HOMENS DA LUTA – A LUTA E ALEGRIA (Portugal 2011)
It has been the week of the First of May, International Worker’s Day and day of demonstrations all over the world, so what’s more fitting for last week than this demo song coming from Portugal, the country with the longest time without winning, and not changing soon? Seriously, the people responsible for the preselection rules at RTP must have decided sometimes in the 80’s to go drink wine instead of working and use those of last year, and they must have kept that concept until today. This, however, was one of the rather rare cases the Portuguese were courageous and decided not to go for mediocre-to-bad latinesque pop or Disney ballads and chose something completely different (but just as hopeless).
Portugal was on a good way back in 2011, after qualifying three times in a row with two ballads and a beautiful little street-music-sounding piece, but somehow went mad in 2011 with an act that never even pretended to take itself seriously. Homens da Luta looked rather weird on stage, fulfilling the joke-Eurovision stereotype in a way you’d usually expect from Eastern countries by trying to display a demo in a rather weird way (see comparison further down) and showing signs with different translations of their title. In a song with a message like that, this seems like a good idea, but unfortunately the German “Der Kampf ist Freude” was not really a wrong translation but sounded a bit too much like a Nazi slogan, especially as it was displayed by a man in military-inspired clothes. The song itself is actually not too bad, and especially very catchy, but it looked so messy that I am still slightly surprised Homens Da Luta could beat Poland’s Magdalena Tul, despite the Portuguese had, in my opinion, a far better and more memorable song. Four years later, I am glad they were there, but seriously, they couldn’t have expected to qualify, right?
I forgot that there should probably be a comparable rating until I did the second SOTW entry, so I forgot it in this first text. As that shouldn’t be the case, here it is: It’s fun, it’s catchy to the point of annoying, I assume I would enjoy a Homens da Luta CD if they present lyrics translations along with it (because I am kinda sure they had to hold back on the politics in this one), but it’s completely hopeless in ESC context and everybody knows that. 6/10.
Oh, and dear RTP, maybe you should compare this: