Countdown to Eurovision 2022: #40 – Portugal

#40 Portugal
“Saudade, saudade”
Maro
Songwriters: Mariana Secca, John Blanda

The Kirkham Report welcomes you to my coverage of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest!  From April 3 to the end of the contest on May 14, I’ll be here with all the latest ESC news and info, and of course, that means I’m also bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

There are 40 countries participating this year, up from39 in 2021 – Armenia and Montenegro return to the contest after taking 2021 off, while Russia has been excluded this year due to their incursion on the sovereign state of Ukraine;  Belarus was disqualified in 2021 for three years because of rules violations on their song entry, that runs through 2023.

We kick off our ESC countdown this year with the official entry from Portugal, Saudade, saudade by Maro. It is performed in English and Portuguese and will be performed 10th at the first semifinal on May 14. She won Portugal’s annual Eurovision national final, Festival da Canção to earn her entry into the contest.

Initally, Maro (full name Mariana Brito da Cruz Forjaz Secca) had planned to become a veterinarian when she grew up, but she found herself fascinated with music from an early age and chose that career path instead. A graduate of the Berklee School of Music in Boston (woo hoo!), she has been living in Los Angeles off and on over the past several years. She also has a regular YouTube channel where she’s posted videos of herself singing with artists as diverse as Eric Clapton and 2017 Eurovision champ Salvator Sobral.

What I’m thinking about this song…first off, there is nothing terribly wrong with this song. It has pockets of support out there, and may do quite well. However, there’s nothing really spectacular about the song either – it just kind of sits there. It’s a bit boring and plodding for me, and it doesn’t really go anywhere. The performance is stellar for sure, and the harmonies offered from the other ladies is wonderful, but it just doesn’t spark for me at all. Maybe with some staging changes for the competition, or an updated and revamped arrangement to make it a bit more lively, I might like it more. But for me, it’s just too bland.

Portugal made its ESC debut in 1964, missing the finals 8 times since semi-finals were introduced in 2004, and they missed five years altogether for various reasons. They held the record for the longest record of participation without a win until 2017, when they finally found a Grand Champion in Salvador Sobral’s “Amar pelos dois“; the triple metre ballad’s huge and wild popularity still completely mystifies me, and nearly anyone I’ve talked with about it, too, so it’s NOT just me. Since Sobral’s (somewhat fluky) win, they have made the finals only once, with last year’s exquisite “Love Is On My Side” by The Black Mamba, which finished in 12th place, mostly thanks to a high jury vote, because many of the rabid ESC fandom fanatics out there just didn’t like it; why that was the case, I’ll never know because it was one of my top five picks last year…

Here’s the official music video for “Saudade, saudade” – check it out…

Join The Kirkham Report throughout the next few weeks as I bring you the 2022 entries, and more, plus after and during the countdown, the latest updates on this year’s ESC and all the craziness that surrounds this contest every year!

If you enjoy my EuroVision countdown, be sure to check out all the other great blogs and podcasts PNRNetworks have to offer – see our complete list (with LINKS, of course!) below! And catch all the ESC news and updates on my weekly show The Kirkham Report, available on Saturdays at 4 PM ET on the TKR VideoCentral YouTube channel – check out the sidebar for more info and videos!

Be sure to check out and like my Spotify Playlist Channel “Euro-Visionaries” – it’s filled with hours and hours of ESC competitors, songs, covers, and Junior Eurovision tunes as well from the beginnings of the contest right up through the present day – if you’re an ESC fan, you’ll LOVE my channel!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website at http://eurovision.tv and on their official YouTube channel!

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