Portugal sends Conan Osiris with ‘Telemóveis’ to Tel Aviv
Portugal has experienced it all in the recent history of the Eurovision Song Contest. After failing to qualify for the final for years, they decided to skip on 2016’s edition, only to comeback in 2017 and win the whole thing! Salvador Sobral brought Portugal its first victory which gave Lisbon the right to organize the 2018 edition. Unfortunaly, Claudia Pascoal finished in last place representing the host country. For the 2019 edition, RTP hosted another national final, won by Conan Osiris and his song ‘Telemóveis’. Will he make sure Portugal has a spot in the final for a third year in a row?
The only thing we can say with certainty is that Portugal will have one of the most talked about songs and acts in this year’s contest, because let’s all agree it is both eye- and ear-catching. Osiris brings an interesting mix of folk, pop and electronic music. It all starts out pretty toned down, until a fast paced beat kicks in which quickly takes over the tune. There is still room for strings and soaring instrumentals too. The slight problem with ‘Telemóveis’ in regards to Eurovision, is that it is not exactly a catchy song on first listen. It takes a few spins to learn to appreciate it, but once you are intrigued, you find yourself hitting the replay button time and again.
That first impression though, is so important in Eurovision and I think the stage act will only add to the ‘WTF!’ reaction the song already might cause. Osiris and his dancer have been showing off wild outfits as well as modern dance moves. I would hate for this to be perceived as just a novelty act, which I tought it was on first listen/watch as well. The song is so much more though! Having said that, the vocals during the national final performance were a bit shaky towards the end, so there is some room for improvement there. Bookmakers are currently doubting if Portugal will make the final, but I would say they deserve to sail through if the live performance does the track justice.
Review of his semi-final performance and result:
Portugal took a big risk in this year’s Eurovision, sending Conan Osíris with the quirky tune ‘Telemóveis’. There is a lot happening in this song in three minutes, switching between fado inspired vocals and hard electronic beats. The stage act with the dancer and the out of the box choreography adds to the artistic, but also odd vibe of it all. It is original and daring, but turned out to be not the best fit for Eurovision. Although I really appreciate the Portuguese entry now, it did not click with me on first listen either and there is no such thing as a second chance to impress during the Eurovision semi-finals. Out of all the non-qualifiers, I will probably miss Portugal’s performance the most. It turned out the juries did not as they placed him dead last in the semi, while televoters gave him 12th place, resulting in the 15th place overall.
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