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 GamesRegarding 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!

READ MORE PORTUGAL EUROVISION NEWS

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@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Robyn :- Portugal need a Head of Delegation who can totally change it up and make a difference and not just do the same thing as before, what is the point of that? The WHOLE team needs to change and bring in new ideas and a different approach.

Calvin
Guest
Calvin

Love her so much. BUT she’s wrong about her best performance; what she delivered at the ESC semifinal was the most magical.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

@EugeneESCUK Portugal had a new HoD last year, but she didn’t change anything 🙁

khm
Guest
khm

She’s right.

Pedro
Guest
Pedro

Now everybody can see how fustrated we are here in Portugal! Unfortunatly we do not have a huge delegation that can represent us outside. Portugal CARES about Eurovision, RTP doesn’t! … Thank you Wiwibloggs for sharing this!

Österrike
Guest
Österrike

I applaud Portugal for standing up against the Swedish bully in Eurovision.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Vânia refers to the “same team”. The route of all the issues with Portuguese ESC is that it is the same team. For Portugal to move forward, they need a new Head of Delegations and a whole new team, they just have a fixed mind-set, nothing will change until that team changes.

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

She is absolutely right. The lack of interest and professionalism is the problem. They are in the contest since 1964 and they havent even made top 5…something is obviously wrong…

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

Don’t RTP know that Portugal are the country Eurovision fans most want to see win for the first time ? How can they do that if they don’t enter ?. My three favourite years for them: 1975, 1995 and of course 2008.

ct greece
Guest
ct greece

She is right and I hope she comes back for the contest. She is the artist that most deserved to win in 2008 and one of the best ESC performances of all time.

Huh
Guest
Huh

It’s now time for the Portuguese broadcaster to man up and acknowledge these talented and aspiring Portuguese singers. RTP is becoming a let down year after year. Example was Suzy’s controversial victory in 2014 (prior to the time she was well-loved by fans) and repercussions like this should not aggrevate in future national finals. What more in ESC per se….

mad-professor
Guest
mad-professor

Couldn’t agree more.

DenizNL
Guest
DenizNL

Agreed 🙂