Glossy wave icon. Free flag icons from PortugalPORTUGAL
BROADCASTER
SONG   "Vida Minha" (My Life)
SINGER    Filipa Sousa
MUSIC   Andrej Babic
LYRICS    Carlos Coelho   
DRAW   #6 in the second semi-final

 

THIS YEAR'S ENTRY

No country has sent so many entries to the Eurovision Song Contest without winning, as Portugal. Since debuting in 1964 not one of their 45 Portuguese Eurovision entries has finished in the Top 5. This year there were strong rumours that Portuguese broadcaster RTP may withdraw from the contest in Baku, due to the financial crisis in Portugal and the forthcoming privatisation of the national broadcaster. However on November 30th, RTP confirmed their intention to enter the 2012 contest

On December 9th, RTP called for acts for their national selection. Singers and groups that applied before December 31st advanced to auditions held in January in Lisbon and Oporto and joined experienced singers that were shortlisted by RTP. Twelve acts were chosen and RTP then invited established composers to write potential Eurovision entries for the chosen finalists.

Festival da Cancao, the Portuguese national finall was held on March 10th at the RTP Studios in Lisbon and hosted by Pedro Granger and Sílvia Alberto. The winner was chosen by 20 regional juries and public televoting, each with a 50% weighting. The song which won both the jury and public vote was "Minha Vida" sung by newcomer Filipa Sousa.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Filipa Sousa (27) experimented with Portugal's traditional musical style, Fado, for fun when she was 16, and hasn't stopped since. Being a Fado singer, she's been invited to sing for the Portuguese communities abroad, and thanks to her victory in the 2012 Festival Da Canção, she will represent Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku.

Filipa Sousa was born on March 2, 1985, in Albufeira. Her musical dreams started early: at the age of 6, she started learning music, and later entered the Conservatory. From the age of 12, she started participating in festivals and karaoke contests, in which she won a few prizes and several amateur Fado competitions in the Algarve.

After Filipa participated in workshops and theatre plays, she became part of the Fado group Al-Mouraria in 2003, and performed in various parts of the country, Spain and Morocco, and in TV shows. In 2007 she managed to get into the casting show Operação Triunfo, in which she remained for seven weeks, getting a very positive reaction.

In April 2008, she won the 1st Big Fado Soirée of the Algarve, in Loulé. In May 2010, she participated in the gala nights Nasci para o Fado (I Was Born For Fado), broadcast by the RTP, and whose goal was to select artists for the musical Fado: História de um Povo (Fado: The History of a People), by Filipe La Féria. She was selected for the final gala. She did various shows in different styles, from Fado to rock, accompanied by musicians on stage or by instrumental playback.

And now Filipa aims to be the first ever winner of the Eurovision Song Contest for Portugal with Vida Minha written by Carlos Coelho and Andrej Babic. Portuguese lyricist Carlos Coelho and Croatian composer Andrej Babic previously combined for the 2008 Portuguese entry "Senhora do Mar", which came 13th in Belgrade. Babic also composed Croatia's 2003 entry "Više Nisam Tvoja" (15th), the Bosnian entry in 2005; "Call Me" (14th), "Cvet z Juga", Slovenia's entry in 2007 (15th) and "Love Sympony" Slovenia's entry in 2009, which failed to make the final in Moscow.

 

REACTION

For those that watched there was little surprise that "Minha Vida" won the ticket to Baku, however the reaction to the song has been pretty low key. With no promotional video, limited international promotion and a poor draw position, the Portuguese song is one of the rank outsiders for a good result at Eurovision.

Bookmakers rate Portugal as the rank outsider to qualify from the second semi-final and at 300/1 to win the overall contest. Internet polls are however more positive, either rating Portugal inside the Top 10 songs in the second semi, or just missing out.

 

FILIPA SOUSA TALKS TO ESCTODAY

REHEARSAL SCHEDULE (BAKU TIME)*
Date Rehearsal Press Conference
Tuesday May 15th 15:40 - 16:20 17:05 - 17:45
Friday May 18th 17:50 - 18:20 19:05 - 19:35
*Baku is four hours ahead of Ireland and the schedule has still to be confirmed officially

 

 

FORM GUIDE

 

OVERALL RATING

  Bookmakers
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  Running Order
  Fan Polls
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PREVIEW VIDEO

LAUNCH PAD

PORTUGAL AT EUROVISION

  • First entry: 1964
  • Number of previous entries: 45
  • Best result: 6th (1996) 
  • Worst result: Last (3 times), failed to qualify (five times)
  • Qualification record: 3-5 (37% success)

 

TEN YEAR FORM GUIDE

 

WEBMASTER REVIEW

"I have to admit to being a sucker for all things Portuguese and there's no country that I'd more like to see winning the Eurovision Song Contest. This song has got some of the most beautifully poetic lyrics in this year's contest and simple slow tango melody really works well. There's no question that in this ballad-heavy semi-final and without the support of neighbourly voting, Portugal has its work cut out to qualify, but I think it may just make it over the line, but it would be wishful thinking to see it in the Top 10 in the final." - Keith Mills

 

YOUR REVIEWS

"One of the most stunningly beautiful entries ever. This is simply brilliant and the voice of Filipa is pure gold. Really an amazing song and in my opinion even much better than "Senhora do Mar" by Vânia Fernandes in 2008." - Nicky Peeters (Belgium)

"This will get totally lost and forgotton by the end. 100% non-qualifier." - Chris Church (UK)

"Classy entry but also slightly old-fashioned. I can't help but feeling that Babic tried to repeat the success of "Senhora do Mar", but this song is not nearly as strong. Sadly, I think Portugal will not make it into the final." - Leenhart Jan  (Netherlands)

"When I first listen to the song it makes me picture myself in a tavern holding a cigarette and everything is sepia. It is quite inspirational. Portugal was sending some of their most professional singers since 2007 until they screwed it up with the Homens da Luta last year but Filipa Sousa brought back the good sense of Portuguese music however she is not as good as Vania Fernandes or the other Filipa in 2009 contestant who delivered masterpieces that really deserved a much higher position. Vida Minha is more simplistic and tourns out repetitive towards the middle of the song however it develops into a great ending, too bad it only happens to be in the last seconds. She sure will need to make an even better ending (than the studio one) to impress both the audience and the public. Chances of qualifying are somewhere in the middle, there'll be no surprise if she does or not." - Anthony Lopez (Venezuela)

"Portugal was doing great ethnic ballads before it was cool. Another good one, but it'll be lucky to stand out from the other ballads in the second semi."- Sean P. Casey  (USA)