The first Portuguese semi final was a bit of a blur to me, being in Malta with dodgy technology and arguably focusing on the wrong song qualifying into the final (or not) meant that I missed what would be the eventual winner.
What’s all the fuss about?
I first saw it immediately after it had won and to my detriment I saw the first semi final performance and I could not work out what all the fuss was about. There was a slightly awkward looking man singing a song at a microphone in a unique style that, at the time, made me want to turn off. I just didn’t get the song at all. Then I watched the reprise and I started to well up and then ended up blubbing like a baby and I couldn’t work out why. Was it the fact that I had interests that could focus my eyes?? Was it the fact that I was still deliriously happy with Estonians choice and I was on cloud nine?
Nope, it was neither of those things in the end. The answer was much simpler than that and like arguably one song every year goes to the heart of Eurovision to me. Salvador looked so overwhelmed that he had to get his sister on stage to help him sing it.
This was someone that actually believes totally and unequivocally in what he was singing. Yes the performance grates me and I still want to slap him and tell him to stop singing out the side of his mouth but that is as much to do with the diet of factory reared songs that I have been fed over the last few years rather than genuine hatred of the song.
Let’s go to Songwriting school!
It seems anyone with GCSE music thinks they can write a Eurovision song. It helps, apparently, if you are Swedish and have a hit factory churning out songs that sound the same so that you tick the boxes that gets your broadcaster points. Put that with the gay friendly thumping tune and a beat that you can dance to at Euroclub and maybe some graphics and you certainly have a top 5 on your hands.
Fans know this too, if they are totally honest with themselves. They believe the hype that Mediocrityfestival is the gold standard and anything that doesn’t enter that isn’t worth bothering about. A section will tell you that songs like this “shouldn’t be in the contest”, but in reality what those people are saying is that it shouldn’t be in their contest or what they believe the contest to be. Songs like this and years that are heavy with ballads challenge their perception of Eurovision to such a degree that they focus on anything to be proved right. Either that or claim that xxx is the worst year ever where as, in fact, every year is different.
…but school is out
This song is different. This song harks back to an age where the singer believes every word they are saying and are not just singing the words knowing any old pap will get the voters ringing in. That reprise moved me to tears. It had me glued to my telly box in ways that only a few other modern songs have (Patricia Kass take a bow).
I suspect RTP couldn’t give two hoots about where this finishes because to them it will embody one of the key features of the contest that has been forgotten in recent years. You won’t need the caption at the bottom of the screen to tell you where this song is from, this is Portugal and Europe will know it. Portugal have definitely been exponents of that in recent years too, missing the Eurovision boat whilst trying to keep faithful to RTPs public service remit and seeing the contest as a showcase for Portugal. This certainly fulfills those criteria
Will it win? Nope, Because the diet is too heavy with processed pop but every so often you need a palette cleanser to come along to realise that your taste buds are not dulled. This is that song.
Oh – and don’t ever get this song confused with this one #justsaying