Read back: José Cid and Anabela return to Festival da Canção

The host nation for Eurovision 2018 will start their search for the successor of Salvador Sobral tonight. You can follow the show in Portugal live, here tonight, with two returning former Eurovision stars.

In the first semi-final thirteen entries will participate, and of these thirteen, seven will advance to the final. The qualifiers will be determined by a 50/50 combination of votes from jury members made up of music professionals and a public telephone vote.

You can watch the show along with Brandon McCann who will provide you with analyses of the performances. The livestream for the show is here. You may need to use a VPN to access the webcast. Below is the line-up for tonight, with José Cid (ESC1980) and Anabela (ESC1993) among the artists:

Tonight’s running order:

  1. Bruno Vasconcelos – “Austrália”
  2. Rui David – “Sem medo”
  3. Beatriz Pessoa – “Eu te amo”
  4. Anabela – “Para te dar abrigo”
  5. Catarina Miranda – “Para sorrir não preciso de nada”
  6. Joana Espadim – “Zero a zero”
  7. Janeiro – “(sem título)”
  8. José Cid – “O som da guitarra é a alma de um povo”
  9. Joana Barra Vaz – “Anda estragar-me os planos”
  10. Peu Madureira – “Só por ela”
  11. Rita Dias – “Com gosto amigo”
  12. JP Simões – “Alvoroço”
  13. Maria Amaral – “A mesma canção”

[01:08] Thank you for watching tonight’s first semi-final of Portugal’s national selection in 2018. Anabela qualifies but Jose Cid does not.

[01:05] Our seven qualifiers are on the left-hand side:

[01:01] Now it’s time for the televote:

  • 12 points to Peu Maduereura
  • 10 points to Anabela
  • 8 points to Catarina Miranda
  • 7 points to Beatriz Pessoa
  • 6 points to Jose Cid
  • 5 points to Rui David
  • 4 points to Janiero
  • 3 points to Rita Dias
  • 2 points to Joana Espadim
  • 1 point to Joana Barra Vaz

[00:57] We see Salvador Sobral who won Eurovision last year for Portugal who sits next to JP Simões with a loud reaction from the audience. Does he publically support JP to represent Portugal this year?

[00:52] We now return to our main hosts who bring out our main jury member who announces the jury votes.

  • 12 points to Janiero
  • 10 points to Peu Madureira
  • 8 points to Catarina Miranda
  • 7 points to Joana Barra Vaz
  • 6 points to JP Simões
  • 5 points to Joana Espadim
  • 4 points to Beatriz Pessoa
  • 3 points to Anabela
  • 2 points to Rui David
  • 1 point to Jose Cid

[00:48] We return to our main two hosts who close tonight’s televoting followed by a VT of the classic Portugese pop singer Dina.

[00:40] We’re back and guess what… another recap, of course. Followed by more green room time chatting to some influential Portuguese music professionals.

[00:28] We have another commercial break. End of televoting should be the next event after we return.

[00:24] We return to the green room as we are coming up to the last thirty minutes of the show. Semi-final results to come soon! Followed by returning to the main hosts to start yet another recap.

[00:15] After another recap we return with our first interval act featuring a tribute to Carlos Paião, who represented Portugal in 1981. Each singer takes a turn to sing one his hits with the other two providing backing vocals.

[00:05] We return with another recap and return to the green room to chat to some of tonight’s composers for the entries.

[23:52] We’re now onto our first commerical break of the evening. Return back soon to find out whether Anabel and Jose Cid will be qualifiers tonight!

[23:42] Our last time in the green room as we see the final artists from tonight chat with our female host starting with Peu and ending with Maria. We’re now shown a recap of tonight’s songs with voting numbers provided.

[23:38] #13 | Maria Amaral | A mesma canção

Our last entry and unfortunately Maria has already hit a flat note. Vocals may not be the strongest but she looks very well dressed in black with her hair up in a bun. The song is pleasant as the guitar follows her melody – an interesting mechanic. Overall it does sound like an experimental, demo track. She recovers vocally for the final half.

[23:32] #12 | JP Simões | Alvoroço

We open with an interesting opener of white grain effects which gives a dramatic opener for JP. Quite a dark song in both vocals and orchestration. It’s piqued my attention and may literally be my dark horse for tonight’s show. It burns into a carnival-esque song for the bridge with strobe lights and all. I feel it’s suddenly became an LSD trip gone wrong. This is a crazy production, would Portugal support it however?

[23:27] We return to the green room for the penultimate check-up with the artists before we return with our final two entries competing to be in the final for Festival da Canção 2018.

[23:24] #11 | Rita Dias | Com gosto amigo

An energetic fado number from Rita that gives you all you expect from Portugal. It’s a fun number that Rita delivers her personality through. Not a bad overall package and it brings something different to the table for Portugal if it qualifies.

[23:20] Another jury break after a big crowd reaction to Peu. Is RTP putting in strategic timing breaks to keep the audience in mind of the big favourites tonight?

[23:16] #10 | Peu Madureira | Só por ela

Peu has a sweet yet haunting voice that draws you in – definitely the main selling point of the track. He looks well in a light grey suit and orchestration works better than most of the previous entries while keeping the “fado” influence in Portuguese music. Another good contender for qualification.

[23:10] #09 | Joana Barra Vaz | Anda estragar-me os planos

Nice orchestration for the entry for Joana however the song like most tonight doesn’t head anywhere enough to keep a non-Portuguese listener like myself interested in its three minutes. Joana does look well in a yellow top with a black shirt and performs well with its mysterious vibe.

[23:05] We return to the green room where the previous five artists are interviewed by the female host. It’s interesting that a short jury break is utilised between Janiero and Jose Cid. Is it to benefit either artist?

[23:00] #08 | José Cid | O som da guitarra é a alma de um povo

This song is like a blast from the past of the classic Eurovision entries. Jose does give an Elton John impression wearing sunglasses while playing and singing at the piano alongside some classic Portuguese instruments. I think this may be the one to beat tonight. It owns it’s classic influence and it’s been developed enough to keep your attention for the majority of it’s air-time.

[22:57] We re-join our jurors who offer some comments on the previous four performances. This break may work in favour of Janiero. Instead of going to the green room for the previous four artists, it seems we’ll go back into the entries.

[22:53] #07 | Janeiro | (sem título)

Janiero is our first young, male artist from Portugal. The track is actually called “(sem título)” which shocked me as I thought it was a working title until they found one tonight, that wasn’t the case! Janiero plays the electric guitar with headphones on. The track is purely guitar and his vocals. I feel it’s too much of a risk to a fully produced song especially considering emotionally I’m not feeling anywhere close as I did for Salvador’s performance. Image-wise he’d be a great choice.

[22:46] #06 | Joana Espadim | Zero a zero

Joana wears a blue, glittered two-piece flowing suit. This is the first song I’d regard as dated rather than retro as it feels out of place and doesn’t seem to own it’s authenticity in terms of composition or performance. Not a bad vocal from Joana but I don’t see this working in Eurovision.

[22:44] #05 | Catarina Miranda | Para sorrir não preciso de nada

This is the first song that instantly jumped out as the opening piano catches your attention of a song that will bring you on a journey worth three minutes. Catarina wears an interesting veil-dressed of dual red and blue colors. Chorus takes away what it brings during the verses, however a solid performance nonetheless.

[22:37] #04 | Anabela | Para te dar abrigo

This is a classic “fado” Portuguese track and it’s quite pleasant. Anabela reminds me of a Portuguese Jamala in terms of vocal performance and the song itself does make me smile. She isn’t afraid to dance on-stage with her terracotta one-piece outfit with 60s-styled long skirt. Overall nice break to hear something of different composition.

[22:31] We’re now in the green room with our female host tonight who chats to our Australia-loving Bruno with his track playing in the background. She now chats to Rui David about “Sem medo” followed by Beatriz leading up the first three artists fighting for a place in the Portuguese national final.

[22:28] #03 | Beatriz Pessoa | Eu te amo

Our first female up tonight wearing a dazzling silver, crocodile-skin dress with her hair flowing down.  Her voice really has picked my attention. Even though the song is very mid-tempo her voice helps pull it through. A good entry for qualifier potential.

[22:20] #02 | Rui David | Sem medo

We seem to have a running theme with the orchestral, jazz feel with Rui David also utilising it. After Salvador’s success, it seems Portugal wish to focus on “real music”. I just hope we don’t go through endless songs that could be considered snooze-fests. Decent yet the placing may make this entry hard to qualify.

[22:16] #01 | Bruno Vasconcelos | Austrália

We start off tonight going straight into the first act with Bruno who performs his orchestral some-what love song for Austrália. We approve at ESCDaily! It’s a good opener and Bruno delivers it well. Nice classic, jazz feel to the track.

[22:10] We’re begun! We open to a quick VT of classic Portuguese Eurovision entries followed by our two male hosts coming out on stage with a quick look at tonight’s thirteen participants. We hear about the voting process including tonight’s jurors making 50% of the vote.

[22:00] The show will begin in 5 minutes. Let’s see what this year’s host country has to offer for Eurovision 2018!