The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — finishes reviewing the eight songs competing in tomorrow night’s final of Portgual’s Festival da Canção. Finally we take a look at Lena d’Água with “Nunca me fui embora” and Pedro Gonçalves with “Don’t Walk Away”. Do either of these two have what it takes to get Portgual into the Eurovision final? Read on to find out!

Lena d’Água – “Nunca me fui embora”

“Nunca me fui embora” reviews

Deban: Lena’s easy breezy vibe cranks up the likability factor, but at the same time lacks a polished touch. Just like music played on a see-saw, there are no sudden shifts here to challenge the set movement. It just plods along rather nicely. If this represents Portugal, it’d take a miracle and a half to hit the finals.

Score: 5/10

Mikhail: The melody instantly reminded me of Lilly Allen’s “F*ck you”, but then I couldn’t find the lightness in Lena’s song when she started to sing. Closer to the chorus, another song popped up in my head — “Jingle Bell Rock”. Is it a new song or just a mash up of old songs translated into Portuguese? It’s uninteresting and no one would want to listen to it — unless it was played somewhere in a shop during the Christmas season.

Score: 2.5/10

Robyn: Festival da Canção continues its journey through 20th century music styles with a 1960s-style pop song sung by a 1980s pop icon. “Nunca me fui embora” is a cheery song, but I suspect the overall performance will be more enjoyable for Portuguese audiences who know Lena than it would be to a general European audience. She’s a nice performer, but she just doesn’t seem to bring enough energy to the stage to make it fully work.

Score: 4.5/10

Lena D’Água in the early 1980s

Antranig: Lena is a good performer and a great vocalist but the song goes nowhere. I’m waiting for a big moment to take the song to another level and that never comes. It’s three minutes of enjoyable, easy listening, but ultimately it lacks a special something to help it stand out from the competition. That could be solved with a revamp and ultimately this would be a decent choice for Portugal.

Score: 5/10

Chris: Oh my God, this is so amateur hour that I adore it. Lena looks like she’s just turned up from watching her grandchildren and rocked up on stage. The song makes you want to sway your arms up in the air and just think about happier times. Mostly, I want Portugal to send this because I want to find a way to drink wine with Lena in Kyiv. I bet she’s a hoot.

Score: 6/10

Luis: Lena brings a breeze of fresh air, but this song is ultimately disposable. She has charisma and is a seasoned performer, but we’ve been hearing this kind of music for almost 30 years now. It may be a good theme for a sitcom, but that doesn’t make it a good Eurovision song. Indeed, this would probably place last in Kyiv.

Score: 4/10

In our Festival da Canção Wiwi Jury, we have 14 jurors but only room for six reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Bernardo: 4/10

Gökhan: 4/10

Jordi: 4/10

Josh: 3/10

Jovana: 7/10

Matt: 4.5/10

Natalie: 7/10

Zakaria: 2/10

 

 

 

 

Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 2 and a high of 7.

Wiwi Jury Verdict: 4.46/10

Pedro Gonçalves – “Don’t Walk Away”

“Don’t Walk Away” reviews

Jovana: Unlike so many competitors at this year’s Festival da Cançao, Pedro Gonçales decided to go in a more international way. His entry is a modern mid-tempo EDM song in English. It is far from original, but it is good enough to find its place in the ESC audience’s hearts. All in all, this is a good song for Eurovision.

Score: 7/10

Josh: It’s awkward when “Don’t Walk Away” is one of the more contemporary songs in Festival da Canção and it still manages to sound dated. The first verse has a slightly etherial, Ellie Goulding-esque beat, but the instrumental leading into the chorus sounds clunky and weird. Props to Portugal for having an English-language song in the mix, but this isn’t going anywhere.

Score: 4/10

Deban: Call the fashion police! Those darkened eyebrows, the gold-rimmed specs, white trainers and the black coat-dress all need to go! Pedro can sing, but “Don’t Walk Away” is a boring song. Although it has a modern beat, it lacks soul. Yes, the language rule at Festival da Canção has been relaxed, but it’s not an excuse to serve mediocrity.

Score: 3/10

Luis: I probably overreacted to this song on Sunday. It’s different to everything else Portugal serves, and I applaud Pedro’s courage to change the pace of Festival da Canção so dramatically, but the song itself is not so good. It’s not a bad song, but it only shines because of the selection it’s in. If this makes it to Eurovision, there will be many other better songs with English lyrics and modern production. “Dont’ Walk Away” wouldn’t stand a chance of qualifying.

Score: 6.5/10

Zakaria: I applaud Pedro for submitting something new to Festival da Canção, but new doesn’t always mean better. “Don’t Walk Away” is such a generic song that it sounds like a reject from Switzerland’s live auditions. We’ve heard this type of songs so many times in other national finals that we grew tired of it. It would be a shame if Portugal sends this.

Score: 3/10

Robyn: This is what the revamped Festival da Canção promised and it has delivered: a contemporary pop song. It’s decent, catchy and it’s no surprise this won the televote. The staging, however, is mess. The random gymnasts looked awkward on the small stage, and Pedro’s grey hair and granny glasses are all wrong (or was he trying to appeal to the elderly FdC jury?). But with the larger stage of the grand final, this could come across much better.

Score: 7/10

In our Festival da Canção Wiwi Jury, we have 14 jurors but only room for six reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Antranig: 7/10

Bernardo: 6.5/10

Chris: 6.5/10

Gökhan: 7.5/10

Jordi: 4/10

Matt: 9/10

Mikhail: 4/10

Natalie: 7.5/10

 

 

 

 

Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 3 and a high of 9.

Wiwi Jury Verdict: 5.88/10

See our list of Festival da Canção reviews here

Read more Portugal news here

16 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Alex
Alex
5 years ago

The first time I listened to Lena’s song, nothing caught my attention. That’s not good for ESC. On second listen though, it’s nice and cheery.

The winner should still be Salvador. His song is beautiful and timeless, and his vocals are wonderfully delicate and heartfelt. The performance is moving but subtle. Portuguese voters, pay attention. If his song wins, it would immediately top the list of ballads in the contest for me. It’s just so nice.

4li3n
4li3n
5 years ago

Many songs in Eurovision are contemporany and sound date, much of them made top 10 in last year.

Ianis
Ianis
5 years ago

Don’t understand the concept of dated….more than that I read comments like….is so 2011….so 2012….so 2013. How can you tell EXACTLY? Can someone give an example of song that is……so 2017 ?????!!!!!!!

Héctor
Héctor
5 years ago

It has to be Pedro Gonçalves for me! Good song and is catchy too. Yes, maybe it won’t outstand in Kiev, but it would be a step in the right way. Salvador, aka the autistic boy with strange moves and dated song, shouldn’t win. Not hating, but I can’t see why people consider it that good, it’s creepy. Not to mention we had a lot of ballads and slow songs…

Portugal could go to the highest places in my top with Pedro Gonçalves or the lowest with Salvador (or anyone else).

Polegend Godgarina
5 years ago

@ cheesecake – 2011 is more recent than 1975, so I guess his song is more modern than the others, but on its own it’s still dated.

cheesecake
cheesecake
5 years ago

Pedro’s song is not modern because it’s in English, but because it’s actually modern (compared to the other FdC entries).

Alexandre
Alexandre
5 years ago

Salvador underrated. Despite he’s the little winner of the wiwibloggs’ juri in the national selection … The true is that his entry can towering like Mount Everest over all the others in ESC.

Ianis
Ianis
5 years ago

Pedro with a little portuguese in the lyrics…. <3 <3 <3

Alex
Alex
5 years ago

I hope Pedro wins. As others have pointed out, his song is a little dated, but it’s still the most contemporary thing Portugal has in the nf. Which is quite sad tbh, as we were promised an upgrade into the modern age. If he wins, he could still change one chorus into Portuguese, it would probably sound very good, and it would bring down the number of 100% English songs.

Kine Blakstad Christensen
Kine Blakstad Christensen
5 years ago

Love Pedro, it’s a song that would be qualified for Supernova. I hope he really wins so Portugal will get a chance of qualifying to the final.

James
James
5 years ago

Pedro’s song is so overrated by fans. Whether the song is sung in English or not, it is still a weak song that’s no better than everything else on the line-up apart from being the more “contemporary” one.

And besides, since when was English the equivalent of a modern-sounding song?

Polegend Godgarina
5 years ago

@ Colin – I agree. Last year here in Italy during the final people were complaining on social media about all the songs (except Austria’s) being totally or partially in English. I feel like the general public is over that impersonal trend and wants to hear the country’s traditions. Portugal has a rich culture, and sending Pedro would be a shame for them.

Polegend Godgarina
5 years ago

For Lena, I agree with the reviews – not a bad song, but it never left me impressed. As for Pedro… I think it’s lowkey a disaster. The song is, as some have pointed out, dated – that synth going on in the chorus is something we haven’t yeard in almost a decade. The Portuguese fans will consider it outstanding in their own national selection, but from an international point of view, a traditional song would be more outstanding. And let’s not mention the grating sound he makes before the second chorus – he sounds like a cat after you’ve… Read more »

Colin
Colin
5 years ago

I am not familiar with the rest of Lena D’Agua’s career and she might be wonderful, but this song is quite tragic. It’s boring, it has no melody, no chorus, no nothing I can hold on to. I am genuinely surprised it didn’t score as low as 1.9 or so. There are songs I find way better that scored lower than this. Pedro’s song is, to quote some users (and pardon for my French) – a ‘fanwank’. They like it because it’s in English and somehow it makes it more modern or more interesting. For me, it sounds like one… Read more »

Mark
Mark
5 years ago

Pedro, please come back next year with a better song

oli
oli
5 years ago

So disappointed about your score for Salvador Sobral… I think it’s an EXQUISITE song, truly non-eurovision style, but nevertheless very delicate and beautiful. I think that is one of this rare songs that surprinsingly performs well in Eurovision (like Latva 2005 or Netherlands 2014).