The cancellation of Eurovision 2020 left many Eurovision artists in a bit of a lurch about their future with the contest. While around ten broadcasters have now confirmed their would-be 2020 artist for Eurovision 2021, the majority haven’t. And in some instance the broadcaster has confirmed that it’s a no. Enter Portugal, who have selected their entries through Festival da Canção since their 1964 debut. They will not change the selection method because of the unprecedented cancellation of Eurovision. This means Elisa will not get a free pass to represent Portugal at Eurovision 2021 — she’ll have to win Festival da Canção first.

Portugal will not internally select Elisa to Eurovision 2021

Portugal has some Eurovision traditions that they seem unwilling to break. Since their debut, 56 years ago, Portugal have sung in Portuguese every single year, and staged their national selection, Festival da Canção, almost every year. And according to Elisa, there won’t be an internal selection in 2021 either.

Portuguese broadcaster RTP has not yet confirmed the news, and Marta Carvalho, who wrote “Medo de Sentir”, hasn’t either. Instead, the singer sent a direct message to her followers on Instagram, writing: “Hello! Me and Marta won’t go to Eurovision 2021”.

This will, of course, negatively affect Elisa’s chances to represent her nation at Eurovision next year should she want to. She’s not a confirmed participant of Festival da Canção yet, but nobody has ever won the festival twice in two years. Dora came the closest, winning twice in three years.

Reacting to the cancellation of Eurovision 2020 last week, Elisa and Marta said: “Given the current situation, Eurovision’s production decided to cancel the show that would take place in May. We are very sorry, but we know that everyone’s health is what matters. Take care!”

Assuming Elisa is correct — and has some direct knowledge from the broadcaster — what do you think of RTP’s decision? Would you like to see Elisa selected again? Sound off in the comments below!

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Lydia Lozano
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Lydia Lozano

KARMA. Passe Partout was the right song for ESC 2020.

James
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James

And yet, the song would not have been performed in the bigger Eurovision stage either.

Pedro Paulo
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Pedro Paulo

thank god!

MBV123
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MBV123

Yes this is a sad decision, was a beautiful and very underrated song. The best and most authentic ballad of the year, haven’t liked a Portuguese entry this much in a long time.

xohxoh
Guest
xohxoh

A disgrace. Shame shame shame.

The Roop is On Fire
Guest
The Roop is On Fire

She was a third placer in my personal ranking. This is very unfortunate.

Badwoolfgirl
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Badwoolfgirl

You know, I figured that a lot of the national final winners are not going to get a free ride to Eurovision 2021. This is probably the reason why the september 1 rule is being enforced–not all of the 2020 artists might be back.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Pretend to be in shock …..
I don’t have a huge expectations for Arilena (Albania), Diodato (Italy), San Marino or Denmark, Norway, Latvia, Iceland and their 2020 artists …..
I think San Marino and Italy might withdraw actually + And Maybe Lichtenstein, Andorra will come 🙂

Tom
Guest
Tom

Thanks for dislikes 🙂 i don’t undestand for why but anyway …

Alaska
Guest
Alaska

Elisa would never be invited back. That’s not how Festival da Canção works. They invite the composers and the composers only. It’s very likely that Marta will be invited back. But then it’s up to her to choose Elisa or some other singer or sing the song herself.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Is it possible that multiple invited composers pick Elisa as a performer? Would FdC rules allow that?

Alaska
Guest
Alaska

I don’t think so…

Beathyra
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Beathyra

Nooo!!! This is just unfair! She’s such an amazing artist! She did deserve to go to Eurovision 2021!

Pablo
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Pablo

“Portugal have never sung a non-Portuguese song, nor selected an entrant internally” Not true guys. Portugal internally selected their act in 2005, so you might want to edit that. Do your research next time.

Tajikistan
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Tajikistan

And in 2004 from what I know too. @Whoever wrote this article time to amend it

Joe
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Joe

There were at least three times when the Portuguese entry was largely in English. They also all happened to be terrible, except 2003. (I find it inexplicable that their entry from 2005 waltzed away with THREE top marks – Germany, France, and Switzerland all somehow thought that song was the best in the semi. Spain only gave it five!)

helianthus
Guest
helianthus

She is young and has a beautiful voice, she is starting a career with the Warner Music Portugal. If you all like her why not to support her as artist?

...
Guest
...

Oh, Portugal… Muito triste por ela… 🙁

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Along with Belarus, this was the song I was most sure wasn’t going to qualify.
Even so, to show how strongly I felt about this, I still wanted her to come back next year. She should’ve been given the choice (maybe she was, the wording isn’t that clear). I think broadcasters who are putting their TV schedules over doing the right thing are saying a lot about themselves.

John the Go
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I was planning to put money on Belarus qualifying actually. They would have got televotes from Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan and probably scored highly with Slovenia too, seeing as Da Vidna was in a similar vein to Sebi.

Ashton Schier
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Ashton Schier

I get your reasoning but Da Vidna is in no way similar to Sebi apart from the fact that they are sung by a man and a woman.

Voxtaylor
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Voxtaylor

Saw this one coming, I’m afraid. She was in my top 5 for most of the year (now #6), so this is pretty disappointing. But Festival da Canção is one of the consistently great national finals, so whatever we get next year will probably be of equal quality. Silver lining, yeah?

BadWoolfGirl
Guest
BadWoolfGirl

Hopefully she is at least invited back to compete again, maybe with a better and stronger song. Let’s face it, her current song would not have qualified. Heck, she only won because there was a divide between the jury and televote. This is her chance to rebound.

Desi
Guest
Desi

The message from her that you shared here is the one she sent to me. She was my winner this year, so I had to know. The news was really hard to hear 🙁

Jakub
Guest
Jakub

I think that’s right – I know current situation is not a fault of anyone neither any of artists but going to Eurovision just because they will take part in NF and will recieve a lot of votes of empathy wouldn’t be fair

Lily
Guest
Lily

Not surprised tbh

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

Thank God. We don’t need any singing Christmas tree

cipollino
Guest
cipollino

Ban.

Indiana07
Guest
Indiana07

Lol

The Roop is On Fire
Guest
The Roop is On Fire

You must have a poor eyesight.

James
Guest
James

Eat a carrot.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Im sad for her but let’s be real, this song was going to come last in the semi.

Bubu
Guest
Bubu

With Spain, Switzerland and France voting in that semi? LOL. Portugal has never finished last in a semifinal and it wouldn’t be this year.

Tajikistan
Guest
Tajikistan

Not really. Portugal had France, Spain and Switzerland in this semi final for them.

BadWoolfGirl
Guest
BadWoolfGirl

But would it have been enough? Lithuania actually got a decent televote result in 2019, but a poor jury score kept them from qualifying in semi-final 2 by a mere point.

Jake Mason
Guest
Jake Mason

I loved Medo De Sentir!!!
I need Montaigne, Destiny and Samanta now!

Safiya
Guest
Safiya

I can see a potential problem here – I think that even if this year contestants will take part in national selections next year, many people will criticize them and if they win or do well, there will for sure be people who will say that they only get sympathy votes etc.

James
Guest
James

Sad to hear about this. Festival da Canção for Portugal is to Melodifestivalen in Sweden as is it is Sanremo for Italy so this is not totally surprising and very consistent with their selection process.

I hope that RTP sends an invitation again to Marta Carvalho for her to create a song for FDC and invite Elisa as her performer.

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

The difference is that Sanremo is not tied to Eurovision. That means Rai can still decide to send Diodato next year and still organise Sanremo on top of the Eurovision partecipation.