It has only been several days since Robin Bengtsson entered the discussion over Salvador's winning speech. Although, not criticising the performance or the choice of song, he did take note at his winning speech, and commented that sometimes "fast food" music can be just as special, as that song with meaning. In an interview after the contest Alex Florea's words seems to be less friendly than those given by Robin Bengtsson.
Instead of criticising the song, Alex decided to attack Salvador personally, and suggested that he, "used cheap theatrics to win" Eurovision. Speaking to Romania's main newspaper he was not very candid in his words in regards to the Portuguese team. Here are a couple of sentences from that interview:
"They used marketing to win. His backstory worked and the public ate it up. But from my point of view, Salvador doesn't have heart problems, but head issues. Everybody thought that Italy would win, but there was a big fuss ....because he was mysterious, he didn't give interviews, he didn't take photos and he wouldn't show up for rehearsals..... On the other hand his song is excellent....but I've never resorted to cheap deceitful tactics in order to win".
Some fans who disliked the song and the artist have tended to agree with Alex's words, however he has drawn a lot of criticism over his scathing words. In a time where mental illness is seen as such a big illness in the West, saying Salvador had "head issues" is extreme at the very least. In regards to Salvador missing rehearsals, his sister did step in, and did not make it awkward at all for the Eurovision team. If someone is not well, can you force them to perform? In regards to skipping interviews, Salvador was certainly obliging in speaking to Eurovoxx on a couple of occasions. The team found him to be quiet, but a very pleasant man who was more than willing to answer our questions, and even sing. Check the interview here:
It is the Eurovision Song Contest, and artists are allowed to use whatever means to boost their performance. Portugal entered a simple song, with a lovely singer that struck the right chord with the viewers, and the juries. If the public ate it up, so did the juries who are supposed to see past these so called "cheap dreadful tactics" . On the night no viewer could fail to notice Alex give Illinca that very creepy kiss, which as many pointed out was very awkward, and unwelcomed by her. Couldn't he be accused of using a "dreadful tactic" to win? In a year where 'la la land' did so well at the Oscar's with a simple yet poignant film, Portugal seem to have done the same. The song was very beautiful, and was very different to the sea of ballads and pop songs of this year. It stood out, it was a beautiful, and deserved to win.
Even Illinca who was part of the duo was a lot more pleasant in her response. Declaring that she liked others such as Armenia, Croatia, and Moldova, she did state that, "I am happy with Portugal. What Salvador did could be considered Art". Many may ask is Alex being a sore loser considering his singing partner has been a lot more civil?
Portugal missed the 2016 contest, citing that financially they needed to tighten their purse strings. As any country who has hosted the Eurovision over the last 20 years can testify, is expensive. It can be financially crippling, and by doing so the television network responsible may have to make sacrifices. When Russia hosted in 2009 it was the most expensive edition ever costing over 40 million Euros. This led them to not broadcast the European football championships, as their budget had been completely depleted by the contest. Portugal have never won the contest, so were probably not expecting to this year. It will have the eyes of the world descend upon them next year, and they have to do a good job. After the criticism that Salvador is currently facing, they may feel that they have to prove themselves.
Eurovoxx believes that Portugal won fair and square. The fact that both the public, and juries overwhelmingly voted for it, is testament to the fact that they liked the song. It is a worthy winner, and obviously it won't please everyone. Salvador hit the right note with Europe, and his performance touched many that saw it. This was clearly demonstrated when the song was reprised at the end. Salvador and his sister Luisa singing was very moving. The war of words have seemed to have erupted, will any more performers from this years contest wade in on the argument. Stay tuned to Eurovoxx to find out.
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