ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Portugal


It has become customary for the editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Martin Isherwood, Deo Grech, Stano Simor and Matt Mercieca from the United Kingdom, Malta and the Czech Republic have been entrusted with the first semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 6th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and thus moving onto number #13, we catch up with Portugal (RTP) who will be represented by Suzy and the song Quero Ser Tua written by Emanuel.

In late 1999, she released the song Nesta Noite Branca, a hit that is still played on the radio and shown on TV today. This year she was invited by producer Emanuel to perform his song at the 2014 Portuguese national selection, Festival da Canção. At the event, which celebrated its 50th anniversary, Suzy sung Quero Ser Tua and won the Grand Final with it. The composer of the song, Emanuel and Suzy have worked together already before this triumph and are now preparing a new album to be released this year.

Emanuel’s skills rapidly became well-known and he was soughed after as composer and orchestrator by well-known 80s Portuguese pop musicians. Among them, Marco Paulo, the most successful singer at the time, to whom Emanuel produced his 1988 album Joana, which was awarded four times platinum. He also become a phenomenon as an artist with the song Pimba, Pimba which sold in excess of 500,000 copies in the first six months alone!

The receptiveness to the new musical concept created by Emanuel was such that the Portuguese record market, in the next two years, changed completely with the emergence of numerous artists, record labels and even television shows and weekly magazines that adopted the new musical style. The media called the new movement “Pimba music”, which made Emanuel one of the few people to have their name in the Portuguese Language Dictionary.

Portugal, known to be the country with the most participations in the international music competition and yet to master a victory. Their most successful tries in recent years were back in 1991 with Dulce Pontes and the song Lusitana Paixao, in 1994 with Sara Tavares and the track Chamar a Musica and last but not least in 1996 when Lucia Moniz almost troubles the top five with the song O Meu Coracao Nao Tem Cor. In their last two participations, the country failed to get out of the semi-final stage of the competition despite presenting a beautiful entry entitled Vida Minha, sung by Filipa Sousa back in 2012. They are returning to the international showcase after a year off.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 40%

Martin Isherwood: Nice to hear a song not in English   Nice voice. Nice, but not particularly hooky. Nice to hear an accordion.  Not quite as catchy as the Lambada.   Nicely Latin.  Don’t think it’s a winner.

Deo Grech: I have nicknamed this entry as the 2014 comeback for the notorious ‘Lambada’. Suzy is currently suffering from the hated-in-her-own-homeland syndrome as the Portuguese seem to have preferred Catarina’s ”Mea Culpa” to this…and I can’t blame them!  People in the audience were booing and even left their seats as soon as she was declared as the winning entry. Not a great comeback for Portugal at the Eurovision, at all! They need to fix her live vocals too or else this will be yet another wasted opportunity for Portugal.  And by the way, Portugal and Malta share the same Eurovision record….both with the longest participation without ever winning the contest.  We need to change this record, pretty soon! We have to!

Stano Simor: Very unusual song from the most western part of Europe, with influence of Balkan. Quero Ser Tua has set high expectations in trying to achieve a hit song but unfortunately, the potential does not appear anywhere. She will most likely appeal to the southern part of Europe. 

Matt Mercieca: Im very unbothered about this, I don’t love it but I don’t hate it, the latino beat is kind of hot! but over all its very blah! and at points very silly!



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