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'Grito' wins 'Festival da Canção': iolanda will represent Portugal in Sweden

10 March 2024 at 01:38 CET
Portugal is all set for its journey to Malmö in May - represented by 'Festival da Canção' winner iolanda and the song 'Grito'.

After two semi-finals, the all-important final of Portugal's beloved Festival da Canção took place on Saturday 9 March. 

The evening marked an important milestone - 60 years since the very first edition of the music competition happened, back in 1964.

Iolanda wins Festival da Canção in Portugal Pedro Pina / RTP

And the Festival da Canção legacy now continues with its latest winner - Grito performed by the artist iolanda.

The song will represent Portugal at the 68th Eurovision Song Contest in May.

12 songs competed in the Festival da Canção final. They made their way there via two semi-finals, which took place in Portugal over the previous two Saturday nights, 24 February and 2 March.

Scoring at Saturday night's Festival da Canção final was done via a 50/50 split between a public vote and a jury vote.

Iolanda wins Festival da Canção in Portugal Pedro Pina / RTP

The public vote had been open all week, with people in Portugal having been able to vote for their final faves since Monday. The jury vote was also representative of all of Portugal, with a 7-member panel scoring the songs - made up of one representative from each of the 7 regions of the country. 

The song Grito won the top marks from the jury vote and 10 points from the public vote - making it a runaway choice to represent Portugal at the 68th Eurovision Song Contest.

A promising national singer and songwriter, iolanda released her debut EP Cura in March 2023. Born in São Pedro de Cova Gala, in Figueira da Foz, she moved to Lisbon at the age of 17, but already at 14 she took her first steps in writing. She commenced performing in bars and national talent competitions as a gateway, later moving to the UK, where she studied Songwriting at BIMM, University of Sussex. 

The publication Rimas e Batidas predicts that she will be “one of the next great divas of music made in Portugal for the next decade”. In her music we hear pop and R&B without forgetting her traditional Portuguese and Iberian roots.

Portugal will perform in the Second Half of the First Semi-Final on Tuesday 7 May.

Portugal in 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.

Rádio e Televisão de Portugal, (RTP), is responsible for organising the Portuguese Eurovision Song Contest and uses Festival da Canção as its national selection. Over the years the format has changed to include semi-finals as well as different voting combinations.

Festival da Canção has given Eurovision plenty of great moments throughout these past 60 years, not least when Salvador Sobral's Amar Pelos Dois entered the history books not just as Portugal's first winner, but as the song which has scored the highest points tally in the history of the Contest.

Portugal has only missed 5 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 - which also went on to win the Contest in Kyiv that year.

The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest was held in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon following Salvador Sobral's victory in the 2017 competition.