After a successful run in 2016, which gave Portugal their first ever victory in Eurovision with Salvador Sobral and “Amar Pelos Dois”, Festival da Canção — the Portuguese national final — is back and on fire! The host country to Eurovision 2018 is mixing up their national selection process — and Salvador Sobral has an important role.

Earlier last week it was revealed that the grand final would move from Lisbon to the city of Guimarães and yesterday broadcaster RTP released the composers’ selection process for this year’s Portuguese extravaganza.

Twenty songs will be competing for a place in the final on March 4 – ten for each semi-final on February 18 and 25. The semi-finals will take place in Lisbon. 

Seventeen composers will be invited by RTP. Just like in 2017, composers will have the opportunity to choose the singer, genre and language they want.

What about the remaining three acts? Bringing his A-game to Festival da Canção 2018 will be last year’s Eurovision winner Salvador Sobral. He will have the power to invite his choice of composer, using the same strategy as RTP.

We know one thing: there will be nothing plastic coming from this choice. Hala!

The remaining two composers will be the fruit of the democratisation of Festival da Canção selection. One vacancy will be occupied by the winner of a competition held for unknown composers by Portuguese Radio Station Antena 1.

The other one will be the winner of an open call for public entries. A jury panel from RTP will decide the best song and the winner will be in one of the semi finals. 

The voting system

The 50/50 voting system is back in different terms for semi-finals and the grand final. A single jury and the public televote will decide which songs will advance to the final. In case of a tie, the professional jury will decide which ones advance.

In the grand final, the decision will be split by televote and seven regional juries. This time around, if we have a tie, the televote will prevail.

Are you excited about Salvador’s involvement in the national selection? What do you think of the changes? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!

FIND MORE PORTUGAL EUROVISION NEWS HERE

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nuno
nuno
3 years ago

this year poland will win. mark my words

Suzy
Suzy
3 years ago
Reply to  nuno

Not unless that duck eats lots of rainbows starting now

Mia
Mia
3 years ago

Salvador in a huge concert singing Amar pelos dois. So beautiful! 🙂 (but all his other songs are also amazing). Great concert!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xO8U0s9CfJE

Hada
Hada
3 years ago

By the way, Amar Pelos Dois will be the theme song of a new Brazilian soap opera (don’t worry, Brazilian soaps are actually good for some reason) called Tempo De Amar.

Elsa
Elsa
3 years ago

A small correction: it’s Luisa (winner composer) who will choose the composer, not Salvador. It’s a misunderstood translation problem.

Hada
Hada
3 years ago
Reply to  Elsa

Salvador, Luísa, tomato, tomahto…

sehaj
sehaj
3 years ago

I feel that what happens now in Portugal (power to the jury in the semi-finals, because apparently televoters have no taste) is pretty close to what happened in 2017 in Spain. Poor Manel. A contry that just won could leave the televoters decide more, because being winners, they already have the clue.

jet
jet
3 years ago
Reply to  sehaj

Portugal has a really odd national final when it comes to voting. The jury there can screw up the results really bad (FdC 2010, when they placed Catarina Pereira 5th place) or can save them (2017, for example). The Portuguese televoters have some strange musical tastes and they are really unpredictable. Everyone thought Salvador would top both the jury and the televote in this year’s Festival da Canção. The song had event went viral there and it seemed to have a massive support from the people which obviously didn’t translate into votes. That is probably one of the reasons why… Read more »

maria
maria
3 years ago
Reply to  jet

Yes, “Amar pelos dois” went viral on social media, etc. Most people I know loved the song from the beginning but didn’t get the trouble to watch the show (and cast their votes). Festival da Canção and Eurovision used to be important contests during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, but in the last decades, educated people were ashamed to watch it and good artists were ashamed to participate in it.

Tiago S
Tiago S
3 years ago
Reply to  maria

Exactly this. It was the only viral song and the best for most. But we would never vote for it because we didn’t care for the festival or Eurovision for that matter. Now I do. And I would vote.

loreen
loreen
2 years ago
Reply to  maria

Maria, why are you insulting everybody on wiwibloggs and on ESC Portugal? why dont you get some education? Respect other people’s musical taste and stop acting like a child. Many educated people watch eurovision, and we’ve had plenty of good ones participating on it. It’s people with backwards mentalities like yours that are bringing Portugal down.

Unknown Melody
Unknown Melody
3 years ago
Reply to  jet

Tbe voting window was open for almost a week, so the televoting results had nothing to do with the public’s preference, but with who promoted themselves the best.

kenna
kenna
3 years ago

While all the others keep crying that they won’t get to see “gimmicky over-the-top extravagant eurotrash”; I, on the other hand, am excited. I genuinely think that Salvador’s going to choose three great composers; regardless of their genre. Jazz isn’t the style Salvador sings in you know.

kenna
kenna
3 years ago
Reply to  kenna

*isn’t the “only” style. Sorry for that mistake.

Joao
Joao
3 years ago

I’m portuguese and Salvador will probably pick either a portuguese or brazillian person, with a soft/jazzy ballad. I dont have many expectations. I dont think he should be allowed to choose. Concerning the other choices, it’s unfair. There should be one semi final exclusive to the public composers, giving more freedom to other people, not just invitations. RTP thinks that just because this worked once, it’ll work again. i wanna see us sending a pop song with a pop artist because we have many good singers, but i dont the s*** judges will let us. They’re too close minded, unless… Read more »

maria
maria
3 years ago
Reply to  Joao

Are you serious? The audience that watches Festival da Canção and is willing to spend money on the televote has no taste whatsoever. They choose horrendous composers and performers, such as Susy and Emanuel. Unless you think “pimba” is good taste. Until Festival da Canção and Eurovision is able to reach a wider and educated audience in Portugal (*nobody* used to watch it, until now), RTP is right to invite the best composers that do the songs we usually hear in Portugal. That didn’t happen at all in the past years. Gradually, they’re going to open the competition (and this… Read more »

Joao
Joao
3 years ago
Reply to  maria

Maria, are YOU serious? Pimba may not be my taste but it’s part of portuguese culture. Whether you accept it or not, none of my business. Yall always saying that we share our culture but you dont respect pimba. WTV. Another mistake is that you think Pop and Pimba are the same. They’re different music styles. the judges are old fashioned, always have been, it’s funny how in the other years when we got suck in the finals none of you praised them but now that we got lucky(ONCE LOL) yall saying they save us. Hun pls. SUZY was NOT… Read more »

Nostradamco
Nostradamco
3 years ago

Interesting that both time in semi and final in their national selection, Salvador lost televote , both times Viva la Diva with song Nova Gloria won televote .

Nostradamco
Nostradamco
3 years ago

I predict he wil chose his sister as composer of one song in festival.

Nana
Nana
3 years ago
Reply to  Nostradamco

He won’t, both his sister and him agreed on not participating again at Eurovision. They want to make their victory unique and to be a single-life-time event.

Charles
Charles
3 years ago

Knowing Salvador … he will never pick anybody who thinks that music is a recycling formula a la Sweden … and that will upset so many fans who actually adore all the recycling as if that was a musical achievement to be proud of, a step in the right direction. I mean … nobody seems bothered with auto-tune or Britney Spears not singing one single note live … why would they be bothered to have a song that sounds like another heard before? It’s like going to school but having somebody else doing all the homework and tests for me… Read more »

maria
maria
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles

Yes, he will definitely choose a good composer; someone with taste. I can see him choosing his friend Júlio Resende, for example. Portugal has excellent composers and singer-songwriters. They just don’t want to participate in Eurovision, because it is not well regarded in Portugal. Luísa was brave enough to accept the invitation last year. Miguel Araújo (one of the main composers nowadays), for example, refused and I can see why. Until now, Eurovision was a death certificate in a Portuguese artist’s career. RTP is trying to change that and I hope this victory can make other good composers and singers… Read more »

Joao
Joao
3 years ago
Reply to  maria

Maria, taste is relative. julio resend is boring.

Hada
Hada
3 years ago

IMHO it would make more sense if Luísa chose the composer, since she’s the previous winning composer. Unless she’s gonna enter again or she’s the one Salvador chooses, but she told you guys she didn’t wanna do it again.

Otherwise it does sound good, although there’s the risk of the audience or juries playing favorites. Overall the format seems excellent to me. FdC is no San Remo, but it can be one day, or it can become a prestigious festival in its own right.

maria
maria
3 years ago
Reply to  Hada

Luísa may take part of the jury, perhaps… I don’t believe she’ll be competing again.

greenmoon
greenmoon
3 years ago
Reply to  Hada

Luísa will chose with Sobral, i think this post is wrong because it’s not only Salvador.

Hada
Hada
3 years ago
Reply to  greenmoon

Ah ok, that does sound better. Both of them choosing one participant sounds cool.

TACV
TACV
3 years ago
Reply to  Hada

Well Festival da Canção IS a prestigious contest. It may not be to the international audience, but it’s for Portugal. It’s importance and historical relevance in the Portuguese music history is irrefutable.

Hada
Hada
3 years ago
Reply to  TACV

Oh yes, I meant an internationally renowned contest a la San Remo (without being San Remo) in its own right, independently of the results at Eurovision.

Unknown Melody
Unknown Melody
3 years ago

Haters have gone from “Portugal won’t qualify” to “Portugal won’t win” to “Portugal won’t do well again”. Hopefully RTP will keep proving them wrong!

Gorilla716
Gorilla716
3 years ago
Reply to  Unknown Melody

You really think that Portugal will become as successful as Sweden in Eurovision?

Hada
Hada
3 years ago
Reply to  Gorilla716

“As successful as Sweden”? probably not, more successful than their pre-Sobrals track record? Probably yes. Also it’s not just about succeeding at Eurovision, it’s also about having a successful festival in its own right.

Jo
Jo
3 years ago
Reply to  Hada

I prefer Portugal doing bad but with original songs, that reflect their own identity, than just buying a Melfest-reject from Sweden.

Lover
Lover
3 years ago
Reply to  Gorilla716

Even after they won you haters keep whining? yall need to get real smh, anything can happen at this point. Not saying they’ll be as successful, but they wont be in the same spot as Spain, Germany, etc.

Kai
Kai
3 years ago
Reply to  Gorilla716

do you really think Portugal wants to be successul in Eurovision by a swedish formula? eurovision mainstream? As if…
portuguese entries are totally different from swedish.

Unknown Melody
Unknown Melody
3 years ago
Reply to  Gorilla716

Of course Portugal won’t be as successful as Sweden, but with this format it is actually a competitive ESC country.

fastfoodmusiclover
fastfoodmusiclover
3 years ago

jamala was part of the national final right after her win and see how ukraine faired this year. i think sobral should just sit back relax and take care of his health instead of involving himself deeper and deeper into this fast food music contest.

No Name
No Name
3 years ago

So many psichics in the comment section… please tell me my fortune LOL get a life

Xana
Xana
3 years ago
Reply to  No Name

The same psychics who predicted Portugal not to qualify this year.

No Name
No Name
3 years ago
Reply to  Xana

And that Portugal would finish last in the semi-final haha

L'oiseau
3 years ago

Good news. I would prefer to have more slots for open competition maybe up to three or four, but one is a start. As much as I like Salvador (although less lately, I must confess…) I don’t really see the point of he choosing one composer. Now, what is more important is who RTP will invite to participate. Last year was a very good mix. I hope, though, that RTP is bolder in their choices and go after younger and more creative composers

Mattias Sollerman
Mattias Sollerman
3 years ago
Reply to  L'oiseau

Letting Salvador pick a participant adds a nice narrative to the event. A character people can follow and talk about. I’m glad he accepted to be part of Eurovision for another year. Adds a bit of publicity. If more people watch because of this, it surely is a good idea.
What we don’t want to happen of course is for the artist to crush the televote just because the composer is Salvador’s chosen one.

L'oiseau
3 years ago

Yes I get the part of the publicity, but the results might be skewed with that . Also Salvador might want to make a statement and this might unpredictable… But let’s see. I don’t have strong feelings about it.

Xana
Xana
3 years ago
Reply to  L'oiseau

The same pyschics who predicted Portugal not to qualify this year.

L'oiseau
3 years ago
Reply to  Xana

I don’t know what or who you mean. Certainly not me, as I was cofident he would and I said so several times.

L'oiseau
3 years ago
Reply to  L'oiseau

Correction: If it is Luisa Sobral that picks one composer than I am all for it!

D
D
3 years ago

I fear Portugal will suffer a similar fate like Finland: win the contest with a song that stood out and then fall back into irrelevancy like where they were before. I don’t think winning the contest is suddenly going to make Portugal a powerhouse after so many years of being a strict NQ country, especially considering Portugal doesn’t have *that* huge of a music industry. Hopefully they’ll prove me wrong, but we’ll see. Let’s go back to Portugal’s days of sending nice ethnic songs, like in 2008/2009.

Tiago Varela
Tiago Varela
3 years ago
Reply to  D

Well you clearly do not know the Portuguese music industry. Do not judge the Portuguese music industry by the songs Portugal sent to ESC. There were always a disconnection between the composers and songs people listen on the radio and the genre of songs sent to ESC. It’s exactly that, that Festival da Canção decided to change last year by inviting known composers we listen in the radios. I recommend you to listen to the interview wiwibloogs made to Nuno Galopim. Portuguese music industry is huge expecially considering its size. It thrives both in the pop genre but expecially in… Read more »

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
3 years ago

The Portuguese public have suspect taste. Just remember that Viva La Diva won the televote last year. :O Salvador was only saved by the jury who liked him the most and weren’t all that fussed by the generic popera.

Ddraven
Ddraven
3 years ago

The Portuguese people sent those clowns back in 2011. Suspect is too kind of a word to describe their taste.

kaz
kaz
3 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

Ddraven, you mean the song that was clearly a protest song against the austerity bill that was going through Portugal at the time? Idiot.

Educate yourself before making ignorant comments.

Ddraven
Ddraven
3 years ago
Reply to  kaz

Doesn’t change the fact that they were clowns. It’s not because an actor talks about politics on Twitter that makes him any less qualified to do so. They were jokes. Stupid clowns that just had a song trying to be something more than what they were.

Huawei
Huawei
3 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

Well they sent a clown this year too….and lo and behold he won. So never doubt a nation’s capabilities.

Joao
Joao
3 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

ddraven, é incrivel como finges que és estrangeiro. Já te vi no you tu be a fazer a mesma coisa. Stop pretending that you’re not portuguese lmao. Im done. The portuguese audience has better taste than the juries. Im portuguese, we only sent those guys cause we were knew we would get a bad place no matter what. As if the whole show isnt a circus with over the top performances. It’s a clown show for non eurovision fans anyway.

Joao
Joao
3 years ago
Reply to  Joao

Most people never took esc seriously, that’s why those clowns were sent. The juries take it even less seriously than the public. After vania got a bad place many people stopped caring, hence why homens da Luta were chosen. it was a troll act, you just took it to the heart. get over it.

Lis
Lis
3 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

Yes, I am Portuguese and I agree. The participation of Portugal in the last years was terrible (one or another exception). There were beautiful songs in the 60s, 70s, but after that people just lost its interest in Eurovision. When Salvador said he never saw ESC, some people didn´t believe, but in fact that is very common in Portugal for people of his generation. Hope that now, as more people know about the existence of eurovision in Portugal, they start to be more interested and vote for really quality songs.

Joao
Joao
3 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

ddraven, é incrivel como finges que és estrangeiro. Já te vi no youtube a fazer a mesma coisa. Stop pretending that you’re not portuguese ya clown, you should be ashamed. Im done. The portuguese audience has better taste than the juries. Im portuguese, we only sent those clowns cause we were knew we would get a shitty place no matter what. It’s a clown show for non eurovision fans anyway.

Joao
Joao
3 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

Ddraven “their taste”, it’s also your taste. You’re portuguese, even though you like to pretend you aren’t. Caught you way too many times, buddy. Get a life. So many clown acts in ESC ended up getting top 5 in eurovision, and you call these guys clowns. Oh, the irony.

Joao
Joao
3 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

Ddraven “their taste”, is also your taste. You’re portuguese, even though you like to pretend you aren’t. Caught you way too many times, friend. Get a l!fe. So many clown acts in esc ended up getting top five in eurovision, and you call these guys cl0wns. Ironic innit.

Joao
Joao
3 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

Oh and another thing, those clowns were chosen also by the juries, if they gave them low points they wouldnt go. The problem aint the public, it’s the juries. This year we got lucky cause they chose well, that’s it.

Kai
Kai
3 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

2011 was just Portugal trolling eurovision…so what?

Thales
Thales
3 years ago

Never understood why you, as a “journalist” here, needs to comment everything as the lady of the right! Give me a break

Joao
Joao
3 years ago

The portuguese public? da heck, have you been brainwashed by bernardo? we got lucky that this year the juries gave salvador a chance, and it was only because his song was a typical portuguese ballad. Portugal’s only chance of sending a pop song for ESC is with the portuguese public, the juries hate pop. Suzy only went to ESC thanks to the juries, the audience gave full points to Catarina. So you should quit talking about something you know nothing about.

4li3n
4li3n
3 years ago
Reply to  Joao

Festival da Canção 2014 was awful. But I’m not fan of latin ethnic pop but between Catarina and Suzy – venha o diabo e escolha. Also Mea Culpa has almost the same melody that Canta Por Mim…
In 2015 Portugal lost the opportunity to being represented by Yola – Outra Vez Primavera. The foreign media said that song may have a chance of Portugal to have the best score ever…

loreen
loreen
2 years ago
Reply to  4li3n

Yola? her song was old fashioned as it gets. Just another screaming diva with nothing to offer. Who cares if mea culpa sounds similar to canta por mim, it’s her song. And the foreign media couldn’t care LESS…she’s a nobody, in Portugal and out.

Miguel
Miguel
3 years ago

El publico europeo tiene un gusto sospechoso, rumania 7……… tu eres sopechosa de sectarismo prejuicios cierto racismo cultural y enorme ignorancia

Mark
Mark
3 years ago

I’m not sure Festival da Cancao will be successful again. It’s no Sanremo.

Ddraven
Ddraven
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark

It probably won’t. Portugal will be back to the non qualifier status.

aMr
aMr
3 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

Not this year, since they are already in the Final! 🙂

Joao
Joao
3 years ago
Reply to  Ddraven

DDRAVEN- we dont have nothing to prove Ddraven, but haters like you will ALWAYS moan. And karma will hit you again, just like it did this year. Even though you’re a portuguese person pretending to be foreign, which makes it all more hilarious.

Lover
Lover
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Who cares about Sanremo? They were a flop this year. Either way, people said Salvador probably wouldn’t win. I stopped taking people’s bets seriously since Portugal won. Anything can happen.

goprake
goprake
3 years ago

RTP seems to want to end well again, but to be honest, in my opinion their victory was a bit of a lucky thing, they had a gem in their national final and they seized it. I don’t think there will be another gem this year.