We have to admire the Portuguese for their stamina. And for staying true to their own style, traditions and taste. They don’t seem to care one bit about what might actually work with the televoters around Europe as it seems far more important to pick a song with both feet firmly planted in the very core of the Portuguese identity. So it goes without saying that we will have our dose of fado in Eurovision once in a while, belted out by a gorgeous woman filled with passion and sorrows and melancholia. And in Portuguese of course. We have no idea whatsoever what she’s singing about, but it could be about the pint of milk that passed its expiration date last Monday for all we care. Because when a song is performed as sincere and competent as by Filipa Sousa here, we can’t deny that it has its qualities.
But is she really singing to us? When a participating country in ESC year after year so bluntly choose to ignore what peeps outside the Iberic peninsula might take a liking to, we can’t help but feeling a bit overlooked and rejected. Because if you need to be born and bred on bacalao and caldo verde to understand what it’s all about, we do not exactly feel we’re in the target group.
So instead of being mesmerized by Filipa’s pretty song our minds start to wander around and we pay more attention to the singing accountants in the background. Shouldn’t they be busy saving Portugal from the current financial crisis instead? And unless you pop out from a grand piano or figure skate on stage, the dancing couple isn’t really adding much to spice up the performance. Not to mention the walking routine by the back up singers. If this is the most striking the choreographer can come up with we suggest the Portuguese can cut their travel budget by not bringing him along to Baku. Send someone to spy on the Greek delegation instead to pick up some tips.
It sort of seems like the Portuguese are destined to fail in Eurovision. At least it gives them something to sing mournfully about in their fados, even though we get a feeling they couldn’t care less.