A jazz singer, a pink-haired hipster and an avant-garde performer from another planet. The last three years of Portugal’s Festival da Canção brought us a buffet of unexpected and courageous Eurovision entries. What could 2020 have in store?

Festival da Canção 2020 Composers Revealed

On Wednesday 5 October, national broadcaster RTP announced the list of composers charged with birthing the 16 entries for next year’s competition. And we are gagging on the diversity.

Eurovision 2018 interval act Dino D’Santiago, electronic rock band Blasted Mechanism, hip-hop star Jimmy P, singer-songwriter promises Marta Carvalho and Tiago Nacarato are among the most exciting names in the mix.

All composers will have full artistic freedom to create the songs — from genre, to lyrics, production and language — and above all, they’ll get to choose the singer.

The semi-finals will take place on February 22 and 29 at RTP headquarters with the Grand Final set for March 7 in an unknown location.

Dino D’Santiago

Dino D’Santiago is the face and voice of the new multicultural and diverse LisbonAnd that is reflected in his work. Dino navigates the wonders of electronic music and combines it with his Cape Verde roots. From funána to kizomba to afro-house. He was previously mentioned in our wishlist.

Blasted Mechanism

Crazy and over the top performers are in the house. Blasted Mechanism’s formation dates back to 1995. The band mixes rock with electronic elements and already has several albums under their belt. They’re known for their trademark extravagant on-stage looks and energetic performances. They were the recipients of a Golden Globe for Best Portuguese Band back in 2006 and were nominated for several “Best Portuguese Act” at the MTV EMAs on multiple occasions

Jimmy P

In 2020, Jimmy P will celebrate a decade in music. His career started with hip-hop and rap but evolved to a mixture of genres. Known for his solo work and hit collaborations, Jimmy is ready to bring a flair of hip-hop, R&B, reggae, soul and funk to Festival da Canção. And we are ready!

Marta Carvalho

Marta Carvalho first arrived on the Portuguese music scene during the 2016 edition of The Voice. The 20-year-old was then called the Princess of Ballads, but she’s matured into one of the most exciting new voices of pop and r&b in the country. One thing is certain: girl can do slow-paced or high octane songs. and has stage presence to sell both.

Festival da Canção 2020 – Composers

  • Rui Pregal da Cunha
  • Tiago Nacarato
  • Filipe Sambado
  •  MEERA
  • Pedro Jóia
  • Throes + The Shine
  • Eliza Rodrigues
  • Marta Carvalho
  • António Avelar Pinho
  • João Cabrita
  • Hélio Morais
  • Dino D’Santiago
  • Jimmy P
  • Blasted Mechanism
  • Dubio ft. +351 (Open Submissions selected song)
  • Cláudio Francisco António (Antena 1’s Masterclass show)

Festival da Canção 2020 Voting System

The 50/50 voting system is back in different terms for the 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.

As in previous years, the semi-finals will take place in February at RTP’s headquarters. The final is set for March.

What do you think of the composers? Which name are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments.

Read more Portugal Eurovision news here

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Alaska
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Alaska

FILIPE SAMBADO !!!

L'oiseau
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L'oiseau

Yes!!! 🙂

Sebastián
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Sebastián

Blasted mechanism reminds me a little bit to Infected Mushroom (please Israel, take them for represent you).

The problem with portuguese songs are the climax. Generally it doesn’t get a climax or an impactful part, so generally those are unnoticed among the eurovision’s songs and the stage aswell. If you work with an a song with a big climax (there are surplus composers with talent in Portugal) and you work in an excellent way the staging, you’re gonna rock!

Bora lá meus putos!!!!

Joe
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Joe

March 7th is gonna be crazy. Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland are all selecting on the same day!

Sabrina
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Sabrina

Based on the last years, Finland’s airtime will be a little earlier and Portugal’s a little later, but we’ll have to chose between Denmark and Sweden.

February 8th will be packed also: Australia, Italy, Latvia and Malta’s X-Factor final.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

Are you guys planning that far ahead already? I think only once the songs and acts are revealed, the priorities can really be distributed. Although at least one Nordic Saturday is always a given for me, if time allows. Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden (and thankfully now also Finland again) are more or less a must, at least the voting parts and recaps. Well, and as of this year, one very long Italian night. I find it quite easy because in most cases when I watch various shows, it’s easy to switch because there’s hardly ever anything interesting going on… Read more »

Sabrina
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Sabrina

Well, it’s 3/4 months ahead, so it’s not like I’m already making plans, I’m not that crazy, Bean. 😀 My point was that we’ll have 4 finals that day, but probably 3 of them won’t even clash. And since Melfest entries usually don’t change a thing from the semis to the final, I guess the Danish MGP will be my priority, unless they manage to come up with a very disappointing lineup. Also, SVTPlay can always be paused so we can jump all the jokes in Swedish to see just the performances.

Miguel
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Miguel

The line up is not very exciting to me. On the good side there is some diversity.
Of course all goes down to the songs quality, so i may be pleasantly surprised in February, who knows.
As it is, Marta Carvalho is who i am more curious about.

Africavision
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Africavision

Kinda off-topic, but still related to Portugal at Eurovision, I just found this video of a 5-year-old girl dancing to ‘telemóveis’. It’s too cute. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZH6vRkrrO2k&feature=youtu.be

ruca
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ruca

Not amused. My country should just withdraw at this point, i’m sorry europe.

James
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James

They have in 2016, came back a year later and won the whole thing.

ruca
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ruca

Yeah changed the format, won, and a year later we also won the last place of the whole thing and a non qualification to the final, next.

James
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James

Stuff happens. But a long history of poor results never stopped a country again in the contest completely.

Loin dici
Guest

Except for Slovakia.

James
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James

Slovakia doesn’t share Portugal’s half-century history of being patient with the contest so there’s that.

ruca
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ruca

Every action has a consequence and change is mandatory for good results, you can’t always stay in your comfort zone. Either way, not everyone has to agree /support this format or the artists chosen, Just go focus on the positive ones and let’s respect people for having different opinions.

Rasmus
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Rasmus

Dont Portugal like happy songs sometimes with a great melody? its doestn seem like it . ALWAYS Dated old slow songs in a extra slow tempo. I like some suprises to sometimes in Portugal.

ruca
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ruca

I know right? A lot of portuguese people have a musical prejudice and associate pop music with ”pimba”, which is a music style seen as inferior, they think it doesnt have quality. After Sobral, things got worse. The funny thing is that when you see our top charts, they’re mostly filled with pop and hip hop music, the songs that you hear in Fdc are not very trendy here. Also, happy songs would need a choreography and a good staging, RTP doesnt wanna spend money on that, Conan even complained about the lack of support from them. It’s much easier… Read more »

Sebastián
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Sebastián

I completely agree with you. I have the sensation that portuguese have a prejudice that might look like for yourselves “dumb” or “inferior” if you send a pop song with choreography and neon lights, and it’s part aswell of the “portuguese soul” of be so quiet, calm and don’t take so much attention. In my opinion, you have to be so rational and take off all this “intelectuals” inside the Festival da Canção because a pop song could be as good as a hiphop, a metal, a jazz, an electronic, a mid-tempo, even a fado haha. So, to do a… Read more »

Tug
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Tug

The FdC has a value in its own. It is one of longest running musical contests and I for one I am very happy that it is representing what is being done musically and be true to our own musical roots. And if it is more poetic, quite and calm so be it. This is what we are and why should we try to pretend to be a thing that we are not. Anyway, Conan was not exactly a calm and quite music either. If people cannot dance to it, it’s because they don’t have any sense of rythm. Also,… Read more »

ruca
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ruca

Um, you don’t need to try to drag others down to elevate your country. Spain has been sending ballads and upbeat songs for many years, they have been quite diverse, unlike Portugal.

Loin dici
Guest

“they have been quite diverse, unlike Portugal.”

Ah yes, Portugal is never diverse. That country only sends ballads, so we can pretend that Suzy and Flor De Lis is not from Portugal. We can also forget Homens da Luta, and we can forget Conan. Yeah.

ruca
Guest
ruca

We do and we are not diverse lol. Flor the lis was kinda a ballad, slow folk song. Very safe choice. Suzy is hated here and we will never have anything like that again, homens da luta were a troll act that are also seen with shame here, Conan was a flop who also had a type of ballad and sad song. All of them had bad results. Yeah.

James
Guest
James

If you look at over the 50 or so entries Portugal have sent since first taking part, they’re all never really same. Their only commonality for the most part is that they are all sung in Portuguese.

Carlos Paião, Lúcia Moniz, Flor-de-Lis, Carlos Mendes, Jose Sid, Manuela Bravo and countless others send their regards.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2mO3Y91Xb4

ruca
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ruca

Dude, i’m portuguese. They’re all the same when it comes to the same ”style”except maybe 3. i’m talking about songs from the 2000s, not old ones. Europe also sends its regards to the amount of times that my country did not qualify.

James
Guest
James

Portugal’s semifinal record is mixed as best, 6 qualifications, including its prequalification in 2018, and 9 NQ’s. Out of those NQ’s, 2 were close to qualifying.

Let’s see:
2001-Pretty uptempo pop song.
2003-A bilingual country ballad.
2004-Dance pop song.
2005-Another uptempo song.
2006-Adult contemporary radio song.
2007-Latin dance song.
2008-Traditional fado (Around this time, cop series Southland used Dolce Pontes’ “Canção do mar” as its theme song).
2009-A very happy-go-lucky song.
2010-A romantic love song/ballad.
2011-A protest-themed happy song.
2012-A modernized fado.
2014-Latin dance song.
2015-Pop alternative.
2017-Smooth jazz.
2018-Alternative.
2019-Alternative.

ruca
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ruca

Portugal’s record is not mixed, it’s a disaster, hence why RTP changed completely the format and stopped allowing certain types of artists to participate. Portugal’s record also has a music style that is now considered ”bad music” by not only RTP, but a lot of portuguese people, so we will never send that type of music again because we won with ”quality”. In terms of lyrics and sound, most songs always had that sadness, melancholy that some people think our songs should have because it’s traditional. Most of Portugals record is basically non qualifications. 2003: it was not a country… Read more »

James
Guest
James

Having nth amount of both qualifications and NQ’s, and in Portugal’s case, a modest qualification rate of 36%, is more than enough to describe their SF results as a “mixed record”.

ruca
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ruca

Lol we had way more NQS than qualifications. Call it whatever you want, there’s a reason why RTP felt the need to change the format, because the qualification rate was low.

James
Guest
James

It’s still a mixed record, and not a pretty shabby record at that.

That’s not enough a reason for RTP to completely withdraw since they’ve experienced the best and worst of its Eurovision experience and still kept on going regardless. Their entries are quite diverse despite the assumption they always send fado-styled songs, which they don’t.

The same can be said with any other country that never always qualify but sometimes do. For the most part, they have nothing to lose.

ruca
Guest
ruca

It’s not mixed. And once again, there’s no assumption that we always send fado styled songs, altho we do include a lot of things from fado, and i dont mean the melody. Ummm nope, RTP did did not keep going, they withdraw after leonor’s bad results.

There’s always money to lose.

James
Guest
James

Which is why they withdraw when they have to, but returns when they can. Eurovisão is pretty much a annual part of RTP as is FDC.

ruca
Guest
ruca

Lol no they dont.

ruca
Guest
ruca

Sebastian, i agree. You’d think that after two bad results people would understand. They talk about diversity but the portuguese NF doesn’t have much because it rejects other types of music and performance. They also criticize other countrys acts when it comes to pop and amazing performances with a lot of choreography, etc, because our country can’t nor hasn’t been able to do that yet. The thing is, this calm, poetic sound is not really true to our roots. Jazz, Indie, are not portuguese music. Pimba is part of our culture, but they always ignore that. Unfortunately, no one can… Read more »

Tug
Guest
Tug

Ok, it’s the third time I say it: That is pathetic

Tug
Guest
Tug

Wiwibloggs, why are you constanting deleting this comment? I am just expressing my my opinion and it’s not like I am using profanity or making a hate speech, as I see in so many comments even in this post, as for example the one made by Yogi. Why don’t you delete this one as well?

ruca
Guest
ruca

All those 24 downvotes though lol. Portuguese people will never realise that not everyone has to love or compliment our national selection/songs, then they get shocked when we get last place or dont qualify. Oh well.

L'oiseau
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L'oiseau

I must say, looking to the ones I know I feel a bit disapointed… I love Filipe Sambado, but I don’t see him in this context at all. Dino Santiago is of course great, but I don’t see his mid-tempo songs going a long way. Blasted Mechanism is quite outdated, but might make an impression… Let’s hope for the best.

Noncompliant
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Noncompliant

Throes + the shine is awesome! And Hélio Morais is a genius! And then there is Dino Santiago… And Filipe Sambado will have a great impact! There are a few names I don’t find particularly interesting, but it is what it is!

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

Indeed I didn’t know Throes + the shine and have checked them out. They are great and could have a great impact. Hélio Morais I admit I don’t know. I am going to check him out. I loooove Filipe Sambado, but I don’t know about his Eurovision potential and again Dino… the man is great, but I don’t know about him in Eurovision… But then again, what do I know… When I first heard Salvador’s first album and that Luisa was composing for him I was super sceptical, so…

Azaad
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Azaad

I know they’re not the most successful country at the contest, but there’s always something refreshing about Portugal’s attitude to Eurovision. They’re never generic

Sabrina
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Sabrina

I’m happy to see that Portugal kept the alternative vibe of Festival da Canção going, even after two bad (and in my opinion very unfair) results in a row. And it’s a good thing that we will possibly have more genre variety this time, giving the presence of a rock band and a rapper in the mix.

Erasmus
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Erasmus

agree sometimes it pays off sometimes it doesn’t.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Exactly. I prefer when countries take risks than when they keep trying to guess what Europe wants. The last winners were completely different from each other, there’s no winning formula.

Yogi
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Yogi

No one cares
Portugal will flop anyway

Tug
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Tug

Can you explain why so much hate?

Diana
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Diana

Stupid

ruca
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ruca

it’s weird how people are mad at you for saying the truth. We will flop (again). They’re still stuck in sobral’s victory.

Maxhightower
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Maxhightower

Dude, Portugal has been giving us three quality songs three years in a row. Shut up.

Mr X
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Mr X

Absolutely !!!

ruca
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ruca

Yeah, that’s why Portugal ended up in last place and did not qualify with Conan. So much quality and yet so many bad results.

Tug
Guest
Tug

Ok, so I see you cannot explain, so it is pure xenophobia, I guess. Let this massive downvoting show to you and to everybody else that hate is not going to lead you very far in life.

Erasmus
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Erasmus

Does this mean they are only songwriters or can they participate as singers as well?

Sabrina
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Sabrina

I believe it’s just like the other years, when the composers were free to perform themselves (like Conan, NBC and Surma last year, for example) or pick a singer.

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

great!

Lacrymea
Guest
Lacrymea

Blasted!!!