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Eurovision 2009: Portugal

April 30, 2009

READ REVIEWS: Semi-Final One | Semi-Final Two | Grand Final




Portugal’s song did everything I thought it might during the semi-final, providing yet another antidote to the cliches cavorting around the stage at other points during the evening. Think warm summer evenings with a large glass of red wine, sat in a bar in the centre of an old village in the middle of the Portuguese countryside. Somewhere in the background Daniela sings this song. (And yes, I realise what I’ve just done. I’ve provided a cliche to sell a song which I had begun by saying provided an antidote to all the other cliches in the contest. Eurovision is complicated. Get over it.)



Not only is Daniela singing an adorably refreshing song for Portugal, but it continues to retain its freshness during her second rehearsal and she seems equally absorbing when interviewed too. She also seems mightily proud of her Vivienne Westwood shoes too. This obviously deserves to go through to the final and in a post-Norwegian / Greece PR overload moment, I’m inclined to say I wouldn’t mind seeing Portugal win with this just to annoy everyone else across Europe. The flower in her hair might be traditional but it does need to go however.


The girl has a gorgeous smile and is devoid of the gaunt TV look so many other seasoned Eurovision contestants have this year. The set is elegantly simple and refreshing as a result. It’s a cosy sounding song with an engaging lilt and she has an adorable voice. Just make sure you don’t have her dressed in traditional costume (keep her away from the hair braids and flowers and such) and this stands a good chance of getting through. It makes me think of the PS3 game Little Big Planet – and maybe that’s the point.


Isn’t she a little smasher? For me, Portugal’s Daniela and lead from band Flor-de-Lis meets the required standard for this crusty old Eurovision fan. She can sing, she can communicate and she can enthuse an audience with an infectious personality. There are no over the top dramatics on stage, just a simple performance from an engaging performer to an enthusiastic crowd. Nice.

Flor-de-Lis’ song – entitled “All the streets of love” – ambles along quite nicely and raises a smile although it’s not necessarily memorable. Perhaps it wasn’t intended that way. It’s a song drawing on traditional styles, rather than a means to a Eurovision end in itself.

Maybe they didn’t want to win, just put in something heartfelt. In that respect that makes me love the Portuguese for their integrity and pick up the phone and vote for the country in the first semi-final. I’ll be the first to admit that such an assessment is based on low levels of research and is incredibly patronising.

The key question however is how it will translate to the massive stadium in Moscow. I fear it may just feel a little bit lost.

  1. Chris permalink

    On the plus side: it really helps to watch the performance. I hadn’t before and you’re right, she’s got heaps of personality and I also like the way the drummer really gets behind his instrument and gives it some welly!

    On the down side – I do really find it rather drab to listen to. It’s imbued with the usual Portuguese melancholy that you really need to be “in the zone” for. I’m not sure the glitter and kerpow of ESC night is that zone. Sorry.

  2. Steve permalink

    I make very few demands on a Eurovision entry these days – it’s nice if the singer can hit a few notes, it’s nice if the song sounds as if it’s from the country it represents and it’s especially nice if the performer remains fully clothed for the three minutes. This passes with flying colours and it even has a nice melody I can hum along to. The stage looks amazing too. I really hope this qualifies, it’s genuine and from the heart.

  3. Steve permalink

    I’m no longer as confident, having seen THAT dress, I’m in for a nail-biting few days…

  4. The music is beautiful. You only need to understand a little bit of portuguese to realize that.

    It’s clearly a poem to love, happiness, life… represents true joy and even hope! And I’m not only saying this because I’m portuguese… It’s just this song that is really lovely. 🙂

    It’s a shame, though, Portugal didn’t have the points the music deserved. =( 15th place… I believe we deserved more. I would like to hear everybody’s argument abotu my opinion. I trully would love to know if I’m the only one believing the results were rather unffair :/

    cheers from Portugal! =)

  5. Totally agree. Have to say there were a number of great songs this year. All sung in their own languages rather than currying favour with bad English.

    This is heartwarming and she is gorgeous. But Estonia, Moldova, france etc (Who many made fun of) and others singing in their own languages really brought up the standaerd this year. Pity Norway with it’s cheese won.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Eurovision 2009: Journalists at rehearsals « Thoroughly Good Blog
  2. Eurovision 2009: Germany « Thoroughly Good Blog

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