The final of Festival da Canção 2009 was broadcast live on 28 February 2009 from Teatro Camões in Lisbon. First details on Festival da Canção 2009 were released in October 2008. In a change from Festival de Canção 2008, RTP dropped the use of invited producers in the contest and held an open call for songs to anyone wishing to take part. The finalised rules for the 2009 edition of Festival da Canção were released on 2 December.
The open call for songs was held by RTP for the contest, with the deadline for entries set at 12 January. Only Portuguese composers were allowed to submit songs, and all songs must be performed in Portuguese. Over one week, starting on 14 January, an expert jury selected by RTP, including the head of delegation José Poiares and the musicians Tozé Brito, Fernando Martins and Ramón Galarza, selected the best 24 songs out of the 393 submitted, which were revealed by José Fragoso, the broadcaster CEO, and the Festival da Canção 2009 hostess Sílvia Alberto at a press conference held by RTP on January 19 at 3.30PM GMT. From 19 to 30 January people from around the world can vote for their favourite songs on the competing 24 songs over the internet, with the top 12 songs qualifying for the final of Festival da Canção 2009 on 28 February. The voting during the final will be a mixture of televoting (50%) and jury voting (50%), with votes being awarded from each region of Portugal.
Among the artists who have submitted songs but have not been chosen for the online voting stage were Bruno Henriques, Catarina Ferreira, Cláudia Madeira (former Operação Triunfo contestant), Evelyne Filipe (former Operação Triunfo contestant and backing singer for Vânia Fernandes on the Eurovision Song Contest 2008), Filipa Ruas (former Operação Triunfo contestant), Filipa Sousa (former Operação Triunfo contestant), Hugo Biqueira, Kássio, Leandro, Nuno Paiva, Nuno Durão & Ariana, Sofia & Fred, Sónia Santos, Tânia Gonçalves & Cheng, and Wanda Stuart. The final list of the 24 competing artists was revealed on 19 January.
On 24 January, 5 days after voting began, RTP deleted more than 20,000 votes deemed to be fraudulent. RTP's head of delegation, José Poiares, confirmed that "the broadcaster reserves the right to remove votes when these are shown to be fraudulent" and that such a process "will be continued until the final voting day". More fraudulent votes were removed during the same day, as well as rumours that certain songs may be disqualified due to being publicly heard before October 2008. Pedro Daniel’s song, "Sem ti não quero acordar", was revealed to have been performed at the Lagoa song festival in 2006, as well as having been used in a television commercial in September 2006. Pedro Duvalle may also be disqualified due to his song, "Sinto sentido", due to a video on YouTube having been dug up of him performing the song, with no specific date known, however some fans are reposting that the concert was held on 17 June 2008, in Viseu, however this information has yet to be confirmed. RTP has announced that they will study the originality of the two songs, but will only disclose their findings if either of the two songs is in the top 12 at the end of the voting on 30 January.
On 28 January, Miguel Cervini withdrew his song "Não está" from the competition after he disagreed with over 4000 votes being removed from his song that RTP deemed to be fraudulent. The online voting ended on 30 January, with 117,639 valid votes being made over the 11-day period. Luciana Abreu won the voting, gaining 11,193 votes. From the 12 qualifying songs, one of the two possible disqualified songs qualified, Pedro Duvalle's song "Sinto sentido", which came 11th in the voting. RTP disqualified the song from the competition, having been performed prior to 1 October 2008, breaking Eurovision rules. He was replaced in the final by Nuno Norte with "Lua sem luar", who came 13th in the voting.
The final of Festival da Canção was held on 28 February 2009, and featured the 12 qualifying artists from the online voting held in January.
The winner of the contest was decided through televoting and jury voting. 20 regional juries gave points to their ten favourite songs, in Eurovision style. This was converted into Eurovision style points, and joined by televoting in the same system. The winner was Flor-de-Lis with "Todas as ruas do amor". Flor-de-Lis received the maximum 12 points from the juries, and came second in the televote. Favourite in the televoting, online voting winner Luciana Abreu, received only 4 points from the juries.
Despite qualifying from the semi-finals for the first time in the 2008 contest, Portugal had to qualify from the semi-finals again in 2009 as it was not one of the "Big Four" or the host of the 2009 contest. Portugal competed in the first semi-final on 12 May 2009, performing 16th in the running order, following Finland and preceding Malta and won a place in the final where it finished 15th.
It has been announced by RTP that the commentator for the semi-finals and final will be singer and TV host Hélder Reis, while the announcer of the Portuguese votes during the final was supposed to be Sérgio Mateus (actor), who also acted as green room commentator during Festival da Canção. In the end, Helena Coelho announced the Portugueses votes.