Eurovision 2017 Final & the Uniqueness of Salvador Sobral

Highlights

Well, for me one of the greatest moments was seeing this year’s hosts supposedly training with Mans to perform good at the ESC. If you watched the Eurovision the two past times Sweden won, then you probably enjoyed it too.

Italy

Well who doesn’t love to dance with a monkey on the stage? The song is energetic, catchy, friendly while it delivers a good message.


You can see why Italy was favorite to win in most of the polls. Right before the final started, everybody thought that the real contest was really only against Italy and Portugal.

Sadly it ended in 6th

Belgium

Personally, I think this is one of Belgium’s best  performance. With only 17 years old, Blanche, made all of us fall in love. She is not only beautiful but has this deep and yer feminine voice, and you just gotta listen to that song over and over again.

Her performance was mostly a beautiful and hypnotizing array of lights while combining then with soft, delicate arms moves.

1st Semi Final - Eurovision Song Contest 2017

She did a great job. The 5th place does not make her justice.

Moldova

Well, this song is very catchy, funny and simply enjoyable song. It went directly to my ESC favorite songs playlist. You just gotta listen to the song, and please note those exceptional dance moves.

But sorry guys, a 3rd place will have to do for now.

Bulgaria

Well, I did not expect this guy to get this high. But it is a good song, and definitely the best from the second semifinal. This is the highest I have ever seen Bulgaria. I guess this beautiful mess is more beautiful than a mess. Congrats!

I am so proud of you, but you only got 2nd!

Portugal

The Utter Winner!!!

Salvador Sobral did an excellent job at singing and performing “Amor Pelos Dois“, a song written by his sister, Luisa Sobral. The song is not beautiful, but they are both excellent people.

For a moment there I was not sure if Portugal was, in fact, going to win. In the years that I have been watching the Eurovision I have never seen a song like this win. By “this” I mean a heart-breaking, romantic, with minimalist performance and in its original language song. These traits aren’t the first time to be used, all the contrary, they are widely used, not only by Eurovision singers, but by overall all types of artist.

Please take a moment to watch the video and you will see that it is not a one-of-a-kind song, and yet it is unique.

The song managed somehow to lure the whole world and win the Eurovision beating all the records with an outstanding 758 points! But how did he do it? And why didn’t an upbeat or political song win this year? (like most of other years) What happen? What changed?

The Rules

This is the very first time Portugal wins the Eurovision Song Contests. In previous years, there was a selected group of people who were in charge of deciding the song that would represent Portugal. This year they decided to change the rules and invited several talented composers in the country to make a song. Luisa Sobral, a recognized song writer in Portugal, immediately though of his brother. Talents combined and as a result they went back home not only with a glass microphone but with the love of all Eurovision fans.

According to the Eurovision rules, each country may select a song in the way the best think suitable. I always thought, this was an open contest for anyone to take part, I did not know it was so exclusive in some countries. I m glad they changed the rules in Portugal.

The Song & Melody

Violin and piano, what a beautiful combination! Simple, not a big orchestra and without any electro-beats.

A song composed of 4 verses, 4 verses only and the middle ones are the same. It starts out talking about the past, how he was before her and how she changed him. (Please note that I say “She” but the song doesn’t specify). Then those two repetitive paragraphs are his present, he begs her to come back, because love is not for one and that maybe she can learn to love him again. The songs lingers on this thought for a moment as the music stretches beautifully. Making you wish that she really comes back, how can she refuse him after those beautiful words.

The ending paragraph is the apex of the song, both vocally and musically.
At the end of the first line, when he says “Se o teu coração não quiser ceder” which means “if your heart does not wants to yield” and he sings those in such way that you can feel his disappointment and almost hear his heart breaking. Listen how the violin stops unwillingly two times, it reflects how he has to learn to let her go and try to go no.

In the two consecutive lines he  tells her what could happen and what would the feelings be, all while the notes are elongated and yearning. In his voice you can see how he is trying to reach for that something, but at the end he doesn’t make it. Then, finally that last line comes in. “O meu coração pode amar pelos dois” (Then my hear can love for the both of us). At this point the instruments are slow and just letting his words flow. Leaving you with a bitter satisfaction. They will not be together, but he had found a way to live, while never forgetting her.

The Language

People usually want something they can sing, a catchy song that you can remember and sing along. That is one of the reasons many artists decide to make a song in English. I have even seen some cases where they win locally with a song in their own language, but when they times to sing in the ESC stage arrives, they have already translate it to English. I do not know if this in fact actually works, because personally I do not think that all songs sound better in English. The original language is usually more harmonic and it goes in better concordance with the music. In many cases, it is not necessary to understand word by word what they are singing, the artist’s voice will make you feel it in your heart. Also, since it is a performance, the pain and the rejoice are transmitted to you by the universal language of the body and face expressions.

When Luisa was confronted by this question and asked why did they chose to leave the song in Portuguese, she replied saying that they wanted to leave the original feeling of the song and changing it to English would not be the same. And, as I just mentioned, Salvador’s feeling were enough to transmit what they intended. And this was a great decision, thank you for not changing the language.

The Stage

All the other participants usually have very elaborate backgrounds, lights from one place to the other, and very importantly, they usually sing in the big stage at the back. In contrast Salvador sang in the small stage in the front and his back ground was no more than a forest, which was only slightly animated.

The animated backgrounds are beautiful and depending on the song it gives the impression the singer is somewhere else, or perhaps flying or in flames. They are visually beautiful and play an important part of the  performance and sometimes that is the defining point between first and second place. Salvador, his sister and the whole Portugal team knew this, and yet, they took another risk by having this simple but inspiring background. Just by doing that, by not letting you lose attention to the song with lights and technological features, people was able to actually feel the song and get into it. He did not relied on nothing else but his voice to make you, the jury and voters to stop and say to yourselves “Hey, I like this.”

Do not get me wrong, the lights and special effects are beautiful, they are big part of the Eurovision and one of the reasons I watch it. The show is impressive. But having this one song without all of that, it felt refreshing. Just him, just pure Salvador, just as he is, just his feelings and that magnificent voice.

The Performance

Many  contestant dance and move around the stage, but also there are many others that chose to just stand in the middle. Perhaps move a little, a simple dance move or just extend their arms. As simple as they want to keep it, it feels as if they practiced a lot, and although there is nothing wrong about that, Salvador’s un-rehearsed steps, was his own unique performance. It gave the impression that he was singing what he was feeling in that very moment. His movement felt very sincere and from the bottom of his heart. By the way the moved his hands he transmitted you that agonizing feeling of being trapped in a one-sided love, of holding an undelivered passion.  And at that moment, perhaps you related to the feeling, whether you have felt it, or someone felt it for you. Either way, his performance made you feel something and that was the whole point of it.

Himself

judging only from his looks and reaction at the contest, he seamed as truthful person, sweet and honest. What-you-is-what-you-get kind of person. From his reaction in the first semi final it was possible to see that he really did not expect it, and when he won the contest, I think he was too much in shock to actually express his excitement. But he did something here, that proved how good person he is. He was conscious that his victory was not only his, so when he had to perform for the last time, he called his sister to the stage to perform with him, delivery a beautiful end to the contest.  Take a look:

See how he dedicates his victory to all musician and his message was to care for real music, to strive for transcendental music that matters and not just songs that come and go as fast as they appeared.

Before I continue I need to say that before his victory, I had not watch any interview or read any article of who he really. I did not know his sister wrote the songs and I did not even knew his name. All what I have written until now is solely from an Eurovision fan who only saw him during the show.


After digging a little more about him there are three things that really called up my attention. First, he suffers from an illness that does allows him to be far away from home for too long. They do not talk about it, as this is not an impediment, but they could not hide it much as he could not be in the Ukraine for the rehearsals and was only able to be there during the Eurovision week.  I do not know if there was a lot of people who knew about this and that is the reason the voted for him. I really want to think that it was not like this, because he is really talented, the song is beautiful and … well, I just wrote a long article about the reasons he deserved to win.

Second, the first day the presented himself to the Eurovision crowd, he was wearing a T-shirt that said SOS refugees.  He was questions many times about this and he said that, while they were there, in that big party, there were thousand of people suffering and trying to survive the harsh conditions in the camps.

“if I’m here and I have European exposure, the least thing I can do is a humanitarian message,” he said. “People come to Europe in plastic boats and are being asked to show their birth certificates in order to enter a country. These people are not immigrants, they’re refugees running from death. Make no mistake. “

He did emphasized that he was not trying to start a political movement, but just to keep conscientiousness of reality, more like a humanitarian reminder.  Sadly, he was told that he could not wear that shirt anymore.

Third, after winning, he was asked what was going to change in his life, now that he won. and he answered “Nothing. I will continue to remain the same and go back to routine. You can be famous now, but they will forget you in a month.” Very true words, most of Eurovision singer do not flourish any longer, but more than that, he was trying to say that he will not change himself because he is famous now, because fame comes and goes very fast. Independently of his answer, I think he is an honest person who sets a great example of a true human being.

I heartily hope he can continue to make music of good taste and real spirit. In the mean time, it is satisfying to see that this year Eurovision was won by an artist and that it was truly about the music. A great way to celebrate diversity.


A note from this fan: 

Salvador,

First of all, you are amazing! You have beautiful voice and even a more beautiful heart. I admire your honesty, , your bravery, your unique charisma and truthful personality. I wish there were more artist like you. The world needs it, I need it.  You are blessed to have a wonderful sister who supports you, and that brotherly love is truly inspiring. Keep doing what you love and keep being yourself. I will be waiting for more of you. 

Now cutting out all protocols. Salvador, I love you, you are handsome, charming, and unique. I love you! Marry me! 


To finish this post, here is Salvador, without the pressure of the Eurovision. Isn’t he a passionate musician?


Thank you for reading! 

Check out the first and second semifinal reviews ! 

How go on and hit that FOLLOW button, and now that are at it, also hit the LIKE button.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s