Portugal is out of Eurovision 2016 — and it’s been the most talked about subject in the Euro-sphere all week. No more Suzy shake. No more awesome latex pants from Leonor Andrade.

In the wake of RTP’s decision to withdraw, there’s been a wave of bad press for the public TV station. Correio da Manhã, one of Portugal’s most famous newspapers, ran an article emphasizing Portugal’s return in 2017 — and the lack of national enthusiasm for the event. They asked the public whether they planned to watch the contest: 83% said “no”, while only 17% said “yes”. Ouch. Blitz, a music magazine, “Diário de Notícias” and “Jornal de Notícias” also covered Portugal’s exit.

Portuguese Eurovision blogs and websites were much harsher, with the majority condemning RTP. Festivais da Canção, one of the biggest Portuguese fan sites, pointed out that under Portugal’s austerity program music takes a back seat to sports:

Always making sports events a priority makes it impossible for musical culture to stand above it, making Portugal withdraw from Europe’s most important music event. A Europe where Portugal only takes part in sports events and deals with TROIKA [the austerity lenders, who have implemented deep cuts in RTP’s annual budget].

On Facebook, eurofans brutally attacked RTP and Festival da Canção, using their official pages to sound off on the withdrawal. Eurofan Ricardo Mendes thinks it’s ridiculous RTP will pay for rights to The Voice franchise while investing pennies in Festival da Canção.

Awful decision from RTP not to promote Portuguese language in Europe with this event! They prefer to spend money with imported content — such as The Voice — in which they pay a lot of money to use their brand. RTP has a program in which they do not spend that money — it’s called Festival da Canção. It’s a scandal the way RTP’s content administration is dealing with this.

Tiago Batista writes:

What an awful and ridiculous excuse. Portugal is going to transmit all three shows, even without taking part.

André Moreira is annoyed at the priority RTP gives to bull fights and soccer matches…

There’re a lot of people watching Eurovision Song Contest and of course, Festival RTP da Canção. For them, it’s absolutely preposterous the direction RTP decided to take….but we’re in Portugal. While a bullfight or tens of soccer games are a priority, we have nothing to complain about – we have a problem, a problem RTP can’t admit and solve.

Even so, some do believe that RTP has made the right choice to withdraw, given the country’s track record of poor performances and results over the past decade.

Last year Leonor Andrade served latex realness on the Eurovision stage, but she still didn’t qualify for the final.

What do you think? Do you agree with RTP’s decision or are you with Portugal’s eurofans on this?

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Alex
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Alex

Portugal has amazing music yet they send not so amazing songs to Eurovision. Fado is beautiful yet the last fado song they sent to Eurovision was not. Still I think its better to withdraw than switch to singing in English 🙂

James
Guest
James

@Mei International: “Probably my most intelligent comment yet”

LOL that’s not particularly difficult, I believe it’s also your first one 🙂

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Charles :- It’s like a déjà vu!! I get it!! I’ll repeat what I said the last time …………………..Portugal/RTP has 3 choices :-

1) Conform (and maybe do better.)
2) Don’t conform (and maybe do poorly still.)
3) Don’t take part, full stop

I wonder how RTP will go? Whatever they decide it will upset one Portuguese group.

I refer you to my last post in the first blog on Portugal and the post by “dade” after mine. The answer to Dade’s question is simple…………………..try and come up with a WOW song and it may not matter about the rest.

http://wiwibloggs.com/2015/10/07/ogae-portugal-portugal-will-not-be-at-eurovision-2016/104103/

Julian
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Julian

Today competitions are dominated by Nordics + Soviets. They have imposed English language, Swedish composers, they have the most important pre-contest singing events. In this time Mediteraneans for not sure what reasons are each in a separate ivory tower. Their only chance is to build a block around their common values: – singing in their national languages, promoting their languages and cultures; – songs that are more up-tempo + their particular type of solar ballads (as opposed to the Nordic lunar ballads) + they all have a hip-hop song subculture + ethnic sounds/songs; – the influence of Arab, Turk, north… Read more »

Pedro Ribeiro
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Pedro Ribeiro

Well, as a portuguese Eurovision fan, I’m disappointed to see Portugal’s withdrawal, and despite the poor results (both TV ratings and the contest itself), I think the main aim of the Eurovision Song Contest is to bring all the countries together and perform the best they can, regardless of their final placing. As for Festival da Canção, it may be a little dated and with boring songs, but it’s still a platform that gives the opportunity for our singers to be recognized and ultimately, a chance to be at Eurovision, and whether you like the song or not, that’s just… Read more »

Charles
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Charles

@EugeneESCUK: My only demand is about the music itself … that’s all. Without a song worth getting critical praise and appreciation from the people, it just won’t happen. And Portugal, as you know as much as I do, has this “thing” about what music is or should be about both lyrically, musically and intentionally. I’ve said before: the international and well know “Pop” sound of today’s music does not fit into what the Portuguese consider their own music. They are too Fado-oriented, or to “Pimba”-mad or they fell for the singer songwriter who always has this hugely successful adult contemporary… Read more »

Denis
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Denis

You don’t need a break to come back with a bang, a year is enough to change things. And as a public broadcaster you should be able to have enough money for everything and broadcast/participate in things that interest the public.
To only focus on sports leaves a bitter taste and would alienate parts of the population.

And finally, whatever the reason might be isn’t really important. Portugal aren’t competing and that’s that. They won’t change their decision.

Mei International
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Mei International

Y’all we have to remember at the end of the day business is involved. They obviously believe they will get a better ROI on athletics than ESC. I am sure other programs people love may have been cut too. Portugal obviously has not qualified for the finals recently. The broadcaster is going to utilize its existing resources and focus on their competency. While of course we want Portugal to participate in ESC, it ultimately is a business driven decision by RTP. Did I really just legitimize my argument with S and O jargon? I can’t believe it. Probably my most… Read more »

CookyMonzta
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CookyMonzta

In simpler language, football before anything else. That’s where RTP’s priorities are for 2016.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@Dave24574: That just about speaks to my thoughts in the withdrawal post, that they had no confidence in their ability to even qualify for the Grand Final, no matter what they sent. And with their loss in the PK shootout with Spain in Euro 2012, they’re likely to put all of their efforts in promoting their team all winter and spring for Euro 2016. As a result, Eurovision becomes even less than an afterthought.

fikri
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fikri

honestly i won’t miss ’em lol. they always send bad songs. :/

sjkdjd
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sjkdjd

When Portugal sent a GREAT song in 2003 nobody voted us!
*Cries in portuguese*

Dave24574
Guest
Dave24574

I enjoyed the past two Portugal ESC programmes because they were like watching a show from the 1970’s being made today. Retro cool. But they had no songs that were of serious contention no matter how fun or different they were. Perhaps they realized this and decided it was not worth the expense to waste everyone’s time and euros in a losing endeavor.

Herr Freitag
Guest
Herr Freitag

Some broadcasters really need some cooperating broadcasters…my own country has been so succesful from 2010-2012 because we cooperate with an younger broadcaster called ”ProSieben”. Bulgaria will do the same in 2016 ”BNT’ with ‘BTV” and in JESC they were very succesful with it. Maybe Portugal can do the same in 2017 with an other more modern Portuguese broadcaster 🙂

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Oh………………………”people power” CAN make a difference, it really depends on whether the right people are listening and WANT to listen, (and want to do something about it.)

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Charles :- I’m interested because I have Portuguese ancestry and I’d like them to do well………of course. Aren’t I lucky?………….Portugal and the UKl!! But I’m the first one to slate an entry if it is not up to the required standard………and that includes Portugal and the UK!!

Charles
Guest
Charles

@EugeneESCUK: And do you honestly believe that such reasons are that relevant for the whole thing? Is it gonna make any significant change on anything or anyone? Can’t we all see that we’re kinda wasting a lot of our time with a TV station that has never showed genuine interest in the competition to the same degree as so many other countries? Why should we be concerned with those that just don’t care about this? Or do we really believe there is some mysterious reason behind it and we’re dying to find out? Hey Jonas Akerlund!!! Stop making videos for… Read more »

MirkoJoshua
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MirkoJoshua

Portugal… please :c

Charles
Guest
Charles

Anyone who knows Portugal well enough, should already be aware of the tremendous impact soccer games have in the whole country. Everything just stops and people scream during the games with passion, intensity, suffering and some paranoia. A lot of love, hate, violent arguments arise before, during and after any game … that is such a strong trademark of the country’s popular culture. Far more than relevant than music, theater, television, cinema, etc …. soccer has always and will always play center stage in the life of thousands and thousands of Portuguese. It can actually be sicker than what happens… Read more »

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

RTP cannot come out publicly and explain the reason why they have withdrawn, so we get the spun version.

Ariso Light
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Ariso Light

I think Portugal should take part and stop hiding their reason of withdrawal!

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

I’m addicted to chocolate-chip cookies. Hence, my purposely-misspelled name, as homage to the Sesame Street character, the Cookie Monster.

William Lee Adams
Admin

@CookyMonzta: I’ve always loved your screen name! It’s hilarious!!

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Bullfights, I can’t figure. Football, I can. They must want that Euro 2016 trophy bad. They lost the 2012 semi to Spain in the shootout following extra time.