Portugal’s songwriters are ready to eat. On Monday state broadcaster RTP revealed that it had received a “record” number of songs in the open submission portion of their national selection Festival da Canção 2024. As ESC Portugal reports, this year’s 809 submissions represent a jump of 194 songs over last year. This year’s haul obliterates the previous record, set in 2021, when 693 songs were submitted.
Producers will now entrust a special selection committee to whittle the 809 songs down to just six. They’ll join 14 other songs, which are being composed by 14 songwriters invited to participate in the festival by RTP.
The competition will follow the format we saw last year. Twenty acts will compete across two semi-finals: ten in the first semi, ten others in the second semi. Six acts will qualify to the final from each show, giving us a grand final with 12 acts.
In the first round, the top five acts (as determined by a 50-50 jury-televote split) will advance. The sixth finalist will be determined solely by the public vote in a new round of voting.
In the grand final, the result will be determined by combining the results of regional juries (50%) with the televote (50%). The public breaks any tie.
Last year Mimicat won Portugal’s national final with the upbeat “Ai coração.” She placed ninth in Semi-Final 1. Mimicat performed second in the grand final — the so-called “slot of death” — and finished in 23rd place overall.
No matter the result, she won over plenty of new fans. Writing on the wiwibloggs web site, our Jonathan said:
“Portugal have become known for their ballads over recent years, but Mimicat is proving that the country can also put its stamp on something more uptempo. “Ai Coração” feels distinctly Portuguese, which sets it apart from everything else in the contest. Yet, there’s also a theatricality behind the song and performance that sells it to a slightly broader demographic. Add Mimicat’s commanding vocals on top and Portugal have themselves a fiery entry with a lot of potential.”
Are you excited for Portugal’s selection? Who do you want to see compete?