Ah, I’m falling in love with Portugal, and I can totally credit this trip to Salvador Sobral, who won the contest last year, giving the nation the opportunity to host this year. After a pretty average history, it was about time they won Eurovision, and they couldn’t have done it with a better song! However, it’s a new year, and the host nation doesn’t get special treatment with our reviews! This year it’s up to Cláudia Pascoal to back up the good result, but will it be back to back wins for Portugal?
Hmm, I can fairly confidently say we won’t be back in Portugal next year. The song, which is titled O Jardim is probably going to be a song that some really love, and some really don’t and unfortunately for the host nation, I’m the latter of those two. I loved the simplicity of Salvador’s song, and this year, it seemed that everyone in the national final wanted to follow the same path, with very similar styles of song in the national final. I don’t think any of the songs really reached the level of Salvador, but the song I would have loved to have heard at Eurovision was by Peu Madueira, and if that was the case and he had won, Portugal would have probably been in my Top 10 once again.
However, that’s not how it went. I unfortunately just don’t get along with this song. It’s not all bad, and I can appreciate why others enjoy this song. I think there’s a beautiful melody in there, and I can get into the first verse, but then it transitions into the chorus and the second verse with no real change in the music, the two elements are indistinguishable until about the second minute when we finally hear a different delivery of the chorus. I think because of that, I lose interest in the song, and there’s nothing in that last minute to really capture me back.
I think Cláudia is a good vocalist, but at times I find she just misses the mark. I just want more, especially in the second half of the song, but it stays on the same road for the full three minutes. I’ll also admit that I’m a bit confused (still) about the presence of the songwriter Isaura awkwardly being on stage, sitting there with her back to the audience until it’s her time to sing a few lines. It just all feels a bit… well, odd.
All aboard… the host city train!
I feel like this has many of the elements I like in a song, but unfortunately this just isn’t doing it for me. I can see the appeal, and I would expect it to get votes and a fair few at that, but I just can’t see it threatening the favourites for the top spot.
Our rating: 5/10
If you support Portugal at Eurovision, make sure to vote for Cláudia in our poll! Watch her official video below, and follow our Eurovision 2018 playlist on Spotify.