Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Member stationRTP
National selection events
Participation summary
Appearances51 (42 finals)
First appearance1964
Best result1st: 2017
Nul points1964, 1997
External links
RTP page
Portugal's page at Eurovision.tv
Song contest current event.png For the most recent participation see
Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest 2020

Portugal has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 51 times since its debut at the 1964 contest. Since then it has missed five contests (1970, 2000, 2002, 2013 and 2016). The contest is broadcast in Portugal by Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP). Portugal won the contest for the first time in 2017 and hosted the 2018 contest in Lisbon.

Portugal finished last on its debut in 1964 and again in 1974, before achieving its best result of the 20th century in 1996, with Lúcia Moniz finishing sixth. The country then finished last for the third time in 1997. Having not appeared in the final since 2010 and as holders of the record for most appearances in the contest without a win, Portugal won at the 49th attempt, when Salvador Sobral won the 2017 contest with the song "Amar Pelos Dois", Portugal's first top five result in the contest. As hosts in 2018, the country finished last in the contest for the fourth time. In 2019, the country failed to qualify.


Luísa and Salvador Sobral, ESC 2017 Winner's press conference

Portugal's debut entry was António Calvário with "Oração". It was not a successful debut for the country, with Calvário coming last in the contest. Since then, Portugal has come last on three further occasions, in 1974, when Paulo de Carvalho sang "E depois do adeus", in 1997, when Célia Lawson performed "Antes do adeus" and in 2018 as a host country. Despite its last-place finish in the contest, "E depois do adeus" gained notability for being used as the radio musical signal to begin the Carnation Revolution against the Estado Novo regime, being played at 22:55 on the 24th of April, 1974.[1] Prior to their sixth-place finish for Lúcia Moniz, with the song "O meu coração não tem cor" in 1996, Portugal's best result in the contest was two seventh-place finishes, for Carlos Mendes in 1972 and José Cid in 1980. Despite having some really weak results, the 90s were the most successful decade for the country, reaching the top 10 four times. Portugal had admission to take part in the 2000 and 2002 contest but refused. Its place was taken by Latvia both times, which ended up winning the contest in the latter year.

Since semi-finals were introduced in 2004, Portugal has failed to reach the final eight times, including from 2004 to 2007. In 2008, Vânia Fernandes finished 13th with the song "Senhora do Mar," Portugal's best outcome since 1996. The country continued to be present in the final until 2010. In 2017, Portugal reached the finals with Salvador Sobral's entry, "Amar pelos dois", ending a 6-year non-appearance in the finals, as it did not participate in the contest in 2013 and 2016 and did not qualify for the finals in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015, finally winning the contest for the first time ever, earning 758 points, setting the record for the highest number of points in the history of the competition, topping both the televoting and jury voting for the first time since Austria's "Rise Like a Phoenix" in 2014. It was the first winning song entirely performed in a country's native language since Serbia's "Molitva" in 2007. In 2018, as a host country, Portugal came last for the fourth time in the contest, and for the first time in a non-joint last position. This was the third instance of a host country placing in the bottom 5 since 2015.


Portugal has been absent from five contests since their first participation. The country's first absence was in 1970, where Portugal, along with four other countries, boycotted the contest due to the result of the previous year, when four countries were announced the winner.[2]

Portugal missed the 2000 contest due to their poor average results over the past five years. Despite being eligible to enter the 2002 contest, RTP declined to enter, and was replaced by eventual winner Latvia.[3]

The fourth absence was in 2013, when Portugal didn't participate for financial reasons.[4]

The fifth absence was in 2016.[5] RTP mentioned that this break was needed, so that the national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest had its contents renewed.[6]

Festival da Canção[edit]

Festival da Canção (sometimes referred to as "Festival RTP da Canção") is the Portuguese national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, organized by RTP, and is normally held in February/March of the year of the contest. It is one of the longest-running Eurovision selection methods. Previously a number of regional juries selected the winner, however recently the winner has been selected through televoting. In 2009, 2010, 2017, 2018 and 2019 a 50-50 system between district juries and televote (like in the ESC) has been used.

In the years when Portugal does not participate in the contest, the Festival da Canção was not held, except in two occasions: in 1970, when Portugal boycotted the contest, and in 2000.


Table key
Second place
Last place
Entry selected but did not compete
Year Artist Language Title Final Points Semi Points
António Calvário Portuguese "Oração" 13 ◁ 0 No semi-finals
Simone de Oliveira Portuguese "Sol de inverno" 13 1
Madalena Iglésias Portuguese "Ele e ela" 13 6
Eduardo Nascimento Portuguese "O vento mudou" 12 3
Carlos Mendes Portuguese "Verão" 11 5
Simone de Oliveira Portuguese "Desfolhada portuguesa" 15 4
Tonicha Portuguese "Menina do alto da serra" 9 83
Carlos Mendes Portuguese "A festa da vida" 7 90
Fernando Tordo Portuguese "Tourada" 10 80
Paulo de Carvalho Portuguese "E depois do adeus" 14 ◁ 3
Duarte Mendes Portuguese "Madrugada" 16 16
Carlos do Carmo Portuguese "Uma flor de verde pinho" 12 24
Os Amigos Portuguese "Portugal no coração" 14 18[a]
Gemini Portuguese "Dai li dou" 17 5
Manuela Bravo Portuguese "Sobe, sobe, balão sobe" 9 64[b]
José Cid Portuguese "Um grande, grande amor" 7 71
Carlos Paião Portuguese "Playback" 18 9
Doce Portuguese "Bem bom" 13 32
Armando Gama Portuguese "Esta balada que te dou" 13 33
Maria Guinot Portuguese "Silêncio e tanta gente" 11 38
Adelaide Ferreira Portuguese "Penso em ti, eu sei" 18 9
Dora Portuguese "Não sejas mau para mim" 14 28
Nevada Portuguese "Neste barco à vela" 18 15
Dora Portuguese "Voltarei" 18 5
Da Vinci Portuguese "Conquistador" 16 39
Nucha Portuguese "Há sempre alguém" 20 9
Dulce Pontes Portuguese "Lusitana paixão" 8 62
Dina Portuguese "Amor d'água fresca" 17 26
Anabela Portuguese "A cidade (até ser dia)" 10 60 Kvalifikacija za Millstreet
Sara Tavares Portuguese "Chamar a música" 8 73 No semi-finals
Tó Cruz Portuguese "Baunilha e chocolate" 21 5
Lúcia Moniz Portuguese "O meu coração não tem cor" 6 92 18 32
Célia Lawson Portuguese "Antes do adeus" 24 ◁ 0 No semi-finals
Alma Lusa Portuguese "Se eu te pudesse abraçar" 12 36
Rui Bandeira Portuguese "Como tudo começou" 21 12
MTM Portuguese "Só sei ser feliz assim" 17 18
Rita Guerra Portuguese, English "Deixa-me sonhar (só mais uma vez)" 22 13
Sofia Vitória Portuguese "Foi magia" Failed to qualify 15 38
2B Portuguese, English "Amar" 17 51
Nonstop Portuguese, English "Coisas de nada (Gonna Make You Dance)" 19 26
Sabrina Portuguese[c] "Dança comigo" 11 88
Vânia Fernandes Portuguese "Senhora do mar (Negras águas)" 13 69 2 120
Flor-de-Lis Portuguese "Todas as ruas do amor" 15 57 8 70
Filipa Azevedo Portuguese "Há dias assim" 18 43 4 89
Homens da Luta Portuguese "A luta é alegria" Failed to qualify 18 22
Filipa Sousa Portuguese "Vida minha" 13 39
Suzy Portuguese "Quero ser tua" 11 39
Leonor Andrade Portuguese "Há um mar que nos separa" 14 19
Salvador Sobral Portuguese "Amar pelos dois" 1 758 1 370
Cláudia Pascoal Portuguese "O jardim" 26 ◁ 39 Host country[d]
Conan Osíris Portuguese "Telemóveis" Failed to qualify 15 51
Elisa Portuguese "Medo de sentir" Contest cancelled[e] X


Year Location Venue Presenters Image
2018 Lisbon Altice Arena Catarina Furtado, Daniela Ruah, Filomena Cautela and Sílvia Alberto Eurovision 2018 Hosts 03.jpg


Marcel Bezençon Awards[edit]

Year Category Song Composer Performer Final Points Host city Ref.
2008 Press Award "Senhora do mar (Negras águas)" Andrej Babić, Carlos Coelho Vânia Fernandes 13 69 Serbia Belgrade
2017 Artistic Award[f] "Amar pelos dois" Luísa Sobral Salvador Sobral 1 758 Ukraine Kiev
Composer Award

Barbara Dex Award[edit]

Year Performer Host city Ref.
2006 Nonstop Greece Athens
2019 Conan Osiris Israel Tel Aviv

Related involvement[edit]

Commentators and spokespersons[edit]

Year Television commentator Radio commentator Spokesperson Ref.
1963 Unknown Unknown Did not participate
1964 Gomes Ferreira Maria Manuela Furtado
1966 Henrique Mendes
1968 Fialho Gouveia
1969 Henrique Mendes
1970 Did not participate
1971 No spokesperson
1972 Amadeu Meireles
1973 Artur Agostinho
1974 Unknown Henrique Mendes
1975 Júlio Isidro Amadeu Meireles Ana Zanatti
1976 Eládio Clímaco
1977 José Côrte-Real
1978 Eládio Clímaco Isabel Wolmar
1979 Fialho Gouveia Unknown João Abel da Fonseca
1980 Isabel Wolmar Teresa Cruz
1981 Eládio Clímaco Margarida Andrade
1982 Fialho Gouveia
1983 Eládio Clímaco João Abel Fonseca
1984 Fialho Gouveia Eládio Clímaco
1985 Eládio Clímaco Maria Margarida Gaspar
1986 Fialho Gouveia Fialho Gouveia Margarida Andrade
1987 Maria Margarida Gaspar Unknown Ana Zanatti
1988 Margarida Andrade Maria Margarida Gaspar
1989 Ana Zanatti Margarida Andrade
1990 Ana do Carmo João Abel Fonseca
1991 Maria Margarida Gaspar
1992 Eládio Clímaco Ana Zanatti
1993 Isabel Bahia Margarida Mercês de Mello
1994 Eládio Clímaco Isabel Bahia
1995 Ana do Carmo Serenella Andrade
1996 Maria Margarida Gaspar Cristina Rocha
1997 Carlos Ribeiro
1998 Rui Unas Lúcia Moniz
1999 João David Nunes Manuel Luís Goucha
2000 Eládio Clímaco Unknown Did not participate
2001 Margarida Mercês de Mello
2002 Did not participate
2003 Margarida Mercês de Mello Helena Ramos
2004 Eládio Clímaco Isabel Angelino
2006 Cristina Alves
2007 Isabel Angelino, Jorge Gabriel Francisco Mendes
2008 Teresa Villa-Lobos
2009 Hélder Reis No radio broadcast Helena Coelho
2010 Sérgio Mateus Ana Galvão
2011 Sílvia Alberto Joana Teles
2012 Pedro Granger
2013 Sílvia Alberto Did not participate
2014 Joana Teles
2015 Hélder Reis, Ramon Galarza Suzy
2016 Hélder Reis, Nuno Galopim (final) Did not participate
2017 José Carlos Malato, Nuno Galopim Filomena Cautela
2018 Hélder Reis, Nuno Galopim Noémia Gonçalves, António Macedo, Tozé Brito Pedro Fernandes
2019 José Carlos Malato, Nuno Galopim Unknown Inês Lopes Gonçalves


In the late 1990s the English actor and comedian Steve Coogan created the character "Tony Ferrino" for his television comedy series. "Tony Ferrino" is supposedly a Portuguese singer and winner of the Eurovision Song Contest; he is a stereotype based on singers and entertainers often seen on European television programmes in the 1970s and 1980s. The BBC produced a one-off programme The Tony Ferrino Phenomenon in 1997.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ During the voting sequence of the live show, several errors were made in the announcement of the scores, which were then adjusted after the broadcast. Both Greece and France duplicated scores, awarding the same points to multiple countries. From the Greek scores, The UK, Netherlands, Austria & Finland all had 1 point deducted after the contest and from the French scores, Austria, Germany, Israel, Italy & Portugal all had 1 point deducted. None of the adjustments affected the placing of any of the songs. The Portuguese score was thus reduced from 20 during the broadcast to 18 after the show.
  2. ^ During the voting announcement, due to a misunderstanding by the presenter Yardena Arazi, Spain appeared to award 10 points to both Portugal and Israel and these scores were added to the scoreboard. After the programme, verification confirmed that Portugal should only have received six points, leaving the total Portuguese score reduced by four points to 64.
  3. ^ Also contains phrases in English, French and Spanish.
  4. ^ If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year.
  5. ^ The 2020 contest was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  6. ^ Voted by commentators.


  1. ^ The Eurovision song that made Portuguese history - second Semi-Final - Eurovision 2018, Official Youtube Eurovision Channel, 10.05.2018
  2. ^ O'Connor, John Kennedy. The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History. Carlton Books, UK. 2007 ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3
  3. ^ Bakker, Sietse (29 November 2002). "EBU confirmed: Portugal resigns, Latvia is in". esctoday.com. ESCToday. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2002.
  4. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (22 November 2012). "Portugal will not participate in Eurovision 2013". esctoday.com. ESCToday. Archived from the original on 8 June 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  5. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (7 October 2015). "Portugal: RTP will not participate in Eurovision 2016". esctoday.com. ESCToday. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  6. ^ Antunes, Rui Pedro (15 May 2017). "Portugal: Preparem o MEO Arena. E 30 milhões. Vem aí a Eurovisão". Observador. Observador. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  7. ^ Floras, Stella (27 May 2008). "The 2008 Bezençon Awards winners". esctoday.com. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Winners of the Marcel Bezençon Awards 2017". eurovision.tv. 14 May 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  9. ^ Adams, William Lee (9 July 2015). "Poll: Who was the worst dressed Barbara Dex Award winner?". Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  10. ^ van Lith, Nick (26 May 2019). "Conan Osiris wins the Barbara Dex Award 2019". escxtra.com. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  11. ^ "Nuno Galopim também será comentador da Eurovisão". Portal dos Programas. 2017-04-14. Archived from the original on 2017-04-21. Retrieved 2017-05-01.
  12. ^ "Filomena Cautela é a porta-voz de Portugal na Grande Final do Festival Eurovisão 2017". www.escportugal.pt. Archived from the original on 2017-05-04.
  13. ^ "ESC2019: José Carlos Malato e Nuno Galopim são os comentadores da transmissão da RTP". ESCPortugal (in Portuguese). 4 May 2019. Archived from the original on 4 May 2019. Retrieved 18 November 2019.