12 March 2015

Review: Portugal: Eurovision 2015 | Leonor Andrade

Leonor Andrade to represent Portugal in Vienna
After a dozen possibilities, a couple of semi-finals at the beginning of the month and a super-final on March 7, Portugal's Festival da Canção 2015 finally produced a winner in the shape of Leonor Andrade, who will sing Há um mar que nos separa (There's A Sea That Separates Us) on the Eurovision stage in Vienna.

Andrade is another in a growing list of singers to graduate to the Contest from the television reality franchise, The Voice. In between times, she has also demonstrated a flair for acting, appearing in one of Portugal's soap operas, Água de Mar (Sea Water). No doubt it's just a coincidence that there's a connection in the titles of her song and her TV work, but there is a feeling that she will be swimming against the tide with this entry.

Portugal have always appeared to struggle with Eurovision and, while it is an improvement, one might suggest that they are not going to win over too many voters with this effort. Leonor puts on her best rock-chick face and gives the vocals some welly, but the song is reminiscent of an underwhelming and somewhat overblown example of a rock ballad from the 1980s or 1990s. There is a hook though and an obligatory key change towards the end of the song, but Portugal's (well-founded) insistence on producing its entry in its native language will again make it tough for viewers around Europe to connect with the lyrical content.

This disconnect is likely to cause Leonor to (metaphorically) drown in her own mar que nos separa, due to what looks like an increasingly competitive second semi-final. While it would be terrific to see Portugal back amongst those competing in the Final, the expectation here is that this song won't progress further than its performance slot on May 21. Unless, of course, it is tweaked for the better when its running time is reduced.

What do you think?

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