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All you need to know about the final of Portugal's 'Festival da Canção'

08 March 2024 at 10:54 CET
Mimicat performed Ai Coração for Portugal at the First Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena Sarah Louise Bennett / EBU
Your guide on how to follow the final of 'Festival da Canção', as Portugal chooses its song for Malmö.

How To Watch: The final of 'Festival da Canção' will start at 22:00 CET on Saturday 9 March. The show will be broadcast on RTP1 in Portugal, but for anyone who wants to join in from outside of Portugal, an international stream will be available right here.

We'll have reason to celebrate on Saturday night in Portugal. Not only is the nation selecting its entry to the 68th Eurovision Song Contest, but it also marks 60 years since its national final - Festival da Canção - held its inaugural edition. 

Festival da Canção has given Eurovision plenty of great moments throughout these past 60 years, not least when Salvador Sobral - 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.

On Saturday night, Portugal's Eurovision legacy continues, as we find out Festival da Canção's latest winner.

12 songs will be competing 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.

At each of these semis, 10 songs participated, with a combination of a public vote and a jury vote selecting 5 songs to progress to Saturday night's final. A 6th song was then chosen from each semi-final via a public vote only. Meaning we now have our utterly delectable dozen! 

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

The public vote is already open, with people in Portugal having been able to vote for their final faves since Monday. 

The jury vote will also be representative of all of Portugal, with a 7-member panel scoring the songs - made up of one representative from each of the regions of the country. 

Our presenter for the night will be Filomena Cautela, whom many Eurovision fans will remember from when she co-hosted the 2018 Contest from Lisbon.

Filomena will be joined on hosting duties by Vasco Palmeirim, and we'll also have Inês Lopes Gonçalves bringing us all of the chatter with the artists from the green room. 

As well as taking us through the participating entries and the all-important results, our hosts will also be guiding us through the guest performances on the night. And broadcaster RTP has promised us plenty - as it's celebrating Festival da Canção's 60th anniversary, there'll be a lot of iconic names from the history of the competition popping up to say 'olá'!

Before you tune in to Saturday night's final, you can already get yourself familiar with the 12 songs in the running to lift that Festival da Canção trophy.

Right here, you can peruse the finalists in the order that they'll be performed in on the night:

Silk Nobre – Change

Fernando 'Silk' Nobre is a Portuguese singer and actor, born in Mozambique and the son of Cape Verdean parents.

He graduated from the Conservatory in Theatre and Cinema, lived in London for three years and currently lives in Portugal. As well as being a TV, theatre and cinema actor for the past 20 years, he has also been part of several musical projects such as Shout, Funky Messengers, Mister-Lyzard, Funk do Boi, and Cais Sodré Funk Connection. Currently, he is working solo as Silk Nobre. 

He has recorded 7 albums, the most recent being Tell Your Mother That Everything Is Fine!, released in 2023.

Rita Onofre – Criatura

Rita Onofre is a 27-year-old artist and composer, born in Oeiras, for whom a life of making music was a certainty from an early age. She picked up the guitar at the age of 10 under the influence of her father, who decoded the guitar intuitively. At 12, she began writing his first songs and training on guitar with teacher and singer-songwriter Ricardo Reis Pinto. At the age of 15, she entered the professional course of Music Production and Technologies, ending with an internship at Groove Farm studios in Rome, Italy. 

It was during the pandemic that she began publishing songs in Portuguese under her own name. Always Be (2020) was the first single, followed by a debut album in February 2023 - Hipersensível.

NOBLE – Memory

Pedro Fidalgo, known as NOBLE, is a singer and composer from Amarante. As a teenager, he was part of garage bands, tribute groups and other projects. In one of these, he met Jorge Oliveira, drummer of the Fingertips. Months later, and with a series of songs ready for the inaugural album, the first single was released - Honey was also chosen as a song for the TV series Amar Além de Amar.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the creation of the single Beautiful, and in 2022, NOBLE released Secrets and later Lost in You. With the release of Forever and his participation in Festival da Canção, NOBLE continues to establish himself as an international talent.

Buba Espinho – O Farol

Buba Espinho is a young singer from Beja. Since an early age, he has lived and felt music from his roots intensely, through the hand of his father, also a musician, who passed on to him the important mission of preserving it. Traditional Portuguese music now has Buba Espinho as one of its most important spokespersons today. Despite his young age, Buba crosses musical genres like few others and travels from Cante to Fado with the same mastery with which he dominates national pop music and the most urban and current sounds.

Close your eyes and you'll be carried away on an enchanting journey with Buba Espinho.

Nena – Teorias Da Conspiração

Nena is a songwriter and singer from Lisbon. Despite having written her first song at just 12 years old, it was only in 2019 that she dedicated herself to music professionally, thanks to the encouragement of the musician João Só. When she writes her songs, the lyrics and the music are usually born simultaneously, and love is the most recurring theme in her compositions.

In 2023 she won a Play award in the 'New Artist' category, and she later made her concert debut at the Coliseu dos Recreios in November 2023, with a full house.

Iolanda – Grito

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 tried 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.

No Maka ft. Ana Maria – Aceitar

No Maka is the project of musicians and producers Emanuel Oliveira and Duarte Carvalho. After several years of touring stages as DJs, No Maka now perform as a live band consisting of keyboards, electric guitar, drums and vocals.

At only 17 years old, and emerging from Leiria, Ana Maria presents a refreshing approach to pop and a distinct timbre. From an early age, she showed artistic aptitude, but it was in music that she stood out. She initially graduated from the Leiria Music Conservatory and, during the pandemic, explored the ukelele and composition. Currently, she is deepening her studies in jazz, singing at the Coimbra Conservatory.

Cristina Clara – Primavera

Cristina Clara was once part of the Teatro de Letras Group, and it was after playing a young fado performer that she received an invitation from fado singer Marco Rodrigues to sing for the first time in a fado house. 

In 2021, she released her debut album Lua Adversa, an album that mainly explores the affinities between urban music from Lisbon and Brazilian choro, with guest musicians from Portugal and Brazil. Since then she has performed on stages such as Fado Café at NOS Alive, Há Fado no Cais at CCB or Teatro da Trindade. 

Cristina Clara's focus is always expanding her musical and poetic language and promoting sometimes unlikely dialogues through music.

Rita Rocha – Pontos Finais

At just 17 years old, Rita Rocha already has several hits to her name. She first presented herself to the public in 2021 on The Voice Kids, the same year she released her platinum-selling debut single Mais ou Menos Isto. In 2022 she sang on the main stage of MEO Marés Vivas and attended Festival F, two of the most important summer festivals in Portugal.

In 2023, she was highlighted as artist of the month for March on MTV Push. Rita Rocha then gave her voice to the song Into the Void, part of the soundtrack for the acclaimed Portuguese Netflix series Rabo de Peixe 2.
 

Leo Middea – Doce Mistério

Leo Middea, born in 1995 in Rio de Janeiro, is an outstanding artist of the new generation of Brazilian popular music. Currently living in Lisbon, here he recorded the albums Vicentina (2020) and Beleza Isolar (2020). 

His career took off in Buenos Aires with his debut album Dois (2014) which resulted in 23 concerts across Argentina. His second album A Dança do Mundo (2016) received positive reviews and was included in several selections of the best albums of the year.

In Portugal, Leo participated in the celebrations of the Bicentenary of Brazilian Independence. The year 2023 for Leo Middea brought 65 concerts in 8 countries and the album Gente, which passed a million streams one month after its release. 

Perpétua – Bem Longe Daqui

Diogo, Rúben and Xavier met at a music school in Gafanha da Nazaré, Ílhavo, where they began their musical journey, as well as a friendship that would become the seed from which Perpétua would germinate. Diogo met Beatriz in high school, the last petal of this bright flower.

They released their first single, Condição, in 2020. In March 2021, they released their debut album Esperar Pra Ver. Later, as part of a partnership with the Ílhavo City Council, they re-imagined five songs by the winner of the 1981 Festival da Canção, Carlos Paião (also a local musician) on the EP Além Mais

Above all, Perpétua seeks to paint new musical landscapes, singing sadness happily, lightly and slowly, as if taking care of a garden.

João Borsch – …Pelas Costuras

Born in Funchal in 2000, João Borsch has always had music at the forefront of his life. As a child, he was the drummer in a local trash metal band - and he was also the last regional champion of the game Guitar Hero

He later moved to Lisbon, to enroll in a degree in Jazz and Modern Music at Universidade Lusíada. During this period, he released his debut album Uma Noite Romântica com João Borsch, proving his chameleon-like ability to express himself in any musical style he is interested in.

In 2023, his second full-length album, É Só Harakiri, Baby, saw the light of day, which took him to some of the biggest stages in the country.

 

In Malmö in May, Portugal have been drawn to perform in the Second Half of the First Semi-Final on Tuesday 7 May.

At the 67th Eurovision Song Contest, Portugal was represented by the winner of Festival da Canção in 2023, Ai Coração by Mimicat.

In Liverpool, Mimicat's energetic performance of the song took Portugal to the Grand Final.