It took three and a half hours for Portugal to decide on a Eurovision entry. Three and a half hours. We didn’t sit through all of it like poor Alekas Supranavičius did for ESC Daily, because we sat through it last year. They run Festival da Canção like it was the Eurovision final, by going from region to region to tally up the points from the jury, except the host of the Festival is chattier with the regional representatives than the host of Eurovision, so it drags on. (I mean, it’s harder to sit through than the FYR Macedonian show.)
For some reason, there seems to be no agreement between the jurors and the public as to what constitutes a good entry. Now, juries are supposedly musical industry folk, arbiters of taste, spotters of talent, and so forth. But at the end of the jury voting, the second place act with 10 points was Inês Bernardo, who misses every single note in “Deixa o meu lugar”:
I should mention that the jury votes are tallied up, then converted into the traditional douze pointe system that Eurovision uses. Then, the public vote is added straight in. At the end of the night, when Bernardo’s point tally from the jury was added to the point tally from the public, she ended up with 10 points. That is, 10 points from the jury, 0 from the public.
If you look at the ESC Daily recap, you’ll see that two acts, Tânia Tavares and Wanda Stuart, both ended up with 7 points after the jury vote, even though Tavares finished with 111 points and Stuart had 106. This is apparently how it was reported during the show. It doesn’t have a bearing on the winner, but I wonder if the organizers were falling asleep during the presentation. Seeing as it was one in the morning.
Anyway, in the end, thanks to 12 points from the televote (plus 6 from the jury, we think), your Portuguese Eurovision entry is Homens da Luta’s “Luta é Alegria”:
Homens da Luta’s shtick is that that they perform music inspired by the Portuguese scene of the early 1970s. In other words, the Carnation Revolution era. The era of the ultimate political Eurovision entry: “E Depois do Adeus” by Paulo de Carvalho, which was one of the cues that the revolution was about to start.
I can’t tell if “A Luta é Alegria,” which literally translated is “The Struggle Is Joy,” is actually political (which would get it disqualified by the Eurovision organizers). My impression is that it’s just a pastiche song.
There was apparently a lot of booing in the auditorium when it was announced as the winner. For Jen and me, we’re actually happy to see it go, because this year’s ESC was really lacking a kitsch factor that Homens da Luta will provide. However, like Greece, Portugal is really testing the theory that they always qualify for the final no matter what.