The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rank and review the 43 songs competing in Eurovision 2018. Next we head to host country Portugal and take a look at The Voice star Cláudia Pascoal and her song “O jardim” (The garden). Did we want to take a moment to smell the roses? Read on to find out!
Cláudia Pascoal – “O jardim”
Luis: Portugal has found a new formula at Eurovision and I’m more than willing to embrace it. “O jardim” is hauntingly beautiful, simple and delicate, yet contemporary enough to keep the audience engaged. Cláudia and Isaura add layers and layers of texture to this song and manage to create a striking performance with the simplest setting. What’s even better about this entry is that goes far beyond Eurovision: “O jardim” can be the soundtrack of any peaceful moment of your life. Obrigado Portugal!
Robyn: Oh, this song gives me chills. It has a simple beauty and it Cláudia’s vocals carry the emotion of the lyrics without requiring the audience to know a word of Portuguese. This is the modern face of Portugal at Eurovision and it works. The staging needs some improvement, though. While Isaura brings gorgeous vocal depth to the performance, her fashion straitjacket and barstool combination at Festival da Canção seemed an odd match for the song.
Sebastian: Claudia delivers a somewhat haunting piece, with a beat, rhythm and atmosphere that grows little by little across three minutes. Even though it lacks the typical crescendo, its absence seems fitting and oddly appropriate to the tone of the song. Ethereal and enticing, Claudia’s garden is definitely the place I want to be in Lisbon.
Bernardo: Portugal didn’t change much in their winning national final formula. Festival da Canção had big shoes to fill and — thankfully — “O Jardim” showed up, snatched the crown and continues Portugal’s trend of sending quality entries. The production is complex in its simplicity and Claúdia’s ethereal vocals shine through it. It’s a slow burn that leaves you wanting for more. Beautifully crafted and emotionally intense. A proud Portuguese here.
Chris: First things first, Claudia is stunningly beautiful. Admittedly, I may have some jealousy over that amazing pink shade in her hair. Bubblegum shade maybe, but bubblegum pop this is not. Maybe it doesn’t feel quite “right” for Eurovision, but Portugal has already proven that idea wrong. “O jardim” is understated and charming. One quibble, though. Whilst there’s nothing inherently wrong with Isaura’s cameo, it does seem to take the spotlight away from Claudia. She commands the stage on her own: she doesn’t really need the help.
Jovana: “O jardim” is proof of why sometimes it is better to perform in your own language. Cláudia simply seems to feel every single word she is singing, and that cannot leave you indifferent. Her performance is so touching and so peaceful at the same time. The magical, heaven-like tone of the song raises you up and calms you down at the same time. What cannot be a minus, though, is that some people might find it similar to “Amar pelos dois” and compare it negatively to it.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 20 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 4 and a high of 9.5.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.19/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!
Portugal always brings diversity and timeless music. This one will do great again. Don’t know the position, but they are playing on home soil, so they have all the facilities and advantages to come up with another special performance.
I’m proud of my neighbours again.
Portugese entry last year was one of the best according to me. But this year just meh. Only one song that really stand out for me in this very mediovre year: The one of Georgia!! Have a listen on a daily basis.
I know, I have a weird taste LOL
This is one of the songs i really like in the contest this year.
It doesn’t rely on any gimmick, like some of the entries this year do.The vocals and the song are just amazing. It’s a 8/10 for me
PORTUGAL – Hauntingly beautiful and surprisingly monotone at the same time, Portugal provides one of the most unique experiences of Eurovision 2018. The song is about a loss and you can feel the sadness and depth from the way Claudia performs it. The lyrics are very well written, even if tad repetitive. I love the way the symbol of garden is being used as someone’s legacy or a reminder. It’s perfect for creating the atmosphere more than it is for entertaing with a complex composition. This is the slowest song in the contest (I know that Latvia technically has even… Read more »
Like Salvador said; Music is feeling, not fireworks. To anyone who has lost their grand mother this is an amazingly sweet and emotional song. Kudos for that Portugal!
My #9 after my 1st evaluation.
Ack. My no.10. So close!
I really like this. Whenever it comes on, I stop what I am doing. Such an authentic piece. Need more songs like this at Eurovision!
Usually, the host country of Eurovision doesn’t really send a good song, usually something quite safe or usually something that probably wouldn’t qualify if it had to go through the semis. It’s a rarity when the host country sends something just as good as their winning song the previous year, that has only happened a few times. Serbia 2008, Russia 2009, Germany 2011, Azerbaijan 2012 being the only examples I could find. Time to add Portugal to this list. Best entry by a host country in a long time. I love this song, it’s so sweet, emotive and really contemporary… Read more »
Funny metaphor! 🙂
We have a great song!!! Wating for top 10!! GO PORTUGAL
It’s good, but not “that” good.
Love it! Sounds very beautiful and intimist. Boring for some, emotive for others. I’m the second group. Hope the jury and the televote can appreciate this. Also, Claudia has a really special beauty. Portugal is in my 9th place: 1. Germany (9)| 2. Albania (8.75) 3. Spain (8.5)| 7. Ukraine (7.5)| 9. PORTUGAL (7.25)| 11. Italy (7.25)| 12. France (7)| 13. Lithuania (7)| 14. Denmark (7)| 15. FYR Macedonia (7)| 16. Greece (7)| 17. Switzerland (7)| 18. Poland (7)| 20. Romania (6,75)| 21. Armenia (6.75)| 23. Slovenia (6.5)| 24. Ireland (6.5)| 25. Estonia (6.5)| 26. Croatia (6.25)| 27. Australia (6)|… Read more »
I’m a little sad that this song is not having a big impact on the people accompanying Eurovision. I even feel that the song will position itself in the last places. However it is a very special song because it speaks of keeping the legacy (metaphorically, The Garden) of people who are very dear to us and who are no longer with us. Wonder if you ever heard songs with this meaning in this event? I understand that you consider it boring and that it does not go anywhere from a musical point of view, but it is very important… Read more »
They (or some of them), rather hear a song about nothing, like fuego, or a song whose lyrics make no sense, like Azerbeijan’s just because it has good dance beats. Portugal will keep sending songs with feeling (like I m sure will France and Italy). That is what we almost always have sent, what makes us happy and who we are.
Portugal gets a 10/10 for me this year (and last year too). For me “O Jardim” and an emotional sequel to “Amar Pelos Dois”. “Amar Pelois Dois” musically reminded me of my grandfather, lyrically and emotionally “O Jardim” reminds me of my grandmother (so his wife). I legit cry every time i hear “O Jardim”, and I did before knowing the lyrics and my knowledge of Portuguese is super limited. (I watched the second semi of Festival da Cancao with my Brazilian wife and she translated it for me once it was done). I believe that this song is going… Read more »
Let’s try again 😛 So, this does nothing for me. A nice little ditty, but that’s it. At times I feel the song is much stronger than Claudia’s way of singing, making her seem really underwhelming. The melody’s a bit awkward, and I don’t remember it at all. Can it survive the main stage? Not sure. I’m worried that Portugal will stick to this slow and chill trend because it worked once to liberate them from their drought. FdC was just bland and dull all through, trying to replicate that Salvador magic. I want the diversity that happened in 2014,… Read more »
So basically you want Suzy and Catarina Pereira. Well, forget it, that ship has sailed (if it ever was our ship at all).
All aboard, I’m so happy that ship sailed long ago, that past should and may not be revived, this new Portuguese attempts have been pure PERFECTION.
Not my cup of tea. I don’t know why people see it as a winner already.
hey y’all heres a tip, just because this song is slow doesn’t mean they are copying salvador 😉 portugal is NOT using the same formula, they are blending their tradition with a more modern sound. you may not like it, but stop saying they are trying to send the same stuff.
That tells us all we need to know about one’s music culture right? To think jazz/classical is the same as trip hop/indie… Lol
-Slow start, simple voice.
-Big contrast with last year’s and not in a good way.
-No growth or variation in it.
-Too minimalistic for my taste
It reminded me of City Lights, and that’s not a good thing for me.
Yet “City Lights” finished 4th, and Blanche was in my top 15 before last year’s contest.
Me: Music is subjective, there are no right or wrong opinions
Also me: WTF HOW DID THIS BEAUTIFUL SONG SCORE LOWER THAN AZERBAIJAN, WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE? >_<;
Azerbaijan is my winner this year. Portugal in bottom 5. 😀
*That was meant to be the “flipping table in rage” emoticon but it seems that formatting doesn’t work here. =(
Simple and beautiful song with touching lyrics. Another emotion trigger for me, thus this belongs to my top 10. A worthy entry to represent the host country. Thank you Portugal <3
2.5/10 I don’t get this song; it’s as almost Portugal are trying to use the same formula to win; but this time it’s boring. The song feels as though it has no melody and no talking point. I honestly struggle to remeber this. Think this could be bottom 5 this year.
I’m not usually a fan of Portugueuse entries. However, this one is so beautiful. I don’t love it but I enjoy listening to it.
Updated Wiwi Jury scoreboard (based on the grades to each song): https://scorewiz.eu/scoreboard/view/212648/wiwi-jury-2018
Portugal could’ve coasted on Salvador’s win last but they decided to bring quality once again. I wouldn’t be mad about a back-to-back win for Portugal.
moderation? comment not appearing? Did I say a naughty word?
This will either finish like 24th in the final or around 7th. I didn’t care for it at the first couple listens, but it once came up in my playlist and I loved it ever since. This is so haunting and beautiful, and I feel like the Portuguese stage was made for this song this year. The only thing there is is that it’s 8th in the running order- not a great spot for this song. I hope they score good again, Portugal and Claudia and Isaura deserve it. 8,5/10
This is a lovely mix of old-fashioned and contemporary, sung beautifully by Claudia. It does however feel a little short and the presence of the second singer feels like an intrusion to me. Good luck Portugal and if you get the staging right could be in the top ten – who knows…
Who are this portuguese loving people? I d love to know where they have been these last 50 years, (with the exception of last year lol)
oh! that’s new… as a portuguese fan who followed portuguese path on ESC during more than 20 years I’ve always felt the opposite
(“people hate just because it’s Portugal. Where is Portugal anyway? I thought it was a Spanish province”)
Your taste in music is horrible. 0/10 is spaming troll.
Yes I m portuguese and sure, biased of course, but still, I m not arguing the score, or the end results, or even the quality, just this… People who say this song is boring. Where do you come from? What is your age and background? What music taste do you have? To me this song sounds like a not that distant cousin from ones of Portishead, Massive Attack and yes, the XX. Do the naysayers know these bands? Would they badmouth them? Sure it doesn’t go anywhere, sure Cláudia ‘s voice has imperfections. That’ s what makes it so much… Read more »
If you like edm, pop, rock, or other upbeat musical style this is boring.
The same goes for Portishead, Massive Attack and the XX.
I like this song, but you should respect every opinion.
I find jazz, r&b and blues extremely boring, while some people love it. We all have different tastes and opinions. We just have to respect each other and offer constructive criticism. This is not directly towards you. It’s just some people in this blog can’t put 2 words together.
Constructive criticism is not saying a song is boring and nothing else… That was exactly why I asked all those questions before hand. And I like edm, pop, rock, some metal, trance and more styles/genres. Why limit yourself when all have great things to offer? And no, I won’t accept as a valid opinion someone badmouthing Portishead. 🙂
It also bothers me when people use just “boring” or “dull” to trash a song. After all, a boring song can be very respectable and a far-from-boring-song can be awful.
We can also debate on what is ”boring” to begin with. I often hear people on here describing slow songs as ”boring”, while fast songs are considered more amusing. I don’t think so. For me, boring songs are those I find uninteresting. It can be due to no build-up whatsoever, or equally intense climax throughout or just for being very repetitive or very generic in general. On the other hand, many ballads can be slow, but not boring, as they bring intensity of emotions or senses.
It’s very subjective, because different people are bored by different things. I guess my definition is close to yours, Colin. Boring songs for me are those that come and go without making me feel anything about them. They don’t stimulate me in any level. I can even respect them sometimes, but they don’t do nothing for me. So boring songs can be slow or uptempo (though I admit that boring slow songs bother me way more than boring uptempo ones). But by saying that a song is boring, the person is basically saying that they get bored about it. So… Read more »
Guess this is another polarizing song such as “Amar pelos Dois”: you either hate it or like it (as you can also see by this comments). I just don’t think there will be as many people “loving it” as the portuguese entry last year, so I’m expecting TOP10 for Cláudia, mostly for the 10-5 side.
I adore this song. I think it may be my favourite this year. It is very simple but somehow so powerful. It plays with my emotions in a way that no other song this year does. Claudia has an incredible voice, but it’s when Isaura joins in that the song starts to become haunting. I think this is beautiful and better than Amar Pelos Dois. I doubt this will do well but I’m praying it will because it deserves to.
I never really liked Portugal in the Eurovision because I don’t like boring songs … and this is yet another one. I can hardly imagine the same mistake will be made as last year, so definitely not a winner (not even close to top 10 for me) !
This is again top notch material from Portugal. This time, with a music beat more appealing to the youngsters (starting at 1.35) Still has a similar reach Amar Pelos Dois had for big masses (in the first minute and the last one)
Repeating will be difficult for them, I think this year is stronger than the last one but I’m giving them good chances. Boa sorte.
I am really curious how this will do. I like it, but let’s be honest, it is not amar pelos dois
So many haters.stop spam.This song is for top ten.Deserve 7/10 or more.
This was the only one listenable song in the Festival da Cancao. It would be a Top 10 song for me:
I like the song, i think is a very nice entry for the host nation
Portugal had huge shoes to fill. Select a song after winning the contest is one of the trickiest jobs. It was even worst on this case, because Portugal hasn’t been successful on Eurovision, so they couldn’t miss the opportunity to show that their victory wasn’t an isolated fact. The temptation to send something in the same lane of the winning act was big. Most of the Festival da Canção entries were slow ballads. In the end, they managed to find something that could separate itself from Salvador, but at the same time evoke the same kind of feelings that worked… Read more »
Great review, although I was a bit more generous 😉
Thanks, L’oiseau! 🙂 I guess I can get to the same 9 rating if they polish the harmonies a little bit more. This is the only thing that bothers me about the entry.
I agree, that the harmonies between Isaura and Cláudia could work better on live. But I hope they will get it right.
Great review, Sabrina. I guess I am the tough one this time. I think the Portuguese song is really lovely and heartfelt, but as it’s still not on my playlist (rated 8+). I guess Germany and Lithuania evoke strong emotions with more dynamic and memorable rhytm. But I really see Portugal (as well as Ireland and Albania) to be a good candidate for growth.
I don’t know if it’s because of the language, her style, or even the genere but I can connect with Cláudia much better than with the other mentioned singers. Though as you know, I like all three of them. It’s good that Portugal and Germany are already on the final, because this kind of entry tends to be overlooked. So let’s see if Lithuania will make the trick and join them on the final.
I like this a lot more than last year’s winner. Thought it was a little “meh” then and still do now. And I never grew to like Salvador. Hated his mannerisms and… well, it wasn’t for me. This on the other hand is quite lovely. I don’t rank it that high to be honest but that’s primarily because for me there are even better songs. Also… it feels like music made for a sad movie scene, not a song to listen intently to. I find it hard to get into but maybe the language barrier is an issue there, I… Read more »
What? 😀 😀 😀 😀 7.19. It’s a joke?
1/10 Horrible song. One of the worsts this year. I can’t stand it.
This is just ridiculous. This bland song getting such high points. Almost makes me laugh. Same for Azerbaijan and Australia, overrated. I remember a great pop song from 2016 (Lidia Isac of Moldova) getting low points in the same Wiwi poll. But if it would have been sung by an artist from Australia, Sweden or Azerbaijan, whoa… 8/10.. 9/10 and 10/10. So ridiculous that it makes me laugh! :)))))))))
wait, did you define “falling stars” as a great pop song? In what wolrd? My god, that song was awful, the cheesy lyrics mixed with a production tha belonged to the early 2000s. WOW
Although you are kind of right, if Russia had sent falling stars everyone would love it haha, It would still be bad though.
“Falling Stars” was one of the worst entries of the 2016 contest. It deserved its place in the Semi. It doesn’t even compare to “Hear Them Calling” or “The Last of Out Kind” who also crashed in the Semi.
I almost feel guilty in saying it but I just don’t get this entry!
It’s a nice slow ballad but I feel that Lithuania, Ireland and Armenia do it better
There’s no denying the vocal ability. It’s the melody or lack of it that I have issues with.
I know I’m in a minority here but this song is flat, monotonous and does absolutely nothing for me.
As I said before, I accept that this is just me
I wish Portugal well with the contest
They deserve success but please, not with this song!
From a portuguese:
This is a very good song. I am very happy with it.
It’s not a masterpiece and it won’t standout enough to have a good result, but it’s a deserving finalist. I even like it more than “Amar Pelos Dois” – personal opinion. It’s emotional and contemporary. 8/10
1)ESP 7.69 2)FRA 7.67 3)POR 7.19
4)ITA 7.17 5)GER 6.75 6)GBR 5.97
1)ESP 9.44 2)FRA 9.13 3)ITA 8.81
4)POR 8.56 5)GER 8.25 6)GBR 6.94
1)ESP 17.13 2)FRA 16.80 3)ITA 15.98
4)POR 15.75 5)GER 15.00 6)GBR 12.91
After Portugal’s win with an entry i abhorred, I’m saddened that this one won’t receive the credit and acclamation it deserves at least in terms of placing. A much more modern entry and it keeps in touch with Portugal’s tradition. I would have hoped Portugal had won this year with this rather than last year with that.
I do especially love when the backing vocals and the electro sounds kick in. That does create a moment and of staged right Portugal can reach the top 10 with ease. A win is unlikely though.
I CANT WAIT FOR THE SHOW NEIGHBOURS.
IM SURE IS GOING TO BE AMAZZING
LOVE FROM MADRID
This has to have one of the most beautiful productions of the year. It reminds me of Belgium’s entry last year in the atmosphere it creates, but with a fado edge that gives it that Portuguese authenticity. And the chorus is just to die for, where those two genres blend and it just gives me tingles every single time I listen to it. Also stellar is Cláudia’s voice, and Isaura harmonises beautifully with her, and brings so much raw emotion to this, which isn’t present in that many songs this year. The lyrics are also out of this well. They’re… Read more »
I think Wiwibloggs may need to rethink the scoring system for their juries. Some of the average scores are too closely bunched together even when the songs are wildly different. It’s very hard to differentiate and isn’t that the whole point for jury reviews?
Full disclosure: I am both a huge fan of Isaura’s work way before the Festival da Canção and I am Portuguese. But for me this might be the most accomplished and interesting song of this year. I love the intimacy and modernity it transmits, the somewhat broken but beautiful voice of Cláudia and the way it reaches a contained and said climax, like wanting to cry but not giving it away. The lyrics are of great beauty but only fully understood by someone that lost a dear one. Is it perfect? No it’s not. It could be longer, there is… Read more »