The island of Cyprus is gearing up for its return to Eurovision 2015—and its juiced-up, marathon-length national selection process known as the “Eurovision Song Project”. Filming of the auditions has already begun, and the first episode will be aired on December 7. People seem to believe in this brand new project, and it’s expected to be a huge success.
The four judges — Despina Olympiou, Alex Panayi, Elena Patroklou and Tasos Tryfonos — will not only influence the result but also stand up from their comfortable chairs to give us some major attitude (see dramatic trailer below). In addition, two well-known professionals from Eurovision-land will collaborate with them during the second and third phases of the show in a series of “Euro Challenges”. They are Dimitris Kontopoulos, the famous Greek writer behind “Shady Lady”, “This Is Our Night” and “Hold Me”, and Christer Bjorkman, the Swedish Eurovision guru and the brains behind Melodifestivalen. For more information on the phases of the national selection and the participants, click here.
CyBC has also released a teaser of the series, letting us know that everything is ready for the biggest Eurovision show ever held on the island.
Alex Panayi represented his homeland twice, in 1995 and 2000, and has taken part in the Cypriot final as a singer a total of five times. He was the vocalist behind Helena Paparizou in 2005 and Sakis Rouvas in 2009, and he worked as a vocal director for Belarus 2012, Azerbaijan and Belarus 2013, and Russia and Belarus 2014. He also wrote Sophia’s song “I Pio Omorfi Mera” for JESC 2014.
Elena Patroklou has studied music in Vienna and Cyprus, and represented her homeland in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1991 with the song “SOS”, finishing ninth.
Tasos Tryfonos is currently living in Athens and works as program director for a grand radio station. He was also part of the Greek jury in 2012 (yep, the national final that happened in a mall). He is an expert in media and communications.
Despina Olympiou is one of the greatest Cypriot singers ever, having released a total of seven albums. She won the MAD VMA award for best collaboration in 2008, when she sang “O Paradeisos Den Ftiaxthke Gia Mas” (“Paradise Was Not Built For Us”) along with Michalis Hatzigiannis (ESC 1998)
Antri Karantoni will host all the shows of the Cypriot selection. She’s a very good looking young woman with many talents. While still a student, she was named “Star Of Cyprus”, proving that one can combine beauty and knowledge. She then participated in “DanSing for you 2”, a live show which combined both dancing and singing. Her voice proved to be so beautiful that she actually published a song called “Esy” (“You”). You can listen to it below! She has also co-hosted several TV shows. She could be called “a modern cinderella”. Most importantly she is a big fan of Eurovision!
CYBC TO SUE SINGERS
After the auditions ended, the majority of artists who were eliminated decided to post pictures and even videos of their songs on social media. However, according to their contracts, this violates the rules as it constitutes a leak. CYBC is reportedly taking legal action.
The first episode will air Sunday, the 7th of December at 20:30 CET. You will be able to watch through RIK 1 and RIK SAT.