With Eurovision-related news coming thick and fast, you’d think Portugal would be keeping a low-profile about Europe’s favourite music competition. But that’s not happening. Tension is still in the air as Portuguese Eurofans will not forget RTP’s decision to withdraw from this year’s event…and neither will Vânia Fernandes, Portugal’s Eurovision 2008 act.
In an interview with ESC Portugal, the one and only lady of the sea dished about RTP’s decision and looked back at her experience in Belgrade in 2008. Among other things, Vânia stated: “I did not like our Festival da Canção performance [in 2008]. We were very nervous and that reflected vocally. The best performance we had was on the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest.”
But not everything was perfect. Vânia recalls the moment Portugal’s delegation arrived in Belgrade without promo CDs for her entry. It’s sad, but expected. Welcome to Portugal!
Regarding a possible comeback in the next few years, Miss Fernandes does not have a decision: “It would be very selfish to think about coming back with so many deserving people able to have that opportunity. But that puts me in an awkward position. I would like to come back, but with the same team — which is almost impossible!”
You’re now thinking: “Oh, how sweet she is.” Well, Vânia was, until the conversation topic changed to RTP’s withdrawal from 2016’s edition. She did not hold back.
“It’s dramatic! I don’t know what to say. Blaming lack of money and the crisis is totally out of place — it’s a priorities issue! I don’t get it. RTP has deeper knowledge of what Eurovision is and still decides to withdraw?! The number of opportunities ESC gives is by far bigger than the costs of participation. Everyone knows money was never the problem,” she says.
A few months ago RTP’s decision was connected to the fact the national broadcaster bought the distribution rights for Euro 2016 and the Olympic Games. Regarding that topic, Miss Fernandes said: “It’s disrespectful to all artists, especially the ones who see Festival da Canção as a platform of opportunities! I find it terrible, Festival da Canção [and Eurovision] is always what suffers in times of crisis or budget cuts.”
Harsh words from Vânia — damn, girl! What do you think of her opinion? Do you believe the Portuguese relationship with ESC is going to get better next year? Tell us below!