The Portugal national final was a bit of a slog. That’s really the best way to describe it. Let’s start with the voting process. There were juries set up in 20 Portuguese locales, and they assigned points like in the Song Contest itself. So the host went through and got the points from a representative of each jury. But she also made small talk with the reps as well. Thus, the tallying went for over an hour.
After the points were tallied up, the top vote getter received 12 points total, the second-place vote getter got 10 points total, and so on down the line. Then this score was added to the points given to the performers by the public voting to determine who won. So if you got, say, two points from the jury and seven points from the public, you’d end up with nine points.
Now, some countries use juries to offset the public voting so that, say, Dustin the Turkey doesn’t show up at the big show. However, you question the taste of the juries when they pick as their winner Filipa Azevedo’s “Há dias assim”:
Ignore the fact that this is a bland ballad reminiscent of something Mariah Carey would have passed on 20 years ago. The issue here is that Azevedo is singing this so poorly. God, her runs sound like she’s gargling. It’s just a horrible experience listening to this (which I am doing here just for you, gentle readers). Sure she’ll probably sing it better at the Semi-Finals. But what if she doesn’t? Then you’re stuck with this sore thumb of song that is going to keep your winless streak alive.
There seemed to be a bit of controversy, at least amongst ESCToday readers, about the voting, since the public had given Catarina Pereira’s “Canta por mim” 12 points, and Azevedo’s song just seven points. But here’s the thing about that. “Canta por mim” sounds a lot like last year’s Spain entry “La noche es para mi,” which finished tied for second-to-last. So really, there’s no way for Portugal to win this year.