The wait is over in Portugal. Broadcaster RTP ushered in the grand final of Festival da Canção 2021 from its studios in Lisbon. Eurovision 2018 host Filomena Cautela and Vasco Palmeirim oversaw the show that culminated with The Black Mamba winning the ticket to Eurovision 2021 with their song “Love is on my side”.
After an intense voting sequence that saw Carolina Deslandes top the jury vote with “Por um triz” and NEEV as the televote favourite with “Dancing in the stars”, The Black Mamba came out on top with 20 points — 10 from the jury and 10 from the televote.
There was a tie between Carolina Deslandes and The Black Mamba, but as the group won the most votes from the public, they are taking the ticket to Rotterdam.
“Love is on my side” was not a favourite among wiwibloggs’ readers. They placed ninth out of ten in our grand final poll, with 3.78% of the votes.
Festival da Canção 2021 – The Voting
Since 2017, the jury format remains the same for the Grand Final. Seven panels of juries represent the five regions of mainland Portugal plus the island of Azores and the island of Madeira.
The song with most votes is awarded the famous 12 points. The song in last place with the jury is awarded three points. The same format is used in the televote — three points for the least favourite song and 12 to the favourite.
Festival da Canção 2021 – Overall results
- The Black Mamba – “Love is on my side” (20 points)
- Carolina Deslandes – “Por um triz” (20 points)
- NEEV – “Dancing in the stars” (17 points)
- Sara Afonso – “Contramão” (13 points)
- Valéria – “Na mas profunda saudade” (10 points)
- Karetus ft. Romeu Bairos – “Saudade” (10 points)
- Joana Alegre – “Joana do mar” (9 points)
- EU.CLIDES – “Volte face” (9 points)
- Pedro Gonçalves – “Não vou ficar” (5 points)
- Fábia Maia – “Dia lindo” (3 points)
Festival da Canção 2021 – Jury results
- Carolina Deslandes – “Por um triz” (67 points)
- The Black Mamba – “Love is on my side” (63 points)
- Sara Afonso – “Contramão” (55 points)
- EU.CLIDES – “Volte face” (47 points)
- Joana Alegre – “Joana do mar” (44 points)
- NEEV – “Dancing in the stars” (38 points)
- Karetus ft. Romeu Bairos – “Saudade” (29 points)
- Valéria – “Na mas profunda saudade” (28 points)
- Fábia Maia – “Dia lindo” (19 points)
- Pedro Gonçalves – “Não vou ficar” (16 points)
Festival da Canção 2021 – Televote results
- NEEV – “Dancing in the stars”
- The Black Mamba – “Love is on my side”
- Carolina Deslandes – “Por um triz”
- Valéria – “Na mas profunda saudade”
- Karetus ft. Romeu Bairos – “Saudade”
- Sara Afonso – “Contramão”
- Pedro Gonçalves – “Não vou ficar”
- Joana Alegre – “Joana do mar”
- EU.CLIDES – “Volte face”
- Fábia Maia – “Dia lindo”
What do you think of tonight’s results? Are you happy with the outcome? How do you think Portugal will fair at Eurovision 2020? Tell us in the comment section below.
i feel like his nasal tina-turner-voice might put a lot of people off. other than that, the song just isn’t anything special.
yet i’d still like to give a shoutout to portugal. ever since their return, they have served the contest with nothing but genuine, truly artistic entries. at this point, they seem to be the only nation except for italy and georgia, that wouldn’t even serve us with cheap industrial paint-by-numbers songs if they were held at gunpoint. we really should appreciate that.
What do the lyrics mean?
‘Left?home?when I was only sweet sixteen
Chasing blind love and a bunch of broken dreams
Don’t know how I thought I’d be a queen‘
It is about a woman they met in the Netherlands a couple of years ago. She came from Eastern Europe and has had a hard life, drugs, prostitution, though always believing “love in on her side”
What message did Karetus have on his jacket? That reveal moment just made the whole performance odd.
“Não vires as costas à cultura” which translates to “Don’t turn your back on culture”
Don’t turn your back on culture
I think Love is on My Side is perfect! I enjoyed it so much. The singing is great. I loved the music. Bravo!
Fun fact: If we had ditched the juries, Salvador Sobral wouldn’t have won in 2017 and Portugal wouldn’t have won Eurovision (as the song that won the popular vote was terrible).
“The jury doesn’t like the same as I do, they should be ditched”. I prefer not to further describe this behaviour.
Lloooved it from the beginning even though i m the biggest carolina deslandes fan..I admit i was really surprised it won because i thought portugese people would nneeeevvveer vote for a song in english. That’s so not typical portugese eurovision. But it’s just perfect.
Frankly, this year’s portugese selection was one one of the best. I think black mamba, sara, neev or even joana would really not have been ridiculous and have a place in final. And i m the biggest carolina deslandes fan soo… Im still happy with the result and i think they will totally slay. I remember they were first to sing during their semi final and i said « ooohh : that’s a really impressive start. If every act is like that it’s going to be a good year! »
I am really surprised that this won, this never even crossed my mind as a possible favourite to win FdC. But it’s not an unpleasant song. I just don’t really see this standing out in Rotterdam.
I agree i was surprised because i thought portugese people would neeevvver vote for a song in english. But i loved it. And i ´ m happy it won and hope it will totally slay !
Kinda sounds like a non-qualifier to me
Let me tell you this: Yesterday, after the end of Festival da Canção, Tatanka told us about the story about this song and everybody felt a «wow» about it: his has met an old Lady in Amesterdam in 2018 when he´ve lived there. Her life was very hard (including drugs and, because of that, prostitution) but she said that Love was always by her side. Two years later, Tatanka was invited to perform at Festival da Canção. And guess what? He wins with The Black Mamba. That means that he´ll sing her ife in Amsterdam 3 years after they’ve met.… Read more »
Wish them all the luck in Rotterdam, i think they will totally slay.
You know what, I believe the televote was rigged. I’m not saying that Neev didn’t win the televote but I’m saying that it’s like impossible for TBM to have won more votes then Carolina Deslandes or Karetus. Their song was very unpopular compared to Carolina and Karetu’s which were in Portugal’s trends. It feels like something is wrong here and I blame RTP, because, as a portuguese, I know how the portuguese people sometimes are, giving credit to the friends. I don’t believe they won all those points from the televote.
When people don’t like a result, they look for anything to blame. Perhaps the many more fanbase of Carolina didn’t pick up the phone to vote. Those who don’t like the rules would better not watch.
I’m portuguese as well but i don’t believe the televote was rigged. My father for example, dosen’t have any social media and voted for Black Mamba, we just think is weird because almost everybody in the eurovision world was rotting for NEEV (including me).
I have a theory about that! I don’t think it was corruption, ofc. I think that some Carolina fan base were Neev’s song supporters! The Black Mamba on the other hand attracted the vote of older people who do not listen to neither Carolina nor Neev.
The song is far from being my favorite this year, but for me it caught immediately my attention. I guess I was not the only one. Anyway, I am surprised by all the outrage of Portugal sending a song in English when for years it has been harshly criticized by the majority of fans of being snobbishly nationalistic about the language… weird stuff…
I was surprised too because i thought portugese people would never vote for a song in english. But it won and i m sure it will totally slay !
But If Neev won it… the english language wouldn´t be a problem. To this ridiculous outrage a word… Hipocrsy!!!
This year they had some catchy songs to choose from the bunch, but still they went for the most boring one…maybe it’s part of their culture, it’s something I can’t understand, anyway I respect their choice.
wow so condescending! let us see your playlist so we can analyse your “culture” as well.
I didn’t think any song would become my new bottom song. This is now my least favorite song
I’m pretty sure this will snatch some points from the juri and public!
Ok Portugal Im convinced now
Pretty nice song and very strong performance. Well done
I´ll vote for you again 🙂
I can see why the jury liked this one. It wasnt in my top and its not the best song but performance wise it worked. They were very confident on the stage, no nerves, reacted well with camera and his live vocals were spot on, it was the most polished on that night. Im still surprised Carolina didnt win the public vote based on her fan base but i didnt think her performance last night was a good as previous ones have been. Karetus was a great song but a hot mess live and as much as i loved Neevs… Read more »
totally agree. Except it was in my top 3 from the start.
Now I think it’s a pure accident, they wanted Carolina to win Neev was the threat, that’s why he has been downvoted by the juries and instead they pushed the other song in english to not be accused of “englishphobia” They just didn’t expect it to do that well in the televote and better than Carolina. They have been fooled by their mind games this time. Last year they also didn’t wanted Barbara to win and wanted Elisa instead. When Black Mamba won the first 12 points from the jury I was like lol WTF is this strategic mind games… Read more »
Well, if they conspired against Neev, they did well. Neev’s performance and song is mediocre, at best.
about neev i ´ m sorry : the performance was solid and quite perfect, but the song was just …. too sad. A perfect funeral song, but a funeral song nontheless,
I love this. One word: quality.
Nothing is ever guaranteed but i sure hope they will indeed. I really wouldn’t understand why not. It’s surprising because it’s reaaally not typical portugese eurovision but.. it’s perfect.
Portugal had a choice between continuing the tradition and sending a quality song in their beautiful language and sending a good, competitive song in English. They picked neither. This will be the first time since their return in 2017 that Portugal will not be in my top 20. 🙁
Nooooo : i was surprised too because i never thought they would vote for a song in english but they did and it’s a nice experiment. People will not expect this song from portugal and it’s interesting. I loved it anyway.
This reminds me of Carousel – That night. I loved that song, but I don’t see it doing well in Eurovision.
The first entry from portugal I actually like though, that’s exciting
I don’t like it at all. A bit pretentious and classy for me. Anyway it could qualify as I expect the jury to kind of like it. I’m not that sure bout the televote.
I want to know how Portugal will take it first time singing completely in English. Here in Spain there were a lot of fuss over it. And Barei came from a NF too.
I actually like this! And I was surprised that I l liked it. At first I thought Portugal gave us another Salvador but it turned into a thing of it’s own. Portugal is usually the country that ends up near the bottom but I think this could bring them back to final
Also this is simply a genre that isn’t liked by the eurovision community. When the common linnets first presented calm after the storm most people expected us to finish dead last in the semis. Under the general public these type of songs do have their share of fans however and with good staging you never know just how high they might place.
I mean, this genre certainly didn’t work for Austria in 2015….
Host countries generally don’t do well even with good songs…
Yesterday I watched the 10 performances and my immediate thought after the last one (The Black Mamba) was ‘finally, professional musicians took the stage’. Neev and Carolina were out of tune, Valeria and Romeo were (again) too nervous, even ‘my’ Euclides had better performance in the semi-final. Sara was technically ok but 0 emotion. So yes, it is fair, the best has won!
Yes i agree with you about the performance. I was really surprised after they finished how well the song was performed live, perfect live vocals and a polished sharp performance. I can understand why the juries liked it so much.
Its a nice song with a good performance…Its Portugal sending quality again!
I think they will qualify for the final. Good luck my portuguese friends
Yeah…Portugal did it again!
A quality entry, nice song, strong performance and in english (I was not expecting that at all!)
Best of luck for you in Roterdam!
I read these comments and saw the pictures and I feared the worst.
But actually I don’t write this off yet. I think most people here prefer uptempo songs, and I’m more keen to prefer those too. However for a slow song, this is actually quite good. Portugal is in the second semi and I do think this might be a 9th or 10th place for now.
I prefer more slow tempo songs, but I don’t feel so much Portugal this year, I am sorry
I’m getting really disappointed with this year’s Eurovision and really wish the EBU allowed last year’s songs to be kept 🙁
Now that’s just pure negativity
They won’t sound as fresh now as they were from a year ago.
When it started, I was like “oh God another Salvador Sobral song!” but then the singer started singing and I was like “oh ok interesting”. It is quality, cute and sweet. It plays with the emotional side of people. It is dated but also contemporary somehow, maybe because of the artist. Well done Portugal! I believe this qualifies for the final. And then, it has great potential either for the top or for the bottom, unpredictable.
I don’t know how to feel about this… On the one hand, this is not bad by any means and a surprisingly good entry for a country, that usually send entries that land near the bottom for me. (no hate against the portuguese, just don’t like their entries at all usually) On the other hand, Neev and Sara Afonso would have toped my ranking so far and I’m sad that none of the two were chosen. Still, I really like it and the song is, at least in my humble opinion, one of the best Portugal has send, ever. Anyways,… Read more »
My second favourite, I do like the song but my heart is broken, I wanted Neev to win so badly. He’s so honest and emotional, and his voice is flawless live. Pure beauty. Alas, the jury has a different view. Good luck to the Black Mamba. They remind me of Soundgarden. Rest in peace, Chris.
Neev would have really been a awesome choice. His voice is so heartmelting, the melody is magical and memorable and the lyrics are powerful and dramatic. But, I guess, he falls in the “to good for eurovision” category, so i almost saw it coming. Love is on my side has still high qualifying chances though, with the likes of Estonia and Denmark in the same semi. Wish them well.
I Loved neev s song don’t get me wrong but you have to agree it’s the perfect funeral song. Come on. Bring me hope and rainbows instead lol
Not sure how this’ll do in Rotterdam, but for some reason, I actually really like this one!
This is pure class. For some reason when listened to this i thought of Christina Aguilera’s You are beautiful. I’m not saying it sounds the same it just draws you in. Thoughtful is how it makes me feel. Portugal you’ve got it right.
I like the song, not sure how I feel about the singer, I expect him to be polarising. I didn’t like the switching from colour to B&W. I do like the song’s originality, I think the running order will help determine whether this stands out in Rotterdam.
I like this! I have no idea how it’ll fare in Eurovision, but it’s quality. The singer’s voice probably going to get a mixed reception, but it all works for me!
I think this is really outstanding for some reason. His voice reminds me of Eros Ramazzoti, his appearance and the vibe is slightly related to Salvador Sobral. Idk, I still think it’s a non qf and I actually prefer Neev, but it’s not bad at all
I’m going to be honest, I had few other acts that I also liked and would have wanted to win, but I’m not unsatisfied with this since it’s one of those that I was keen on! The favourites of mine were (in the running order): Karetus & Romeu Bairos – Saudade Carolina Deslandes – Por um Triz NEEV – Dancing in the Stars Pedro Gonçalves – Não vou ficar The Black Mamba – Love is on My Side About the song: It reminds me of the song; Eros Ramazzotti & Anastacia – “I Belong To You (Il Ritmo Della Passione)”… Read more »
I don’t like the song, I don’t like the singer’s voice, I don’t like the fact that it’s in English. A sure non-qualifier.
Oh my dear, Portugal….. YES! YES! YES ! I really, really, really like this. Nowadays it takes guts to bring something different to eurovision than just ordinary popsongs. Welcome to my list of favorite songs!
It’s a quality entry, but still lacks something memorable. Portugal had better songs than this.
Brothers! What have you done! The song is OK (just ok), but changing to English?
You know what? I actually like this! I hadn’t listened to it very well before the liveshow ut tjat was a great live performance and I can see why it did well in the televote. It could even quaify I think. Especially in semi final 2.l
Reminds me of Austria’s The Makemakes..
It really does
What, the hat??
The rhythm, the melody, the sound….
It reminds me of Carousel (Latvia 2019)
Lmao, the only thing in common is they are a band.
Me: Greetings I come from the future.
Me 12 hours ago: Oh wow. So you’ve seen all of tonight’s national finals. How did it go?
Me: Um…….it was a great one for languages. Denmark sent a song in Danish for the first time since 1997 and Portugal sent a song in English for the first time in history.
Me 12 hours ago: Oh wow that’s great. I’m so excited to be seeing Emma Nicoline and Neev on the Eurovision stage.
Me: Hehe you wish.
Aweful result. Absolutely aweful. Not a good song and not even a song with any Portuguese feel to it. Top 2 were both among the worst songs ever. I would have been happy with 5 of these as winner, but still they chose 2 of the other for the top 2. Dreadful.
You can bet all your money this is a guaranteed NQ
I wouldn’t bet if I were you, the juries might give them a respectable amount of points and it’s not a song that can’t get televote points as well. Don’t get me wrong, i wouldn’t bet that it is a guaranteed Qualifier, but i think the chances aren’t as slim as you think.
And also, the non-qualifier-spaces are already quite filled with Denmark and Estonia, with some argueable NQ’s such as Albania, San Marino, Georgia and Czechia. I wouldn’t count it as a very likely qualifier, but the chances are not too bad.
This could easily stay in the semifinals even back in 2005. But somehow I think the juries could like it. Will it be enough to pass? I’m not sure but I don’t think that it will be a bad result for Portugal this year.
I kinda like the song, although it feels to me like a song that’s trying to win an Academy Award rather than ESC.