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Archive for the ‘Cyprus’ Category

La la la la la la la, la la la la la la la….etc

Posted by Caroline on January 28, 2012

Now here’s a country who we had all but given up on in terms of producing a decent Eurovision entry. But just as we had started to cry, ‘Where is Anna Vissi when you need her!?’ Cyprus have come up trumps with what could be the first genuine contender of the season. La La Love, which is performed by Ivi Adamou (who came somewhere or other on Greek X Factor) is a throwaway, faintly trashy pop tune but nonetheless is big and mainstream and has a sense of ‘well guess what you’ll be wiggling to on European dancefloors this summer’. We’ll be honest, it could go either way. This could, potentially, be another Boom Boom or Haba Haba or other doubly-worded effort, which could be all fabulous and promising and then crash shockingly out in the semi-final (and given the fact that Ivi seemed to be miming in the Cypriot national final, we do worry she may fall victim to ‘mewing like a frightened rabbit on the night’ syndrome) On the other hand, it could also be the first genuine contender of the season. Either way, we defy you NOT to get up and shake a leg or a finger or something….


Posted in Cyprus, Eurovision 2012 | Leave a Comment »

Now then, where were we……?

Posted by Caroline on March 4, 2011

Well now, hasn’t it been a busy old week in Eurovision land? With another mega weekend looming, let’s take a look at what’s been happening over the past few days as the entries continue to roll in….beginning with Slovenia. Now we’ve been a little disparaging to the Slovenians in recent years, naming them as possibly the only country in the whole contest who are more useless than the United Kingdom (hang on, maybe that’s more insulting to the United Kingdom….) but this year they have really taken us by surprise with a very striking ballad. Vanilja by Maja Keuc starts off unassumingly, gets better and then builds to a very dramatic conclusion – made even better by the fact that the lady in question can really belt out a tune. It is, in short, the best Slovenian entry to grace a Eurovision stage since that warbly woman sung opera in 2007. But let’s be honest, that’s not exactly difficult…..

And keeping up the dramatic theme is Cyprus, who enjoyed a bit of a renaissance last year with the Cypriot band who actually came from Wales – and they’re hoping for similar good fortune in 2011 with San Aggelos S’agapisa by the tongue-twistingly named Christos Mylordos. Here he is strutting his stuff at the Greek final earlier this week. Reckon that’ll help them to get some points off Greece…..??

Speaking of Greece, we may be the only people on the entire planet that actually quite like their entry this year (chosen in a very odd final which lacked a studio audience and had a rather low-budget Poundstretcher feel about it. The surprise winner – triumphing over the favourite Nikki Ponte – was this chap, Loukas Giorkas, who’s brought his rapping pal Stereo Mike (possibly the best name for a rapper we have ever heard. Whatever next? Dolby Dave?) along for an offbeat effort entitled Watch My Dance. It’s a little bit Greek, it’s a little bit hip hop, and we don’t mind it at all. But whether or not it will do that well remains to be seen….

And finally in this crop, we have Slovakia, who are fielding the second set of twins this year (after Jedward), imaginatively named Twiins. Given that the Slovaks were this close to pulling out this year (and then changed their mind after realising it was too late to do so), it’s actually quite nice to see them in the line-up, but for that reason only, because frankly their song, I’m Still Alive, is wetter than a salmon’s swimsuit. Girls – the world really doesn’t need another Atomic Kitten, OK….?

Posted in Cyprus, Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia | 1 Comment »

We Asked, They Answered: Cyprus

Posted by Caroline on May 15, 2010

They maintain that Life Looks Better In Spring, but will life look better in Oslo for Jon Lilygreen and The Insiders? We’ll find out on May 27, but in the mean time the Welsh lads doing it for Cyprus take on the might of the Eurovision Blog interview…..

Introduce yourself to our readers and tell us how you ended up being Cyprus’s Eurovision representative this year!

Jon Lilygreen singer/songwriter from Newport South Wales UK, freelance musician who loves playing live. Jon (drummer/producer) and Sylvia (piano BV) run a small recording studio in the Welsh Valleys and they use me as a session musician from time to time. Cypriot songwriter Nasos Lambrianides sent a couple of basic songs over to their studio Gold Disc Productions to be demoed and they asked me to sing. We thought nothing more about it until Nasos phoned Jon G just before Christmas and said that two of the tracks had reached the final 10 in the Cypriot Eurovision heats. He asked us if we’d like to fly out to Cyprus and perform in the final – we did and to our amazement we won!

Who are The Islanders? We know you’re Jon Lilygreen but what about the rest of the band?

The band was put together by Sylvia and Jon G, and consists of freelance musicians who work in their studio on a project basis . Jon L, Jon G and Sylvia already played on the record and we then added Katherine Squire and Sean Watts on BV as well as Charalambos Kallonas a friend of Nasos on bass.

What are you most looking forward to about taking part and what can we expect from your stage show?

We’re all freelance musicians who make our living from playing. As well as being good mates we really enjoy making music together and it’s this joy and excitement that we hope the audience can see and feel and enjoy. No fancy gimmicks, just a stage full of musicians who LOVE playing!!
Which is your favourite all time Eurovision song and your favourite from Cyprus?

Of all Eurovision acts ABBA has to be the best, amazing songwriters and fantastic musicianship. We were lucky enough to meet a couple of artists (among them last years entry Christina Metaxa) who have already represented Cyprus in Eurovision in the past and they were very nice and helpful! Our favourite must be ‘Stronger every minute’ the 2004 entry for Cyprus .

Which of the other entries this year do you rate?

Tom Dice from Belgium has a really nice song which we all really like, and Germany’s song is also very catchy. We were lucky enough to take part in the Greek selection so we also heard their entry ‘Opa’ and we’ve meet the Bulgarian artist Miro who was a very nice friendly chap (smitten editor goes a bit wobbly at mention of Miro’s name and heads off for a long liedown…..). Other than that we’re looking forward to travelling to Oslo and meeting all the other artists there and hopefully have time to jam and play with all of them!

Many Eurovision fans have said it isn’t a great year for songs, what do you think about this?

None of us have really had much time to listen to the other tracks since winning the Cyprus heats so we don’t really know the other entries, but we’re really looking forward to meeting everybody in Oslo and hearing all the other tracks live.

Cyprus has never actually won Eurovision despite being in the contest for decades. Do you have a strategy to try and change their fortunes and bring the contest to Cyprus?

Cyprus is an amazing place with the friendliest and most laid back people in Europe! It would be fantastic to be able to take the competition to Cyprus next year! Our plan is to do what we always do – play to the best of our abilities and really enjoy our performance and the fact that we get the opportunity to stand on a stage with some of our best mates and play for several million people! It doesn’t get much better than that and hopefully the audience will feel that joy and enjoy the performance us much as we will. Let’s rock hard, have as much fun as possible and may the best act on the night win!

Eurovision always suffers from accusations of political/neighbourly voting. Do you think the new voting system with the re-introduction of juries has gone some way to changing people’s minds?

It is good that there will be a professional jury of musicians in each country as well as the audience vote, however as long as we do our very best on the night we’ll be happy regardless of the voting system!

We’re told you’re actually Welsh, whereabouts in Wales do you come from? Is there any chance we could persuade you to defect and represent the UK instead (since your song is actuallybetter than the UK one)?

We’re a motley crew and the band has it’s base in South Wales. I’m from Newport, Sean is also Welsh and comes from Cymmer, Jon G is Scottish but lives in the Rhondda Valley with Sylvia who comes from Norway and finally Katherine is from Totnes in Devon. None of us ever thought of entering the Eurovision Song contest and it all happened by pure coincidence. The people of Cyprus have put a lot of trust in us as we were the first act ever in Cyprus to get full marks from both the jury and the televoters so we are extremely proud to represent them this year and we’re going to go to Oslo all guns blazing! However, thanks for the compliment – it’s mad that while our entry was produced and recorded in a tiny ex-miners terraced cottage in South Wales the BBC drafted in Pete Waterman. Whatever you think of his track the man is a legend and it’s crazy that we’re now in competition with him as well as the biggest studios in Europe.

And speaking of which….have you heard the UK entry this year and if so what do you think of it? Any chance Cyprus could give us some points (if we asked nicely, since frankly we need all the help we can get……?)

The chap who is singing seems like a nice lad and like we said above Mr Waterman is a pop music legend. In terms of points if the Brits vote for Cyprus we’ll see what we can do!

Posted in Cyprus, Eurovision 2010, Eurovision News, Interviews | 2 Comments »

The First Great Big Weekend Round-Up

Posted by Caroline on February 8, 2010

It’s official, the pre-contest season is in full swing, with no less than five – count ’em! five songs being chosen for Oslo over the weekend. Well actually, it’s four and a half given that one of them was the Netherlands but let’s not split hairs here. It’s all gone a bit Scandinavian round Eurovision way over the past couple of days, with only Sweden left in that part of the continent to choose their song (and with only about 4000 hours of Melodifestivalen to go we shouldn’t have too long to wait).

But anyway, where shall we start? The host nation, we think, and in keeping with recent tradition Norway are showing all the signs of a country that really doesn’t want to host the contest again next year. My Heart Is Yours is a competent but rather bland ballad performed by Didrik Solli-Tangen, a cute lad with a powerhouse voice and Jedward hair. Top ten, we think, but that’s about all:

Onwards and upwards to Denmark, who have chosen In A Moment Like This by uber-cute boy/girl duo Chanee and N’Evergreen (look, they hold hands and everything! What is not to love?????). We like this a LOT, albeit in a “we know we shouldn’t really because it’s actually cheesier than an entire plate of Wensleydale, but we just do OK?” kind of way.  Would be very surprised if this didn’t qualify, and we’ll even go so far to say that in a world dominated by this kind of stadium arm-waver nonsense (thank you very much High School Musical and Glee, you have a lot to answer for) this could do very well indeed in the final. So there:

Then we have the Cypriot entry, Life Looks Better In Spring, by Jon Lilygreen and the Islanders which, while not exactly floating our boat, has a kind of commercial mainstream quality that could help its chances. To us though it just sounds like an X Factor winner’s single waiting to happen:

And so to our favourite of the bunch, Iceland’s Hera Bjork with the song Je Ne Sais Quoi. A fabulous schlager stomper sung by a big, likeable diva(actually are we sure it isn’t Dawn French in disguise?)  in a superb frock. It even has a Eurovision-sounding title.  We will fall down in amazement if this doesn’t make the final:

And finally we come to the Netherlands. Now we’d already heard the demo version of Pierre Kartner’s song Ik Ben Verliefd (Sha-la-lie) and as such had refrained from passing judgment until we’d heard the version that would ultimately go to Oslo. OK, so now we have. And, er, we’re speechless. C’mon folks, we thought Papa Smurf’s song was ridiculous and dated to begin with, so who on EARTH decided that a version featuring a Wurlitzer organ and some rock n’roll rhythms, thus turning it into something that wouldn’t be out of place at the Grand Ole Opry (and possibly giving us the closest thing we will get to a novelty entry this year?), would be the thing that would drag the Dutch out of their semi-final doldrums? Even its singer, Sieneke, looks faintly embarrassed. Had this been 1984 and it had benefitted from the addition of some Hot Eyes backing dancers in frilly bloomers it may well have rocketed to the top of the scoreboard. Unfortunately for the Netherlands however, this is 2010. And if they get any points at all they can count themselves screamingly lucky. Still, kudos to the Dutch for acknowledging Pierre Kartner’s former triumph and actually voting for a singer who, for all intents and purposes, looks a little bit like a Smurf:

And on that note, we are off to stick our fingers in our ears and pretend it never happened…..

Posted in Cyprus, Denmark, Eurovision 2010, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway | 7 Comments »

The Great Big Eurovision Experiment 2009 – Cyprus

Posted by Caroline on May 14, 2009

cyprus2-RESIZE-257-172Wave hello to this year’s youngest performer, Cyprus’ Christina Metaxa…..

How does it feel to be representing your country at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest?

It is pure magic and to be honest I realized that when I started meeting the “Eurovision family” the amazing, enthusiastic eurovision fans I met during my promo tour in England, Holland and Ukraine. I feel honored and blessed to be given this opportunity and I will do my very best to make my little beautiful island proud.

What are you most looking forward to about taking part?

Enjoying the 3 minutes and managing to touch the hearts of the audience with the melody of my song.

What can we expect from your performance? Are you planning a lavish stage show?

As our art director “Photis Nikolaou” said “It will be a performance of the heart, a jewel on stage, a beam of light in the darkness…”

Have you ever been to Moscow and are you looking forward to it?

I have never been to Moscow and I am excited about it!!!!

Which of this year’s other songs do you rate?

I am a person who tends to be positive and look at the beauty of each song. There are so many beautiful and unique songs that I really like…but of course…I am expecting those 3 minutes to finally rate the songs.

Which is your favourite Eurovision song of all time, and which is your favourite from your home country

Ireland’s song “Hold me now” with the amazing Johnny Logan and Switzerland’s “Ne partez pas sans moi” with my favourite singer Celine Dion. From my home country I really like “ Comme ci comme ca” with Evridiki and Korgialas.

What do you think about the debate over so-called ‘political’ voting?

It shouldn’t exist as this is a musical party and we should all vote for the music that touches our heart.

How do you think the return of jury voting might influence the final result?

I believe it will make it more valid and it will make it more reliable.

Why do you think Eurovision is still so popular, even after all these years?

Because music unites people .It is the language of the universe and it will never stop touching the hearts of people.

Have you heard the UK’s song this year and what do you think? Any chance your country could give us some points this year (please…….? 🙂 )

Personally, I love the melody of the song and generally I am a big fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Of course our country will give you some points this year.

Posted in Cyprus, Interviews | Leave a Comment »

Will Cyprus’ Fly come undone?

Posted by Caroline on February 9, 2009

The Cypriots – another one of those long-participating countries seeking their first ever win – also chose their entry for Moscow 09 over the weekend. Firefly isn’t the worst song we’ve ever heard, but is it just us – or is Christina Metaxas ever so slightly off the note? Better luck in 2010 guys, we think….

Posted in Cyprus | 1 Comment »