Portugal’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest Journey so far

Next November 25th, Minsk Arena will host the sixteenth Junior Eurovision Song Contest. It will be the second time that the event takes place in the venue in Belarus’s capital. With Ukraine’s last minute confirmation, a record-breaking 20 countries will participate. Therefore, it is the perfect time to look back at the journeys of all of this year’s participating countries in the contest. Today, let’s continue our journey and travel to one of the contest’s newer countries: Portugal!

Quick facts

  • Country: Portugal
  • Broadcaster: RTP
  • Debut appearance: 2016
  • Number of participations: 3
  • Highest finish: 14th (2006, 2017)
  • Lowest finish: 16th (2015)

Back to the very beginning…

Portugal debuted at Junior Eurovision in 2006 in Bucharest. It was who Pedro Madeira had the honour of being the first to represent Portugal at our favourite Junior contest with “Deixa-me sentir”. Unfortunately the start for Portugal was very underwhelming as Pedro only finished 14th with 22 points.

Portugal’s journey so far..

Since debuting in 2006, Portugal only made 3 appearances at the contest. After their underwhelming start, they returned in 2007 with Jorge Leiria and his song “ Só quero é cantar”. Despite his energetic performance, he only placed 16th out of 17th with 15 points. After that, RTP decided to withdraw from the competition. It wasn’t until 2017, following their victory at Eurovision with Salvador Sobral, that RTP decided to return to Junior Eurovision. In Tbilisi is was Mariana Venâncio that represented Portugal with her catchy song “Youtuber”. Unfortunately she also didn’t do overly well and finished 14th with 54 points.

Looking ahead to 2018

As we reported a couple of weeks back, a professional  jury selected 13-year old Rita Laranjeira to be Portugal’s Junior Eurovision entrant in Belarus! She defeated the competition of 9 other potential candidates, down from 70 initial applicants. Currently, we don’t know more details about the song she will sing in Minsk. Stay tuned for more information on her song and keep checking ESCXTRA for more updates!

My favourite Portuguese entry!

Before writing this article I was sure I would pick 2017 as my favourite. I really liked Mariana’s song and performance. It was so sweet and catchy! However, after a few listens to the other two entries, 2006 wins it for me.

Actually, when I first heard the first notes, I was like “Oh no, I am not going to like this”. Usually, when I think that, it happens. Well, not this time! After the first few seconds I really enjoy this song! Portuguese is a beautiful language (Latin language native speaker bias, I know) and the refrain is not overly powerful but still really good. He is also a very charismatic performer, which is a necessary criteria in my favourites book. However, I unfortunately do understand why the song didn’t fare too well. His outfit looks really strange, he had some shaky vocal moments and some of the dance moves by his dancers look really basic and uninteresting. It still is my favourite from Portugal. Actually, I like all 3 songs they sent, but all three feel not ambitious enough. I hope Rita will bring an amazing song and finally give a top 10 result to the country!

Our countries’ journey so far:

  1. FYR Macedonia
  2. Armenia
  3. The Netherlands
  4. Israel
  5. Ukraine
  6. Georgia
  7. Russia
  8. Malta
  9. Italy
  10. Azerbaijan
  11. Serbia
  12. Poland
  13. Australia

My favourite was 2006, but what is your favourite Australian entry at Junior Eurovision? What kind of song do you hope they will send to Minsk?

Let us know in the comment section below or on all social media platforms @ESCXTRA.

And don’t forget to come back next Tuesday for another journey down another country’s Junior Eurovision memory lane!

Riccardo Maddalozzo

Born in Italy, I have lived in 5 countries in 3 continents. I discovered Eurovision by accident in 2010 and became a superfan in 2013. I attended both Eurovision and Junior Eurovision events and covered several national finals on the ground and hope to continue doing so for a long time!

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