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.
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.