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  • Writer's pictureFleur Menezes

Portugal: Aussievision’s 'Festival da Canção' 2021 rankings

Last week the artists, song and details of the Portuguese 2021 national final, 'Festival da Canção' were revealed.

The Aussievision team have been busy going through all 20 entries and we now have the complete rankings from the team. Interestingly, every song received votes. However, the team's Top 10 songs in reverse order are: 10. EU.CLIDES - ‘VOLTE-FACE’ (26 points)

  • Highs: 8 points from Steven, 7 points from Laura, 6 points from Ruby

  • Lows: 0 points from Emma, Fleur, Hugo, Guy and Dale

"A beautiful, soulful voice combined with some traditional elements. I’m not sure if the rhyme of “photocopier” and “cornucopia” is incredible or terrible, as I don’t understand the Portuguese lyrics that well. Accessible, but too staid?" ~ Steven "Minimalist and dark, this haunting ballad truly showcases EU.CLIDES’ vocals. The harmonies and fado elements are a nice touch. ‘Volte-Face’ may be subtle, but all the components of the song combine cohesively for a captivating listen." ~ Laura "This is so reminds me of a summer night at a cafe by the beach. Eu.Clides has a beautiful tone to his voice and I love the way he pronounces each word of the lyrics. Ultimately though this song is just too laidback for me. There’s no real progression nor opportunity to show off his range. A little one-dimensional." ~ Emma "Smooth Portugeuse RnB delivered with a lovely vocal. Lots to like about the song but ultimately it missed my Top 10 as it just didn't really go anywhere or give me something to hang on to. Great background music but I was left wanting more." ~ Dale

9. Sara Afonso - ‘Contramão’ (30 points)

  • Highs: 8 points from Ruby and Steven, 6 points from Dale

  • Lows: 0 points from Emma, Josh, Kyriakos, Hugo, Laura and Mike

"One of the best voices in the competition, this song gives me ‘Tangled’-vibes, and has a well-formed orchestration behind it (give me the oboes, flutes and piano!). It builds well and produces a hopeful and reminiscent sound." ~ Ruby "Lots of competition in the female ballad category at FdC as usual. This one grabbed me more as it felt closer to pop with a really lovely (almost country/folk like) chorus with what sounds like a small orchestra behind her. But it still manages to bring the lovely sweetness that Portuguese music often delivers. Brings a smile to my face." ~ Dale

"I’m afraid this song falls into the category of “soft Portuguese language songs which all sound the same to me”. On its own, the song is pleasant, and it’s not bad by any stretch; it does have some sort of build and I like the Stirling instruments. However, when put in a lineup of 20 songs, it simply doesn’t grab my attention enough and gets lost. This did not make my top 10, because frankly I didn’t remember much, if any of it." ~ Hugo

8. Da Chick - ‘I Got Music’ (34 points)

  • Highs: 10 points from Laura, 8 points from Kyriakos

  • Lows: 0 points from Josh, Fleur, Hugo, Guy, Steven and Ruby

"Thank God ‘I Got Music’ is in Festival da Canção! If you sang the first 5 words of my review in your head, you certainly aren't alone - this is one catchy tune! 'I Got Music' is spacey, loungey, fun and funky – it reminds me a lot of Jamiroquai’s music. It is memorable from the very first listen and really stands out in this line-up of songs." ~ Laura "Love myself a bit of funky pop. This is a personal favourite of mine. I’m not sure it will go far in the national final, but it’s definitely my kind of music. I hope Da Chick has some awesome 70s themed staging to go with the song." ~ Kyriakos "Jamiroquai wants his song back! This sounds dated and the pronunciation of “y’all” is truly awful. It’s a no from me." ~ Steven

"My first thought when I heard this was “how on earth did this come out of Portugal?” Very off brand for them. This song has serious retro vibes and is easy listening, but I’m afraid that’s where it stops. By halfway through the song you’ve heard it all, the lyrics are far too simple and repetitive. This fell outside my top 10 and is very easily forgettable." ~ Hugo

7. mema - ‘Claro como água’ (35 points)

  • Highs: 10 points from Guy, 8 points from Josh

  • Lows: 1 point from Hugo, 0 points from Emma, Fleur and Dale

"I love the production on this song – it has a nice blend of the old and new. The strings and traditional instrumentation give it a traditional feel, while the more modern sounding beats and percussion make it feel current. Over the top there’s a great vocal melody. A top quality package." ~ Guy "My original comments on this song were ethereal but a little bit tribal. Some interesting instrumentation leads to a very contemporary sound but I found this a bit of a hot mess with the lack of an identifiable melody. I would struggle to remember this song or hum it later and I don’t think it stands out enough to attract enough votes on first listen." ~ Emma "This song just missed out on my votes. I like it, but it is a little all over the place. It is unpredictable but in a good way. Ultimately, there were just other songs that I preferred." ~ Fleur

6. Miguel Marôco - ‘Girassol’ (36 points)

  • Highs: 10 points from Fleur, 7 points from Dale and Mike

  • Lows: 2 points from Steven, 0 points from Josh, Kyriakos, Guy and Laura

"Last year we had Filipe Sambado with his song about the yellow gerbera from the south. This year Miguel Marôco has a delightful little tune about sunflowers telling us about the unpredictability of life and how time passes us by. It is a lovely metaphor for something we can all relate to. I guess that is why it has such a 1960’s sound to it. I quite like this style of music, so I was immediately drawn to it." ~ Fleur "Miguel just missed out on my top 10. ‘Girassol’ is a nice song. His singing style is similar to Paul McCartney. The song is just too pleasant. I’m not sure where he wants to take us..." ~ Kyriakos "I don’t have any major problems with this song, but it’s just a little jazzy for my liking. It’s towards the bottom of the list for me." ~ Guy

= 4. Karetus & Romeu Bairos - ‘Saudade’ (47 points)

  • Highs: 12 points from Hugo, 10 points from Josh, 8 points from Dale and Mike

  • Lows: 2 points from Fleur, 0 points from Emma, Guy, Steven and Laura

"Saudade is a clear winner for me from this year’s crop. It’s fado meets techno, and I’m here for it. It’s so easily identifiable as Portuguese, but also has widespread appeal. I don’t mind the soft verses but when that instrumental comes, damn that’s catchy! Perhaps it’s a tad repetitive, but for non Portuguese speakers, being able to remember one line and sing the chorus is important. Will be shattered if this doesn’t make it through." ~ Hugo

"This sounds like a Portugese version of a dated Balkan ballad. I love the dance beat behind the chorus which breathes some life in to this but the melancholy verses were enough for me to mark this down. It all just feels a bit dull and lifeless and would need some pretty amazing staging to elevate it in to the final at Eurovision." ~ Emma "This just missed my top 10, but I don’t mind it. I quite like the mix of traditional instrumentation and modern sounds, but the one word that springs to mind on re-listening to the track is “dreary”. This would *NOT* bring the party to Rotterdam." ~ Steven

= 4. Joana Alegre - ‘Joana do mar’ (47 points)

  • Highs: 12 points from Guy, 8 points from Emma and Hugo

  • Lows: 2 points from Josh and Dale, 0 points from Kyriakos, Fleur and Mike

"This is my top pick from the Festival da Canção line up this year. Both the vocal performance and the lyrics feel like it could be a Tori Amos or early Kate Bush song. It’s also one of the more uplifting songs for the festival this year, which makes it stand out. After watching some of her performances from The Voice Portugal, I’m really excited to see the live performances of this song. It will undoubtably be one of my favourite National Final songs of the season." ~ Guy "One minute you are listening to a casual laidback folk song, the next a Tori Amos style piano ballad when the chorus kicks in. Joana gets a chance to show off her vocals in the chorus and I love how she has written both the music and lyrics for this composition...she really sounds connected to the song and this comes across in her performance." ~ Emma "There were parts of this song that I liked but other parts I just found messy. It just did not flow well for me." ~ Fleur

3. NEEV - ‘Dancing in the Stars’ (61 points)

  • Highs: 12 points from Josh and Fleur, 8 points from Kyriakos and Hugo

  • Lows: 2 points from Mike, 0 points from Guy, Ruby and Laura

"Admittedly, this is not really the sort of song that I would go for, but I really like the vocals. This song is reminiscent of Duncan Laurence’s ‘Arcade’ in that it is a sad-boi ballad, but there is enough going on to set it apart. It is well produced, has dramatic peaks and troughs to keep one’s interest. NEEV is an established performer having chart success in Northern Europe with Norwegian electronic act- Seeb. He will be the artist to watch in this year’s competition. Could this the first English only song that Portugal sends to Eurovision?" ~ Fleur "It’s come up a bit in commentary already for this season, and it’s how I feel about this song; themes of loss or references to current world events aren’t really gelling with me this year. I also find the lyrics in this are a little cliché." ~ Guy "Ultimately this entry feels extremely familiar, because it simply could come from any National Final. I do enjoy the instrumental break, but my dislike for this simply comes down to the genre of a sad boy pining for someone over song." ~ Ruby

2. Pedro Gonçalves - ‘Não vou ficar’ (63 points)

  • Highs: 12 points from Kyriakos and Mike, 8 points from Steven and Dale

  • Lows: 0 points from Josh, Ruby and Laura

"Pedro gives us something special and the most contemporary out of the Portuguese national final songs. The chorus is super catchy, and easily to singalong to. Love the addition of the sax at the end. He gets my 12 points." ~ Kyriakos "My 10-point choice featuring a great voice and good progression/build. It’s a great example of Portuguese pop, although I’ll admit the saxophone dates it." ~ Steven "This song is a musical kitchen sink, starting off in a soft ballad style and building towards something louder and busier. Rather than each instrument working together to create a piece of music which flows smoothly to the listener, it’s almost as if the instruments are trying to outdo each other. The result is quite messy, and consequently, I’m not too sure what this song is trying to be." ~ Laura

1. Graciela - ‘A vida sem acontecer’ (75 points)

  • Highs: 12 points from Laura and Dale, 8 points from Emma and Mike

  • Lows: 1 point from Kyriakos, 0 points from Ruby

"Maybe it’s the Melbourne hipster in me jumping out but I really love this song! The Depeche Mode-esque synths build very nicely throughout to create an explosion of joy towards the end of the song. I would be delighted if Portugal decided to send this to Eurovision!" ~ Laura "So much to love about this. It's like a dreamy Deborah Harry track complete with that wonderful driving supporting synth. It's also important that the 80s inspiration is a support to Graciela, but isn't dominating like some other tracks this year. It starts simply and builds both vocally and also in the instrumentation and production, so rather than feeling one-note you feel like you're going on a journey with. The journey feels like it might be in an uber at 2am from club to club... but that's what I love about it. Will have a lot of challenges to make this work live, a lot will hang on her stage presence and vocal - there are stronger competition songs but this is my 12 points for sure." ~ Dale "The production sounds a bit like the studio version of Edina Monsoon’s song ‘Walking Down the Road’ when she is dreaming in an episode of Absolutely Fabulous. The song is captivating enough to just make my top 10." ~ Kyriakos "There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with this song, especially with Graciela’s voice, but to me it’s just a series of repetitive, techno-driven refrains, with a long (30+ seconds!) break in the end of it. Interested to see how it’s staged, and would hope for a revamp with a sustained build towards the end if this is to be selected." ~ Ruby

The rest of the rankings were (with comments from those in the team that gave the song 12 points):

= 11. Ariana - ‘Mundo melhor’ (25 points) = 11. Tainá - ‘Jasmim’ (25 points)

= 13. Fábia Maia - ‘Dia lindo’ (24 points) = 13. IAN - ‘Mundo’ (24 points)

"The best overall package for me. I loved the use of both English and Portugese and the electro synth sound sees this stand out a mile from many of the more ballad/folky entries. It’s a bit Sia-esque and very alternative. You’ll either love it or hate it. I must admit it’s not growing on me after more listens so it’s possible I wouldn’t give this my 12 points if I was to vote again." ~ Emma

15. The Black Mamba - ‘Love Is on My Side’ (22 points)

16. Valéria - ‘Na mais profunda saudade’ (21 points)

17. Carolina Deslandes - ‘Por um triz’ (16 points) "Delicate, gentle, lyrically beautiful and simple. Gutted that this didn’t make the Aussievision top 10. It’s one of my favourite songs of the whole NF season so far." ~ Steven

18.. Nadine - ‘Cheguei aqui’ (11 points)

= 19. Ana Tereza - ‘Com um abraço’ (8 points) = 19. Irma - ‘Livros’ (8 points)

The two semi-finals of Festival da Canção 2021 will be on 20 and 27 February with the Final on March 6.


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