EUROPE – Latvian and Portuguese national broadcasters confirmed their participation in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest today joining Slovenia, Armenia, Greece, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, France, Germany, Ukraine, The Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland and Estonia. Regarding Latvia, it is expected to see another version of Supernova, in order for the country to select its entry and artist for Ukraine. Regarding Portugal there is no information about the selection method although rumours say that a marathon of semi finals and a final will be used. The key issue for Portugal is this time to go for an international tune than a rather boring ethnic song.
LATVIA IN EUROVISION
Latvia has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 17 times since making its debut at the contest in 2000, where the group Brainstorm finished third with the song “My Star”. Latvia won the contest in 2002, with Marie N and the song “I Wanna”, defeating Malta by 12 points. Latvia is the second former Soviet country to win the contest. The 2003 contest was held in the Latvian capital Riga. The country achieved its third top 10 result in 2005, when Walters and Kazha finished fifth with “The War Is Not Over”. Latvia did not participate in the final from 2009 to 2014, when they failed to qualify from the semi-finals for six consecutive years, including finishing last on three occasions, in 2009, 2010 and 2013. Latvia qualified for the final for the first time since 2008 at the 2015 contest with Aminata and the song “Love Injected”. Her sixth place in the final is Latvia’s fourth top 10 finish and best result in the contest since 2005. Latvia made its 10th appearance in the final in 2016.
PORTUGAL IN EUROVISION
Portugal has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 48 times since its debut in the 1964 contest. Since then it has missed five contests, 1970, 2000, 2002, 2013 and 2016. Portugal has yet to win the contest and holds the record for most appearances in the contest without a win. In fact, the country has yet to reach the top five of any contest, with their best result being a sixth-place finish for Lúcia Moniz with the song “O meu coração não tem cor” in 1996. The contest is broadcast in Portugal by Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP). Portugal’s debut entry was António Calvário with “Oração”, it was not a successful debut for the country, with Calvário coming last in the contest. Since then Portugal has come last on two further occasions, in 1974, when Paulo de Carvalho sang “E depois do adeus” and in 1997 when Célia Lawson performed “Antes do adeus”. Despite its last-place finish in the contest, “E depois do adeus” had at that time gained national notability for being one of the two musical signals to begin the Carnation Revolution against the Estado Novo regime. Prior to Moniz finishing sixth in 1996, Portugal’s best result in the contest was two seventh-place finishes, for Carlos Mendes in 1972 and José Cid in 1980. 1996 remains the last time that Portugal reached the top ten. Despite having some really weak results the 90’s were the most successful decade for the country reaching the top 10 four times. Portugal had admission to take part in the 2000 and 2002 contest but refused. Its place was taken by Latvia both times, which ended up winning the contest in the latter year. Since semi-finals were introduced in 2004, Portugal has failed to reach the final eight times, including from 2004 to 2007. The country did reach the final from 2008 to 2010. In 2008, Vânia Fernandes finished 13th with the song “Senhora do Mar”, Portugal’s best outcome since 1998. As of 2016, 2010 remains the last time Portugal participated in the Eurovision final, having failed to qualify from the semi-finals four more times, in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015.