Cyprus has confirmed that Sandro Nicholas will be the island’s representative at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam taking place later this year.

The Cypriot broadcaster, CyBC, announced the news to excited Eurovision fans in an official statement towards the end of last year.

The 23-year-old German-Greek is an up-and-coming artist and a star of “The Voice Germany” from 2018. He managed to turn all four chairs with Shawn Mendes’ ‘In my blood’ where he reached the semi-finals.

Sandro Nicholas’ real name is Alessandro Rütten and he was born and bred in Germany, with an American father and a Greek mother from Zakynthos. He speaks Greek and travels to Greece frequently. He plays the drums and guitar and at the age of 15, started to write songs and formed his own rock-band.

Sandro has a soulful, pop and rocky-edged vocal and exudes a confident manner on stage.

As well as ‘The Voice’, Sandro was the American entrant at the New Wave Festival in Russia last summer. One of the judges was the Greek Eurovision hit-maker veteran, Dimitris Kontopoulos, who was said to have put in a word with the decision-makers in Cyprus for Eurovision.

Cypriot bosses have stuck to the format that has served them well in previous years by internal selection of the artist and song.

The formula has yielded fairly good results for Cyprus with Eleni Foureira’s spectacular 2nd place and Tamta scoring 13th in Tel Aviv last year.

Mr Nicholas will face the task to uphold Cyprus’ impressive qualification run, with five qualified entries in a row from 2015 to 2019.

Cyprus received 120 songs, all vying to compete as the island’s act for 2020 and have shortlisted the options to three songs. The exact details about the song will be released at a later date.

CyBC chose Mr Nicholas out of several artists, trusting the young and talented potential to resonate with the Eurovision voter.

Sandro is playing a constructive role in the creative song-writing to the entry, in order to find the killer-tune for this contest. Mr Nicholas has told media, he wants “an emotional song”, one that is a genuine, honest song.

In his interview to Cypriot media, Sandro said, “[I am] absolutely captivated. This country is probably one of the most beautiful countries I have ever been to. I’ve been to Zakynthos, Greece. I am Greek, but this place is magical and I’m so honoured and so pleased to be able to represent such an amazing country.”

He added, “It’s an honour for me, [to represent] for the Cypriot flag, and I want to do my very best. It’s fantastic, it’s a dream for me.”

The Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Finals are on 12th and 14th May, with the Grand Final on Saturday 16th May 2020.

London Greek Radio wishes Sandro and Cyprus the best of luck in Eurovision.

Article written by Tony Neophytou

London-born Cypriot Erika Soteri is through to the live semi-final on The Voice franchise in Greece.

The show which aired its first live episode last Friday showed Erika advancing to the semi-finals, after her performance of the song “Ain’t Nobody”.   

Erika was supported by her mum and dad in the studio audience with a huge Erika Soteri banner.

Erika is one of the ace picks in Helena Paparizou’s Team and her parents are from Larnaca, Cyprus.

She advanced to the live shows after wowing her coach Helena Paparizou with a spectacular rendition of ‘Daddy Lessons’ during the ‘Battles’ round.  This was the third phase of the contest where the four mentors Eleonora Zouganelli, Panos Mouzourakis, Helena Paparizou and Sakis Rouvas, put two of their own team members against each other.  They then sing the same song at the same time in front of a studio audience before they each select one to advance.

During the blind auditions, Erika, who graduated with a First-Class Honours in the “ACM Guildford’s Musician Route Vocals Degree”, sang ‘Crazy’, making all four judges spin their chairs almost immediately.

On last month’s debut show, she only required one judge to “turn around” in order to make it through to the next stage of the competition, but Panos Mouzourakis, Sakis Rouvas, Eleonora Zouganelli, and Helena Paparizou all turned around!

Mr Rouvas ‘blocked’ Mr Mouzourakis during the voting process, which favoured the other judges’ odds. 

The mentors pulled out all the stops. Helena with, ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ and Sakis, with ‘Amazing Grace’ sang acapella covers to woo Erika.

Helena in her reaction to Erika’s performance said, [Translated] “You stand on the stage like a star, you’re sparkling. You have an exceptional voice. I admire that female interpretation of ‘Crazy’ which I’ve never heard been done like that before. I need to answer with a heart, it’s not a simple heart, its fast-moving; it’s explosive!”

Helena was also quite emphatic to Erika, continuing, [Translated] “If you join my team, not only will you reach the final, we will win the final!”

Sakis Rouvas added, [Translated] “When I first heard you, your voice was impressive. Now that I’ve seen, I don’t want to lose you. It shows that you have a background of studied music, a calm maturity that exceeds your young age, and this shows in your personality. This will help you as you move forward. You can decide to choose the right team, which I hope will be mine.”

Eleonora Zouganelli said to Erika, [Translated] “You are very good, the truth is that your positive calmness was followed by your voice. You have a long journey whichever team you ultimately choose. I would like you to join my team.”

Writing on her Facebook page, Erika said, [Translated] “The words cannot express the feelings I have in that moment when I stood on the stage. I experienced a lot of nervousness and the opponent was very strong. I’d like to say a very big thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul for your support and love that you have shown me. I used to have a dream that I’d find myself in the place where I am now, in my career and in my life, and I wouldn’t be able to achieve it without the love of Helena Paparizou and her team. Thank you for voting!”

Tune in and vote for Erika every Friday at 8pm on Greek channel SKAI.

London Greek Radio wishes Erika the best of luck in the show.

Article written by Tony Neophytou

British-Cypriot singer-songwriter and actor Antony Costa is announced for the new Papadopoulos! Stage Musical – this is actually a workshop reading or industry presentation, which will take place at The Other Palace on Tuesday 26 November.

Based on the hit 2013 indie film starring Stephen Dillane, Papadopoulos! tells the story of Greek immigrant Harry Papadopoulos, a self-made millionaire who reigns over a food empire. But when the financial crisis hits, and his empire falls, Harry must reluctantly reunite with his estranged freewheeling brother with a proposition; to re-open the abandoned fish and chip shop they shared in their youth.

The cast for the workshop reading is led by Antony Costa as Uncle Spiros, Vas Constanti as Harry Papadopoulos and Hiba Elchikhe as Katie Papadopoulos. Anthony Costa is best known as a member of multi-million selling pop group Blue, with theatre credits including Blood Brothers and Rock of Ages. Vas Constanti’s West End credits include Miss Saigon, The Rocky Horror Show and In The Heights. Hiba Elchikhe recently appeared in Brooklyn The Musical at Greenwich Theatre, with other credits including Princess Jasmine in the Australian production of Disney’s Aladdin.

The cast also features Andy Owens (Posh, Blood Brothers), Lewis Fernee (The King & I, Mary Poppins), Julie Armstrong (Follies, Spend Spend Spend), Emily Bull (Matilda, Mary Poppins), Caroline Kay (The Clockmakers Daughter), Michael Pickering (Wicked, Jersey Boys), Johan Munir (It Happened in Key West, Little Women), Tiran Aakel (The Jungle, EastEnders) and Melissa Nettleford (Mamma Mia, On The Town).

Papadopoulos! is adapted for the stage by the film’s writer and director Marcus Markou, with composer John Themis. Marcus Markou wrote, directed, produced and successfully self-distributed the film in April 2013. It achieved the second highest screen average of any film in its opening weekend, subsequently being sold to Netflix, the BBC and ARTE. John Themis is a musician and songwriter, best known for his long-term collaboration with Boy George and Culture Club, acting as Musical Director for their live tours and albums as well as writing more than 100 songs with George and the band. John also co-wrote the smash-hit musical Taboo.

Marcus Markou said: “The riches to rags story of losing everything, only to find it all, is a timeless one. Whilst Papadopoulos! is culturally specific it is, like the film, universally humane and will appeal to all families everywhere. The message, that success is only measured by the joy you feel, was made for a musical. OPA!”

British-Cypriot Marcus hailed the start of rehearsals last week, with this quote on his Facebook page, (see featured picture with the cast): “First day rehearsals for the Papadopoulos! Stage Musical – for an industry presentation at the end of November. Musicals are the decathalon of art forms – and I take my hat off to these performers who need to be able to sing, act, dance and deliver across the broadest range of emotions.”

John Themis said: “Working with Marcus has been joyous, inspirational and honest. The musical influences are varied from, Ska, 60’s, Grime, Ballads, Rock, with Greek overtones woven in here and there where appropriate. With our amazing cast, let’s hope it will soar to the heights of Olympus!”

Papadopoulos! has a Book and Lyrics by Marcus Markou with Music by John Themis. The workshop reading is directed by Tania Azevedo with musical direction by Tansy Aked and casting by Leon Kay Casting.

The industry sharing of Papadopoulos! will take place on Tuesday 26 November at 2pm at The Other Palace. More information and tickets available via email: musical@doublemfilms.co.uk.

Article written by Broadwayworld.com and Marcus Markou (photograph)

Cypriot broadcaster CyBC has confirmed that Cyprus will participate in the Eurovision Song Contest in the Netherlands Ahoy Arena Rotterdam next year.

Eurovision fans have eagerly awaited for developments as to what Cyprus may have up its sleeve in 2020.

The Cypriot bosses are most likely to be in favour of sticking to the format as it is now: internally selecting both the song and the artist, which repeats their more-recent successful formula. The Cypriots have a solid qualification record which is no doubt attributed to the formula of the last few years.

Cyprus have received 120 song entries from Greek and non-Greek song-writers, and Eurovision hit-makers of past contests. The powers that be have already short-listed a few, strong entries as the Cypriots rapidly proceed with their ambitious, concrete-solid approach and ideas to Eurovision. The selection will be responsible to pair the right song, with the relevant artist, to compliment the entry. The end of a process that would ultimately choose a performance-artist that has the complete package, for the contest.

The most likely scenario is to have a big named artist, one that is a Cypriot or Greek in the Greek-speaking music industry, flying the Cypriot flag for the 2020 Eurovision, and there will no doubt be an air of anticipation amongst fans.

Cyprus have five Top 10 consecutive results in the semi-finals, which is pretty impressive. These songs have often been contesting tightly in Eurovision Semi-Finals from 2015 to date.

The outstanding result of 2018’s Eleni Foureira’s ‘Fuego’ which finished second placed; agonisingly close to achieving the island’s first ever victory.

Tamta with the song ‘Replay’ scored a respectable 13th place in Tel Aviv, holding up the favourable results on the left-side of the scoreboard.

Cyprus made its Eurovision debut in 1981 with the band ‘Island’ finishing 6th. In 1982, the legendary and iconic artist Anna Vissi scored 5th with ‘Moni I Agapi’. A number of Cypriot singers have comprised that illustrious list including Alexia, Michalis Hatzigiannis, Constantinos Christoforou and Evridiki, Ivi Adamou and Despina Olympiou. Locally British-Cypriot Lisa Andreas, who was 16-years-old performed the Mike Connaris ballad ‘Stronger Every Minute’ in the 2004 contest. All in all thirty-five hopefuls have pinned their colours to the mast as Cypriot acts in the biggest music competition in the world.

The Cypriot delegation will be certain to want to maintain the good run of form, following the recent successes by John Karayiannis, Minus One, Hovig, Eleni Foureira and Tamta.

Eurovision fans will be patiently waiting to find out the island’s thirty-sixth representative.

The Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Finals span from May 12th and May 14th and the Grand Final airs on Saturday 16th May 2019.

For all of your Eurovision news on Cyprus, make sure you regularly check back to lgr.co.uk and tune in to London Greek Radio to hear the latest music news.

Article written by Tony Neophytou

Stavros Flatley has come second in Britain’s Got Talent’s Champions Final.

The British-born, Greek-Cypriot, father-son dance duo was voted second on Saturday night’s “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions Final” who were looking for the ‘ultimate champion’.

The likeable pair, Demi Demetriou and son Michalakis (nickname ‘Lagi’) excitingly engaged the studio and got the judges on their feet.  Their routine was backed by the world-famous Mikis Theodorakis, “Zorba the Greek” music.

The routine over, senior Demetriou said to the judges and audience, “You’re all Greek now!”

The two-minute routine was fired-up with Cypriot dancers to compliment the act, which included Anthony Komodikis and Kiri Pitt.

Family and friends, including wife and mum, Karen Demetriou waved Cyprus flags.  Listeners told LGR that they felt uniquely proud of seeing the Cypriot-patriotic colours at such a huge television event.

Demi Demetriou, 51, bounced onto the stage in character of the usual Riverdance music, only for Lagi, 23, to ‘cut it off’ and announce: “Let’s do this Greek style.”

He then told his dad: “Teach them to dance!”

Demi happily obliged, demanding that everybody in the studio gets up on their feet as Zorba the Greek started playing.

Stavros Flatley were Britain’s Got Talent finalists in the third series of the show, ten years ago in 2009.

Speaking after their energetic performance, judge David Walliams told them, “This is interpretive dance, it’s an interpretation of what dance is, and it was great you involved all of us actually.”

Simon Cowell agreed, with the 60-year-old telling the pair: “You just make us feel-good. In this country we just want to feel good and that is what you have just done.” Alesha Dixon echoed the sentiment, saying, “You made us smile, you made us feel good. What more can I say, I love you”.

Amanda Holden summarised the pair’s legacy with, “You are the heart of Britain’s Got Talent! You make my heart sing!”

In the end, the winners were dance duo Twist and Pulse.  Ukrainian sand-artist Kseniya Simonova came third.

From LGR’s point of view, we thank Demi and Laki for the fun. The duo have often said it’s just a “fun jokey act” but one that we think, has always managed to extract that joyful, feel-good factor.

Article written by London Greek Radio

The British-born, Greek-Cypriot father-son dance duo had the crowds screaming on Saturday night during “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions” with judge Simon Cowell equally impressed.

Wembley Arena had a slight resemblance to a Eurovision-style ‘green room’, with Cypriot flags being waved by their devoted fans.

An aging Simon Cowell poured praise on dad Demi Demetriou and son Michalakis (nickname ‘Lagi’), before slamming the golden buzzer for the pair.

Each of the judges has one golden buzzer, as do hosts Ant and Dec – it gives them the power during auditions to give acts a direct route through to the semi-finals.

Stavros Flatley were Britain’s Got Talent finalists in the third series of the show, ten years ago in 2009.

Speaking after their energetic performance, judge David Walliams told them, “This for me is what the show is all about. Ordinary people getting up and having a go.”

Alesha Dixon branded them the most iconic act in talent history.  Simon agreed, with the 60-year-old telling the pair: “I will never forget that moment when you guys came out and I was thinking, ‘‘What the bloody hell is this?”

He added, “Like tonight, the same thing happened. The crowd went crazy. I’ve wanted to say this to you for years. I’ve really wanted to thank both of you for everything you’ve done, and there’s one way I can do this…”

Simon then rose to his feet and smacked down the golden buzzer, sending the crowd – and probably everyone watching at home – into total meltdown.

Overcome with emotion, Demi responded saying, “Whenever you need us forever, we’ll be there! If I have to get on this stage in a mobility scooter!”

‘Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions’ airs Saturday nights on ITV.

Article written by London Greek Radio

Stath Lets Flats, Channel 4’s British-Cypriot comedy, written by and starring Jamie Demetriou, is to return for a second series this month.

Jamie Demetriou plays an imbecilic lettings agent working at ‘Michael & Eagle Lets’, a dodgy London lettings agency run by his father, Vasos, (Christos Stergioglou).

Demetriou’s real-life sister Natasia Demetriou plays his fictional sister ‘Sophie’ and as the show progresses, it’s actually endearing to see their sibling relationship.

The loosely-coined “British-Cypriot comedy” is a lot more than the sum of its parts; its far less indulgent about portraying Greek-Cypriots, or the “community” for that matter.  This may be because all of the action revolves around the off-beat, quirky characters [a lot of whom are non-Greek-Cypriots].

The six-part series is a lovely take on the ‘madness’ of the current property market, with the ensemble cast ‘explaining’ it. Jamie said, “The community [Greeks/Cypriots] has a different way of putting it; I think it’s characters… are flamboyant, wonderful, funny, caring characters- there all about family and love.”

During a visit to LGR, Star-of-the-show, “Stath” AKA Mr Demetriou said, “London Greek Radio has been playing in my house since I was a foetus”, noting LGR’s long-time role in celebrating Greek-Cypriot music and culture.

The siblings are hoping that the audience will find it relatable because there are a few tacit observations to what it is being Greek/Cypriot.

“We are on London Greek Radio and I think that’s so relevant because so many have made a life here, and they’re Londoners so the character of Stath encapsulates it. He talks in a London accent with a bit of a ‘Greek twang’ to it, which a lot of people have, and I hope a lot of people can relate to that.” Jamie told listeners.

The second series will also see a return for Katy Wix who will reprise her role as Stath’s infuriatingly competent colleague Carole, with Alastair Roberts as his more amenable colleague, Al.

The action will pick up from where we left it at the end of series one with Stath having been denied the manager’s position by his own father.

In series two, he and the rest of the team will be forced to work under his arch rival Julian (Dustin Demri-Burns) – and re-think his life goals. Sophie will be searching for a new direction after failing at Dance College and publicly denying her feelings for Al.

Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4, said: “We did originally say no to this, but he just kept turning up, trying to get into the building.  Sometimes it’s just easier to give in isn’t it?  In all seriousness, we’re thrilled to back Jamie and this gem of a show again.”

Ash Atalla, the managing director of Roughcut TV which makes the show, added: “So happy to be going again on Stath Lets Flats. Jamie is a star. And we’ve all felt the pain of terrible flat viewings, so this is our revenge.”

Jamie Demetriou penned the scripts for series 2, with Robert Popper serving as the script editor. The executive producers are Ash Atalla and Jamie Demetriou.

Series two of ‘Stath Lets Flats’ premieres on Monday 19th August at 10pm on Channel 4.

Article written by Tony Neophytou

Hollywood actor and filmmaker Nicolas Cage arrived in Cyprus this month to begin filming his new movie, “Jiu Jitsu.”

The film, from Dimitri Logothetis, will be shot entirely in Cyprus.

“Jiu Jitsu,” a sci-fi martial arts movie, will involve Nicolas Cage having to fight against a super-strong alien which comes to Earth on a mission to destroy. The cast includes Frank Grillo, Alain Moussi, Rick Yune, Marie Avgeropoulos and JuJu Chan.

It will be the first high profile production under recent incentives aiming to establish Cyprus as a filming destination under the name Olivewood.

The €24.6 million film will be shot entirely in Cyprus, taking advantage of a programme that gives productions the option to choose between cash rebate or tax credit, and also benefit from tax discounts on investments made on equipment and infrastructure. The cash rebate programme is a rebate of 25-30 percent on eligible expenditure.

The film’s producer and director Demetris Logothetis told CyBC TV that he already has plans to shoot a second film on the island written by Gary Scott Thompson of Fast and Furious fame.

The entire film will be shot in two Cypriot villages near the capital of Nicosia.

The villages of Mammari and Lympia will host the crew of the production team, and their surrounding landscapes will provide the entire backdrop of the movie.

The area of Mammari is home to some breath-taking limestone caves, something that makes it ideal for shooting this type of movie, with its dramatic themes of an alien takeover.

According to reports, the filming on Cyprus will last for approximately three weeks.

Cage received an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance as an alcoholic Hollywood writer in Leaving Las Vegas (1995).

Here’s to many more movies made in OLIVEWOOD… so very Cypriot!

Article written by London Greek Radio

Actor William Baldwin, who is currently in Cyprus to film ‘S.O.S. – Survive or Sacrifice’, which is being shot in and around Limassol said he loves the island.

Filming started earlier this month. It is a production by Atladium, which began operations in Cyprus in 2017 and specialises in feature films, television series and other video productions.

Altadium said the project was made possible due to the support from ‘The Initiative of Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency – Film in Cyprus’. With an aim to attract investors to its audiovisual industry, Cyprus launched “Olivewood” last year.

Speaking during a news conference in Limassol, Baldwin said he always wanted to visit the island as one of his best friends lives here. His stay was only a few days but “I definitely want to come back for more time,” he said. On a break from filming, he told Cybc he loved the food and had eaten lobster at a restaurant in Limassol.

The actor said that from his personal experience, the tax relief scheme the Cypriot government applied for the development of the audiovisual industry was expected to significantly boost the local economy and tourism.

Producer and actress Marianne Rosset, who is also in the film, and her husband Vitaly Rosset, expressed their satisfaction that they were contribute to the development of the film industry at the local level and to the promotion of Cyprus abroad through ‘S.O.S. Survive or Sacrifice’.

“We want to show how perfect Cyprus is for producing films,” they said.

The film, directed by Roman Doronin, is expected to be released by the end of 2020.

According to the script, two sisters, Kate and her younger sister – Liz, arrive at a seaside resort. At the hotel, they realise that the hapless Liz has left her passport at the airport. The sisters quarrel. Liz stays in the hotel room while Kate goes out for dinner, alone.

At a bar, Kate meets a travel blogger – Michelle, and her buddies: a local entrepreneur – Andreas, and a tourist – Nick. Andreas offers the two lovely ladies an unscheduled, impromptu ride on his tourist hot-air balloon.

As the result of a freak accident, the wind carries the balloon far out to sea. Their cell phones are out of range, and the gas canisters won’t last long. If they ditch in the sea everyone will drown.

A thunderstorm is approaching, and sharks begin to circle in the water below, but that’s not all: unbeknown to Kate, back on land, her hotel apartment has been burglarised, and little Liz has become an unwanted “material witness”.

The films cast includes, in addition to the well-known American actor, Jeannine Kaspar, Zach Rose and actors from Cyprus such as Christopher Greco, Andreas Aroditis, Maria Ioannou, Szymon Piotr Jedrziczyc, Alena Salimianova, Philip Konstantinos, Christos Christopides and Maria Panaseti.

Article written by

Cyprus’ Tamta and Greece’s Katerine Duska compete in the Eurovision Song Contest Final on Saturday at Tel Aviv Expo both countries made it via the semi-finals this week.

Cyprus sings in the number #11 slot, Greece #13 in the running order of 26 tonight.

Eleni Foureira was confirmed as a special guest interval act, last year’s Cyprus runners-up; she takes part in a tribute segment to former Eurovision entries.

The UK’s entry Michael Rice, with ‘Bigger Than Us’ is set to perform #16 in the line-up.

LGR’s Eurovision guru Tony Neophytou said, “Cyprus and Greece qualified and that is a great achievement, for patriotic reasons; Eurovision is increasingly competitive, and this year is no exception”.

Cyprus’ qualification streak continues for a fifth year, long may this continue. Greece made a strong comeback to the final following last year’s shock exit at the semis.

Tamta, performs infectious-catchy ‘Replay’ track, up-tempo pop-banger with a horns-fuelled chorus. Tony says, “The brass, or instrumental parts, are the biggest asset to this song, and no doubt gives it a slight edge.”

‘Replay’ shot to number one on the London Greek Radio, (LGR), Airplay Chart this month.

The song’s composer Alex Papaconstantinou, aka Alex P, was the man behind Eleni Foureira’s ‘Fuego’ – last year’s unlucky runners-up in the competition. He collaborates on the tune with Sweden-based songwriters, Geraldo Sandell, Viktor Svensson, Albin Nedler and Kristoffer “Bonn” Fogelmark.

The Greek pop singer  struts the stage and the choreography is slick and on-point, with Sweden-based dancers Lamin, Kenny, Niklas and Benjamin.

Sacha Jean-Baptise, the creative woman behind ‘Fuego’, is in charge of the staging, and no doubt elevating the good modern radio-ready song.

Cyprus’ qualification streak continues for a fifth year, long may this continue.  Greece made a strong comeback to the final following last year’s shock exit at the semi-finals.

Katerine Duska with mid-tempo pop ballad, ‘Better Love’. Another relevant and radio friendly, lovely melodic track.

Tony’s view is that “the songstress has a unique and distinctive voice and doesn’t hold back.  ‘Better Love’ features strong vocals and that trademark soulful rasp, with melodic hooks swirling beneath the orchestral drums.

She nails the live vocal in the routine, especially the long high-note as the track climaxes, which earns high marks, with expert jurors.

Canadian-Greek indie-pop artist Katerine Duska co-writes Greece’s entry, ‘Better Love’ with Greek-British musician Leon of Athens and Scottish songwriter David Sneddon.

Reviewing the performance, Mr Neophytou said, “Katerine is in an ‘Edwardian’ frock with her ballerinas and her fencers on stage to tell the story, which is aesthetically pleasing. Flowery prop on stage, girls in yellow-frocks, it is pop-art, that’s brave staging, as it asks the viewer to interpret the elaborate stage, and indeed, focus on quite a few things.”

Tony looks at a few other contenders…

Netherlands with Duncan Lawrence ‘Arcade’, is a well-crafted ballad, with a genuine and sincere vocal. The type of slow-song which cuts to the soul. In March, after a 41 songs marathon, Tony picked out The Netherlands and Italy, as potential front-runners.

Italy (Mahmood, ‘Soldi’), is a hip hop track, sung in Italian, with a line in Arabic. The song is about his dad who walks out on him as a child; there’s a sad, moody feel to it; incredible good beat, with catchy refrains and peak moments in this well-made song.

Switzerland with (Luca Hänni, ‘She Got Me’) a “ethnic” pop song with exciting ‘clarinet’ breaks, and infectious beats.

Sweden, John Lundvik with ‘Too Late For Love’ and gospel-choir, very polished staging, catchy song, Sweden’s the usual Top 5, or there-about for years.

Azerbaijan (Chingiz, ‘Truth’), ethnic and modern fusion, just think of Greek-pop Laika, it’s sort of like that, Azeri-style. Some wicked effects his ‘body’ descends during the break-down part; digital robots, laser surgery on his broken heart, visually gripping.

Australia with Kate Miller-Heidke’s song, ‘Zero Gravity’, infuses operatic style with a pop beat. It covers a dark subject: her post-natal depression after giving birth to son Ernie. Kate, and two dancers are flying on poles above the ‘earth’ and is eye-catching staging.

Russia with Sergey Lazarev ‘Scream’, a dramatic ballad, is composed by Dimitris Kontopoulos and the man behind the creative staging is Fokas Evangelinos both Eurovision veterans.  The stage with mirrors/holograms, multiple images each aspect and emotion of his personality. In short, a strong Greek team is behind it, with the same people as the 2016 second-placed Sergey entry.

The Eurovision Song Contest Final airs tonight on BBC1 at 8pm GMT.

London Greek Radio wishes Cyprus and Greece the very best of luck in the competition.

Article written by Tony Neophytou