Eurovision 2023 top 37 countdown: #30 GREECE – Victor Vernicos – What They Say

Greece have been riding a bit of a return to form with two top ten results in a row in the grand final. They will be hoping to continue this recent run of success with Victor Vernicos, who at 16, is the youngest ever artist to represent Greece at Eurovision. Can this injection of youth lead Greece to another good result?

Greece selected Victor via internal selection, although there were internal panels of expert jury and general public that were part of the selection process. Some scandal (still) surrounds the selection with one of the other shortlisted artists crying foul but luckily the Greek courts have paused proceedings and Greece have been able to proceed as planned. Victor himself, while still very young, has several singles behind him and is also the songwriter of “What They Say”. It’s one of just a few mid-tempo male pop ballads in the contest this year.

To be frank, his voice is much deeper and more mature than you might have expected and overall it’s quite a serious song – no Greek flourishes and frivolity this year. He looks a competent singer and performer, though he’s not been present at any of the pre-parties but given he has had several singles released already, you’d expect there will at least be some experience. The record company is Panik records, who have been behind many successful Greek and Cypriot entries.

This wasn’t a song that I felt very engaged by on first listen, and it’s not held or gained my interest much in the meantime. The maturity of his voice and the seriousness of the song is impressive but at this stage, I’m struggling to make much connection to it – it just feels a bit bland. Maybe the live performance and the staging will change my view, but at the moment it looks like I’m not out of sync with the general consensus for this song – it is not doing well in the Eurovision scoreboard app, and only got 1 point from the OGAE Cyprus vote!

Despite the distinct lack of buzz or enthusiasm for this entry, this actually should qualify. Live performance and staging may elevate this anyway, but more importantly, there is the Greek diaspora/neighbour vote. Victor has been lucky with the countries drawn in this semi: Cyprus, Armenia, Albania, Georgia, all have historically given hefty televote points to Greece. Also, Victor is half Danish and Denmark are in this semi so that will be another set of points. Once into the final, you can see this picking up jury points as well, though I think a third top 10 finish is unlikely.

Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest

First entered: 1974

Appearances (excluding this year): 42

Best result: Winner 2005

Last year’s result: 8th

Flag of Greece

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