Lisbon, 20 February 2021. 

The first semifinal of Portugal’s musical bonanza Festival da Canção aired tonight.  As one may expect, it was the anti-Eurovision National Final, filled with lowtempo nostalgia ballads and excellent fashion. A perfect remedy for tonight’s heady brew of middle-of-the-road scandi pop.

Let us get acquainted with tonight’s hopefulls!

The Line-up:

  1. The Black Mamba – “Love Is on My Side”
  2. Valéria – “Na mais profunda saudade”
  3. mema. – “Claro como água”
  4. Nadine – “Cheguei aqui”
  5. Miguel Marôco – “Girassol”
  6. Fábia Maia – “Dia lindo”
  7. Irma – “Livros”
  8. Karetus & Romeu Bairos – “Saudade”
  9. Sara Afonso – “Contramão”
  10. IAN – “Mundo”

All eight entries were performed in Portuguese, except for IAN’s bilingual song, and “Love is on my side” by The Black Mamba, which was sung entirely in English.

Iconic fashion serves included Valéria’s puffy coral wedding cake dress, mema’s colour-printed pijama’s and blue wellington boots, Irma’s high couture take on a straight jacket, and IAN’s ‘Zhana Bergendorff has the coronavirus growing out of her spine‘ jumpsuit. Karelus & Romeu Bairos won the unofficial fashion game however, with their iconic pin-striped trenchcoat jackets and their dancers dressed like human piñata’s <3


As is custom in FdC, the vote was determined by a 50/50 jury vote and televote split, with neither votes being revealed at the end of the show. Last year’s FdC laureate Elisa and 1986/1988 ESC participant Dora performed as interval acts, as the hosts pain-stakingly interviewed every semifinalist for five minutes each.

At the end of the show, the following acts were announced qualifiers:

  • Valéria!
  • Karetus & Romeu Bairos!
  • The Black Mamba!
  • Fábia Maia!
  • Sara Afonso!

Next week, five more names will join them, and only will emerge victorious with the possibility of representing Portugal in the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest.

Do #YOU agree with Portugal’s first five qualifiers? What are #YOUR thoughts on Festival da Canção? Let us know on social media, in the comments or discuss it on our forum HERE


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