Eurovision Song Contest 2012 Entry: Portugal - Filipa Sousa - Vida Minha
Apr 30 2012 01:28 pm CET

Portugal's entry "Vida Minha" by Filipa Sousa, while pretty, is another example of how the country continues to flounder in the Eurovision Song Contest. Is the trip to Azerbaijan worth it if Portugal is unable to make an impact in Eastern Europe?

Country: Portugal
Title: "Vida Minha" ("My Life")
Artist: Filipa Sousa
Semi-Final: Second, Position 6
Last year's entry/position: "A Lute e Alegria" - Homens Da Luta (DNQ, 18th Place First SF)

There were rumors early on in the selection process that Portugal would not be participating in this year's Eurovision Song Contest. While "Vida Minha" isn't a bad song, I think Portugal would have benefited from taking a year off to regroup and figure out how to make an impact in the ESC.

The song is lovely and if the stage performance in Baku is similar to what was presented at Festival da Canção, it should provide a pleasant intermission during the second semi-final. A pleasant intermission should not be any entry's goal, yet it seems to be what Portugal chooses to send to each Contest. This works to Ukraine's benefit, as their song could serve as a welcome to the remainder of the semi-final as the act following Portugal.

It could be argued Portugal has benefited the least from the semi-final format adopted in 2004. Since introduced, the country has only made the Final three times and its best finish was 13th place. Of course, its last Top 10 finish was in 1996 (sixth place), only to be followed by a nil points score in 1997. The root of the problem seems to be Eastern Europe, as a listing of points received since 2004 shows Romania, Albania and Belarus tied for eighth. Four of the countries that rank higher are part of the Big Five (everyone except Italy, who had been absent until last year). The number two benefactor: Andorra, which left the Contest after 2009. In other words, Portugal does not have the support it needs to make an entry successful.

I do not see Vida Minha penetrating Eastern Europe, which does not bode well in a semi-final dominated by former Yugoslavian and Russian republics. France, Germany and United Kingdom will probably throw some votes Portugal's way, but that is not nearly enough support for a song that needs to charm all of Europe to win.

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