I asked. I pleaded! I begged for your votes for this year’s Eurovision entry from Portugal. And it seems to have paid off.
After an incredibly tense run-off in the voting (well done, Eurovision organisers for adding such a nail-biting voting mechanism!) it looked like Portugal’s hopes were about to be dashed by a 17 year old Bulgarian singer.
The jury votes from across Europe had put Portugal squarely in pole position. But as the “popular” telephone votes from the general public started to come through, the leaderboard began to change…in a worrying way.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that I was pretty tense when it looked like either Moldova or Romania might win. For no other reason that I really, really disliked their songs. Gimmicks, both of them. I mean, yodelling? Yodelling combined with rap?
That sort of thing should never be rewarded with points.
But then. Then the votes from Ukraine came in and the final 12 points went not to Bulgaria, but to Portugal, cementing their place at the top of the leaderboard.
And all hell erupted. In Kyiv and in my apartment!
It was Portugal’s first win in their entire Eurovision history since joining the contest in 1964. And what a win! An actual song, free from gimmicks and delivered by someone who can actually sing.
Touchingly, he brought his sister up on stage for the final performance. She wrote the song and, unsurprisingly, also had a beautiful voice.
Salvador got a lot of flack on social media for his comments about the quality of songs in the contest and a pleas for more “real music”. But I find myself in agreement. It’s a song contest, which over the years, seems to have become more about how memorable you can be on stage, rather than sound on stage. Who knows if this will have any impact on the songs submitted for next year?
Probably none. We’ll have the usual selection of ballads, removable clothing, dance numbers and fireworks. Why should we expect anything else at this stage?
Anyway, here’s Salvador’s final performance of the night, joined on stage by his sister, Luisa. And here’s to Eurovision 2018 in Portugal!