It‘s that Eurovision time of year. Tonight Cyprus compete in the First Semi-Final for Eurovision, which airs at 8pm BST.
26-year-old Greek singer Elena Tsagrinou takes to the Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam in slot #8 out of 16 countries.
‘El Diablo‘ is an up-tempo, dance-pop song, current and mainstream. It is a radio-friendly hit, which has entered London Greek Radio playlists.
The entry is penned by producer Jimmy “Joker” Thornfeldt, a Swedish Grammy-Award winner. He collaborates on the tune with Laurell Barker, Oxa, and Thomas Stengaard.
The refrain that would even make a Yorkshire terrier twerk on demand sinks in, you realise ‘El Diablo’ is just as catchy and addictive as anything on the Eurovision line-up this year.
LGR’s Tony Neophytou’s said, “The Cypriot song is really catchy and is instantaneous which a Eurovision song requires.”
Elena Tsagrinou found time aside from rehearsals and told London Greek Radio, “The people behind the Cypriot team are exceptional and professional individuals. Panik records label every step has assisted me in this entire process. I instantly thought this was a strong song and felt it was exactly competitive enough, which a Eurovision song requires [translated].”
We are told there is a deeper meaning about someone who’s fallen in love with a “bad boy” or even “aliti” in Greek. CyBC in a statement said the song describes an abusive relationship and what it means to be a victim of this abuse. “The song represents the age-old battle between good and evil and it speaks of a problematic relationship between a man and woman who suffers from Stockholm Syndrome – the psychological condition when a victim of abuse identifies and bonds with their abuser – who seeks help to get out and the truth always shines.”
The Eurovision odds have favoured Cyprus’ entry as 5th most likely winner in this year’s Eurovision line-up. The entry moreover is a Semi-Final favourite with Malta, Ukraine and Lithuania, and no doubt Cypriot avid fans are cock-a-hoop at knowing the island’s entry is so well-received at this pre-contest stage.
Last night jurors already cast their votes in a dress-rehearsal, meaning half-of-all-votes have been allocated, it’s up to the public to have their say now.
Elena Tsagrinou, is telegenic, star-of-the-stage performance, seductive, and sultry which suits the song. Elena seems a lovely person and likeable and approachable which are good assets, to this whole package.
The Athenian songstress is a pop-package as a strong performance artist and vocalist. Stylist-to-the-stars Celia Kritharioti has fitted Elena into a sparkly silver-outfit. Elena has four female dancers Chali Jennings [choreographer], Liolia Kerogli, Paraskevi Karataidou and Mariia Sharafetdinova. Her dancers are in red cat-suits against a fiery red backdrop which suits the song.
It’s a very slick and professional stage show for Cyprus’ up-tempo fun song. The precise staging makes good a mirror prop, which is basically mirroring dancers and Elena which is a cool effect. She finishes with a sideways knowing glance to camera, which is a sweet touch.
Cyprus will be staged with the help of Austrian artistic director Marvin Dietmann who helped Austria to a Eurovision triumph in 2014 with their song ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’.
Mr Neophytou’s view, “Elena’s energetic performance and a likeable demeanour help this song. It is very slick and well-done. It is a decent song and I think the result will be pretty decent, potentially a Top 10 finish, a result Cypriots would be proud of.”
Cyprus is defending a qualification streak since 2015, without a pause. The Cypriot delegation will be quietly optimistic about their qualifying chances for a sixth year.
LGR’s ‘Eurovision guru’ spelt it out, “The chances at qualification are pretty good and in a semi-final with competition in this genre. The catchier Cypriot song and elevated staging helps to sell it, let’s hope the public reciprocates with a few votes its way.”
Elena began her music career in 2008 as the lead soloist of the Greek band OtherView, before pursuing a solo career after she left them in 2018.
CyBc bosses have stuck to the successful formulae, of internally picking artist and song-package. Elena is signed to Panik Records one of Greece’s biggest music labels in Greece, and Cyprus, releasing many hits which are much-loved modern hits heard on the LGR air-waves.
Elena performs in the running order of 16 at slot number 8.
The Top 10 qualifying countries are through to the Final on Saturday 22nd May, on BBC One.
London Greek Radio wishes Elena and Cyprus the best of luck in the Eurovision.