Eurovision Eurovision 2024 Portugal

RTP to send a Formal Protest to the EBU if “Discrimination” Against Portugal Detected During Eurovision 2024 Grand Final

Public Broadcaster to Investigate Delay in Iolanda's Live Performance Publication for Technical or Other Reasons

The Eurovision Song Contest 2024 has come to an end, but controversies persist. The 68th edition of the European competition will be remembered as one of the most tense and tumultuous. Following Saturday’s grand final on May 11th, critical messages flooded in against the contest’s organization due to the delay in the publication of Portugal’s live performance in the grand final.

Nicolau Fernando Ramos dos Santos, president of the board of directors of Radiotelevisão Portuguesa RTP, asserts that the television network lacks evidence of a possible “boycott” against Portugal during the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 grand final.

Nevertheless, they will investigate to try to understand what happened, and if they detect “discrimination,” they will lodge a formal protest with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

“At RTP, we are trying to understand what happened, whether the delay was due to technical reasons or for any other reason.”

Nicolau Fernando Ramos dos Santos, president of the board of directors of RTP

Recall that Iolanda, the Portuguese representative in the 68th edition, performed with nails painted with Palestinian colors and patterns. The design of her nails was inspired by kufiyas, the typical Palestinian scarves. Furthermore, she concluded her performance with a call for peace. “Peace will prevail,” Iolanda stated after performing her song “Grito” (“Scream”).

Previously, and as she did in the general rehearsals of the grand final, she paraded in the traditional flag parade with her turquoise carpet dress, a design by the Palestinian brand Trashy Clothing.

In the content posted on social media, the organization circulated images of another performance, either from the first semifinal or from some general rehearsal where the nails were white, just like in the photo gallery on the official website.

During Portugal’s voting moment, Mimicat, spokesperson and representative of the country in Livepool 2023, began with a message for peace: “We want everyone to seek love and peace. Let’s not forget it. I would say this is the most important thing tonight and always in this world and in this life.”

Amid the social media controversy, the organization eventually did publish their performance in the grand final, albeit with a longer delay compared to other countries.

In statements to Rádio Observador, Nicolau Fernando Ramos dos Santos has no indications that these elements could have caused a deliberate delay in the publication of the performance on the official YouTube channel. Specifically, it took them over an hour to publish it, a much longer period compared to other competitors. The Portuguese performance was disseminated after the videos of the seven performances following Portugal were published.

“I currently do not have information that allows me to say whether there was any deliberate action for this to happen or not. If we detect signs of discrimination, of course, we will lodge a formal protest.” Nicolau Fernando Ramos dos Santos, president of the board of directors of RTP In any case, the president of RTP affirms that this delay did not harm Iolanda, highlighting that the artist received the highest score from the juries of Croatia, France, and the United Kingdom. However, the televote result was more discreet with only 13 points. Ultimately, Iolanda with “Grito” reached the 10th place with 152 points.

RTP will request explanations about alleged pre-recorded applause during Israel’s performance

On the other hand, Nicolau Fernando Ramos dos Santos, president of the board of directors of RTP, will also request official information from the EBU to verify if the applause during Israel’s performance was pre-recorded. The Portuguese official confirms that they have already sent a formal request to the organization to find out if the anti-buzzing system was used to add fake applause.

“For an organization like the EBU, and for an organization like RTP and the European public media service whose flag is the fight against fake news, misinformation, and information manipulation, it is unacceptable that this is possible. Using this method distorts reality.” Nicolau Fernando Ramos dos Santos, president of the board of directors of RTP In another sense, Ramos dos Santos brings up a debate about the televote. He understands that there is no control and “it benefits those who have more money.” Hence, the clear discrepancy between the classification of the national juries and the televote.

“The voting was political and did not take into account the quality of Israel’s song.” Therefore, he calls for a discussion to be initiated in the EBU’s executive committee.


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