Portugal Festival Da Cancao Semi-Final one 2021

Portugal’s Festival da Canção 2021 is just around the corner. The long standing national selection for Eurovision kicks off with the first semi-final on Saturday 20 February. RTP headquarters will open its doors to ten acts. But only five will advance do the grand final on 6 March. You can listen to all ten songs now.

Which one is your favourite? Which five songs do you think should advance to the final? Listen to the ten semi-finalists and make your choice. You can select up to five acts, but you can only vote once. So choose wisely!

Festival da Canção 2021 – Semi-Final One Songs

Nadine “Cheguei Aqui”

Fábia Maia “Dia Lindo”

Sara Afonso “Contramão”

Valéria “Na mais profunda saudade”

IAN “Mundo”

Irma “Livros”

Karetus ft. Romeu Bairos “Saudade”

Miguel Marôco “Girassol”

mema. “Claro Como Água”

The Black Mamba “Love Is On My Side”

Poll: Who should win semi-final one of Portugal’s Festival da Canção 2021?

Festival da Canção 2021 – Rules

The 50/50 voting system is back, but with different forms 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.

The first semi-final will be presented by Jorge Gabriel and Sónia Araújo. The following week, the second semi will be presented by Tânia Ribas de Oliveira and José Carlos Malato. The grand final will be hosted by Eurovision 2018 host Filomena Cautela as well as Vasco Palmeirim. Inês Lopes Gonçalves will be the green room host.

The semi-finals of Festival da Canção 2021 will take place on February 20 and 27. The final is set for March 6.

Which songs from semi-final two of Festival da Canção 2021 are you most excited about? Let us know in the comment section below. 

Read more Portugal Eurovision 2021 news here

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Anita
Anita
3 months ago

Festival da Canção is made for me this year. So many wonderful songs.

L'oiseau
L'oiseau
3 months ago

1. My absolute fav for this SF is Girasól.
I love the feelgood retro late 60’s vibe of the song, reminescent of some songs that actually went to the ESC back then and I think best represents the contemporary rock pop scene in Portugal, which is very retro-inspired. (It doesn’t stand a chance in ESC, I know…)
2. Second fav is The Black Mamba, because it is well rooted in soul/blues without concessions and I love his voice
3. Valéria: This is real Fado and I love the end climax
4. Karetus (Saudade): Great song mixing traditional with modern

Friedenau
Friedenau
3 months ago

I would love to see “Saudade” being performed in Rotterdam. It’s so Portuguese yet modern and avant garde. Something totally unique and different. Loving when countries bring some of its folklore to Eurovision (France, Ukraine).

Mr X
Mr X
3 months ago
Reply to  Friedenau

I absolutely agree with you. It contains interesting lyrics, too…

Julian
Julian
3 months ago

Black Mamba and Karetus…definitely but hopefully the winner of FDC will come out 2nd semi final: NEEV.

Mr X
Mr X
3 months ago
Reply to  Julian

The Portuguese people never choose a song in English for ESC, particullary not the juries

Julian
Julian
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr X

True…but we never know, there´s always a 1st time, right?

bartosz
bartosz
3 months ago

I’m in love with mema.’s song. I cant wait for it to be released on spotify.
But sadly, I don’t think it has any chance to make it to Eurovision

Alex
Alex
3 months ago

Karetus – Saudade! It is seductive and unique! It could be like Portugal 2019 if they don’t have a decent staging performance but i really hope it wins because i can’t find any other interesting song.

Whisker
Whisker
3 months ago

I absolutely love “Love is on My Side”, there is something there and it’s intriguing. I absolutely love “Cheguei aqui”, great, great, great lyrics, Nadine has a very beautiful and powerful voice. “Mundo” is different and interesting, and I like that a lot. 

LaVoixCZ
3 months ago

definitely Sara Afonso! but also maybe Miguel Marôco, mema and some others. Can’t wait for their live.

Last edited 3 months ago by LaVoixCZ
maria
maria
3 months ago
Reply to  LaVoixCZ

Sara Afonso (“Contramão”) is my favourite song. I wish it could win the competition.

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago

I have 4 clear favorites on this one: Karetus ft. Romeu, mema, Miguel Marôco and Sara Afonso. For now, Valéria would be my 5th, but some live performances still may suprise me.

Colin
Colin
3 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

4/5 same choices, Sabrina! But Sara would definitely be my 6th (and 11th overall). My 5th and 6th were a close call, so live performances might help in cases this close. I also (like some others have commented) feel like Sara’s song could easily come from a romantic movie.

Last edited 3 months ago by Colin
Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin

I’ve noticed that for some reason Sara’s song seems to have more impact on those who understand Portuguese. Considering the fact that the lyrics aren’t particularly outstanding (they’re good, but simple), maybe it’s because the whole song works almost like an invitation (“Come, we go with the house on our backs / I follow the will, you the reason / If the plan fails, let it be / We go without direction”) and she proposes it in an irresistible fashion by the way she sings each word. Your 5th was Nadine and I admit that one is too oldschool for… Read more »

Colin
Colin
3 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Sara’s song sounds charming to me too and I do like the lyrics. I can see it placing higher after the performance. As for Nadine, I thought it sounds more like a chanson (almost French) than fado (I recognized that in Valéria), but I believe you. I’m perhaps not as familiar with all the shades of fado. It is definitely more old-school. 🙂 But yeah, those are the 6 songs I would consider rooting for in this semi. PS. I took the lessons of Portuguese only last month! I am in the earliest possible stages (so all of my knowledge… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Colin
Aan Gomes Branco
Aan Gomes Branco
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Nadine is definitely old school Fado, but not in a good way, really. Valéria’s fado is more monumental, which would fair better on an international stage (not that I think Valéria is going to win, but she has the quality to). My favorite is Miguel’s Girassol, but I see that song being underappreciated, which is why I voted for Karetus’s Saudade instead. Semifinal 1 is straight open on who’s passing. Semifinal 2 is clearer.

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago

I feel the same. Semi 2 has at least 3 popular artists and 3 or 4 songs that not many Portuguese fans were enthusiastic about on Twitter or Youtube comments. For us that like “Girassol”, it’s good news, I believe Miguel has more chances this way.

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin

I’m far from being a fado specialist though, but I guess the way Nadine sings is very charachteristic of the genre. And I agree with Ana (I assume “Aan” was a mistype, but we never know!), Valéria’s seems traditional enough to represent the genre, but more suited for an international competition. Though I would prefer “Saudade” for the mix of oldschool and contemporary. If you need any help with Portuguese, just ask, I’ll try my best to help you. 🙂 It’s indeed a beautiful language. But also a complicated one. For music lyrics or poetry, it’s actually good, because it… Read more »

Colin
Colin
3 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Thank you. I’ll count on your help. 🙂

L'oiseau
L'oiseau
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin

You are absolutely right Colin. Nadine’s song is not real fado, it is inspired by French chanson or maybe a take on fado coming from someone from a different background (It’s beautiful, though). The closest to traditional fado is by far Valéria. Her song was actually composed by Helder Moutinho one of the greatest male fado singers alive.

Fionn
Fionn
3 months ago

Girassol is the best imo, very jazzy. I don’t think it’ll do well tho…

Aan Gomes Branco
Aan Gomes Branco
3 months ago
Reply to  Fionn

Same. My favorite from this Semifinal, but alas, I see my compatriots disregarding it which is sad.

Kosey
Kosey
3 months ago

Portugal has always been one selection process that I have struggled to vibe with. A lot of the songs tend to fall into a similar genre of “thoughtful, moody, slow Mediterranean pop” which is not really a genre that I like. So unfortunately there are not many here in this selection that really grab me. Karetus ft Romeu Barios is my favourite in this selection. I will also say that the live performances generally tend to improve my experience of the songs – Medo de Sentir really grew on me after the performance – so maybe something will jump out… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Kosey
Una
Una
3 months ago

“Contramão” and “Girassol” remain my favourites. Both had immediate impact on me musically the first time I listened to them. I can sense their stories without understanding every single word. “Contramão” seems to be taken out of a nice movie. It’s so soft and cozy and velvety. I am curious about its staging – it must be something very simple and impactful at the same time. I am hoping to see lots of colours during Miguel’s performance. The flower vibe! This song should be a stand-out among the more “serious” and “darker” ones. I just love “Girassol”. Adoro!! Minha canção… Read more »

zoliszekely
zoliszekely
3 months ago

Hope that Saudade win this whole selection!

Fabio
Fabio
3 months ago

I only like The Black Mamba… Saudade is a horrible song, don’t get the fuss about it.

Jamie
Jamie
3 months ago

The only song that’s listenable out of this list is Saudade.

Yudhistira Mahasena
3 months ago

I’m not a follower of FDC, so I think I’m just gonna pick three of my FDC ’21 semi-final 1 winners arbitrarily: Nadine, IAN, and Karetus.

Please don’t ask me why. Karetus I get, but Nadine and IAN’s musicality have grown out on me.

Colin
Colin
3 months ago

FdC really is a world on it’s own: usually more traditional, with heavier emphasis on lyrics and atmosphere. Some of the songs tend to be too similar in tempo to immediately pop out, but there are always some more special ones. So, without further ado, these are my qualifiers of this semi (in random order): Nadine: Cheguei aqui – It’s a charming song which feels traditional and elegant. It that regard, it is what one would expect from a FdC entry, but both the chanson vibe and Nadine’s voice elevate it above most others of a similar tempo and style.… Read more »

Vytautas
Vytautas
3 months ago

Knowing Portugal quite well, I say Portuguese will send just another “Amor pelos dois”, aka – boring, nothing catchy or memorable. And let’s not get started with this arrogant argument of “quality” music, or the fact that Portugal recently won the ESC because the singer was deadly sick. Lucky them, Portugal is in the SF2, but it still will struggle to qualify. And so, that’s the reason why listening to PT songs is worthless. Obviously, you never know. For example, Croatia managed to change the direction and send something rather radio-friendly, today’s trend, but it’s gambling and I don’t like… Read more »

Vytautas
Vytautas
3 months ago
Reply to  Vytautas

*Just my two cents.

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
3 months ago
Reply to  Vytautas

Wow, that paragraph was insufferable. Imagine being THAT wrong.

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago
Reply to  Vytautas

There’s nothing arrogant about saying that Portugal sends quality music, because they do, you may not like it, but that’s a whole different story. On the other hand, what is clearly arrogant is to form an opinion on a selection you admit to not even have listened to.

Fabio
Fabio
3 months ago
Reply to  Vytautas

Croatia will struggle to qualify too. It will be lost in a sea of radio-friendly English pop songs.

Mr X
Mr X
3 months ago
Reply to  Fabio

Absolutely.

Moonstar
Moonstar
3 months ago
Reply to  Vytautas

Don’t you ever feel tired of being so bitter?

Mr X
Mr X
3 months ago
Reply to  Vytautas

Let´s send “Saudade” – it´s a modern song with ethnic influencres. That´s Portugal. We don´t need another generic entry just like Croatia.

Pasadena
Pasadena
3 months ago

It’s Saudade for me. Have been checking whether it’s released on Spotify like every day since I first heard it (still not there)… So gooood!

Pasadena
Pasadena
3 months ago
Reply to  Pasadena

Karetus that is.

Fabio
Fabio
3 months ago
Reply to  Pasadena

I find that song particularly annoying, to be honest.

Jenna
Jenna
3 months ago

My favorites from this semi are Contramão and Dia lindo. My top two favorites from the Portugese selection, however, are both in the second semi.

Ria van de Velde
Ria van de Velde
3 months ago

From the first time I hear this song, she is my favorite to win the ticket to Rotterdam Nadine “Cheguei Aqui”
In second place Neev – Dancing in the stars

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
3 months ago

Btw: Are the artists forbidden to release their songs on streaming platforms before the shows? Couldn’t find any of those I was looking for.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
3 months ago

Listening to Portugal’s selection demands more time and attention than the other NFs from me because it’s not the kind of music you can judge while multitasking, especially if you don’t speak Portuguese. I finally managed to check it out yesterday evening, so my opinion on the songs is still fairly recent. From this bunch, I would say: The Saudade song or the Saudade lady should win. I also like ‘Dia lindo’. As another finalist, I’d pick ‘Girassol’.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
3 months ago

I forgot the song about water. At least I think it’s about water. That one is nice, too. I hope it has a better fate than the Croatian water song.

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago

It’s no secret that I think Festival da Cançao is one of the best finals for people like me who don’t primarily listen to charts pop. I am already impatiently waiting for the album to be issued (do you have any insight when this will occur, Bernardo?). In this semi-final there are two acts I think could do well at Eurovision: Karetus and mema. The former mix of traditional sound and electronic beats is perhaps the more difficult, albeit the more probable choice, we’ll have to see how they translate it onto the stage. “Claro como água” is perhaps my… Read more »

Zelenovi
Zelenovi
3 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

FINALLY a comment I agree with! 100% this. “Claro como agua” is my favourite, head and shoulders above the rest. If nothing else, it has led me to the brilliance that is mema and Stereossauro’s spofity pages.

This music will not get the appreciation it deserves in Eurovision sadly, but I love that it’s there and that RTP is inviting songwriters who are really exploring interesting musical perspectives, not interchangeable radio pop.

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago
Reply to  Zelenovi

Oh, I don’t know if I’d already give up all hope. You’re certainly right to say that alternative sounds rarely get representation in Eurovision – that’s one of the reasons why I prefer pre-season to the actual contest, because there are some national finals that at least try to include such sounds, Portugal is reliably one of them, but you can also look towards Estonia, Italy, Ukraine and Hungary, Albania also has made an effort in recent years. The thing is that the general public rarely goes for these sounds, but if there’s a chance for a song like this… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Tibor
zelenovi
zelenovi
3 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

Alright, I like this optimism! 🙂 And yess I always check out Eesti Laul and Vidbir – there’s always interesting stuff there, even if it doesn’t win!

Last edited 3 months ago by zelenovi
Bob
Bob
3 months ago

I really like this selection! My favourite is Contramão, so beautiful.

Lebanese esc fan
Lebanese esc fan
3 months ago

Saudade is the clear standout here imo. I’d be shocked if it doesn’t qualify for the finals. Honestly though, this selection is really good. A lot of quality songs.

Last edited 3 months ago by Lebanese esc fan
Filipe
Filipe
3 months ago

Hm, the running order was announced last Thursday… The Black Mamba will open the show and IAN will close

Spirit Animal ^^
Spirit Animal ^^
3 months ago

I am sorry to say, but I don’t think Portugal is qualifying for the final this year…