One of the most popular Greek singers of the last 50 years has refused to represent Cyprus at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Claims that Helena Paparizou turned down the offer were made on Cypriot showbiz portal ‘ShowTime’, which soon spread on Eurovision fan websites.

The Cypriot broadcaster has not yet confirmed or denied the rumour, however, ”Cypriot sources” have suggested that long-term negotiations between them and Helena Paparizou’s team have ended, with the star reportedly to have said ‘no’ to the offer.

The Eurovision champion of 2005 was said to have loved the ”up-tempo ethnic-fused track” that was being prepared for the 2018 contest, but decided that she wasn’t ready to make a third appearance at Eurovision.

London Greek Radio has been following the Cypriot selection this year. It was last heard that a Cypriot sing-off final was to air this month. The television final was to have finalist candidates from the Cypriot auditions, held in November. A three member’s judge’s panel short-listed 24 hopefuls from 64 applicants. In order to impress the Cyprus entry author Alex Papaconstantinou, choreographer Charis Savva and Christer Björkman, producer of Swedish Eurovision selection Melodifestivalen.

The composer Alex Papaconstantinou or Alex-P will write our Cypriot song. As previously mentioned on LGR, Alex P is a well-known producer of Greek-Swedish origin and has co-written hits for Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias and many more. He is known in Eurovision circles with a few Euro-stompers under his belt, including Ivi Adamou’s ‘La La Love’ in 2012 and Sarbel’s ‘Yasou Maria’ in 2007. His most successful entry to date was for the Azerbaijan duo Aysel and Arash, which came third in 2009.

The Cypriot rules have referred to ditching the Cypriot sing-off – as an option. The other solution is both a singer and song is internally selected without a Cypriot contest after all.

Sources claim an official statement is expected to be released shortly confirming the Cypriot entry’s singer/performance artist, who will be singing the Alex P tune.

Check back for all of the latest developments to find out whose singer name is flying the Cypriot flag for the Eurovision Semi-Final in Lisbon.

Article written by London Greek Radio