They’re one of the last countries to confirm for Eurovision 2021 — but at last Portugal’s broadcaster RTP has RVSP’d for Rotterdam. Portugal will again use their long-running national final Festival da Canção to select their act for Eurovision.
The broadcaster confirmed the news this evening, providing relief to fans who were worried they hadn’t yet heard anything from RTP.
O Festival da Canção 2021 dá os primeiros passos com a seleção dos autores que irão criar as canções da edição do…
With the announcement, RTP confirmed that they will be using the same songwriter-focused format for the national final. This year 20 songs will compete in the contest — up from 16 in 2019 and 2020.
Eighteen of the songs will come from established songwriters invited by RTP. The songwriters will also decide which artist will perform their song. As we’ve seen in previous years, sometimes the songwriter performs their own song or they may select a well-known singer.
The broadcaster will internally pick the final two entries from public submissions. This will be open to Portuguese citizens or residents. The deadline for submitting songs is 25 November.
The show itself will consist of two semi-finals made up of ten songs each. Five songs from each semi will qualify for the grand final.
Keeping with the new Eurovision rule that allows pre-recorded backing vocals, Festival da Canção 2021 now also allows this to be used in the competition — or acts can stick with live backing vocals.
Voting in the semi-finals will be done by 50% televote and 50% expert jury. For the grand final, it will be 50% televote and 50% regional juries. In the event of a tiebreak, the televote favourite wins.
The rules also confirm that the winner of Festival da Canção 2021 will be the Portuguese act at Eurovision 2021. The Covid-19 pandemic is also referenced, with the rules noting that the show will still go on, even if it is not possible for the Portuguese act to travel to the Netherlands.
Will Elisa participate in Festival da Cançao 2021?
She won Festival da Canção 2020 but was unable to represent Portugal at Eurovision 2020. Since the cancellation of the 2020 song contest, fans have been wondering if Elisa Silva will have another shot at Eurovision.
Shortly after Eurovision 2020 was cancelled, Elisa told fans on Instagram, “Hello! Me and [songwriter] Marta [Carvalho] won’t go to Eurovision 2021”.
And unlike Estonia who has guaranteed their 2020 winner a place in the 2021 national final, there’s no mention in the FdC 2021 rules of anything that would give Elisa or Marta a sure entry in the competition.
Elisa was not the outright favourite to win the 2020 national final. The jury gave their top score to Filipe Sambado’s indie-pop track “Gerbera amarela do Sul”, while the televote’s favourite was Bárbara Tinoco’s cute number “Passe-Partout”. Elisa, however, was the second favourite for both and picked up the ticket to Rotterdam.
Confirmed countries for Eurovision 2021
Fans are another step closer to learning the confirmed line-up for Eurovision 2021. 10 October was the latest that broadcasters could withdraw from the contest without penalty.
So far, 39 countries have provisionally confirmed for Eurovision 2021
But still to confirm are broadcasters from Belarus and the UK. As well, while Moldova‘s Natalia Gordienko appears to be working on her entry for Eurovision 2021, broadcaster TRM has yet to publicly confirm their participation.
The EBU is expected to release the list of confirmed acts for Eurovision 2021 in mid-November.
What do you think? Who would you like to see compete in Festival da Canção 2021? Should Elisa and Marta enter again? Tell us your thoughts below!