Portugal 2019: Conan Osíris
Photo: Thomas Hanses / EBU

Portugal's Conan Osíris talks about "Telemóveis", an upsetting rehearsal, and expectations

The Portuguese singer breaks down the meaning of his song "Telemóveis" for non-portuguese speakers, addresses his dancer's injury and even details on why his second rehearsal made him so upset

The Portuguese delegation made its way into Expo Tel Aviv Thursday for the second set of rehearsals. Minutes after stepping off the stage, Conan and his team walked into the press conference to speak to fans and journalists but one could notice something was wrong.

"I am mad"

"I am mad", Conan said to the host of the press conference as soon as he walked in. He went on to explain that the second rehearsal didn't go well and that he was really, really upset.

The audience and the host cheered him up and a journalist went on to say "I've seen rehearsals that didn't go as well as planned win Eurovision". The "Telemóveis" singer thanked the kind words and seemed more peaceful as soon as the conference ended.

Portugal 2019: Conan Osíris - "Telemóveis" (2nd rehearsal - snippet)

After wrapping up the session, the press – that had been waiting for a few days to talk with him – was informed that Conan had to go back to the arena for further ear-monitor tests. It took him roughly 20 minutes but Osíris was obviously happier once he was back:

– I am fine now, he said after explaining what truly happened:

– Basically our rehearsal went really bad from our perspective. I know that there's always a difference between our perspective on stage and the viewer's but mine was that it was bad and as soon as I went to the viewing room, it felt even worse.

According to the Portuguese singer there were several changes requested to KAN that weren't fulfilled and – just like what happened with Tamta – there was a sound issue which justified the need of coming back to the arena.

Speaking of Tamta, the Cypriot representative confessed that "Telemóveis" is her favourite Eurovision entry this year.

– I feel flattered, Conan says:

– I work with music and I appreciate her art too. It feels so good to hear that and I truly appreciate it, he continued adding that he feels comfortable in both registers: Underground and mainstream music.

What is "Telemóveis" about?

Tiago Miranda (Conan's real name) has always stated that he does not like providing an interpretation of his songs but when asked for a breakdown of the lyric content, he doesn't hesitate and explains:

– I believe it's one of two ways. Whether we focus on the fact that we're too attached to mobile phones nowadays, in a way that it takes over our real emotions or we can always replace the world "mobile phone" for another one... I can't choose personally, there are way too many interpretations.

We're too attached to mobile phones nowadays, in a way that it takes over our real emotionsConan Osíris

During his explanation, Conan talks about the famous and untranslatable Portuguese word "saudade" (which in English could potentially be compared to the act of missing something or someone):

– The fact that we can't translate "saudade" into English makes it seem like something is missing. I think that when you feel the song and you don't search for its meaning, you find it naturally.

The hype and the downfall

As soon as Conan was announced as Portugal's representative, the hype for "Telemóveis" was impressive. He was ranked as one of the favorites to win but soon started to go down the charts:

– I have to say I am not bothered by that. The system is related with mathematics and I don't get it at all. For me it's worse when I see my homecountry trashing the clothes I wear and not respecting me.

Speaking of that, Osíris admits that after the first rehearsal he was hurt by a few comments made online by his Portuguese followers:

– I was a bit shocked because my goal was to bring something new and many didn't like it. Some did but some others felt entitled to provide opinions as if they were fashion designers or stylists. Please know you are one of the reasons some artists move away from your country.

Please know you are one of the reasons some artists move away from your countryConan Osíris

Earlier this week, Eurovisionworld broke the story that João Reis – Conan's dancer – had injured himself. Not only the matter was addressed during Portugal's press conference but João himself told us exactly what happened:

– Before coming to Tel Aviv I hurt myself while dancing. The knee bent inside and I pushed it harder during the first rehearsal which didn't make it better. Nonetheless, I am feeling better day by day and I am taking all the care to feel good.

Portugal is set to perform in the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 to be held on the 14th of May.

Portugal in Eurovision Song Contest

Portugal has participated 50 times since 1964. It was a very bad start, as they managed to get Zero Points in the debuting year.

Before Eurovision 2017 they have never won the contest, and 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, where Salvador Sobral won with "Amar Pelos Dois".

Since the introduction of Semi-finals in 2004 Portugal only qualified for the Grand Final 5 out of 13 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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