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 Master Class is aimed at previously unpublished composers.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!