Salvador Sobral won the 2017 edition of Festival da Canção, the Portuguese national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, and will perform the 'Amar Pelos Dois' (Love Enough For Two) in Kyiv. The winner of Festival da Canção was decided by the public (50%) and seven regional juries (50%).
Tonight Portugal chose their song for Ukraine in the final of Festival da Canção. It was in a gala show hosted by Sílvia Alberto & Catarina Furtado where they also celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Portuguese broadcaster, RTP.
The winner, chosen by a 50/50 mix of TV viewers and expert jury votes is Salvador Sobral who sang the song written by his sister Luisa Amar Pelos Dois, which can be translated as Love Enough For Two.
Salvador and Luisa Sobral
Luísa Sobral is one of the most important composers and singers of the new generation of Portuguese musicians. A graduate by the Berklee College of Music, the singer and songwriter chose her brother Salvador Sobral to sing her song. "I never thought about singing this song myself because when I wrote it I already had my brother’s voice in mind. I was very fond of seeing him playing my song, because I think he is an extraordinary singer and because it gives me great joy to see him at the song contest and also that it turned out to be a family thing".
Salvador Sobral praises his sister just as well: "It's an opportunity to sing a beautiful song from an excellent songwriter, and show it to the world". Salvador has earned the best criticism from the specialized press, colleagues of profession and, more importantly, the public.
Excuse Me (2016) is his debut album and represents a whole universe of songs written by himself in collaboration with the talented Venezuelan composer Leonardo Aldrey. Jazz, Brazilian music and the sounds of Latin America, in which he dives for inspiration, are also strong influences in the album.
There’s also a collaboration with Luisa in the album. The Song Contest, however, was not a part of the family experience yet, but Salvador is optimist: "There's a first time for everything!". To him there are characteristics that clearly distinguish the song from the others: "Perhaps the harmony and the melody take you on a journey to the American songbook and to the bossanova ... The melody is by Luisa but she gave me freedom to perform the song according to my artistic personality. The most important thing is to convey emotions. Whatever they are".
Although her albums include songs in both Portuguese and English, Luísa Sobral chose her mother tongue to give life to the message she wanted to convey. "If there has to be a song that will represent us as a country I think it makes sense that it is in our beautiful language. I did not write it thinking in the competition. I wanted to write a beautiful song. Then I noticed reading blogs that the only goal is to win... and I'm not like that, I wanted to write a song that represents me, that could be on a record of mine, a song that I could be proud of and that's what I did".
Whether or not winning the competition is their goal, the composer believes that the song is strong and has a place in Eurovision "to represent a little bit of what is being done in Portugal".
These were the eight participants that competed in Coliseu dos Recreios in Lisbon (click on the title to watch the final performance):
- Jorge Benvinda - Gente Bestial (Nuno Figueiredo) (15 points - 4th)
- Pedro Gonçalves - Don't Walk Away (João Pedro Coimbra) (13 points - 6th)
- Lena d’Agua - Nunca Me Fui Embora (Pedro Silva Martins) (8 points - 7th)
- Salvador Sobral - Amar Pelos Dois (Luísa Sobral) (22 points - 1st)
- Fernando Daniel - Poema a Dois (Nuno Feist) (14 points - 5th)
- Celina Da Piedade - Primavera (Celina da Piedade) (16 points - 3rd)
- Deolinda Kinzimba - O que Eu Vi nos Meus Sonhos (Rita Redshoes) (7 points - 8th)
- Viva La Diva - Nova Glória (Nuno Gonçalves) (18 points - 2nd)
The song that got the most points from the seven regional juries was Amar Pelos Dois and the televoting winner, where Salvador was second, was Nova Gloria which finished with 18 points. With 22 points Salvador Sobral goes on to represent Portugal at the first Semi-Final of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest on 9th May in Kyiv.
For more information you can visit the Portuguese broadcaster, RTP, site on Festival da Canção.Gallery: The finalists of Portugal's Festival da Canção 2017
Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest
Portugal made its Eurovision Song Contest debut in 1964 and their best placing in the contest is sixth in 1996. Lúcia Moniz represented Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest that year with the song O meu coração não tem cor (My heart has no colour). They were absent from the competition in Stockholm last year and the last time Portugal reached the Grand Final was in 2010. Check out the video of their last appearance in 2015 in Vienna, where they achieved 14th place in the second Semi-Final with Leonor Andrade and the song Há Um Mar Que Nos Separa (There's a sea between us):