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Line-up check 2021: Portugal

by | May 3, 2021 | 2021 reviews, Eurovision

Line-up check 2021: Portugal

by | May 3, 2021 | 2021 reviews, Eurovision

Portugal: The Black Mamba – Love Is On My Side

Martin: Boy oh boy, Portugal have a peach of a draw in this semi-final. After the full-on assault of Serbia and Albania (punctuated by whatever the heck Georgia is), a certain corner of the audience will be positively crying out for three minutes of relative calm at this point – a nice grown-up song performed by “real” musicians, just like “Love Is On My Side”.

Add in some monochrome filming and I find myself reminded of a song from 2015 that went on to do nothing in the final (as this probably also would), but that qualified easily simply by being a quiet and humble and normal interlude in a sea of loud: “One Thing I Should Have Done” from Cyprus.

Of course, the 2015 contest also gave us the obvious musical comparison point for this entry, “I Am Yours” by the Makemakes, which famously ended up with even fewer points than John Karayiannis in the Vienna final. The Black Mamba do suffer from some of the same problems, most notably the “hat ≠ personality” equation, and lead singer Tatanka’s voice is something of an acquired taste, but I think it’s notable that this has moved from being a bookmakers’ outsider for qualification to having far more favourable odds now. Momentum is on their side…

Prediction: Personal:



I like the 60s/70s vibe of the backing track, but I’m not so keen on the lead singer – and I’m not as sure as Martin about the draw, coming right before Bulgaria who will do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to hog the calm corner.

Felix: My biggest problem is his voice, because the song, while quite out of time and space, is also quite decent. Yes, they had a national final with many better songs, and disappointment and disbelief were big in our chat on that night. But now comes a new chapter. We’ll see.

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