Over the next five weeks, sometimes more than once a day, we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually in random order, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.
Next up on our Song-By-Song preview is the official entry from Portugal, “O jardim” by Claudia Pascoal, written by Isaura. The song is performed in Portuguese. It seems like many performers at EuroVision over the past few years have been involved in television talent shows, and Pascoal is no exception; she has appeared on Idolos (Portugal’s “Idol” franchise entry ) and Factor X (which is, hmmmm, Portugal’s ‘X Factor’ franchise? Heh Heh). As last year’s winner and this year’s host in Lisbon, the song gets an automatic “bye” advance to the Grand Final on May 12, where it will be performed eighth in the competition order.
The song is a very lush ballad, well suited to Pascoal’s beautiful voice, and has a bit of the Celine Dion factor, although not quite as dynamic; perhaps Sarah McLaughlin would be a better comparison. Although the song is performing well in views on the EuroVision official YouTube channel, it’s one of those songs that will probably find success in Europe, but in all honesty, I doubt it has much of a chance to dent the US Charts. THe song is also extremely short, clocking in at just under 2:45 , which is short even for a EuroVision entry.
Portugal made its EuroVision debut in 1964, and has appeared 49 times, missing the finals 8 times since semi-finals were introduced in 2004, and they missed five years altogether for various reasons. They held the record for the longest record of participation without a win until last year, when they finally found a Grand Champion in Salvador Sobral’s “Amar pelos dois“, a slow jazz waltz-tempo song which was a huge favorite on the continent apparently, but left both Kim and I (and a LOT of American Eurovision fans) scratching their heads…I STILL don’t get this at all, or why many music critics insist it was one of Portugal’s best ever entries…blame it on not being One Musical World, I guess…
Here’s the official music video from the Portugal national contest – take a look!
Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! The daily artist and song profiles will appear on each site, with some past winners and historical info coming to TKR and PlanetBM in the next week or so as I complete my research!