Portu-Gull – Back to making up numbers

Filipa Azvedo
Filipa's charm was a key component in Oslo. Photo: Giel Domen (EBU)

I’m one of the people who perversely liked this before coming to Oslo. Mostly I think because I instinctively like things that other people don’t.

I’m struggling to defend this though. The vocals have obviously entered into a civil partnership with those of Sophie Carle so much so that at times she screeches.

Portugal have done reasonably well the last couple of years ie they qualified. This on current form has as much chance as a Tory in Scotland. People are going to ask at the end of this semi final: “oh were there 17 songs? I must have missed one…” Indeed if they had tea-making facilities in Block G of the Telenor Arena I’d be tempted to stop for a cuppa myself.

The beads hanging from the ceiling really don’t help either. She looks like she’s been imprisoned by a tractor beam such as sometimes happens on Doctor Who.

Still it gives the other 16 songs one less to beat to make the cut of 10 qualifiers.

Phil: I came back from photographing Albania in an “intimate setting” – and got told, “There is some pretty ropy vocal here” – and I thought ” well that’s nothing new for this contest” – however, I was not prepared for what is to come. This is quite possibly the worst singer in this semi final, and there has been a fair few bad ones. She is not confident at all on the upper notes and doesn’t have the vocal range to do this justice IMHO. Now it could just be nerves about performing in front of Grace Mulligan and the Farmhouse Kitchen cookbook Team (i.e Us) or just a hall through of no one, but this is a nailed on cast iron certainty to come last in this bit.

Nick: I’m not entirely overwhelmed here EITHER, but less underwhelmed than I’ve been lately. Filipa isn’t quite Rita Guerra, but this is a perfectly nice song and it’s improving as the session goes on. My argument that we need to wait until at least the last camera run-through – or the Tuesday dress rehearsal – or, indeed, August – to make judgements is falling on deaf ears around me, however, in favour of lunch.

I think this makes some nice pictures on screen, and it’s nice soft loveliness at the right moment. Certainly in my top 10 for this semi, but I don’t really understand Europe’s taste at times and they don’t always understand mine!