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Portugal: 'Festival da Canção' 2022 Grand Final preview and Aussievision rankings

After a long and dramatic few months, the Eurovision national final season for 2022 will wrap up on Sunday with the broadcast of Portugal’s Festival da Canção 2022.

Hosted as always by Vasco Palmeirim and Eurovision 2018 favourite Filomena Cautela, the show will be broadcast live from RTP’s studios in Lisbon.

10 acts have been selected in a pair of semifinals broadcast earlier this week, and will perform in the following order:

  1. Pongo e Tristany – ‘DÉGRÁ.DÊ’

  2. SYRO – ‘Ainda nos temos’

  3. Milhanas – ‘Corpo de Mulher’

  4. Inês Homem de Melo – ‘Fome de Viagem’

  5. Aurea – ‘Why?’

  6. Os Quatro e Meia – ‘Amanhã’

  7. FF – ‘Como é bom esperar alguém’

  8. Diana Castro – ‘Ginger Ale’

  9. MARO – ‘saudade, saudade’

  10. Pepperoni Passion – ‘Código 30’

Results will be determined 50/50 between the public televote and a series of regional juries from around Portugal. In the event of a tie, the public vote will have the final say.

It’s a very close-run field in Portugal this year, and several acts could plausibly win the ticket when the show comes to a close. We asked our Aussievision team to provide their rankings of all 10 acts using a standard Eurovision scoring system, 12 to 1.

Here are the results:

Aussievision's Festival da Canção 2022 rankings

10. Inês Homem de Melo – ‘Fome de Viagem’ (37 points)

Highs: 12 points from Josh

Lows: 1 point from Dale, Emma, Hugo, Mark and Mike, 2 points from Guy and Kyriakos

Psychiatrist, singer, polyglot - Inês Home de Melo is a woman of many talents. Born in Porto, she currently works as a doctor at the same hospital where she was born. She also holds a degree in classical vocal and jazz performance, and says that through music, she is able to stave off some of the negativity she sees in her day job. She can speak five languages – English, French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese – all of which make an appearance in her Gilbert and Sullivan-esque song for Festival da Canção this year, 'Fome de Viagem' (Hunger for Travel).

Team Comments:

“Sounds straight out of a classic musical or Disney movie. Something very different for Portugal and Eurovision in general. Could do surprisingly well at Eurovision with an innovative staging like Moldova did with My Lucky Day. For me this is the only standout.” ~Josh

9. Pepperoni Passion – ‘Código 30’ (38 points)

Highs: 7 points from Hayley.

Lows: 1 point from Josh and Kyriakos, 2 points from Dale and Mark, and Teddy

Pepperoni Passion is one of the few acts to come to FdC 2022 through the public submission process rather than being invited to participate. A rap group with a back catalogue of quite pointed political numbers, the three members say they applied on the last possible day and were shocked to discover they had made it into the show! 'Código 30' is another witty number which discusses the trials and tribulations of turning 30 – including doing your taxes, gaining weight and coming to love pineapple on pizza.

8. Os Quatro e Meia – ‘Amanhã’ (56 points)

Highs: 10 points from Guy, 8 points from Steven

Lows: 1 point from Teddy and Tim, 2 points from Josh and Mike

Formed unexpectedly at a party in 2013, Os Quatro de Meia (Four and a half) has become a much-loved band in Portugal, with a string of number-one singles to their name. The six current members of the band are Tiago Nogueira (vocals and guitar, also the composer of their song for FdC), Ricardo Liz Almeida (vocals and guitar), Mário Ferreira (keyboards and vocals), João Cristóvão Rodrigues (violin), Pedro Figueiredo (drums and percussion) and Rui Marques (short). They’ve delivered a simple but classy performance of their song 'Amanhã' in the semi-finals and, while they haven’t had a heap of buzz internationally, it wouldn’t be the first time that a slightly retro band with a decent domestic following unexpectedly took out the FdC prize (looking at you, The Black Mamba). A dark horse.

Team Comments:

“The first vocalist has such a beautiful voice that if he sang the entire song then this could easily have taken my 10 points.” ~Steven

7. FF – ‘Como é bom esperar alguém’ (58 points)

Highs: 12 points from Steven, 8 points from Teddy

Lows: 1 point from Guy, 2 points from Hayley and Hugo

An actor and singer, FF brings a dose of classic theatricality to the FdC line-up this year. Originally coming to prominence as part of the cast of popular teen soap 'Strawberries with Sugar', FF quickly branched out into music, and released a number of albums in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Returning to the spotlight this year with his new song, 'Como a bom esperar alguém', FF’s performance at FdC has more than a whiff of Barbara Pravi about it. It’s a *very* Portuguese ballad delivered with simple but effective staging – don’t be surprised if this does better than expected.

Team Comments:

“Wow! This song has it all: an emotive performance (à la Barbara and Salvador), gorgeous instrumentation and a truly beautiful vocal. It also feels distinctly Portuguese in the very best way. Que bonito!” ~Steven

“They Barbara Pravi'd it!! This looks *so* good onstage, and FF has enough charisma to sell the hell out of this very retro Portuguese-sounding ballad. I love the build, I love the melancholy underpinning the whole thing, and the vocals are impeccable. FF also needs to lend me his shirt, which looks really bloody cool. Portugal doing what Portugal does best.” ~Teddy

6. Milhana – ‘Corpo de Mulher’ (64 points)

Highs: 10 points from Dale, Kyriakos and Mike, 8 points from Emma and Hayley

Lows: 2 points from Tim, 3 points from Guy and Josh.

Milhanas is a young jazz and fado singer with a passion for music and Portuguese literature. Describing herself as a “very nocturnal” person, she loves to compose at night, and is drawn to fado music because of its emphasis on performance and interpretation. Her song, ‘Corpo de Mulher’ (A Woman’s Body), is penned by successful Portuguese composer and singer Agir, who has a hefty career in his own right, with multiple albums and singles. A powerful hymn to self-determination and female power, this was one of the acts that lifted most from studio track to live performance.

"This is really lovely Portuguese ballad sung and performed beautifully by Milhanas. I like the juxtaposition of a young artist performing a song that sounds like it is from 50-60 years ago. She does a fantastic job and I really hope she does well." ~ Dale

5. MARO – ‘saudade, saudade’ (80 points)

Highs: 12 points from Emma and Guy, 10 points from Tim, 8 points from Hugo.

Lows: 2 points from Steven.

MARO is a young artist who has recently returned to her home country of Portugal after a stint in Los Angeles. Originally leaving to pursue her musical dream, MARO quickly got picked up by several American songwriters and touring musicians, giving her the opportunity to hone her craft and artistry. Her song for FdC, “saudade, saudade”, has proven a sleeper fan favourite and has gotten attention in Portugal, sitting at number 1 on the country’s Viral 50 on Spotify. This is no doubt partially due to some of the wonderful acoustic versions of the song she has released on YouTube, including a live version filmed with some friends. If someone were to stage an upset on Sunday, it’s probably going to be MARO.

Team Comments:

“'Saudade, saudade' has a really current sound and I am a sucker for a dual language song. I love the consistent guitar riff right throughout although it does mean the song doesn't really have any peaks and troughs but flows along at the same pace throughout. I found this song really beautiful to listen to and it was the standout track for me, one that I will listen to long after the contest has finished.” ~Emma

“This is a nice mellow track, that feels soothing and soulful. I like the way it cruises along once the percussion kicks in, and Maro does a nice live vocal.” ~Guy

“This feels like such a modern song whilst still distinctly being Portuguese. I love the mix of English and Portuguese language and the way that it’s very mellow in it’s composition. I wouldn’t be upset if this also won.” ~Tim

4. Pongo e Tristany – ‘DÉGRÁ.DÊ’ (81 points)

Highs: 10 points from Emma, Hayley and Teddy, 8 points from Kyriakos, Mark and Tim

Lows: 1 point from Steven, 3 points from Dale.

One of the most interesting acts in this year’s festival, Pongo e Tristany’s “DÉGRÁ.DÊ” is an uptempo dance track inspired by African music styles such as Kuduro. Pongo is one of Portugal’s biggest up-and-coming acts, born in Angola but emigrating to Portugal to escape civil war. Known as the Diva of Kuduro, she has performed in a number of festivals across Europe and is known for the track “Kalemba (Wegue Wegue)” featured on FIFA 10. She here joins forces with Tristany, a Lisbon-based rapper and musician with a passion for music grounded in the realities of everyday life. Composed by DJ Marfox, ‘DÉGRÁ.DÊ’ is definitely a duet of two halves, with Tristany’s slow, melodic portions contrasting effectively with Pongo’s frenetic, passionate energy. It wouldn’t be surprising to see these two making their way to Turin in May.

Team Comments:

“This song is so much fun! The second it came on I wanted to move! The possibilities for staging this song are endless.” ~Hayley

“This still needs a bit of tidying on the stage - there's moments of it that work stunningly, and then others where it looks a little messy. As a result, my concerns also remain that there's a chance of this getting Conan Osiris'd should it make it to Turin in May. Nonetheless, the track itself is flawless and Pongo especially is such a charismatic and eye-catching performer. A track which I'd be proud to whack on any playlist.” ~Teddy

“Dripping in authenticity, this does what the best entries do: takes something traditional and familiar, and finds a way to make it modern and impactful. Pongo and Tristany are like two halves of the one organism. The way they move and make music is slickly harmonious. How cool would this look on the big stage in Italy? (Answer: so cool!)” ~Mark

3. Diana Castro – ‘Ginger Ale’ (83 points)

Highs: 12 points from Dale and Mike, 10 points from Steven, 8 points from Josh.

Lows: 3 points from Emma, Hayley and Kyriakos.

Diana Castro is best-known in Portugal for coming second in the 2018 edition of 'The Voice Portugal'. A jazz singer by training, she has increasingly shifted into other contemporary musical genres, but still maintains her grounding in jazz and Portuguese-language music. Her song, 'Ginger Ale', is a suitably jazzy pop number which has been brought to life with some fun, slightly psychedelic staging. It is penned by Joana Espadinha, who previously participated as a singer at Festival da Canção 2018 with the song 'Zero a zero'.

Team Comments:

“Pour me a glass because I am a big fan of this! This has been one of my favourites from the start. It's fun, it gives me cocktail hour at 3pm by the beach, and I love the 70s aesthetic they went with the performance.” ~Dale

“There is just something so charming about this song. The staging has lots of classic 70's references with the lighting and camera effects, that really set the mood perfectly. Diana really performs the songs very well and her expressive delivery really lifts the songs overall impact. Love every second of it!” ~Mike

“I fell in love with this kitsch, peppy and irresistibly cute retro tune from my first listen of the recorded version, and Diana’s vocal is just as good live. It’s admittedly far from contemporary, but - for me - it’s so damn catchy and I’ve found myself singing (well, humming) it frequently. I also now wanted a flared pantsuit!” ~Steven

2. SYRO – ‘Ainda nos temos’ (94 points)

Highs: 12 points from Hayley and Hugo, 10 points from Mark, 8 points from Dale, Guy and Mike

Lows: 4 points from Steven.

One of the red-hot favourites to take out the title for Portugal this year, SYRO is an up-and-coming artist with a few big streaming hits to his name. Originally a drummer in a band, SYRO has more recently struck out on his own, and is now signed to Sony Music Portugal. A talented vocalist, he often favours emotive lyrics and simple, contemporary productions, which can be seen in his entry for this year, 'Ainda nos temos'. While his staging is simple, this is a man who can command a crowd with just his voice. Expect this one to be a favourite on the night.

Team Comments:

“This song stands out for me - what a lovely man ballad! Syro has a gorgeous voice and the Portuguese language is absolutely exquisite to listen to in the ballad format.” ~Hayley

"Such a powerful song! He performed it so well, really gets the emotion across. I love the melody, a captivating performance and a real stand out!" ~Hugo

“A.T.M.O.S.P.H.E.R.I.C. An absolute joy to listen to, and to look at. If Aurea is going to be robbed, then it might as well be this lush, incredibly sung and deeply moving power ballad that commits the offence. Perhaps just a bit too derivative to go all the way?” ~Mark

1. Aurea – ‘Why?’ (96 points)

Highs: 12 points from Kyriakos, Mark, Teddy and Tim, 10 points from Hugo and Josh.

Lows: 1 point from Hayley, 2 points from Emma

Aurea is a successful and well-known Portuguese soul singer, with five albums and numerous awards to her name. Originally coming to prominence with the number-one single 'Busy for Me' in 2010, she went on to become one of Portugal’s most celebrated artists, winning Best Portuguese Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards for two consecutive years (2011-2012). She is now a coach on 'The Voice Portugal'. Often compared to Dusty Springfield, Amy Winehouse and Aretha Franklin, 'Why?' gives Aurea a chance to show off her powerful vocals in a stripped back, cinematic ballad.

Team Comments:

“It's perfect. It's the perfect song. Exquisite writing, a masterclass in restraint, sung flawlessly. If you don't love this, you don't love storytelling. 'Why?' could almost be a sister piece to our Sheldon's 'Not the Same' in terms of its thematic makeup and emotional performance. Not only should Aurea win Festival da Cancao, she should go on to edge out Sheldon and Sweden's Cornelia for the trophy in Turin. An instant classic.” ~ Mark

“I've sat on my hands too long - I really, truly believe this is exquisite and could win Eurovision. It makes you wait for the payoff, but the journey is so achingly sad and beautiful that I found myself hanging off Aurea's every beautifully-sung word. And they've nailed the staging concept, even if it will probably need to be upscaled a bit in Turin. People are comparing this year of Eurovision to 2017 on social media, and I desperately hope that the truest part of that will be when this magnificent Portuguese ballad wins at the end.” ~Teddy

“This song is still as beautiful as it was on first listen!! It just conjures up so many emotions and it feels so personal and intimate. I previously likened it to Duncan Laurence and I think that comparison is still relevant. The live performance is also absolutely stunning and I can’t fault it at all. I know it may have other ballads to compete with and I know two English songs in a row is rare for Portugal but I think this is a really strong contender potentially in Turin” ~Tim

“"WHHHHHYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!" 'Love Is On My Side' walked so 'Why?' could run into the top 10 at Eurovision for Portugal! Such a simple yet elegant song, with Aurea's powerful voice making this an amazing performance! See you in Turin Aurea!” ~Kyriakos

How to Watch

The grand final for Festival da Canção 2022 will be broadcast live on the morning of Sunday 13 March 2022, with a livestream available from RTP. The show will kick off at 22:00 Central European time, and at the following times across Australia:

  • 5:00 am (WA)

  • 6:30 am (NT)

  • 7:00 am (QLD)

  • 7:30 am (SA)

  • 8:00 am AEDT (ACT, NSW, TAS, VIC)

For more updates on all things Eurovision and national finals, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @aussievisionnet.


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