Portugal often flies under the radar at Eurovision, and after many years, finally managed to score a win in 2017. The nation achieved a very respectable 12th place last year, and hoping to improve on that is Maro with her song, ‘Saudade, Saudade’.
Song and Vocals
There is often a theme with the Portuguese Eurovision entries, and once again, their entry fits within that framework. Saudade, Saudade taps into the melancholy we often hear in their entries, however it doesn’t always work at Eurovision. After the first listen of the semi-final performance, I wasn’t sure how this would fare at Eurovision, however listening to the version featuring backing singers on stage, it has completely changed my view.
This track is mellow but emotional, and mixed with stunning vocals, I can see this really appealing to both audiences at home and the jury. It comes across as quite a simple song, but boasts some talented songwriting. The 6/8 time signature is something that viewers may not realise, however it gives this song a point of difference. The use of English and Portuguese works well in this song, and gives insight into the message of the song. Naturally I prefer the Portuguese part, however the simplicity of the English lyrics is actually quite profound.
Act and Performance
The simplicity of the live performance is what will charm audiences. It’s easy to connect with Maro, and I think this will end up being a stand out performance in the semi-final. Having the other singers on stage to support is definitely the best decision, as it gives the performance extra depth. I hope that the broadcaster can support the group in creating something magical on stage.
While it wasn’t love at first listen for me, I think it may have that effect at Eurovision. This is a very charming, unique and emotional track, and if performed well, shouldn’t have any issues reaching the final.
Song and Vocals
Usually I am not a big fan of bilingual entries at Eurovision, but in this case I actually like the theme that there just isn’t a proper English word to translate ‘Saudade’. Whether the rest of Europe with no knowledge of Portuguese will pick up on it or can relate to it, is another question. The song is being performed well and I liked the harmonies of the group.
Performance and Act
The performance is simple and elegant. Just a couple of true musicians on stage, sitting and playing their song. That is the vibe that Portugal wants to create here and I think it suits this song well. Most attention goes to the lead singer, but also all the backing get plenty of attention, just tapping into that group feeling even more.
I think Portugal has a unique song in the field, as they do very often at Eurovision. Once again their song is mainly sung in English, with some Portuguese lines in it. It makes it mainstream acceptable but it also loses a bit of the unique features it could have had even more. This song can be overlooked, certainly in the televote. On the other hand, being followed by the likes of Croatia, Denmark and Iceland, people can also think that those Portuguese girls weren’t so bad at all.
Average Score: 8.2/10