The Xtra Files 2019: We review the Portugal’s ‘Telemóveis’ by Conan Osíris

Welcome to The Xtra Files, our new 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 5 May! We will also each give a score out of 10 for every entry, and create an ESCXTRA leaderboard of the entries!

The series continues today, with reviews of the Portuguese entry, ‘Telemóveis’ by Conan Osíris, from Costa, Lisa, Natalie, Oliver, Rodrigo and Tim. Let’s get started!

The Reviews


Over the past two years, Festival da Canção has become my favourite national final; this year especially, the quality and diversity of artists and songs participating was unparalleled in my eyes. Emerging from a strong and creative selection is Telemoveis, one of the strongest and most creative packages of any entry this year. Having discovered Conan’s earlier work in the run up to his FdC victory and live-tweeting each of his performances, I can confirm that I now completely stan.

The combination of traditional Iberian instrumentation, experimental electronica and the almost dystopian lyrical themes brings a whole new POV to the contest. The performance – assuming the staging will be similar to the FdC final performance – will be jarring for some, and captivating for others, but it is impossible to experience Telemoveis and not feel strongly about it either way. Telemoveis pushes boundaries and takes risks in a way that many entries are afraid to, and for that, it is my number one this year.


Normally I would totally write something like ‘Telemóveis’ off as pretentious twaddle. Yet there’s something about those quirky electronic trap beats mixed with the Latin strings that I find entrancing. Most likely it’s because the instrumental takes me back to Lisbon 2018 and the promo music used by the Eurovision channel. I’ve yet to figure out why he’s styling himself on Vega from Street Fighter with his mask and hand weapon though.


When I first listened to this I had to stop halfway through it. My first reaction was “What on Earth is this?”. After a few more listens and a lot of hype on social media, to present day I can just about tolerate this. The performance is definitely one of its kind, but whether that will be liked amongst the locals is a query that is yet to be answered. Should it qualify? Yes. Should it win? No


I love Conan’s voice and the way he manipulates the Portuguese language to create such an emotive narrative. However, the staging baffles me slightly? The golden face-cage situation is cool, but the dancing and shoe shots confuse me slightly. There is eccentric…then there is this. That said, this is a really strong song and I hope that it does well.


I’m really torn here, because I sort of like this in principle and I really would like to be a fan, but there’s something that doesn’t quite finish clickling. The whole package is odd as it would be expected from Conan, and that in and of itself is appealing, but every listen of Telemoveis gets me confused as to whether I love it, hate it or simply don’t understand it. This has had a sort of marmite effect with the fandom, so not sure how it will do, but for the sake of variety I wouldn’t mind seeing Portugal in the final in Tel Aviv. But I would also not mind seeing stay in the semi. If after reading this you are none the wiser, welcome to my club…


I have to admit, when I first heard Portugal’s song, I was thinking “what is this and who decided to add this onto the lineup”, I really hated it and when it made it to final of FdC all I could ever think of was “please do not let this win…there are better songs”. But, one day the song just started to grow on me all of a sudden, it got to the point where it was very obvious it was going to win FdC. It is one of those I really dont like it but it is so hypnotic that I can’t help but dance. I will be really surprised if this does not qualify for the Grand Final.


Costa10Nathan P6.5Simon5
Dan6.5Nathan W2Tim7.5
Dominik3Nick8.5Tom O5
Emanuel10Oliver8.5Tom R0

Therefore, the average score for Portugal is 5.91.


Portugal reaches 6th place in our leaderboard with a score of 5.91.

  1. Cyprus – 8.26
  2. Norway – 6.96
  3. Slovenia – 6.63
  4. Ireland – 6.17
  5. Czech Republic – 6.17
  6. Portugal – 5.91
  7. France – 5.74
  8. Finland – 5.50
  9. Lithuania – 4.78
  10. Australia – 4.65
  11. Montenegro – 3.48

Tomorrow, it will be the turn of the Hungary to be reviewed.

Do you agree with our reviews of the Portugal? What are your thoughts on Telemóveis?

Let us know on social media @ESCXTRA!

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