Cláudia Pascoal has won the Portuguese national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, 'Festival da Canção' and will represent the country on home ground with the song 'O Jardim'. As host country of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, Portugal is already directly qualified for the Grand Final on 12th May.
Following the same methods used in Festival da Canção 2017, which resulted in Portugal winning the Eurovision Song Contest, broadcaster RTP invited 22 composers to present an original song. Salvador Sobral, the winner of Festival da Canção 2017, was given the opportunity to invite one extra composer. The other three entries in the selection were chosen through preselection competitions organized by public radio station Antena 1.
As in 2017, the composers decided which artists would perform their song. The winning composer, Isaura, chose Cláudia Pascoal to sing her song O Jardim (The Garden).
After two semi-finals the following artists qualified for the national final:
- Rui David - Sem medo 5th
- Susana Travassos* - A mensageira 12th
- Peter Serrado - Sunset 10th
- Joana Espadinha - Zero a zero 9th
- Lili - O vôo das cegonhas 8th
- Catarina Miranda - Para sorrir não preciso de nada 2nd
- Joana Barra Vaz - Anda estragar-me os planos 7th
- David Pessoa - Amor veloz 14th
- Minnie & Rhayra - Patati patata 13th
- Janeiro - (sem título) 4th
- Maria Inês Paris - Bandeira azul 11th
- Anabela - Pra Te Dar Abrigo 6th
- Cláudia Pascoal - O jardim (Winner)
- Peu Madureira - Só por ela 3rd
*Diogo Piçarra withdrew from the competition and was replaced by Susana Travassos. Anabela, one of the finalists, represented Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993.
About the winner
The winner of Festival da Canção, Cláudia Pascoal, was decided by a combination of jury and public votes. She got the highest number of televotes and was second in the juries voting, while Catarina Miranda got maximum points from the jury and was ranked second in the televote. In the event of a tie the public vote prevailed, and so Cláudia was declared the winner.
Cláudia Pascoal was moved and moved all those who witnessed the performance of O Jardim (The Garden). The song, written by Isaura, recalls the author's grandmother. Isaura accompanies Claudia Pascoal on stage.
Isaura made her debut in 2014 with Useless a song that was an absolute hit on YouTube. After that, in 2016, she performed in several music festivals, like Rock in Rio Lisboa and NOS Alive. That year, she was also nominated for the “Revelation” award at the Portugal Festival Awards. In 2018, she participated for the first time in Festival da Canção and invited the singer Cláudia Pascoal, a participant in The Voice of Portugal 2017 and singer in the jazz, blues and gypsy band Cláudia Pascoal & M O R H U A.
Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest
Portugal joined the Eurovision family in 1964 and held the record for the most appearances in the Eurovision Song Contest without a win until 2017 when Salvador Sobral lifted the trophy in Kyiv. Portugual is the most westerly country in mainland Europe and has only missed five contests since joining Eurovision; 1970, 2000, 2002, 2013 and 2016. In 2008 Portugal won the Marcel Bezençon Press Award with Vânia Fernandes and the song Senhora do mar (Negras águas). In 2017 Salvador Sobral won the Marcel Bezençon Artistic Award and the Marcel Bezençon Composer Award with his song Amar Pelos Dois.
Since Portugal won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2017, the country is automatically qualified for the 2018 Grand Final which will take place in Lisbon on Saturday 12th May where Cláudia Pascoal with Isaura will perform O Jardim.