RTP has announced this evening that Luísa Sobral, the sister of Salvador Sobral, will take his place in the rehearsals of this year’s contest in Kyiv. Salvador will not arrive in Kyiv until two days before his semi-final.

Salvador will represent Portugal in the first semi-final of the contest on 9th May with the song “Amar pelos dois”. However, due to concert commitments at home, Salvador will only travel to Kyiv two days before the semi-final takes place. His sister Luísa, who wrote the song for her brother, will take his place in the rehearsals prior to Salvador’s arrival in Ukraine. Portugal’s first rehearsal is scheduled to take place on Sunday 30th April, meaning that Salvador will miss an entire week of rehearsals and interviews in Kyiv.

More details on Salvador’s decision are expected to be announced tomorrow (17th April).

According to Oddschecker, Portugal is currently the fourth favourite to win this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Italy remains the favourite, followed by Bulgaria and Sweden. Last month, Portugal’s Head of Delegation Carla Bugalho stated that RTP are aiming “to reach the best score ever for Portugal in this contest”. This year marks Portugal’s 48th appearance in Eurovision, and after all of those appearances the country’s best result was their 6th place in 1996. Since then they have failed to place within the top 10. Portugal last qualified for a Eurovision final in 2010 with Filipa Azevedo’s “Há dias assim”; she finished in 18th place.

Source: ESC Portugal

Portugal debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1964, when they were represented by António Calvário. The country finished last and scored nul points. To date, Portugal’s best result at the contest was 6th place, which came in 1996 when Lúcia Moniz performed “O meu coração não tem cor” in Oslo. She scored 92 points, receiving 12 points from both Norway and Cyprus. Since their debut in 1964 Portugal has missed a total of five contests, the latest being in 2016.