Does Leonor Andrade have what it takes to tip Portugal into the Eurovision Song Contest finals?
Song Title: “Há um Mar que nos Separa”
Artist: Leonor Andrade
Semi-Final: Second, Position 8
Last year’s entry: “Quero Ser Tua” – Suzy (DNQ – 11th Place, SF1)
After taking a year off in 2013, Portugal stopped by a half-off sale for the standard Eurovision elements (cheesy synths, nonsense backing vocals, giant drums), bought everything, and shoved it on stage. The resulting entry, Suzy’s “Quero Ser Tua”, was one of my least favorite of the entire competition. Thankfully, Europe agreed with me enough that it finished just outside of qualifying for the finals in 11th place in its semifinal. Seemingly learning from what did score high last year (one singer, more authentic instrumentation) they’re back with “Há um Mar que nos Separa”. How does it stack up against its competitors?
There’s some division here at WEIO Eurovision HQ1: we seem to either really like this song or really hate it. I’m in the former camp – the song has a nice sense of dynamics, and Leonor’s vocals are certainly more competent than Suzy’s were last year. I also really like Portugal’s commitment to singing in Portuguese – so many of the other nations automatically go for English (or switch to it from their native tongue like Iceland) that it’s nice2 to see something different. The more mid-tempo nature of the song seems like it will stick out over the slower entries from Norway and the Czech Republic.
Portugal doesn’t always have enough friends in its semi-final to secure the votes it needs. I’m hoping a slightly more dynamic performance from Leonor tips them over the edge in the final – a little more crowd interaction would go a long way. I’d love to see this one make the finals since it seems to have some real emotion behind it, but it’s all in the show for this one.