RTP have announced changes to their method of selecting composers for Festival da Canção 2018. This method was introduced last year and ended Portugal’s 53 wait for a Eurovision win.
20 songs in total will compete over two semi-finals and a final to become the next Portuguese representative at Eurovision. 17 composers will be invited by RTP to submit original, unreleased songs. The composers also have full say in deciding the performer for their songs.
Luísa and Salvador Sobral, the composer and performer of this year’s winning Eurovision entry, “Amar pelos dois”, will also choose a composer for the competition, using the same strategy as RTP.
One composer will be chosen through the “Master Class” show on Antena 1. Composers and songwriters with no previously published works have until September 15 to submit unpublished songs to the competition. The jury for the competition will be presided by Toze Brito (Portugal 1978, 1982 and 1985) and will also include Noémia Gonçalves, António Macedo, Ricardo Soares and Rui Pêgo.
The final composer will be chosen via a public selection. All citizens of Portuguese or foreign nationality residing in Portugal, whether or not they have published works, including, but not limited to, overseas Portuguese citizens, may take part in the competition. All entries must be sent via http: //antena1.rtp.pt. The jury for this selection will consist of António Macedo (jury president) João Gobern, Miguel Guedes, Marisa Liz and Iolanda Ferreira.
The semi-finals of Festival da Canção 2018 will be held on February 18 and 25 in the RTP studios in Lisbon. An in-studio jury (50%) and public voting (50%) will decide who qualifies for the final. The grand final will be held on March 4 in the Multiusos de Guimarães arena in the northern city of Guimarães. This will be the first time since 2001 that the final of the contest will be held outside of Lisbon. Seven regional juries (50%) and public voting (50%) will choose the Portuguese entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon.
Source: ESC Portugal
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Portugal debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1964 represented by António Calvário, the country finished last scoring nul points. Prior to 2016, the best result of Portugal in the contest was 6th place. This 6th place came in 1996 when Lúcia Moniz performed “O meu coração não tem cor” on stage in Oslo, Norway. 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. After their spectacular win last May, in Kyiv, Portugal will host the 2018 edition of the contest in the capital, Lisbon.