappy quality of your lame bad songs that separates us...NOT a GreAtY loss..
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Mario esc fan ~ There's the crappy quality of your lame bad songs that separates us...NOT a GreAtY loss..

Im not sad though for losing Portugal as it would be the same thing for me if Portugal was present with us in Sweden’s Vision.. They would had went to Sweden 4 one more time{of their too many} with a boring snoozefest song that would be the traditional toilet break 4 us eurofans.. So most maybe they did well that they withdrew & left us.. Bye & ciao.. :)) P.S. ~ But if Portugal decides to not return in the Vision of 2017 we will not be devastated really…They can even take a break for an indefinite too long period… Read more »

Eugene ESC UK
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“Making Sweden to become some sort of monster that rules everything when truth is far from that.” I would refer you to my response to ct greece below. When you have a 38% control of a Reference Group it is very easy to get a simple majority especially when you have John Ola Sand on your side and two members of SVT, the Host. We all know what happened in 2013; it changed the ESC for the worst for me. Let’s return to a song contest where the SONG is the MOST important thing and return to an ESC that… Read more »

Ola
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Ola

Claiming that Portugal dislike Sweden is ridiculous, but I think it´s very likely that RTP has a big issue with SVT for some reason. A pity, but seeing to the quality of the portuguese entries the last few years, I wont miss them very much…

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

If it is true, then it is for the best.
Portugal need to have a long, hard look at the songs that they have sent to Eurovision in the last few years and make improvements.

Lanti
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Lanti

The Portugal/Sweden “feud” sounds a lot like the Hungary/Chiara coincidence: Every time Chiara participated, Hungary dropped out the following year. All we know is that RTP’s not participating, and that’s it. I do hope they come back soon though.

CookyMonzta
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CookyMonzta

@Charles: More or less, it all boils down to this: Portugal had no confidence in their ability to qualify for the Grand Final. Among those who voiced their desire, or intention, to attempt to qualify for ESC 2016, they were convinced that it wasn’t going to happen in Stockholm, no matter who they sent or what kind of song they sent… …It didn’t happen in Copenhagen, and it didn’t happen in Vienna (though I thought their chances in Vienna were better); so, I doubt the 2016 venue had anything to do with their withdrawal. Should a new selection process work,… Read more »

Denis
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Denis

People are honestly believing RTP aren’t competing cause of Sweden? As we if can influence any country to participate or not to participate? If RTP really does have a feud with SVT, which quite frankly smells conspiracy theory and nothing more, then that’s their problem On a second note, who writes these articles? What do yo aim to achieve with lurid and sensational articles and topics such as this and previous feud article? That will only lead to hate and jealousy and winding people up which seems to have had that effect. Making Sweden to become some sort of monster… Read more »

Eugene ESC UK
Guest

The Festival da Canção has been going since 1964 and in at least 2004 they must have known the format wasn’t able to pick suitable songs for Eurovision anymore. They failed to qualify 6 out of 9 times between 2004 and 2012 before they decided not to participate in Sweden in 2013!! How long does it actually take for the penny to drop that something is not working exactly? And then they came back and do exactly the same thing.

DanielLuis
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DanielLuis

I am Portuguese and I can confirm that those people saying that RTP mentions SVT’s lack of production skills or the growth of the participation fee as a reason for withdrawing are lying. The reason RTP gave for withdrawal is that they don’t belive our method of selecting a song for Eurovision is suitable and that they want to take a year off, reconsider they’re approach to the ESC and then return in 2017. They do not mention SVT.
And if you all believe Portugal ahs withdrawn because Sweden/SVT is hosting, you’re all idiots to be honest.

Robyn
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Robyn

Conspiracy theorists note: Portugal has also not competed in years when the competition was hosted by the Netherlands and Estonia. What does it meeeeean?

Realistically – Portugal has realised that the current Festival da Canção format isn’t able to to pick suitable songs for Eurovision anymore. They’ve wisely decided to take a year off and come up with a new approach.

Good on them. We can only hope that Ireland has a similar epiphany about its national selection! 😀

Eugene ESC UK
Guest

Interesting Padraig!! Carlo/Nila :- Any response? So perhaps we are no wiser? ———————————————————————————————————– Ct Greece :- The Scandinavians have always had a lot of clout in the ESC. The current reference group is made up of JUST 8 members, 3 are Scandinavian, 38% (from Sweden, Norway and Denmark.). The Host Executive Producer is always in the group, in this case from SVT and the Norwegian is Jon Ola Sand of course. Before the 2013 ESC there were 2 Swedes in the Reference Group one was SVT Show Producer Christer Björkman, the other SVT Executive Producer Martin Österdahls. So 25% of… Read more »

francESCa
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francESCa

Hey Carlo, whats your point?? As a portuguese I know that your information is fake but why would you do that?? This is ridiculous!!

Daniel
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Daniel

Why are people criticizing SVT as if they influenced Portugal’s withdrawal?! If RTP have a problem with Sweden, then that is their problem, not the Swedes.

francESCa
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francESCa

Hello Europals!! 🙂 As a portuguese teen, I can assure you that the portuguese people don’t hate sweden or swedish people, ok? Maybe this is just some fight between our broadcasters, RTP and STV. RTP wouldn’t participate anyway because they have a small budget and they are going tk spend it all on “The Voice Portugal” and EURO2016. Plus, there is also the olympic games and that costs a lot of money! If you think that we will come back with a great song, believe me you are wrong (unfortunately)!! Nowadays no one really cares about ESC or Festival da… Read more »

ct greece
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ct greece

I am sorry about Portugal but I wish they had sent Simone de Oliveira this year instead of this lame attempt to sound up to date. Quite traditional yes, but she would have stood out among all the other entries and at least she would have gone to the final.

mocosuburbian
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mocosuburbian

I can’t say I’m shocked
it’s kind of what happens when the rest of the continent keeps you from qualifying at every single contest
sad because I always love hearing Portuguese at the ESC
really beautiful language

ct greece
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ct greece

@ eugene esc They feel they own the show and it is their way or the highway. Their emphasis is that the contest should produce what they consider “hit music” (even though “Heroes” wasn’t that much of a big hit being as unoriginal as it was but it got some radio airplay and that’s all that matters to them). They brought along Australia to hit this point home this year. And of course let’s not forget that they stole the victory from a latin song which swept the televote across the continent. Of course all this happens because France, Italy… Read more »

esc1234
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esc1234

Now that broadcasters are officialy reacting to this mess that svt creates whenever they host, im curious to see if svt has to say anything about that or just we will hear soon some huge changes AGAIN by coincidence, like change of time and doing the eurovision more like melodifestivalen. when alcazar comes on stage?