Portugal Festival Da Cancao Semi-Final one 2021

On Saturday, ten songs will compete in the first semi-final of Festival da Canção 2021 in Portugal. Only half of these will advance to the final, due to take place on March 6. But which of these should progress? The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has listened to the songs and ranked their top five. Find out who we think should move on.

Antranig

1. Karetus & Romeu Bairos – “Saudade”

There are a handful of songs worth listening to in this year’s edition of Festival da Canção but there’s only one song I’ve wanted to hear on repeat. “Saudade” has a tantalising hook and has a surprisingly enjoyable instrumental section after the chorus. The structure of the song leaves it open to a plethora of potential staging ideas, particularly to fill the instrumental sections. “Saudade” is definitely my choice for Portugal this year.

2. Fábia Maia – “Dia lindo”
3. Nadine – “Cheguei aqui”
4. The Black Mamba – “Love Is on My Side”
5. IAN – “Mundo”

Luis

1. Karetus & Romeu Bairos – “Saudade”

Atmospheric, deep and slightly dark, “Saudade” is a great take on Portuguese tradition. Karetus and Romeu Bairos follow the path of the Beatbombers, the act that performed during the Eurovision 2018 flag parade. However, their mix of tradition and contemporary music takes a different direction, much moodier and smoother. The beats resemble those of Conan Osíris’ “Telemóveis” at some points, but in a more accessible way. This should take the ticket to Rotterdam easily.

2. mema. – “Claro como água”
3. Valéria – “Na mais profunda saudade”
4. IAN – “Mundo”
5. Irma – “Livros”

Natalie

1. IAN – “Mundo”

I’m really appreciating the modern electronic music in semi-final one here! I can’t say I expected it, but it was great to hear! Of those, “Mundo” is probably my favourite. It’s got a bold, epic quality to it has a serious amount of emotional depth. The production, vocal delivery and lyricism is all very cool and interesting to me. I love the originality. Sadly, Europe hasn’t been responding as well as we’d like to Portugal’s recent attempts to bring modern originality to the contest, but I hope things change this year. They deserve it.

2. mema. – “Claro como água”
3. Fábia Maia – “Dia lindo”
4. Irma – “Livros”
5. Karetus & Romeu Bairos – “Saudade”

Oliver

1. Irma – “Livros”

“Livros” is a classic fairy tale with a contemporary twist. The melody doesn’t develop much, but the production here is next level and it deserves musical props for that. Irma’s sweet vocal layered above colourful flourished synth chords is truly a delight on the senses. It’s a Disney ballad with a splash of vaporwave. In fact, this would fit in any animated Disney movie as the opening number, and nobody would bat an eyelid. This might be one of the best produced tracks of the season so far.

2. Sara Afonso – “Contramão”
3. mema. – “Claro como água”
4. Karetus & Romeu Bairos – “Saudade”
5. Valéria – “Na mais profunda saudade”

Robyn

1. Karetus & Romeu Bairos – “Saudade”

“Saudade” is a deep melancholic longing for something that you can never have again. And I’d say this song does a good job at capturing that state. Whether it’s missing long lost love or, well, how things were in prior to 2020, the song evokes a familiar sense of aching and unease. As well, “Saudade” has a beguiling chorus, sweeping in like a breeze. I would be very happy if this was Portugal’s pick for Rotterdam.

2. Miguel Marôco – “Girassol”
3. mema. – “Claro como água”
4. The Black Mamba – “Love Is on My Side”
5. Sara Afonso – “Contramão”

Which five songs do you think should progress? Let us know in the comments below.

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Laura
Laura
8 months ago

My top 5 is
1. Neev – dancing in the stars
2. Karetus & romeu bairos- Saudade
3. Pedro Gonçalves – Não vou ficar
4. Mema – Claro com Água
5. IAN – Mundo

Julian
Julian
8 months ago

Saudade should win this semi final…but NEEV should be the one going to Rotterdam.

Alex
Alex
8 months ago

Please let it be Karetus & Romeu Bairos – “Saudade” for Portugal!

I guess it is up to the staging and the weird regional juries. I do think the televoters will support them.

bartosz
bartosz
8 months ago

I really hope that mema. will qualify to final.
Her song is one of my favourites from this year national selection season

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
8 months ago

I don’t know who will qualify tomorrow, but I can say is good luck to all the performers

Rui Carreteiro
Rui Carreteiro
8 months ago

Saudade (Rotterdam all the way), Love is on my side(probably the most international sound this FC), Valéria (great fado song), Cheguei aqui (torch and resilience song), and the superb jazz Ballad, my pwrsonal favourite Em Contramão. I feel sorry for Mera mainly.

eurana
eurana
8 months ago

Saudade is soooo repetitive. They pronounce the word “saudade” 21 times! Not my cup of tea.

Alfonso Moreno Domínguez
Alfonso Moreno Domínguez
8 months ago

I was only wishing for someone to rank “Na mais profunda saudade first”.

Ria van de Velde
Ria van de Velde
8 months ago

My favorite song from Portugal this year is:  Nadine – “Cheguei aqui”

Vasco
Vasco
8 months ago

Finally, some love for Irma! Thanks Oliver!

Sean
Sean
8 months ago

Summary of scores:
1) Karetus and Romeu Bairos – 18 pts
2) mema. – 14 pts
3) IAN and Irma – 8 pts
5) Fabia – 7pts
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
6) Sara – 5 pts
7) Valeria, The Black Mamba and Miguel – 4 pts
10) Nadine – 3 pts

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
8 months ago

It has to be Saudade. Volte-Face is my overall personal winner, but I know it would be overlooked at Eurovision. Saudade, which is my second, on the other hand, could actually crack the top 10 with great staging.

Kenny03
Kenny03
8 months ago

I know this isn’t going to be a popular opinion, but I’m a sucker for a big traditional Portuguese ballad and I love valeria’s song – if she can deliver live it does have potential to make an impact

Bob
Bob
8 months ago

Contramão!!!

Tibor
Tibor
8 months ago

In Portugal it’s always dangerous to rank just based on the studio version, because there is always a performer who brings an unremarkable studio cut to life on stage. If Karetus and mema can deliver live, they should be safe, so should Miguel Marôco (keeping my fingers crossed). Ian has an interesting song, but I’m not quite convinced by this very peculiar vocal. And even just based on the studio versions I couldn’t decide on a fifth one, especially with these more traditional tunes, I always have to see how they translate to the live performance.

Sabrina
Sabrina
8 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

See? On this particular semi we agree a lot, we share a top 3. And I also have a problem with IAN’s vocals, I hope it’s just a recording issue.

I’ll take the opportunity to offer a toast (though it’s still too early here for me to have a drink) to Robyn, that sent some love to “Girassol”. I’m surprised the rest of the WiwiJury (normally so keen on uptempo entries) ignored it.

Tibor
Tibor
8 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

You’re right, we still agree when it counts. Let’s see if we’ll also agree on the second semi, because the thing is, although only one of my overall favourites is in semi 2, it’s more difficult to rank, particularly if I presume that two of the slots for the final are already alloted to Carolina Deslandes and Pedro Gonçalves. Although I don’t hate neither of their songs, they’re both not part of my top 5. Next week will be tough.
And of course I join your toast to Robyn – we don’t toast her often enough. 🙂

Michael
Michael
8 months ago

With a great selection my favorites of this semi are Contramão and Saudade, very different but both catchy and dreaming.

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
8 months ago

Saudade