Tonight, Cyprus competes at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, starting at 8 pm BST, with its performance scheduled to be 25th out of the 26 countries, comprising of the Eurovision’s final line-up.
Eleni Foureira sings ‘Fuego‘; an up-tempo track with catchy beats and clarinet riffs adding a backbone to the stomping number, hoping to firmly put our small Mediterranean island on the Eurovision map.
Cyprus is currently the odds-on favourite to win the contest and crossing our fingers, toes… just about everything really, one of LGR’s presenters, Tony Neophytou, says, “Eurovision is our World Cup moment – it’s created so much buzz and excitement; it’s already a ‘winning song’ in that sense.”
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC) Director, Michael Maratheftis said, “We would be delighted, willing and able to host Eurovision if it came to it”.
Eleni was overcome with emotion as Cyprus was announced as a qualifier in the first semi-final on Tuesday night.
The track, released in March, stormed into the LGR playlist, going straight to number one on the London Greek Radio Chart. Eleni’s back-catalogue of infectious pop hits have definitely made her one of the most prominent artists on the station’s track-listings.
Her team comprises Lovisa Bengtsson, Marlene Lindahl, and a backing-vocalist Teddy Sky (”off-stage”).
Eleni was born in Fier, Albania and is a Greek artist of Albanian origin. She has lived in Greece from a very young age when her family settled in Kallithea, Athens.
Eleni has always desired to be at Eurovision, revealing that it has always been a childhood dream of hers. She’s previously come close to flying with the Greek colours at Eurovision – becoming runner-up in Greece’s 2010 ”Ethniko Teliko”, however, it did not diminish her Eurovision goal, which is lucky for Cyprus as she’s been handed a “killer track.”
Cyprus has never won Eurovision in its 35 years of participation; their best placing is 5th, with Anna Vissi (1982) Hara and Andros Constantinou (1997) and Lisa Andreas (2004). Other popular Cypriot singers have included Michalis Hatzigiannis, Constantinos Christoforou, Evridiki, Alexia, Ivi Adamou- all of whom have flown the nation’s flag.
Although Eleni is a Greek pop-star flying the Cypriot colours this year, conversely, it has worked the other way around with Cyprus’ Anna Vissi, Sarbel, Loukas Giorkas, Maria-Elena Kyriakou, all who have previously sung for Greece. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone since the majority of our current wave of Greek music is made there.
The CyBC officials selected Eleni earlier this year because of her ‘skill-set’ as a charismatic performance-singer; she’s very likeable, which helps sell this upbeat song. The singer acknowledges ”all of the positivity” about her entry admitting she will do her best to achieve a ”historic milestone” in Cyprus’ Eurovision history.
The three-minute performance is incredibly well-staged with very slick, brilliantly choreographed energy. The dancing, given a boost by the visual effects and ”fires” shooting-up on either side of Eleni, will surely impress the worldwide audience.
The points are made up of 50% of music experts in all 43 countries, with the other being 50% from public televoting.
Her Cypriot entry is penned by composer Alex Papaconstantinou, or Alex P, a Greek-Swedish producer, well-known in Eurovision circles. He collaborates on the tune with Geraldo Sandell, Viktor Svensson, Anderz Wrethov and Didrick.
The Eurovision Song Contest Final takes place on Saturday 12th May, being broadcast by the BBC. London Greek Radio sincerely wishes Eleni Foureira the very best of luck in the competition.