Eurovision 2021 top 39 countdown #29: PORTUGAL – The Black Mamba– Love Is on My Mind

Portugal’s entry in 2021 marks quite a landmark – the first time Portugal has sent an entry to Eurovision that is wholly in English. The Black Mamba are a band, with lead singer Pedro Tatanka also the writer of “Love Is on My Mind”. The band won Festival da Canção (somewhat surprisingly) with last year’s winner and Eurovision entry, Elisa with “Medo de sentir“, not being eligible to reenter the year immediately after winning.

I will be honest, there were other songs I would have preferred to win Festival da Canção – notably Joana de Mar and Não Vou Ficar, but this is perfectly pleasant. There was another all-English song in the final, and it was expected that would win rather than this but I am glad that it was this one that won rather than the other which was another “sad boy + piano” number that has been seen a lot of late.

This is quite an unconventional entry, both for Eurovision (for musical style/genre) and for Portugal (English language). It’s got a chilled out vibe and acts as somewhat of a palate cleanser among the many uptempo or dramatic vocals of other entries. It has quite a 60s vibe in a way, and also (less encouragingly) reminds me a bit of The MakeMakes from 2015 (that got 0 points for “I Am Yours”).

This hasn’t seen a lot of interest or enthusiasm from the fandom it has to be said though given the genre and the fandom demographic that is maybe not surprising. I do think it will have quite a job to qualify, but it’s not inconceivable that the juries may take to this or that a section of the public, not generally represented in the fandom, may give this a lift in the public vote.

Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest

Flag of Portugal

First entered: 1964

Appearances (excluding 2020 and this year): 51

Best result: Winner in 2017

2019’s result: 15th in semi-final (did not qualify)

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