Following Portugal’s win in 2017, Cyprus have had the (dubious) honour of having the most appearances at the contest without a win, but that almost was changed in their first year of holding that “honour”, finishing as runners up in 2018, and achieving their best result ever. While I make the case that there were ethno dance bangers before “Fuego”, and that it’s just lazy to describe anything this year in that genre as “Fuego 2.0” etc., it is true through that Cyprus are following last year’s formula, with a song from that genre and the same creative team. Can lightening, and indeed fuego, strike twice?
The artist selected to sing “Replay” actually has a very interesting backstory. While she is Greek (as any Cypriot entries have been), she’s actually from Georgia, and came to Greece to work as a housekeeper in her early 20s, having had a daughter at just 14. She successfully auditioned for Super Idol Greece in 2004 (the Greek equivalent of Pop Idol) and ended up as the runner up. A music career has followed, and she has acted as mentor on the Greek X Factor series.
As mentioned, “Replay” is sticking with the formula that worked so well last year. Alex P is once again on the writing and production team and Sacha Jean-Baptiste the creative director for the staging. I’ve no doubt that this will sail through to the final. The contest producers have given Cyprus the opening slot in the first semi-final which is generally a vote of confidence in the artist, the song and staging to be professional and arresting. I’ve not seen this performed live, but given Tamta’s experience, I can’t see this being a weak point. I’m not sure I see this replicating the runner up spot in the final, but I think we can still look to another strong result for Cyprus.
Official music video:
My preview video:
Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1981
Appearances (excluding this year): 35
Best result: 2nd in 2018
Last year’s result: 2nd