It’s the national final format that has brought Portugal mixed fortunes since its 2017 revamp. Now Portuguese broadcaster RTP has confirmed that Festival da Canção 2020 will again involve 16 acts competing in two semi-finals and one grand final.

The broadcaster confirmed the details today and gave more information about the competition format.

The contest will again be composer-led. RTP will invite 14 composers who will enter an original, unreleased song. As with previous years, the composers will be able to select the artist who will perform their song.

Of the remaining two places, one will be selected through the Master Class radio programme. Master Class is aimed at previously unpublished composers. Interested composers have until 31 October to submit their entry.

The final place in the contest goes to an entry from the open submission process. Any Portuguese citizens or residents can enter an unreleased song, with the submission date of 15 October.

Festival da Canção 2020 will again involve two semi-finals, with eight acts per semi. Following the 2019 format, four acts will qualify from each semi-final, with a total of eight going on to compete in the grand final.

The regular Festival da Canção voting system will also be used. Semi-final qualifiers will be decided by a 50/50 split between the public televote and a jury of entertainment professionals. The grand final will use a 50/50 split between the public televote and seven regional juries.

And — most importantly — RTP has confirmed that the winner of Festival da Cançao 2020 will go on to represent Portugal at Eurovision 2020.

Festival da Canção was introduced in 1964 and has consistently been used every year that Portugal has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Following four Eurovision non-qualifications — and years off in 2013 and 2016 — Festival da Canção returned in 2017 with a revamped, composer-led format. This resulted in Salvador Sobral winning the national final with “Amar pelos dois”, penned by his sister Luísa Sobral. He went on to win Eurovision 2017, giving Portugal its first ever Eurovision victory.

The following year, the contest was expanded, with 26 acts competing to represent Portugal on home soil. Cláudia Pascoal won the contest with the understated “O jardim”, which unfortunately placed last in the Eurovision grand final. Most recently, Conan Osíris represented Portugal with the avant-garde “Telemóveis”. It placed 15th in its semi-final.

What do you think? Who would you like to see at Festival da Canção 2020? What sort of act should Portugal send to the Netherlands next year? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more Portugal Eurovision news here

47
Leave a Reply

avatar
11 Comment threads
36 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
20 Comment authors
MarkMiguel LupiCheiFionnAhoy Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Mark
Guest
Mark

I love Portugal in Eurovision…always been very underrated….can think of many times they should have won…1982..1986..1989..1990…and how on earth did sabrina not qualify…??? She should have won!! And vania Fernandez and fleur de lys too should have won…

Fionn
Guest
Fionn

I don’t understand people saying this year’s entery was bad it was the best and deffinately deserved to come much higher it was creative and fresh and very far from a mainstream Eurovision song I loved it just my opinion

Chei
Guest
Chei

But…the songs that you see in our national final are mainstream here in Portugal. Slow, ballads, etc. Many portuguese musicians do that type of music. That’s what’s considered ”good top music” here. The less mainstream thing to do with be to introduce pop and rap in Festival da cancao. Artists who rarely get an exposure in these types of shows.

Ahoy
Guest
Ahoy

Please send something good next year.

This years song was laughable

Chei
Guest
Chei

Thank you. You only spoke the truth, and i voted for Conan! I dont understand why i thought RTP would make an effort and help him with the staging. Conan himself complained about the lack of help he received from the brand in an interview, so the people who downvoted you are just pathetic.

Miguel Lupi
Guest
Miguel Lupi

Please grow a brain until next year.

Chei
Guest
Chei

I am portuguese, i am disappointed but not surprised. The problem is that some eurofans keep supporting RTP so they just keep thinking that they are doing a good job. When one of the employees mock and hate eurovision but still works and travels with the team to ESC…enough said. We can’t keep a formula that has given us more negative results than positive ones. With the old system we had a lot of diversity and reached the final more times, heck, even Suzy got a better result than Conan. The recent results in eurovision contradict the opinions which claim… Read more »

LuckyStrike
Guest
LuckyStrike

Well, I understand that RTP’s work after Conan was selected and during its preparation for Tel Aviv should’ve been way better (particularly regarding promotion and staging), but I don’t think that should be immediately connected to the selection method per se. I think the composer-based method is one of the best that could be used for Eurovision! OK, Galopim and his team could be more open to new, alternative musical genres, and there should be more opportunities for unknown musicians to compete (maybe 50/50 split between direct invitations and open process), but I think these are corrections and improvements to… Read more »

Chei
Guest
Chei

But i was criticizing both the selection method and Conans preparation for tel aviv. If we made the corrections and improvements over the existing model, we would be replacing it, nothing wrong with that, it would be a more fair equal version of it. The thing is that they dont wanna make it out of stubbornness and playing safe. We’ve always had public pressure. I remember Catarina was the favorite but the public freaked out and insulted suzy when she won. Three years is a long time. It’s not short to judge it, in fact one of the things that… Read more »

Loin dici
Guest

I think most song in Eurovision don’t represent their national musical taste, either, and they still work as wonderful as ever. Portugal sending classic stuff would still be appropriate for Eurovision. According to your opinion, there should be improvement over the selection method, however, to include more commercially successful genres. However, Eurovision Song Contest should, and should have been, the games of the COMPOSERS, and RTP is one of the few broadcasters that puts the right mindset over it, at least for now. They should’ve probably brought more commercially-leaning composers, however, to have some good mixture of commercial, contemporary, and… Read more »

Chei
Guest
Chei

It was Galopim who stated that our national final was meant to represent the national musical taste. Commercially successful genres? It’s about including diversity in our national selection, expanding our choices and creating songs that locals might actually want to listen to. It’s about changing the contest in order to make different artists from different genres feel welcome to the point where they dont feel pressure, where they dont have to change themselves or their music just because it’s festival da cançao. It has happened with a rap composer, a funana artist, etc. They didn’t stay true to their roots.… Read more »

Loin dici
Guest

“You’re just another portuguese person pretending to be a foreigner and you didn’t get what i said at all.” Bold of you to assume I’m Portuguese. I’m Indonesian. “RTP is one of the few broadcasters that puts the right mindset? There’s no right mindset.” The Eurovision Song Contest has gone through a big transformation over its definition. Before the modern days, focus were preferrably on song — yes, composers. Nowadays, the contest were focused on the performers and presentation — the song can be bought anywhere else, even from an unrelated country, and we rarely get any glimpse on who… Read more »

Chei
Guest
Chei

It’s not bold. I see them every year here and on youtube. There’s no way of knowing if you’re telling the truth so i’m gonna try to reply you (even tho it’s late) and pretend you are. What RTP does Is a form of respect? Lol you’re trying to find so many excuses to justify our national selection. It’s weird. I think all other countries respect that. They have evolved. We didn’t. the composers should be the ones putting appeal and promoting? They are already promoted everywhere and successful. No, selling in the charts does not mean commercially successful. Im… Read more »

Chei
Guest
Chei

Well, if that’s true i’ll take it i guess. It’s just so common that i never know anymore. It’s a form of respect? How so? it’s out of laziness. I see other brands working so hard and giving so much support to their performing acts. But in ours, they have to do everything by themselves. The staging, cenary, etc. You’re saying that the composers should be the ones putting appeal and promoting? They are already promoted everywhere and successful. No, it does not mean commercially successful. Rap music doesnt get much exposure on TV or the radio. It’s successful on… Read more »

Chei
Guest
Chei

I dont understand why they removed my reply to you…

Chei
Guest
Chei

It’s a form of respect? How so? We still have a long way to go. I see other brands working so hard and giving so much support to their performing acts. But in ours, they have to do everything by themselves. The staging, hiring dancers, etc. You’re saying that the composers should be the ones putting appeal and promoting…They are already promoted everywhere and successful. Ra p music doesnt get much exposure on TV or the radio. It’s successful on the internet and festivals. It should be the games of the composers. The brand has been sending this message of… Read more »

Skiwalko
Guest

Thank you very much for this comment. To adress your point about representing nation’s taste, this year TVP sent Tulia to Eurovision, but that doesn’t mean all Polish people listen just to rock folk music. However I think it was an interesting choice, and far better than sending some unremarkable pop number mimicking latest trends. I admit, some diversity wouldn’t hurt, I just really liked your 2019 selection, so for me a complete change of heart would be a wrong turn. Some good rap entry from Portugal tho, I’m all for that! And I guess in general, with an exception… Read more »

Chei
Guest
Chei

Why is pop worse than rock or rap? We have not even showed what we can do in regards to pop music or bublegum pop because we were never given the chance or conditions for that. You liked our national selection and that’s great. But To say that a change of heart would be a wrong turn is a bit selfish and hurts me. It’s like you want us to keep failing and being in our comfort zone. Come on, that’s not true. The norwegian, dannish, romanian and estonian selections are popular. Prior to 2017 the internet was a different… Read more »

Chei
Guest
Chei

im glad you like our nf. But the thing is that we have never sent unremarkable pop numbers mimicking latest trends. The channel does not even give a chance for our artist to try that. Even some people have prejudice against that type of genre so they decline it immediately and consider it ”bad music”. A wrong turn for me would be to keep doing what we do and keep playing safe. I disagree that NF songs tend to not get popular with the public. Estonia, Romania, Norway..and the selections are still talked about. Prior to 2017, i dont remember.… Read more »

Chei
Guest
Chei

Hello, im glad you like our nf. But the thing is that we have never sent unremarkable pop numbers from the latest trends. Maybe Suzy but her style is more ”pimba”. The channel does not even give a chance for our artist to try that. Even some people have prejudice against that type of genre so they decline it immediately and consider it ”bad music” not good enough to represent us. A wrong turn for me would be to keep doing what we do and keep playing safe. I disagree that NF songs tend to not get popular with the… Read more »

Chei
Guest
Chei

The point is that we have never tried to send some poppy jam from the latest trends. We have never taken that risk. We always play it too sa fe. It’d be refreshing for us to do something different, even if it’s what other countries have always been doing. The problem is the lack of support towards our artists…staging wise. And pop artists dont feel like going there either because there’s this image about our National selection…traditional and made for elites …From other countries i notice that they have much higher audience rates and are more talked about.

TheDr Mistery
Guest
TheDr Mistery

Did Bernardo recover from the fact that Conan wasn’t really 11th in the semi-final? Does anyone know?

Bernardo Pereira
Editor

I’m trying to.

Karen
Guest
Karen

perhaps something uplifting this time? fado and depression is not all music offers…

Noncompliant
Guest
Noncompliant

Is Conan music fado or depressing? These kind of comments are getting old!

Leydan
Guest
Leydan

Well i’ve certainly found them depressing and agree with Karen. Conan less so but his song was just all out weird and not in a good way, but Salvador and Claudia definitely were really quite dull and boring. They’ve just tried to pedal on the vibe that Salvador had and flopped spectacularly both times. Their NF last year especially was the same song over and over and lacked any diversity. Great if you like all that, awful if you don’t. It would be nice if Portugal tried to go the opposite way this year and try something fun and uplifting.… Read more »

Chei
Guest
Chei

Portuguese people dont deserve this. Not me, i love pop too. Someone gave you a downvote, must’ve been bernarddo or another mad portuguese. Salvador was great imo but claudia was indeed boring. I absolutely agree with you. The problem is that some eurofans keep supporting RTP so they just think that they are doing a good job. The results in eurovision contradict the opinions which claim that our national final is working. They’re trying so hard to be different just because it worked once. As if portuguese music was just all about ballads, melancholia, simplicity. You look at our festivals… Read more »

Karen
Guest
Karen

yes it‘s in the portugese tradition of fado without being real fado. and it‘s depressing as hell to sing 3 min about dead grandmothers, killing, fading flowers in unattended gardens and lost love…. some people likenfun, get over it!

Miguel Lupi
Guest
Miguel Lupi

Because Suzy did so much better, right?

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

2019 was a great National Final for Portugal. I think just more of the same for 2020 would be great. 🙂
I realise that the winner wasn’t well-liked at Eurovision, but please don’t be disheartened. It’s going good right now, keep on going.

Bernardo Pereira
Editor

We won’t. We know this is the path to sustainable national final. We’re still on the path to rebuild a brand that was destroyed until 2017. No one paid attention to FdC or Eurovision before that. It is now a solid commitment between RTP and Portugal’s best composers. It’s also a solid career trampoline for the winner.

Chei
Guest
Chei

i’m portuguese. No, 2019 was not a great national final for us. And bernardo does not speak for me and many other portuguese. A lot of us miss the old brand, before 2017. There’s no musical diversity, they’re all alternative artists chosen by the RTP team. Most youths still ignore Fdc and think it’s an old fashioned show for close minded people, no one listens to the FDC songs which says it all. Conan was the only one who was successful. It’s just RTP who wants to play safe because sobral won with this formula, even tho europe keeps rejecting… Read more »

Leydan
Guest
Leydan

Chei says it spot on!

Chei
Guest
Chei

Some think that they can define quality. I’m not saying that the old system had better or worse songs. That’s debatable, you can’t also compare the quality of both festivals because music and technology have evolved anyway. But before 2017, Fdc had wayyy more diversity, creativity than it does now. We didn’t have this musical prejudice either. Artists were not afraid to send something other than ballads and slow songs. It’s a fact, whether the @ss kissers of RTP, especially its workers, like it or not. I dont take serious the opinions of people who work or want to work… Read more »

James
Guest
James

“Amar pelos dois” was actually a very risky song to enter for Eurovision, to be quite honest. I don’t know why you think the broadcaster would play it safe when there was zero expectations for their 2017 entry to become a contender until late into Eurovision week.

Chei
Guest
Chei

You didn’t understand my comment. I said that the brand started playing it safe after 2017 because we won with APD. I love Sobral.

Vanja Ljubi?
Guest
Vanja Ljubi?

I second this comment. 🙂

LuckyStrike
Guest
LuckyStrike

To all the Portuguese people who are commenting, could you please give me some examples of the kind of music or songs that you’d like to be represented at FdC? I’m curious to know!

Skiwalko
Guest

I’m afraid. Seeing that RTP is in almost full charge of the composers, and looking at their last two bad (and very unfair) results I think it’s probable that they will try more mainstream approach in 2020. FdC was by far my favourite NF this year, with many excellent pieces from alternative/indie field which is fairly alien to Eurovision, and it would be a pity if the festival lost its unique vibe. Hope they prove me wrong.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I don’t think RTP will drop the alternative vibe, but I wonder if the audience and the regional juries will go for something more traditional (like Peu Madureira’s entry from last year) or radio friendly (like Calema’s from this year). In any case, I hope they get a fair result, because it hasn’t happened in the last couple of Eurovisions.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Agreed with Skiwalko. Change nothing, please RTP.

Chei
Guest
Chei

Change is necessary. it was because of a change that sobral happened. Please, RTP, stop being selfish. Europe already gave you 2 messages.

-kik
Guest
-kik

mainstream? lol no, they will just play safe. A lot of portuguese people are tired of this attitude from RTP. That indie alternative music is not what most portuguese people listen to on a daily basis. It’s pathetic because our musical taste is not represented at all. Plus, it’s much cheaper for them to keep bringing artists with ballads because all you gotta do is use some lights and a microphone. They dont wanna make an effort.

Loin dici
Guest

Well… would you wish for a staging quality in par to North Macedonia prior 2019?

Loin dici
Guest

Curious of Portugal’s move. Since something like ‘Telemoveis’ didn’t work, would they keep searching for unique compositions or resort to a rather traditional mood once again?

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Those who followed the call to smash their cell phones better get new ones to vote, in case Portugal has a good act in store.

EZz
Guest
EZz

Although I loved Portugal this year, Conan really in my opinion got robbed, they don’t need weird costumes like he had this year, and all their main focus should be is the music period, that’s what they’ve been consistently good at since they won, something different like Conan, but no tacky costumes to distract viewers when it comes to voting. So if they learn from their first victory, I’m sure they will qualify next year.