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?