Cyprus at Eurovision

Fuego by Eleni Foureira

After struggling to qualify for the latter half of the 00s, Cyprus has mixed up their styles for the past few years, a switch that has seen them into the final, but languishing near the bottom. Will Eleni Foureira change that this year? Her song rides the recent wave of Latin pop; and rides it well. It’s a contemporary sound from an engaging performer who’s clearly at home with modern Eurovision sounds, having scored a hit with a fun Greek cover version of Nadav’s Golden Boy.

It’s got a video with plenty of attitude, and – in an earlier version – plenty of advertising. I’ve nothing against a bit of product placement, especially in challenging times for artists as it allows them a bit of extra budget for a better end product, but the moment some Fyffes pineapples and bananas appeared so conspicuously in the non-Eurovision version of this prompted an enormous guffaw from me, mostly due to the blatant incongruity of them being there. But they’re gone in the officially submitted version, and the lack of distraction lets you fully focus on Eleni.

I like this; but – and it’s a but that's not limited to Cyprus this year – I’d prefer a better chorus. It seems to be a trend in pop music to give you a sense of a cracker about to hit you and then to kind of limp away, just when you want it to be going up an extra gear.

It’s a shame as the song would be lifted several places for me were it not for this. It’s got to get out of that tricky first semi-final, and though Greek-national Eleni will have 24 points from Greece in the bag, and potentially a few from her native Albania, the song is in that very large group that could finish anywhere from 5th to 15th in this line up. I hope she makes it – it’s better than much of her competition – but I can’t overlook the fact that there are other songs I’m ranking higher.

My marks: 8 points

Will it qualify? Hopefully