valéria romeu bairos

Olá, Portugal! The Iberian nation just witnessed the first semi-final of the 2021 edition of Festival da Canção. Ten acts battled for five places in the final.

In the end, a combination of professional jury and televote decided that Karetus ft Romeu Bairos, Valéria, The Black Mamba, Fábia Maia and Sara Afonso are one step closer to Eurovision 2021.

Portugal’s Festival da Canção 2021 semi-final one results

The first of two semi-finals took place in Lisbon’s RTP headquarters. 50% of the result came from a professional jury that included Eurovision 2003 star Rita Guerra and Eurovision 2021 “Medo de Sentir” composer Marta Carvalho. The remaining 50% from televote. The qualifiers were announced in random order.

Excitement and expectation was building in this semi-final, said to have one of the fan favourites for the victory.

After an intense qualifiers announcement, the five who’ll be back at RTP’s studios are: Karetus ft. Romeu Bairos with “Saudade”, Valéria with “Na Mais Profunda Saudade ”, The Black Mamba with “Love is on my side”, Fábia Maia with “Dia lindo” and Sara Afonso with “Contramão”.

Portugal results semi final 1 2021

Valéria – “Na mais profunda saudade” live at semi-final one of Festival da Canção 2021

Karetus & Romeu Bairos – “Saudade” live at semi-final one of Festival da Canção 2021

The Black Mamba – “Love is on my side” live at semi-final one of Festival da Canção 2021

Fábia Maia – “Dia lindo” live at semi-final one of Festival da Canção 2021

Sara Afonso – “Contramão” live at semi-final one of Festival da Canção 2021

Unfortunately, it’s the end of the line for mema. as well as Nadine, Miguel Marôco, IRMA and IAN. None of these acts will be heard in the grand final on March 6.

Next week, ten more entries will compete and another five will join the line-up of the grand final in Lisbon.

Are you happy with tonight’s results? Are you surprised? Which live performance was your favourite? Tell us in the comment section below

Read more Portugal Eurovision 2021 news here

71 Comments
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Lenny
Lenny
1 year ago

Karetus were amazing, easily my fav one.

L'oiseau
L'oiseau
1 year ago

Very surprisingly, “Contramao” by Sara Afonso was by far the best for me. She had the best overall package: great composition, great voice, competent delivery, best staging. On the other hand “Saudade” by Karetus was a very big disapointment. The staging was a mess and the singer did nothing to elevant the song, on the contrary, showed it’s limitations. Black Mama very competent, but lacked energy Valéria, very nervous at first and for me the act/song doesn’t work in the FdC context Fábia, very interesting song and act, but she and the whole act needs some polishing. All in all… Read more »

Jamie
Jamie
1 year ago

Why? I thought it was pretty good. They only need some backs.

lasse braun
lasse braun
1 year ago

i like the singing hat most. 🙂

Whisker
Whisker
1 year ago

Those 5 songs are very good. I was ultra disappointed with the staging for “Cheguei aqui”, so no surprise there. And Girassol too. 🙁

NickC
NickC
1 year ago

Thesr are 5 decent songs. I feel Portugal will do very well this year.

DDRaven
DDRaven
1 year ago
Reply to  NickC

If you wanna be optimistic, sure.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
1 year ago

Oh and Bernardo! It was so nice to see you on our screens. Even if I wasn’t really able to follow what you were contributing…I’m sure you were being great though, as always!

Elsa
Elsa
1 year ago

Contramão is a gem of a song! Karetus x Romeu was a cool performance, though the refrain is repetitive and staging left much to be desired. Sorry for IAN but happy to have met her! 🙂 Looking forward to the next semi-final!

Bob
Bob
1 year ago

Contramão is so magical

Last edited 1 year ago by Bob
Alex Fergunson
Alex Fergunson
1 year ago

“Contramão” is the best song for me, magic. I also really liked Black Mamba’s song, as expected, as Pedro is such a great artist. All the other ones were so far behind these two, in terms of music quality and on creating a moment of poetry – at least in my view. But I also like to disregard any competition and listen to music for the music, as I believe it’s not really possible to make art compete against other art. Anyway, hope you are all well and safe during these rough times.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
1 year ago

The standard was just ridiculously high. Even the weakest song and performance (Ian’s) was still pretty good. I do not envy them having to choose which five made it through. Really enjoying this NF. Looking forward to Pedro’s song next week, otherwise, I’m more than happy to roll with Valéria as my winner. Her performance was just amazing.

Elfi
Elfi
1 year ago

Next week i need NEEV to impress, and that’s a wrap…

Awfull stage! RTP needs to stop “saving” money on culture…if they want to be the portuguese broadcast you have to give something bigger and updated to the artists, this way upbeat songs and big performers are always starting in a worse position…

With that out of my system… i really think NEEV will be amazing!

Last edited 1 year ago by Elfi
Rui
Rui
1 year ago
Reply to  Elfi

I’m portuguese. I tell a lot of portuguese rock and metal bands they should go to festival da canção. Submit entries. Their reply? They tell me they would not bother, because it’s an ”elitist” show where only ”consecrated” song writers can get in and write a song for them, or friends of people that work in RTP .

Alfonso Moreno Domínguez
Alfonso Moreno Domínguez
1 year ago

“Na mais profunda saudade” is my favourite. I thought I wanted some fado from Portugal right before I listened to the songs and that’s what I got here. Even though, staging does really need to be improved. Lighting, camera shots and especially that dress. It’s completely distracting, in a bad way. It needs to go. If they don’t change anything, the winners are going to be “Saudade” with no competition. And I wouldn’t mind that.

Jensteri
Jensteri
1 year ago

What a great result! I would have chosed Cheguei aqui over Saudade but other than that I’m really happy with the results. 🙂

Sabrina
Sabrina
1 year ago

Romeu needs to work on his stage presence for the final, but “Saudade” proved to be the most interesting song in the competition. I’m glad that Valéria (beautiful vocal performance) and Sara also made it. The Black Mamba was pleasant too. On the other hand, sad that “Claro Como Água” and “Girassol” won’t be around anymore.

I guess Festival da Canção’s semifinals are the only shows who benefited from the lack of an audience. The stage got bigger and the audience normally doesn’t participate much on the shows recorded in RTP’s studios.

Daniel
Daniel
1 year ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Portugal never sent a fado song to Eurovision.

James
James
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel

Doesn’t 1976’s “Uma Flor De Verde Pinho” count as such?

James
James
1 year ago
Reply to  Sabrina

They did sent a modernized fado, or rather a modern tribute to fado in 2012 but they didn’t qualify with it sadly.

Colin
Colin
1 year ago
Reply to  Sabrina

They finished 8th with fado in 2008 and it’s still considered to be a fan-favorite. I’d call that a big success. 🙂

That said, I love Valeria’s fado (probably my winner of this semi), but I find Vania’s song to have a more powerful progression, bridge and climax. Still, Valeria could qualify.

DDRaven
DDRaven
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin

Not 8th, 13th.

Colin
Colin
1 year ago
Reply to  Sabrina

I agree. Portugal has more potential than most of it’s results show.

I’m unsure which song in this selection would fit the bill of being alternative and unique, while still being modern and accessible for wider audiences. So far (we’ll see after the performances) I think that Pedro and Neev would likely achieve the highest result on ESC, but while I really like them, I’d hardly call them alternative. I mean, being alternative is not a pre-requisite of being either successful or of high quality, but I also feel like Portugal can achieve all of the above.

Sabrina
Sabrina
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin

Between Portugal sending something that could be sent by any other country (nothing against Neev, I actually like his music) and a good fado, I still would prefer the good fado. Though I’m in sync with Tibor in this one, I would prefer something alternative, that may sound Portuguese and modern at the same time. That’s why I’m rooting for “Saudade” and I was hoping “Claro Como Água” would make it. After “Telemóveis” and “O Jardim” getting bad results, I feel Portugal really needs a good one to keep FdC’s great format alive. But what if they send something very… Read more »

Sabrina
Sabrina
1 year ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Good TED Talk though. 😛

Colin
Colin
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin

I’ll answer to both of you, Tibor and Sabrina. 🙂 I find Portugal to be one of the most interesting countries at ESC, because (along with Spain, France and Italy, and to a lesser degree ex-Yugoslavian countries and Albania) they really cherish their national culture musically. For all of these countries, I am constantly torn between wanting them to continue sending something with a national flavor and trying something more international to switch it up a bit. On one hand, I would hate the idea of ESC becoming (even more) totally dependent on international sounding songs in English. Sure, some… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Colin
DDRaven
DDRaven
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin

I’m sorry but this just gets annoying. So Portugal HAS to send a portuguese song that will do terribly in the contest because “you gotta have someone send an alternative song so Portugal should sacrifice getting a good score to please the minority”. The hypocrisy in this line of thinking is annoying. No, Portugal shouldn’t be a guinea pig that “just needs to have patience”. Alternative songs have earned them NOTHING besides “praise” from a miniscule amount of people that encourage them to constantly set themselves up for failure because “the alternative spirit needs to be kept alive somewhere”. It’s… Read more »

Sabrina
Sabrina
1 year ago
Reply to  DDRaven

No need to be that aggressive, DDRaven. In your rant, you called ourselves hypocrites, our opinions a joke, implied we want to use Portugal as a guinea pig and that we don’t care about the country. All of this just because we have a different opinion? By doing that, you’re the one not “dealing with it”. You’re the one wanting us to bend down to your personal thoughts on the subject.

DDRaven
DDRaven
1 year ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Oh shut it. The 3 of you have done nothing but cry that Portugal is only allowed to do what YOU personally want. Portugal should be allowed to do whatever the hell it desires. Want authenticity, go cry to other countries to change, don’t enforce Portugal into it. Also all I said is true. YOU 3 are crying and moaning that all Portugal can do is what YOU want and anything different is sacrilege. YOU 3 are the ones enforcing your desires and opinions and crying that Portugal can’t do what it desires and should only send “authentic” garbage songs… Read more »

Colin
Colin
1 year ago
Reply to  DDRaven

I think that you are simultaneously trying to answer both me and Tibor, while really taking our words out of the context. Neither of us said exactly that. Actually, I was saying how I *do* think that an occasional English song could be rewarded in Portugal if it’s really good. I only said that I don’t want for FdC to become a NF mostly in English and with mostly foreign authors. That doesn’t mean that valid exceptions aren’t welcome. That just means that the broadcaster would have to be careful not to let a potential success of a potential English… Read more »

DDRaven
DDRaven
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin

Yeah yeah. “Portugal should keep getting garbage results and never try to do anything different from what has failed them every time because other countries don’t do it”. Can you 3 just say it as it is. You don’t want to keep the “sanctity” of FDC, you just want the country to keep being your little puppet for alternative songs. Constantly crying that “daring to send a song in english and it getting a good result will destroy Portugal” is a dumb lie. Say it as it is. You want FDC to continue being the 20th century joke contest that… Read more »

L'oiseau
L'oiseau
1 year ago
Reply to  DDRaven

I find your outrage interesting… In your opinion, what would be the Portuguese acts that should go to ESC? Do you have any examples?

DDRaven
DDRaven
1 year ago
Reply to  L'oiseau

Whatever is the song with the best quality and can achieve the best result. Portugal shouldn’t be forced to choose garbage songs just because someone has to send in their native language with an alternative sound to please the miniscule minority. If the best song is that, so be it, if it isn’t, so be it. What I don’t want is a bunch of hipsters crying that Portugal isn’t allowed to send anything but the same garbage that accomplishes nothing like these 3 “geniuses” have been saying. Crying that daring not to please their narcissistic hipster views is wrong and… Read more »

L'oiseau
L'oiseau
1 year ago
Reply to  DDRaven

Sorry, but you didn’t answer my question. In your opinion what would have been a best song or better song. Can you not give an example?

DDRaven
DDRaven
1 year ago
Reply to  DDRaven

And where in the hell did I say they should buy Melfest rejects? For a guy complaining about being taken out of context you sure love doing it hypocrite. All I said is that Portugal shouldn’t be forced to constantly send bad songs that will get garbage results because a bunch of hipsters like you can’t get anything alternative elsewhere. Want alternative, go ask other countries to give it a shot. Portugal shouldn’t be forced to constantly send worthless songs because of this dumb illogical fear of yours that they will become the next Latvia if they “dare” to send… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by DDRaven
Sabrina
Sabrina
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin

I want to be clear about one thing: my problem with Neev’s song is not that it’s in English. I also never said that I think Portugal can’t sand a song that’s not in Portuguese, even if I root they keep going with their (which happens to be also mine) language. I don’t want it to win because it’s a song that could be found in any other national final. It would fit Melfest perfectly. But how many countries already pursue this? If it was a fantastic song, great. I personally think it’s only a nice one. I’ve liked more… Read more »

Colin
Colin
1 year ago
Reply to  Sabrina

I can totally understand this and I think I’ve misunderstood you both that the language is the main barrier here. For me, a certain authenticity (or however we’ll call the feeling of sincerity in the song) is a key part of me feeling it and most often, liking it. I usually tend not to immediately look-up for authors (it happens eventually, ofc), because it happened that same people wrote some of my favorite and least favorite NF songs if they are prolific enough. I think that songs by authors like G:Son, Barker, Jansson, Siegel, Milanov, ect. don’t really sound similar… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Colin
Sabrina
Sabrina
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin

In Neev’s case, it’s not even a matter of authenticity or sincerity, his song sounds very heartfelt (by the way, not a single entry in FdC feels artificial and I love that) and it seems he naturally pursues a more international sound. I’m actually glad that he accepted to participate and that he offers something different from the usual menu of FdC. Maybe next Saturday he’ll convince me it has to be him. For now, I’m more into other entries. About some songwriters monopolizing Melfest and/or the Eurovision universe, I guess they’re on their right. If there’s someone to blame,… Read more »

Colin
Colin
1 year ago
Reply to  Sabrina

I pretty much share your approach to music in general. It’s the quality that matters first and foremost. For me, most of established ESC veterans had some extremely good songs, but each had some mediocre, if not poor ones. That’s how it is when you write dozens of songs per year. You can’t get it every time. And that’s fine. I also do wish that more newer authors also get the same platform. I mean, I have no issues with some repeated authors (say, Karl Killing writing 3 songs in this year’s EL), but having same 5-6 people writing about… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Colin
Sabrina
Sabrina
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin

Since I started following FdC, I don’t remember any competitive song in English, so it’s hard to tell if the juries would harm them. We were supposed to know this better with “Rebellion”, but the live performance was a disaster. If Neev does well in the semi and doesn’t qualify… On the other hand, as you mentioned, there are other options in a similar level in the lineup. So if he loses, it’s not necessarily because the Portuguese jury and/or televote don’t want a song in English. Though I know we’ll read some comments on this lane, because of… drama.… Read more »

Colin
Colin
1 year ago
Reply to  Sabrina

I think I am likely worried over nothing. 😉 I was so concentrated on Neev’s future result (because it’s one of my favorite songs), totally forgetting that The Black Mamba already qualified with a song in English. Because of the juries, audiences or both, we still don’t know. But they did it. So, if Neev is good in live, I think he’ll likely make it. Fingers crossed. As for Rebellion, I was also thinking how they DQd over an English song before hearing them live. But last year had several really poor (or at least odd) live performances in a… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Colin
DDRaven
DDRaven
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin

In what land can any song you mention “do good”? Oh yeah, as good as O Jardim and Telemoveis did. Stop being a narcissist and thinking your little alternative songs will take Europe by storm because you like them. We have all seen what they get Portugal, a garbage result. Stop thinking Europe is like you, you minuscule minority of hipsters..And stop saying you want “the best for Portugal”. You don’t, quite the opposite. The reason FdC and Eurovision are seen as a joke in Portugal is because of people like you, who constantly force Portugal to fit your need… Read more »

L'oiseau
L'oiseau
1 year ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Sabrina, Tibor, Colin, Super interesting converstion, guys… I have my own views of course, knowing the Portuguese music scene. I do think that FdC has become a super interesting event, but for me it keeps short in matching the best of two worlds – keep the orignality but deliver a more apealing outcome. The contemporary music scene actually produced much more apealing songs than the ones that turn out in FdC. But for some reason the very same acts when they arrive to FdC they are concerned with the “prestige” factor and deliever much different and, yes, more difficult songs.… Read more »

Sabrina
Sabrina
1 year ago
Reply to  L'oiseau

Always nice to see you here, L’oiseau. 🙂 I don’t know if you agree but I think last year’s FdC took this step forward, not necessarily in terms of quality, but minding the fact there were more acts feeling free to do their own stuff, which added variety to the lineup. For some reason (maybe the fact Elisa won with a more conventional ballad), the invited songwriters went back to what you said, it’s like they’re adapting their music to what they believe it’s “contest appropriated”. Maybe the previous winner is influencing too much the mindset of the songwriters. I… Read more »

L'oiseau
L'oiseau
1 year ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Thanks Sabrina, It’s good to be back. Actually, to tell you the truth I find that last year the composers did completely different things than what they usually do. The case in point is D’Alva, Filipe Sambado, Calema, Barbara Tinoco, Dino Santiago and even Marta Carvalho. It’s a bit paradoxical, but is like they are sending songs that are less mainstream, more experimental to what they usually do. I would say that they perfer to send someting outside of their usual spectrum to see how it goes and if they fail their legacy remains untouched… This year I see it… Read more »

Sabrina
Sabrina
1 year ago
Reply to  L'oiseau

That’s interesting. So the problem is not that they’re holding back, but that they’re trying things that may not fill the expectations of those who invited them. What do you think if they keep the invitation system but ask for each songwriter to send 2 or 3 songs and then they can build a more diverse lineup?

L'oiseau
L'oiseau
1 year ago
Reply to  L'oiseau

Hey Tibor. You know I have been cometing less, because all my comments have to approved, which is a bore… I wonder why that is… Anyway, I take your point on 2021. See my reply to Sabrina. Indeed there are more mainstream songs this year than previously. But still I do think that even this year there is some mismatch with what the artists do outside the FdC. On your point on traditional sounds… I am bit torned there… On the one hand, I agree that RTP should go beyond the “mere” traditional sounds. Actually, I thought that Valéria, was… Read more »

L’oiseau
L’oiseau
1 year ago
Reply to  L'oiseau

OMG!!!! William!!! What an honor! 😀 Thanks a lot for that! But unfortunately even very small comments have been subject to approval… But I will keep that in mind! Take care!

L’oiseau
L’oiseau
1 year ago
Reply to  L’oiseau

Oops… I just realized that you are right, of course ?

L’oiseau
L’oiseau
1 year ago
Reply to  L'oiseau

Points very well taken! And yes, I totally agree with on DDRaven form of communication and scapegoating. But well…

L’oiseau
L’oiseau
1 year ago
Reply to  L’oiseau

It does work eheheh

Sabrina
Sabrina
1 year ago
Reply to  L'oiseau

Same with me, I was got by the filter all the time, but now it’s only happening if I post like 2 or 3 big comments in the same post in a space of a few hours. Like it happened in a previous Portuguese post when I was translating some of the lyrics for you.

But yeah, whatever they did with the filter, it’s working much better this season. 🙂

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
1 year ago

Oh, I simply adore “Contramao”. I know that if it won, everybody would compare it to “Amar pelos dois”, but to me this is quite a different flavour. Here I’m picturing a calm, starry, summer night and two people unhurriedly walking through the woods, accompanied only by the sound of crickets and the scent of resin. I feel quite literally spellbound by it, it’s just a ravishing moment of unspeakable magic.
Also, I gotta say, IAN was rocking that porcupine look.

jap
jap
1 year ago
Reply to  Skiwalko

Contramão was for me the great surprise of the evening. Love it.

jap
jap
1 year ago
Reply to  Skiwalko

Me too. It was my favourite…

John
John
1 year ago

I would like Saudade a lot more if it wasn’t so static. Get rid of the box and move around a little. The stage is so small anyway. The box doesn’t fit a traditional Portuguese song.

Max
Max
1 year ago
Reply to  John

The box is Karetus’ signature stage prop. Check out their other live performances 😉

James
James
1 year ago

The true winner of the night: This grand spankin’ title card.

Last edited 1 year ago by James
Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
1 year ago

I love your taste lmao, mema and Miguel should have qualified and Euclides is my winner.

LaVoixCZ
1 year ago

Phew, the tension was high! Happy that “Contramão” made it through, however, I miss “Girassol”. ://

Alex
Alex
1 year ago

Are we going to ignore the fact that Saudade’s performance was awful?

The singer looked petrified and nervous. wtf was that with the rose giving me deja vu from Belarus 2018?

Also Wtf with those creepy dancers? what was the purpose exactly??

I understand that such small stage can limit the acts but seriously this is not a good performance and i hope they do better in the final because i LOVE the song.

zelenovi
zelenovi
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex

I thought it was a carnation – a reference to Portugal’s Carnation Revolution? (but i’m not portuguese so please correct me)

Fernando
Fernando
1 year ago
Reply to  zelenovi

Yes you are correct

Gongas
Gongas
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex

Those “creepy dancers” were actually dressed in traditional portuguese clothes and performing as the traditional way of Podence in the North. A little more respect for each others’ cultures would be appreciated.
You may google “Caretos de Podence”. The band is called Karetus, hence the connection.
Have a nice dar

Max
Max
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex

I like Romeu and his serious expressions and his beautiful eyes. It was a really cool combination of elements for me, one where drummers and dancers did not outshine the singer but framed him, very symmetrical. The final moment when Karetus joined Romeu in the box was so captivating to me!

Last edited 1 year ago by Max
Kosey
Kosey
1 year ago

Great performance by Karetus ft. Romeu Barios. Totally engaging throughout, my favourite of the night.

ESC8
ESC8
1 year ago

My favourite of the whole Festival (Claro como agua) didn’t make it so I don’t really care anymore. I think that Karetus probably will win. At least I hope that we will get to hear something local from Portugal in May, not an english language song.

Last edited 1 year ago by ESC8
Lebanese esc fan
Lebanese esc fan
1 year ago
Reply to  ESC8

Carolina is definately the favorite to win. She’s famous in portugal, and her song is the typical sound the country tends to go for in Eurovision.

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
1 year ago

mema robbed but at least saudade made it.

Lebanese esc fan
Lebanese esc fan
1 year ago

So, are we going to adress the fact that “Claro como agua” didn’t make it?

myoozik
myoozik
1 year ago

I hope Saudade wins!