When I was younger, I spent a month wandering around Spain. I was in Barcelona for La Mercè, a four-day celebration in honor of the city’s patron saint, Our Lady of Mercy. For a religious festival, it was a rip-roaring good time! There were free concerts and I have fond memories of dancing in the plazas to some great music. My one regret is that I didn’t make it to Portugal during that trip. No favoritism, though. I’m eager to hear how these two neighbors, both famous for dramatic music, compare to each other.
Filipa Sousa is representing Portugal with the ballad, Vida Minha (My Life)
Definitely dramatic. She’s got a great voice and great stage presence. The song itself, while good, is old-fashioned. Everything about this, from the backup singers to the staging to the music, seemed like something from 40 years ago. Perhaps she had to appeal to a certain age group or sensibility to win the country’s competition. I don’t think this stands a chance unless she finds a modern spin for the Eurovision semi-finals.
Pastora Soler is representing Spain with the ballad, Quédate Conmigo (Stay With Me)
Interesting to note, I couldn’t embed the official Eurovision video. I got a message stating, “Embedding disabled by request.” First time that has happened. No worries though. The above video is actually better. So, onto the song. Another dramatic performance by a woman with a great voice and great stage presence. Not very different from Sousa’s performance, though Soler definitely has the modern edge. I could see Mariah Carey singing something like this, which is to say, this wasn’t very original.
Perhaps Portugal and Spain are trying to appeal to each others base in hopes of votes. They probably succeeded, but I don’t know that they have much appeal outside their region. As I said, both women are strong singers, but there’s nothing very modern or original about either. Portugal gave a more powerful performance, while Spain was more contemporary. Neither one was a winner for me.
These videos are from the list of Eurovison 2012 contestants on YouTube.
A funny thing is that lots of countries use Swedish composers. Spain’s song is from Sweden. I’ll try to check who are the others. I think Azerbaijan is one of them (like last year).