Salvador Sobral wiwi jury festival da cancao

Oi, Portugal! On Sunday evening RTP will stage the final of Festival da Canção 2017 — the country’s Eurovision 2017 national selection. Ahead of the show the Wiwi Jury — our in house panel of music unprofessionals — reviewed all eight qualifiers based on their semi-final performance. Salvador Sobral came out on top with his enchanting song “Amar Pelos Dois”, which our jurors think straddles eras by sounding vintage but never dated.

Our jury for this edition consisted of 14 jurors who come from Australia, Czech Republic, Morocco, New Zealand, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Each juror assessed each song independently, and awarded each song a score from 0 to 10. Before calculating the Wiwi Jury verdict, we dropped the highest and lowest scores to reduce potential bias and outliers. The average scores ranged from 4.29 to 6.21 (out of a perfect 10), suggesting that our jurors were not exactly smitten with this selection.

Below, you can read a positive and negative take on each song in Portugal. If you click on the song title, you can read the Wiwi Jury’s full reviews. Click here to read our reviews from each of this year’s national selections.

1. Salvador Sobral – Amar Pelos Dois (6.21)

The positive: This is just delightful. “Amar pelos dois” would not have been out of place at Eurovision 60 years ago, but yet it feels vintage, not dated. It’s helped that scruffy hipster Salvador brings a quirky feel to his performance. He bends the song to his own style, but still lets the classic sound ring true. If this went to Kyiv, it would be a moment of stillness amid all the dramatic divas and pumped-up pop and it could do really well. (Robyn, 8.5/10)

The negative: Why anyone thought delving in to a 1950s back catalogue was a good idea is beyond me. Maybe there’s a timeless quality to it, but this wouldn’t stand out for any good reason at Eurovision. I understand Salvador was ill during this performance, but all of his mannerisms are off-putting. I just can’t enjoy it. (Chris, 3/10)

2. Celina De Piedade – Primavera (6.08)

The positive: “Primavera” is so joyful and authentic and Celina is a very charismatic performer. This is heartwarming, and it manages to put a smile on my face. However, this sounds more “opening act” than Eurovision song. The song would be a fabulous opening for the first semi-final of Eurovision, although whether it would make the final is another story. (Luis, 6/10)

The negative: The beginning of the song is quite boring and nearly put me to sleep, but it brings the fun as it progresses. The light and easy melody flows really nicely, but becomes monotonous towards the end. However, the song gives me a feeling of something street artists would do. It doesn’t belong on a big stage. Yes, it’s one of the best entries in Portugal’s selection, but that doesn’t say much. (Mikhail, 4.5/10)

3. Pedro Goncalves – Don’t Walk Away (5.88)

The positive: Unlike so many competitors at this year’s Festival da Cançao, Pedro Gonçalves decided to go international. 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. (Jovana, 7/10)

The negative: 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 song so many times in other national finals that it’s now tiresome to endure. It would be a shame if Portugal sends this. (Zakaria, 3/10)

4. Fernando Daniel – Poema A Dois (5.79)

The positive: “Poema A Dois” encapsulates the essence of intelligent songwriting. Unlike most love songs, the subject matter here isn’t obvious. The song structure deliberately omits a chorus, making for an interesting path from verses to climax. Fernando Daniel sprinkles youthful star quality on this classic composition, whilst taking listeners on a poetic journey. Although the core elements of this stand tall, bad wardrobe choices and poor staging dampen its magic. (Deban, 8/10)

The negative: The Latin strings at the start are utterly enchanting, but unfortunately that’s about it. Midway through the song I was hoping, praying, begging for it to offer a bit more – it just never did. Even if it did rise up a tiny bit at the end – and electric guitars are always welcome – it never really got out of being just another same-y and dragging ballad. We seriously need something else. (Natalie, 4/10)

5. Jorge Benevida – Gente Bestial (5.63)

The positive: “Gente bestial” has fun playing with ska and new wave — without being slavish to the genre like Slovenia’s Sell Out was. Musically and visually it’s a whole lot of crazy fun, and Jorge’s used-car-salesman plaid jacket almost threatens to upstage him. I don’t think it would work as a Eurovision entry, but it’s another act I’m pleased to see in the FdC final. (Robyn, 6.5/10)

The negative: “Gente Bestial” is the type of song that puts the credibility of Eurovision into question with its crazy/joke composition and stage presentation. The song sounds like it comes straight out of an old kids TV show or an amusement park which is very annoying and painful to listen to, and Jorge’s performance isn’t helping things at all. (Zakaria, 1/10)

6. Deolinda Kinzimba – O Que Eu Vi Nos Meus Sonhos (5.54)

The positive: From start to finish, Deolinda kept me spellbound. Her dreamlike melody evoked the right emotions, and at the right moments. Her vocal control is equally impressive. Yes, she can sing the house down but this melody — which unveils her hopes and dreams for unity — doesn’t call for that. Accordingly, she applies a measured approach in her delivery, and boy does she sparkle! In a field of amateurs, Miss Kinzimba is sufficiently skilled to deliver a master class to established musicians. (Deban, 9/10)

The negative: This is a beautiful song filled with a lot of emotion. Unfortunately, it’s equally boring as it is beautiful. We already have a million lifeless ballads at Eurovision 2017 and while this is better than most of them, we don’t need another one. Deolinda’s vocals are dazzling but she needs a more contemporary and more energetic song to be able to succeed at Eurovision. (Antranig, 3/10)

7. Lena D’Agua – Nunca Me Fui Embora (4.46)

The positive: Oh my God, this is so amateur hour that I adore it. Lena looks like she’s just turned up from watching her grandchildren. 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. (Chris, 6/10)

The negative: 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. (Mikhail, 2.5/10)

8. Viva La Diva – Nova Gloria (4.29)

The positive: There’s something about Viva la Diva that is really catching my attention. They managed to bring something dated that sounds quite contemporary at the same time. However, even if I do appreciate the falsettos from both male singers, the song is slightly messy in some parts. But I still enjoy it. It’s varied and interesting but it lacks a little modernity. The idea is nice, but even if it’s not especially fresh. (Jordi, 7/10)

The negative: “Nova Glória” starts off a little dated, but strong enough to keep me engaged. The vocal on the female lead is powerful and reminiscent of all the great divas in music history. Then the two fellas join her on stage and it turns into an entire joke. The falsetto backing vocals are off-putting and cringe worthy. How this managed to win the first heat baffles me. (Josh, 2/10)

Those are our rankings for Festival Da Cancao — but what are yours? Who do you think should represent Portugal in Kyiv? How well will they do in this year’s Eurovision? Let us know in the comments.

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Guest

Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post!

It’s the little changes that will make the largest changes.

Many thanks for sharing!

Nitzan
Guest
Nitzan

WOW. This young man sounds like a legend. This is going to take the judges by storm and if the public notices it like it should, we are talking about a possible top 5 finish here and a very dark horse. A classy, timeless act. Huge thumbs up Portugal looks like you are finally making it big this year.

Ohi
Guest
Ohi

Basically Salvador’s song is the only one which is a…Good song or rather a good example of the type of music that it represents so I hope it wins but it might be a Eurovision evergreen moment if it’s staged right. By the way how long is this show? It’s like the royal variety performance mixed with the Oscars. I’m going to have to give up soon.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Wiwi jury gets it right again 🙂

Alex
Guest
Alex

It’s my third favorite after Pedro and Celina. However, I don’t see it doing well at eurovision if it’s chosen. The juries may like it, but I highly doubt it would score more than a dozen points with the televote.

@Racal lmao at Neil Armstrong. I think you mean Louis Armstrong. Unless Neil was a musician too.

Chris Maxey
Guest
Chris Maxey

Oh my god wiwi, this guy is awful!!! Wouldn’t stand a chance in ESC. The only ones i liked was Pedro and Fernando, but Portugal will never win eurovision.

VF
Guest
VF

Hahaha this comment is so funny now

Hebbuzz
Guest
Hebbuzz

Portugal will massively fall for the carcrash entry Nova Gloria, and televote that horrific English song to runner-up position. These two are my least favourite entries and I hoped Portugal would have come up with good modern songs or decent vintage or folk. Ony Salvador and Fernando come somewhat close, but it’s far from winning material in Kyiv.

PP
Guest
PP

Celina and Pedro are so overrated in wiwi jury result and Viva la Diva so underrated. Celina is bad copy of portugal entry from 2009 (and if she win, she wili be flop in semi and only with that dress she wili be strong contender to bring Portugal second time Barbara Dex awards ), Pedro is overrated because only he have modern song plus he sing in englsih, and song is not good and with taht song Portugal wili stay again in semi ). I agree with first place. Only Salvador, Fernando and Viva la Diva (she wili be better… Read more »

Tony
Guest
Tony

Salvador is the only one who left me touched I hope he ends up representing Portugal

M
Guest
M

Haha, i remember recently Elina was also your favorite and she got last place. :p Things are unexpected, let’s see what will happen. can’t wait. Btw what’s your opinion on iceland???

onak
Guest
onak

The biggest joke here is the 8th place for Viva La Diva

Helder Santos
Guest

People noticed the project !!! Yes! I’m surrounded by a lot of people outside the country, even in Canada and the United States, it’s all crazy with this, it’s not disney, it’s not soul, it’s not Vintage, is not jazz, is not revivalism and walking backwards is a style and a poetic message so well interpreted from individual love to the universal meaning of love…never before presented in the history of Eurovision! 🙂 let’s see … I wish he was lucky and he deserves it after being so mistreated when people only focused on the choreography and expression hastily without… Read more »

Dan
Guest
Dan

Fernando, Salvador or Pedro.

teo
Guest
teo

Pedro all the way…in Portugal, non-traditional songs are discriminated. For Pedro Goncalves is very hard there…vote for him.

Frau Von Storch
Guest
Frau Von Storch

Festival da Canção this year has been an absolute disaster. All songs are atrocious and awful. There is no way that one of these songs can get Portugal tot he final – viewers at home won’t understand Salvador’s kind of music and his way of singing is very awkward. Personally, I have a feeling that Portugal doesn’t even want to be in the final, cuz they clearly ain’t trying. Ticket tot he final = cancelled.

Better luck next year.

Leng Eronovit
Guest
Leng Eronovit

Pedro!

Racal
Guest
Racal

Salvador Sobral’s song is absolutely gorgeous. The melody, the instruments, the vocals, the beautiful Portuguese language, … It all fits. Does it sound a bit old? Yes, but in a very classy way. It has a very Neil Armstrong feel to it.

I don’t care if it qualifies for Eurovision, I don’t care if it clears the semi-final, I don’t care if it ends up last at Eurovision; this is going straight to my iPod.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

The competition is very wide open, but I’d love one between Viva La Diva, Fernando Daniel and Salvador Sobral to win. All have songs that sound very original.