If there’s any country we’re expecting to bring their A game to Eurovision 2019, it’s Cyprus. After a disappointing record of just three qualifications from the semis since their introduction in 2004, Cyprus miraculously pulled off a hat-trick of qualifications from 2015 to 2017. This year, Cyprus continued to heat things up even further when they selected Greek megastar Eleni Foureira to represent the island, who went on to finish second — Cyprus’ best placing ever.
However, after 38 years of trying and a newly lit fuego in their belly, it’s about time someone went all the way and brought the contest back to Nicosia. So without any further ado, we present you eleven acts to represent Cyprus at Eurovision 2019 and score them their first ever Eurovision win.
The rumour mill is swirling that both Cyprus and Greece are vying to secure Tamta for Eurovision 2019. Alpha News claims that she’s currently in advanced discussions and that the coming days will be “crucial” to determining what path she takes. The cherry on top? Reports suggest she’s teaming up with Alex P — the genius behind Eleni’s “Fuego”.
That two countries could be locked in battle for her talent isn’t surprising — and it builds on her obvious and sustained commitment to the song contest. The Georgian-born starlet took part in the Greek national final in 2007 with the song “With Love”, coming up just short. Since then she’s claimed that her record label wanted her to sing at Eurovision instead of Maria-Elena Kyriakou in 2015, but she apparently missed the deadline (ya know, hair appointments and stuff). She’s also been a judge and mentor on the Georgian and Greek editions of X Factor, which would no doubt help her score a few more points if she heads to ESC. Are you hoping that the rumours are true? She’s got the look and the voice, and as a bonus she’s even performed alongside Mikolas Josef!
If Cyprus is looking for another strong female figure, then look no further than Ms Stella Kalli. Born in Greece to Cypriot parents, Kalli sings exclusively in traditional Greek style, yet never fails to ooze worldwide class from top to toe. In fact, the woman has lived as far out as the USA and Saudi Arabia – and you can tell from her passionate performance style that this is a woman who has experienced life. With this artiste CyBC would have 2 choices – give us something very fun and very sassy à la Severina, or something very dark and epic à la Yianna Terzi. But regardless of their choice, you can be sure that this woman is going to use those powerhouse vocals and seductive curves to absolutely kill it on stage.
The Eurovision adventure started for Charis Savva when she was one half of Elena & Charis singing for Cyprus on home soil at the 2006 junior Eurovision song contest. Since then she has appeared in songs with the likes of Eurovision songstress Demy, and even more relevantly, made the final of Cyprus’s 2015 marathon Eurovision Song Project. In yet another duo, this time with Nearchos Evangelou, she sang the dramatic French-Greek love ballad “Deila Den Agapw” – and for some reason this girl’s voice just sounds so darn good in French! Taking inspiration from French megastar Indila, Savva could use her crystal clear vocals and arresting vulnerability (along with plenty of dramatic staccato violin chords) to create something seriously magical in Tel Aviv.
Kyriacos Georgiou may not be the most digestible of Cypriot names, but the rest of him certainly is pretty edible! Performing in musicals in London’s West End since the tender age of 12 and later moving to Athens to pursue a career in the music industry, the man is dripping with experience. He was also a participant in Cyprus’ 2015 national final with the criminally underrated summer jam “Shake Dat”, and has since gone on to make a name for himself in the Bulgarian music scene. Specialising in upbeat ethno bops, one could claim that Kyriacos is Cyprus’ closest equivalent to a male Eleni Foureira – and he just might be the man to kickstart a Mediterranean hunk-pop revival.
Tula Paulinea Contostavlos – better known as Tulisa – shot to fame as lead singer of urban pop trio N-Dubz. The British-Cypriot enjoyed great success with the band, releasing 2 platinum albums and going on to judge on the X Factor UK, where she mentored the show’s most successful girl band ever, Little Mix. Now a solo artist, Tulisa emanates just as much sass and power as ever, but channels a more international club sound – something that is always welcome on the Eurovision stage. What’s more, CyBC could use Tulisa’s connections to call in the British EDM big guns (as we saw with Asmik Shiroyan in this year’s Depi Evrstesil) and give us one almighty banger.
One genre that surprisingly is still yet to see real success at Eurovision is folk music. And no we’re not talking accordion-crammed ethno-folk – we’re talking stripped-back, heartfelt folk. And that is exactly what Metaxas brings to the table. After finishing runner up of the first series of the Greek X Factor, Nikolas Metaxas moved to London, lost his surname, and found his sound – and the outcome is something seriously delightful. Expect delicate guitar strums, charming rustic vocals, and thought-provoking lyrics. What’s even more exciting is that we know he’s interested: he tried to represent his homeland at Eurovision in 2008, and even wrote Cyprus’ 2009 entry, sung by his little sister Cristina Metaxa.
In a time of political instability and racial hostility, everyone could benefit from a message of unity. And what better way to build bridges than to have Cyprus – who have only ever been represented by Greek-Cypriot artists – send a Turkish-Cypriot from Northern Cyprus? To fit this role there’s one woman that crushes all competition: the one and only Ziynet Sali. One may assume that having a career spanning two decades would make your music more sterile, but not with this diva. Ziynet still drops out like it’s hot, giving us banger after banger after banger. And who could say no to that delicious Turkish diaspora vote?
The likes of Anna Vissi, Sarbel, Eleftheria Eleftheriou and Maria Elena Kyriakou have all represented Greece at Eurovision, despite their Cypriot roots. The most successful Cypriot to represent Greece, however, was Loukas Yiorkas – a man who entered the spotlight after winning the first series of X Factor Greece and releasing a gold-status debut album. He won his semi in 2011 with the laïko-rap fusion “Watch My Dance”, enchanting viewers with his ethnically-driven powerhouse vocals. Loukas continues to produce quality music to this day, and given a similarly haunting song (preferably without a bald, middle-aged rapper this time), Cyprus could be on the road to a “1944”-style success.
Cyprus is the island of Aphrodite – and Valanto Trifonos is the closest thing you’ll find to a modern-day goddess of love and beauty. She competed in the 2006 Cypriot national final, but it wasn’t until 2010 when Valanto shot into the limelight when her impassioned performances earnt her the title of winner of the first season of Greek Idol. Afterwards she released her debut single written by the legend-status Eurovision composer, sir Dimitris Kontopoulos, and had a second attempt at Eurovision, this time for Greece. As time has passed Valanto’s style has matured, and could be described as very chilled and pure. And as we saw in 2017, simplicity can be very effective – and indeed winner-worthy – when it comes to Eurovision.
No Cyprus wishlist would be complete without Mixalis Xatzigiannis; undoubtedly one of Cyprus’ biggest stars ever. He shot to fame after achieving Cyprus a very respectful eleventh place at the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest with the self-penned “Genesis”, and has since received over 30 certifications in Greece alone. In 2010, Forbes named Xatzigiannis as the fifth most influential singer in Greece. But why? Well, the answer is simple – a beautiful face, a beautiful voice, and a beautiful talent for songwriting. Xatzigiannis is most renowned for his stunning, heartfelt ballads, but as you can see below, the man can mix things up with upbeat too. His only speciality is quality.
A new Cypriot girlband?
Cyprus also possesses many talented young singers waiting for their big break – and one great way to spot these are, of course, talent shows. Panagiotis Koufogiannis – televote winner of Cyprus’ 2015 national final – won this year’s edition of X Factor Greece with his warm and delicate vocals. Or if Cyprus wants to bring some female fuego once again they could turn to one of their many beautiful young women who have competed in The Voice Greece – take, for example, Katerina Kampanelli, Andria Angeli, Christodoula Tsaggara or Elena Papapanagiotou (see below). Hook one of these girls up with Alex P and Sasha Jean Baptiste and prepare for another 3 minutes of pure slayage. Or better yet… hook all four girls up and shake up Europe with the next big girl group. Now this could be interesting.
Poll: Who should represent Cyprus at Eurovision 2019
That was ten artists we believe could do Cyprus proud, we want to know what you think. Show us by voting for your favourites in the poll below. You can vote for as many artists as you like, but remember, you can only vote once – so make your vote count!
Could any of these artists win for Cyprus? Is there anyone else you’d like to see representing the island? Let us know in the comments box below!