Eurovision 2018: The Reviews – PORTUGAL

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O Jardim (Cláudia Pascoal)

Cláudia Rafaela Teixeira Pascoal is already in this year’s Eurovision final. As the entrant from the host country (Portugal won last year) she’s automatically through and we even know she’ll be performing 8th (out of twenty-six in total). Until last year Portugal had never placed higher than 6th, this despite having first competed in the 1964 competition. Pascoal is a reality singing competition survivor, she’s taken part in several in the past eight years. So although she looks and sounds like she’d fall over in a brisk wind, I wouldn’t underestimate her ability to cope with the immense pressure of having to defend Portugal’s Eurovision title.

Portugal has to host this musical orgy so they don’t have the money to film a separate video. Or any music videos, ever. By the way, the woman in the straight jacket thingy singing backup is Isaura, a Portuguese singer who wrote and produced the song.


The flowers are my place
Now that you’re not here
I water your garden

Isaura wrote the song about the grief she’s felt after her grandmother’s death. It’s nice that she’s watering the garden, because I imagine Portugal can be quite dry.

I was not expecting another ballad from Portugal. After last year I figured they’d throw something loud at us. Instead, they went even quieter, but with a modern touch. The song is soft and quiet, but magnetic. There’s a fragility to Pascoal’s voice that is at once haunting, yet comforting. And that high note at the end is nothing short of astounding. It’s a song about loss and yes, there is grief in every single word, but also a sense of joy, gratitude, and hope.


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