Portugal remains as the nation with the longest participation without a win. In fact, their best result has been 6th place, and that was back in 1996. Their last four entries have failed to make the final, so it’s about time that Portugal pulls one out of the bag. Despite their results, Portugal has always featured Portuguese in their entries, many of which are completely in Portuguese, and this year Salvador Sobral is continuing that tradition with his song Amar Pelos Dois, which was written by Salvador’s sister. Could this be the year for Portugal to top the table?
Long story short, I really hope this is the one. Upon first listen in the national final, this song blew me away. Salvador’s voice is truly out of this world, so the combination of voice and song is something I did not expect from Portugal, after a few years of fairly average songs. When you first hear the orchestral opening of the song, you wouldn’t expect an action packed song, but what you get from the first words sung is an incredible tone of voice and bucket-loads of emotion. It’s the type of song that you just feel taken aback by, and as Salvador has said himself, it’s a song that can touch your heart even without understanding the lyrics.
Salvador’s stage presence has been hit or miss with some people due to his unique movements on stage, however for me personally, it adds a huge amount of character to the song. I would anticipate that the staging for this song will be incredibly simple, much like the performance at the national final. I would speculate that the only change made might be his outfit, but that’s something we won’t see until the show itself, as his sister is filling in for him at all but the dress rehearsals. It’s a song that needs nothing but an incredible artist performing on stage.
Overall, I can’t give this more praise even if I tried. Alongside a few of the other entries this year, this is at the top of my list. I know this song is quite hit and miss, you either love it or you hate it, but I think this will do well with the televoters and juries, just on the fact that it is such a moving and heartfelt song. I think it will also stand out due to the fact that it isn’t a cookie cutter pop song, which I have nothing against, but this has a timeless feel about it that will appeal to young and old. This is quite easily a 10/10, and I really hope Europe feels the same about it. This really could be the year for Portugal, and I really hope this gains the result it deserves.