The Xtra Files 2018: We Review Portugal’s ‘O jardim’ by Cláudia Pascoal!

Welcome to The Xtra Files, our series which will give you an insight into what the team at ESCXTRA think of your favourite entries into this year’s contest! Today, we review Portugal.

Now that all the songs have been released, we are able to review each and every one of them. Our honest and brutal reviews will keep you entertained until the rehearsals start on 30 April! We will also each give a score out of 10 for every entry, and create an ESCXTRA leaderboard of the entries!
Today we have reviews of the Portuguese entry, ‘O jardim’ by Cláudia Pascoal, from Lisa, Riccardo, Simon, Vincent, Wiv and Yassia. Let’s get started!

The Reviews


You find hope wherever you can during the Festival of Comas time warp experience. This year ‘O Jardim’ was that glimmer of hope that showed Portugal does indeed remember this is the 21st Century we’re in. It’s a sweet ballad with the focus on Claudia’s ethereal vocal and this wouldn’t typically be my thing, but then the ‘Cinematic Orchestra’ style strings kick in along with subtle electro beats to give it a lift. A good host entry.


Unpopular (probably) opinion alert: I prefer this over Salvador and not ashamed of it. This is very sweet, but unlike Spain it goes nowhere near making me feel diabetic. I am afraid it may end up getting forgotten in Lisbon but I really hope not. I hope they work to make the performance more interesting but yet another good quality song from Portual.
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This will cause many to snooze, but other will get wrapped up in the atmosphere of it; a subtle and pretty song. Claudia’s voice suits the song well, but she is under the note sometimes. Nonetheless, her vibe fits the song well. An honourable hosts’ effort.


Another song of grief, with a softer and more optimist take than Germany and Hungary. These voices are wonderfully sweet, so are the lyrics. It could be a song played at the end of the movie, to alleviate the death of a character. It has this positively conclusive feel to it. This is bound to do better than Ukraine last year (as the host entry).


I’m really not sure what Portugal is trying to do here, but whatever it is, it’s not working for me. Her voice is good, and I guess the song is pleasant enough, but it doesn’t do anything to me one way or another. It feels rather anonymous.
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Cláudia has a very sweet voice, but unfortunately, this song is not touching me…The music is quite pleasant and even catchy, especially more towards the end of the song. Nice ballad, but I personally wouldn’t vote for it, as there is nothing extraordinary in it.


Dominik  7 Nick  7 Tim  6
Hlynur  3 Riccardo  8 Tom  7
Lisa  5.5 Rigmo  9.5 Vincent  7.5
Luke  4 Rodrigo  7.5 Wiv  3
Matt  5 Ryan  8.5 Yassia  6.5
Miki  8 Sami  3
Nathan  4 Simon  5

Therefore, the average score for Portugal is 6.05.


Portugal reaches 12th place with a score of 6.05.

  1. Finland – 7.66
  2. Bulgaria – 7.63
  3. France – 7.50
  4. Sweden – 7.21
  5. Germany – 6.95
  6. Ukraine – 6.92
  7. Austria – 6.79
  8. Australia – 6.76
  9. Lithuania – 6.50
  10. Italy – 6.39
  11. Azerbaijan – 6.05
  12. Portugal – 6.05
  13. Estonia – 5.86
  14. Latvia – 5.61
  15. Albania – 5.50
  16. Serbia – 5.05
  17. Belarus – 4.97
  18. Moldova – 4.92
  19. Romania – 4.73
  20. Montenegro – 4.71
  21. Hungary – 4.65
  22. Armenia – 4.29
  23. Georgia – 4.18
  24. Iceland – 4.18
  25. San Marino – 4.03

Tomorrow, it will be the turn of Poland to be reviewed.
Do you agree with our reviews of Portugal? What are your thoughts on O jardim?

Let us know in the comments below and on social media @ESCXTRA!

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