The last we heard from Cyprus, broadcaster RIK was in the middle of selecting candidates for its 2018 national final. But latest reports suggest that the national final has been scrapped and the broadcaster is looking to a previous winner. RIK is reportedly in the process of negotiating a Eurovision comeback with 2005 winner Helena Paparizou.
Cypriot showbiz blog Show Time CY reports that RIK has made a “strong proposal” to Paparizou. However, reports suggest nothing has been confirmed yet.
If Paparizou accepts, she’ll be joined by fellow Greek-Swede Alex “Alex P” Papaconstantinou. In September, the hitmaker was confirmed as the songwriter for Cyprus’ entry for Lisbon. He and Helena have history — Alex P has previously written songs for her, both for solo releases and as part of the pop duo Antique.
It could also be a serious bid for a Eurovision victory for Cyprus. The sunny Eastern Mediterranean nation has never won Eurovision. After Portugal’s 2017 victory, Cyprus is now the country to have competed the most times at Eurovision without winning.
This would mark the third Eurovision appearance for Paparizou. She first performed for Greece in 2001 as part of the duo Antique. Their song “(I Would) Die for You” placed third and was a big fan favourite.
Four years later, Paparizou returned to Eurovision as a solo artist. She struck gold with “My Number One”, which gave Greece it’s first — and so far only — Eurovision win.
Paparizou made a comeback in 2014 in her country of birth. She competed in Sweden’s Melodifestivalen with the anthem “Survivor”. While the song initially didn’t make it direkt till final, the title proved apt as Paparizou survived the andra chansen round and eventually finished fourth in the grand final.
Paparizou has since built up her pop career in Greece. Last month she released the music video for “Étsi Ki Étsi” (So and so).
The news of a potential internal selection comes as a surprise, following the previous confirmation of a national final to select Cyprus’ artist for Lisbon.
Last year the broadcaster revealed that Cyprus would pick its singer through a national final held in January. It would be run as a talent show, with the contestants performing cover versions to allow their talents to be judged.
The winner of the national final would then go on to perform the song written by Alex P.
Back in November, the broadcaster shared a photo from a selection session. Alex P was shown along with Melfest boss Christer Björkman and choreographer Charis Savvas. The three men were said to be involved in the auditioning of acts fo the national final.
However, no more details of the national final have been made public, and now it appears that, for whatever reason, the broadcaster has put an end to their plans for a national final.
What do you think? Should Helena Paparizou make a Eurovision comeback with Cyprus? What sort of song should she sing? Leave your comments below!