She’s the MTV EMA winning popstar with two Eurovision podium finishes for Greece under her belt. And earlier this year, rumours whirled that Helena Paparziou was in talks to head to the contest a third time, but for Cyprus rather than her native land.
Mere days later, local media alleged that she had turned down the offer.
But, in the midst of all the toing and froing, the speculation remained unsubstantiated. Neither team Paparizou nor Cypriot broadcaster RIK commented publicly on the matter.
However, in recent days, a 30-second snippet of the demo version of “Fuego” — Eleni Foureira’s song for Eurovision 2018 — has leaked online. And lo and behold, Helena Paparizou’s distinctive vocals can be heard on the track.
Helena Paparizou “Fuego” 30-second snippet (leak)
This effectively confirms that Helena was indeed in the running to represent the sunny Mediterranean island.
The word in January was that representatives from RIK flew to Athens to meet with the Eurovision 2005 winner. Given that she took the trouble to record a demo, it would seem that talks were at a more advanced stage than first believed.
Paparizou was reported to have loved the Alex P penned Eurovision 2018 number, but ultimately decided that she wasn’t ready to make a third appearance at Eurovision. At least not this year.
So if the “My Number One” hitmaker was Cyprus’ number one, does that mean Eleni Foureira was their number two? Possibly, although there were also suggestions that the Cypriots were wooing Georgian-Greek singer Tamta too.
Tamta or no Tamta. Eleni Foureira is who we have now.
And the lady boasts an impressive Eurovision CV.
Born in Albania but raised in Greece, Foureira competed in the 2010 Greek national final with “Kivotos tou Noe”, which placed second. She recently had a hit with a Greek version of Nadav Guedj’s “Golden Boy”. Foureira has made no secret of her dream to go to Eurovision. Last year she spoke of her sadness at not being selected to represent Greece.
As of Tuesday, the “Fuego” songstress is currently one of the bookmakers’ favourites to qualify from semi-final one. And her chances received a significant boost after producers gave her the much coveted closing slot in the first semi running order.
What do you think of the leaked demo? Would Helena have been a good option for Cyprus? Or do you prefer Eleni? Let us know in the comments below.