Photo: Pedro Pina / RTP

Last artist found for Eurovision 2023: Mimicat from Portugal

And there we have it: Mimicat is officially the last artist found for this year's Eurovision after winning Portugal's Festival da Canção 2023 with the song "Ai Coração"

The national selection season is officially over as Portugal decided on which artist should go to Eurovision 2023.

After the jury vote and the televote were combined, Mimicat was declared the winner with the song "Ai Coração."

Portugal 2023: Mimicat – "Ai Coração"

"Ai Coração" was composed by Mimicat herself.

The final of Festival da Canção 2023 had 13 songs competing for the title, as this year RTP decided to include an extra qualifier from each semi-final (usually five). Adding to that, due to a technical issue during the voting in semi-final 1, when one act's telephone line was unavailable for a long period of time, RTP decided to automatically qualify them.

Hosted in RTP's studios by former Eurovision hostess Filomena Cautela, Portuguese host Vasco Palmeirim, and Inês Lopes Gonçalves, Festival da Canção was more than just the 13 competing songs. Salvador Sobral (Portugal 2017) performed as an interval act during the show. The Eurovision winner performed a medley from The Beatles (for Liverpool, naturally).

Maro (Portugal 2022) also served as an interval act. She performed her Eurovision entry, "Saudade, Saudade" alongside many of last year's Festival da Canção's competitors.

Finally, and before the votes were announced, Portuguese singer David Fonseca took the stage.

As explained before, the decision was a combination of the district juries and the televote, each worth 50%:

Festival da Canção 2023 – Final


Marisa Isabel Lopes Mena is the woman behind Mimicat.

This alterego was born in 2014. Before that, more specifically in 2001, she took part in Festival da Canção 2001.

Mimicat is 38-years-old and was born in Coimbra, Portugal. She's highly influenced by soul and pop music, and names like Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, and Jill Scott are some of her references.

Her first album as Mimicat was released in 2014. It was titled "For You" and she promoted it across the country for the next two years. Since then, she's released another album and more songs. A new album is expected later this year.

"Ai Coração" was written 10 years ago, and Mimicat's expectations of it being selected were so low that she forgot she had submitted the song.

During a press conference, Mimicat addressed being the fan favorite but never assumed the victory was granted. She also explained that her performance is meant to represent a cabaret and expects to expand it in Liverpool.

Festival da Canção 2023

Portugal selected its Eurovision 2023 representative through its iconic national selection, Festival da Canção. The first two shows served as the semi-finals where six songs from each show qualified for the final. The winner was determined by a joint decision between the public at home and a professional jury.

  • Semi-final 1: 25 February 2023 (hosted by Tânia Ribas de Oliveira and José Carlos Malato)
  • Semi-final 2: 4 March 2033 (hosted by Sónia Araújo and Jorge Gabriel)
  • Final: 11 March 2023 (hosted by Filomena Cautela and Vasco Palmeirim)

Every show was broadcast live from RTP's studios in Lisbon. But according to Gonçalo Madaíl, the general coordinator of the show, that may change in the future. During a press conference before the final of Festival da Canção, he confirmed the desire to bring Festival da Canção back to arenas (e.g. Festival da Canção 2020 was held in Coliseu Comendador Rondão Almeida in Elvas).

In this same press conference, the intentions of keeping Festival da Canção performed over three different weeks was also specified.

Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest

Portugal has participated in the contest 53 times since 1964. It was a very bad start, as they managed to get zero points in their debut year.

Portugal 2014: Suzy - "Quero Ser Tua"

Before Eurovision 2017, they had never won the contest, and had never made the top 5. In fact, Portugal held the record for most appearances in the contest without a win!

But that changed in 2017, when Salvador Sobral won with "Amar Pelos Dois."

Portugal 2014: Suzy - "Quero Ser Tua"

Since the introduction of the Semi-finals in 2004, Portugal has only qualified for the Grand Final 7 out of 16 times.

About the author: Pedro Santos (Portugal)

authorPedro comes from Lisbon, Portugal. He's 30 years old and graduated in journalism. He has attended Eurovision Song Contest three times live - 2018, 2019 and 2022 - and covered the show twice more (2021, 2023) but his first Eurovision memory takes him back to 2007 when Sarbel delivered his catchy "Yassou Maria" performance. Pedro's favorite Eurovision song is Albania's 2015 "I'm Alive" by Elhaida Dani which is also his favorite Eurovision edition.

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