This week Portugal’s broadcaster RTP have confirmed their participation for Tel Aviv 2019, as the search for a representative following hosting the contest has begun. The announcement comes soon after the BBC have confirmed participation for the United Kingdom.
Portugal’s confirmation brings the provisional countries participating in Eurovision 2019 to 31.
The search for entries commences
As in previous years, Festival da Canção will be used as a national final to select Portugal’s entrant. The festival will return to a similar format used in 2017, which saw Salvador Sobral’s landslide Eurovision win. In total, there will be 16 songs competing. Of those songs, 14 will be invited by RTP directly to compose an original and unpublished song. The songwriters have the freedom to select the artist to perform the song itself.
The remaining two slots, however, will be selected through two separate channels respectively.
These two remaining slots will be broken down even further. One will be via the “Master Class” radio programme of Antena 1. This is open to all composers who have yet to have any of their musical work published. The submission for this is October 31st. Much like the invited composers, the song must be new.
The final spot will be open to any Portuguese national or resident, irrespective of having musical work published. Much like the “Master Class” method, the deadline is October 31st. Again, any songs submitted must be original and new. Submissions through this channel can be sent via email to [email protected]
The emphasis of all the songs being new appears to be an allusion at one of the controversies surrounding last year, with fan-favourite Diogo Piçarra being forced to withdraw following plagiarism accusations. The music festival, which has been since 1964 also had another controversy last year, following RTP announcing the wrong qualifier during one of the semi-finals.
Portugal in Eurovision 2018
This year Cludia Pascoal, alongside songwriter Isaura had the honour of representing Portugal in front of a home crowd for the first time. The understated performance of ‘O Jardim’ gripped the emotions of the Altice Arena. Sadly however, this did not seem to translate to a surge of points. Portugal sadly came last in the final, with 39 points.
Who do you think should redeem Portgual from a huge result U-turn? Should Diogo consider making a comeback? Let us know your suggestions in the comments below or @ESCXTRA!