NB. This version was published in December 2017 and has been replaced by an updated Top 5 from Cyprus.
With Portugal’s win in 2017, Cyprus now carries the dubious record of having entered Eurovision the most times without a win. Unlike pre-win Portugal, they have at least reached the top 5 on a couple of occasions, but even with the regular votes from Greece, that’s the closest they have come. Still some good songs to pick from among their list of entries though!
5. Anna Vissi “Mono i agapi” (1982, 5th place, 85 points)
This is Cyprus’s joint best placing (and in their second appearance in the contest) and Anna Vissi was, and remains, a huge star in Greece and Cyprus. This was her second Eurovision appearance, and her first and only one for her native Cyprus (she represented Greece in the other two appearances in 1980 and 2006).
4. Ivi Adamou “La La Love” (2012, 16th place, 65 points)
Cyprus seem to have been making much more effort in the last couple of years, but in terms of recent songs, this is the only one to make my top 5. It’s classic bouncy cheesy Eurovision pop and more something you’d expect of Greece to enter, so it was good to see Cyprus fly the flag for this sort of song.
3. Alex Panayi “Sti fotia” (1995, 9th place, 79 points)
Sporting an impressive head of hair is Alex Panayi, my number three choice for Cyprus. It’s one of those songs that could only come from that country/region (unlike so many songs now that could come from anywhere rather than being unique to that country/region) – it’s dramatic, catchy and very Greek Cypriot!
2. Lisa Andreas “Stronger Every Minute” (2004, 5th place, 170 points)
A mighty fine ballad that equals Cyprus’s best ever placing and by far their highest points score (which technically makes this their best ever result I think) – and this was the year that the contest was hosted in Turkey. I believe (and I am happy to be corrected) that this was the first time Cyprus ever received votes from Turkey (even if it was a single point). Lisa herself is actually English, from Kent, but is of Greek Cypriot heritage and was just 16 years old when she performed this in Istanbul.
1. Hara & Andreas Constantinou “Mana mou” (1997, 5th place, 98 points)
Topping my list and completing the appearance of all three of their top 5 placed entries, this is a mid to uptempo number from the year Katrina stormed to victory. It’s very (Greek) Cypriot, and appropriately, the song itself an ode to Cyprus itself, with the singers likening the country’s beauty to that of Aphrodite.
That concludes this southern flavoured top 5 to warm us freezing here in the UK at the moment – have I missed any of your favourites from Cyprus?