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. 

Read more Portugal Eurovision news

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May 8, 10 and 12
May 8, 10 and 12
4 years ago

Portugal NF format is about the broadcaster inviting song-writers, right?
So they invited Luisa Sobral, and otherwise she probably never had written and submit ”Amar pelos dois”. It’s not very democratic to have only a few chosen, and this is why it’s not my favorite format, but maybe it will work again.
I’m thinking about Frans (Sweden 2016) age 17, he wrote the song himself together with a friend, in Portugal format he wouldn’t have any chance.

Ddraven
Ddraven
4 years ago

I know you probably won’t read this but RTP has announced how the selection method for the composers will be done. 17 will be invited by RTP, 1 will be chosen by last year’s winner(Luisa), 1 will be chosen from a radio competition for authors and musicians without published work and the last one is open for participation of anyone that lives in Portugal(regardless of nationality) and anyone with the Portuguese nationality(regardless of their country of residence) through a contest.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
4 years ago

Well as I always say it’s mostly about the songs rather than the format. They were lucky to have Salvador this year, but if next year they have 20 flops they won’t go far. I wish them the best and possibly a Catarina Pereira entry, the good sis has THE bops.

GreenMoon
GreenMoon
4 years ago

Just 2 questions: where are you from? and what kind gender of music you prefer?
I’ll give you some portuguese songs/artist that they fit with your music gender.

Unknown Melody
Unknown Melody
4 years ago

The format has a lot of influence on the kind of songs they get. The focus on good songwriting and creative freedom was RTP’s smartest move ever in ESC.

Hada
Hada
4 years ago

Of course any format can fail if the entries are bad, but this is the one that allows the magic to happen if it does. This allows songwriter and singer to become a visible team (so the writer gets credit and accountability as well) and have a song that suits the artist perfectly.

OTOH formats like Germany’s or Greece’s this year are doomed, so format does matter.

Azaad
Azaad
4 years ago

To be honest, I think the quality of the composition and Salvador’s persona won the contest, not the slightly updated FdC format. Much like Austria, I think this will usher in decent results for a once languishing country, but no spectacular follow up in the short run.

I do think that composing a song for an album rather than Eurovision is a good idea so long as it’s still 3 minutes- City Lights the original Requiem also prove that.

May 8, 10 and 12
May 8, 10 and 12
4 years ago
Reply to  Azaad

Agree, the song must be 3 min. from the beginning, and also the final language(s), otherwise ”occidentali’s karma” will strike again.

Justin K.
Justin K.
4 years ago

This past year’s system was great, and I have a feeling they’ll be able to get the best of the best with a win. Eurovision has a fickle reputation–people are willing to jump on if a country does well or if it’s the pride of a country, but other countries struggle to get the same attention from decent artists/composers. I have a feeling this’ll be the start of continued Portuguese success, much like Belgium these past three years. Both Portugal and Belgium show that internal selection at some level (whether it’s the participants of a NF or the actual act)… Read more »

Hada
Hada
4 years ago

Each news leaves me more and more impressed with Portugal. Moving a FdC to a different Portuguese city for 4 years is an elegant solution to integrate the four bidding cities that didn’t win (and clearly had no chance against Lisbon and its MEO arena).

The format of the FdC is also the best one possible. They might have good or bad entries, but this gives them the best chance to bring something with quality to Eurovision.

I don’t know if the other shoe just hasn’t dropped yet, but so far so good.

GreenMoon
GreenMoon
4 years ago

Ahahah
And Mirela for Spain, both will fight the 1st place on ESC 2018

Jo
Jo
4 years ago

Portugal wouldn’t even qualify with that song.

Ddraven
Ddraven
4 years ago

Well I can’t wait to see RTP continuously fail from now on. Let’s face it, they lucked out with “Amar pelos dois”. But RTP hasn’t, and probably will never understand that. They will keep looking for a new copy of “Amar pelos dois” and fail at the formula and fall again onto their non qualifier streak. The jury will keep punishing English songs, all songs will be the same and RTP will blame Europe for their eventual failures. It was nice while it lasted, but no top 10, or even no final, should be expected from them in the years… Read more »

No Name
No Name
4 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

Are you a psychic? Yea, that’s what I thought…

Ddraven
Ddraven
4 years ago
Reply to  No Name

No, but I know RTP and it’s ancient way of thinking well enough to boast such claims.

Miguel
Miguel
4 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

Quizas tu eres muy antiguo, y,confundes un vintage o una antiguedad con un trasto,viejo . Desecha menos sinergias e incorpora un concepto mas atemporal , y ganaras calidad en tus comentarios. Si estuvieras en lo cierto salvador sobral no hubiera ganado ese festival, y adivina quien lo hubiera hecho. Y si estuvieras en lo cierto no hubieran invitado a norisev o marcia, que te contradice.
Yo tambien conozco bien POrtugal. Saludos

Miguel
Miguel
4 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

To be fair its not RTPs fault. They have tried many different formulas over the last years. The poor results are more related to the lack of interest from national artists and songwriters. I remember back in 2008 when Andrej Babic participated and won the national final and his song did well in Europe. The following year was probably the best national selection in Portugal of the last 20 years. And then we went back to the same boring slow balads fest….. I am guessing 2018 will be a good year for Portugal and then its back to non-qualifying bad… Read more »

Ddraven
Ddraven
4 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

It’s sad to see fellow Portuguese get so triggered. Just face it, RTP will bomb this from now on, and it’s back to no qualify land.

Jo
Jo
4 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

“The jury will keep punishing English songs […]”.
Seriously? All what the jury has been doing is overrate bland English songs, calling them “radiofriendly” but they flop on Europe’s charts.

Jo
Jo
4 years ago
Reply to  Jo

Btw Sweden sends the damn same thing every year and it’s working for them…

Ddraven
Ddraven
4 years ago
Reply to  Jo

The Portuguese jury. Last year all English songs were in the jury’s bottom.

GreenMoon
GreenMoon
4 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

hmm RTP is a composer? The formula that a RTP found for the FC is good, basically RTP told the composers that they shouldn’t worry about the competitive side, just write a song for their album / something more genuine for them. Unfortunately there were composers who were following the strategy for the eurovision, and they flopped. I believe it is possible for more timeless entries, classic, fado, folk. But not a classy-jazz.

jayjay
jayjay
4 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

I agree that the Portuguese history in the ESC is poor and RTP is mainly to blame for it. But hey, what is your problem with your own country?! Can’t you be happy for what RTP accomplished and whish that they continue to be successful? . How sad is that?

No Name
No Name
4 years ago

Hell no! :p

L'oiseau
L'oiseau
4 years ago

That sounds promising. Hope that the organizing team will remain, in particular Nuno Galopim. Could have a better jury though, which did a great job choosing Salvador, of course, but that was very conservative in the remaining songs. And what ever happened to have a part of the songs from an open competition? That would a nice touch to open up the contest

KESC
KESC
4 years ago

Idk why but I have the feeling that Portugal will do very well next year. Hopefully they’ll take the contest more seriously, after Salvador’s win.

Btw, Luisa Sobral as a host would be perfect.

Erasmus
Erasmus
4 years ago
Reply to  KESC

Yeah she would be perfect! She’s very lovely and she speaks English so good! But Suzy is maybe more fun… Anyway I hope to see someone who participated in Eurovision. 🙂

Ddraven
Ddraven
4 years ago
Reply to  KESC

Likely not. RTP is likely to try and copy “Amar pelos dois” and fail miserably at every try. Don’t expect much from them.

James
James
4 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

Considering Portugal’s track record since first joining Eurovision, they won’t be replicating anything except sticking to what they know, every known genre in Portuguese music sung in Portuguese.

James
James
4 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

How do I pronounced “Guimarães”? Is it the same if I call it “Guimaras”?

Miguel
Miguel
4 years ago
Reply to  James

” Guimarains “

Jo
Jo
4 years ago
Reply to  James

Better go to Google Translate, kinda hard to explain how to pronounce the “~”.

May 8, 10 and 12
May 8, 10 and 12
4 years ago
Reply to  James
L'oiseau
L'oiseau
4 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

This is what everybody said when Amar pelos dois won the Festival da Canção… Look now

Miguel
Miguel
4 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

Si siguen invitando a comlositores no depende de rtp el producto si no de los compositores invitados y el patron fue de variedad desde lo experimental al pop cancion de autor jazz etc…
Acabas de decir una chorrada y has perdido u a oportunidad de reflexionar o de callar

Jo
Jo
4 years ago

That’s a great idea!