Editorials & Opinion

Xtra’s pick of the 21st century

Welcome back to our daily series where we look back on the past at Eurovision and one of our writers picks a song they feel deserves some attention in 2015. On Fridays, we come right up to date and today Alekas has chosen a song from the Eurovision of the new millennium for your listening pleasure.

Portugal 2008: Vânia Fernandes – Senhora do mar (Negras águas) (13th place)

While Cristiano Ronaldo may be the most famous Portuguese right now, however, he is not my pick of the 21st century. Back in 2008 a certain Portuguese surprised everybody and got people thinking if this may be it for Portugal. I am of course speaking about Vânia Fernandes and the gem that was “Senhora do Mar”.

I have to admit that I did not connect with this song right from the get go. It took me 1500km of a journey to see this live and fall in love with the song in Belgrade. Back in 2008, the big favorites were Sweden, Ukraine, Armenia and of course the eventual winner Russia. Among these bigger productions Portugal’s name was not on the table until the day of the semifinal which turned it for the Eurovision underdog. Even Kirkorov (supposed composer of “Shady Lady”) thought this is going to win. The melodramatic power ballad with a touch of fado as well as wind machine and flowy fabrics stroke the chord for many Europeans and had Vânia place 2nd in her semi.

The final turned out not so good and Portugal finished 13th in the end. My own conspiracy theory has it that Portuguese placing is one of the reasons why the juries were brought back. This will forever stay in my mind as one of the most underrated entries that deserved far better.

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