Culturally Greece and Cyprus share the same religion and language. And at Eurovision the two countries share an important historical tradition: Exchanging 12 points. So imagine the horror Greek representative Maria-Elena Kyriakou felt when Cyprus gave her just eight points. “It was terribly unfair,” she said on the chat show OLA BEEP in the aftermath of the 12 points fail. “I got really upset. I was having fun, but then the voting procedure began, and I was in shock.”
THE CYPRIOT JURY IS IN TROUBLE
Cypriot viewers ranked Maria-Elena first, which makes sense, as Maria-Elena actually comes from the island. But the jury placed the “One Last Breath” singer sixth, resulting in Greece getting only 8 points. The reactions on Twitter were immediate and hilarious, with some Greeks demanding that the Speaker of Parliament thoroughly investigate the incident. Watching Maria-Elena’s interview, I got the sense she wants to punch every member of the Cypriot jury in the face.
“I felt embarrassed after hearing the Cypriot vote,” she said. “I did not expect such a thing from Cyprus…I was disappointed. Both me and Efthivoulos Theocharous [the guy playing the piano] come from Cyprus. Only five people [the jury] decided this horrific result.”
Maria-Elena went on to say that she didn’t expect 10 or 12 points from other countries, but at least 1, 2 or 3. When that didn’t happen, it hurt. But only receiving 8 points from Cyprus — the country of her birth — really stung. She doesn’t accept that “One Last Breath” was a weak entry. Instead she believes that Austria’s ORF is to blame. “People did not watch us,” she said. “We were placed right after the commercial break.”
Greeks, myself included, are still a little angry. For now it’s unlikely any of us can imagine a 12-point swap next year. But, as time passes, and our heads cool, perhaps we’ll be able to forgive our friends in Nicosia and resume our traditions.