Yesterday all eyes were on RTP’s HQ as they held the press conference that officially kicked off Portugal’s Eurovision 2018 hosting duties, naming Lisbon and MEO Arena as the city and venue that will welcome Europe’s favourite extravaganza.
They also took the opportunity to announce that Festival da Canção — Portugal’s traditional national selection — will be back with semi finals on February 18 and 25. The final is moving from Lisbon to the city of Guimarães on March 4. Time to spread that FdC love to a new city!
There are no major changes in the selection process this year. Don’t fix what ain’t broke, right? After producing a Eurovision winning song last year, RTP will continue to focus their efforts on inviting the best composers in the country to submit songs. Twenty will be invited this year.
After opening the floor to songs in any language last year and winning Eurovision with a song completely in Portuguese, we don’t know how many composers will risk producing a song in English. But that is a question for the coming months.
This time around, each semi final will have ten songs and five of them will advance to the grand final. The voting system is yet to be revealed but it should follow last year’s pattern: 50% televote and 50% jury in the semis and 50% televote and 50% regional jury in the final.
Composers will have full artistic freedom to create the songs — from genre and lyrics to production and language and, above all, the singer.
RTP’s President Gonçalo Reis was clear when it came to the strategy the broadcaster is using for the national final.
“We want to decentralise the event. We chose Guimarães to host this year’s edition of Festival da Canção. It’s the birth city of the nation, European capital of culture in 2012. It’s a choice that honours RTP. It honors the country,” he said.
“We compromise here that in the next four years, we will choose different cities in Portugal to host — at least — the final”
This means we may have Festival da Canção and Portugal in Eurovision at least until 2021. Let’s do this!
The “Multiusos de Guimarães” can welcome around 5,000 people and is a frequent stop for Portuguese artists staging national tours.
What do you think of RTP’s choice to keep the same strategy as last year? What about choosing different cities to host the national final? Let us know in the comments box below.