It’s only been out for two days, but Elena Tsagrinou’s “El Diablo” is already causing a storm. Cyprus’ Eurovision 2021 entry is the subject of a rapidly-growing petition from a religious group who are campaigning for the song to be axed. The religious group claims that “El Diablo” is “scandalous” and goes against Christian values.
But the country’s broadcaster is standing their ground. CyBC has released a response to said petition, and say the song will not be withdrawn from Eurovision. They defend it as a song with a message that could inspire many.
CyBC respond to “El Diablo” petition from religious group
The petition — titled “Cancellation of El Diablo song participation in Eurovision” — comes from the Association of Theologists in Cyprus.
“Dear fellow citizens”, petition creator Demetris writes. “The participation of Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song EL DIABLO is scandalous for us Christians. Join us in the voice of protest.” At the time of writing, the petition on Avaaz.org titled has more than 4,000 signatures.
But CyBC remains committed to its Eurovision project. Elena Tsagrinou will take “El Diablo” to Rotterdam as planned, as their statement published today reads:
“The song which will represent Cyprus to the 65th Eurovision Song Contest tells the tale of this girl that has found herself entangled in a relationship with someone as bad as ‘El Diablo’. It regards the eternal struggle between good and evil. Through this problematic relationship with signs of the Stockholm syndrome and despite the paranoia she is experiencing, she is seeking help towards freedom. In the end, as they say, the truth always shines. Especially these days, we hope the song and its proper interpretation will inspire not only women but also everyone who faces similar situations.”
This statement follows threats of violence towards the broadcaster after the release of “El Diablo”. Cypriot news channel Sigma claims that one individual threatened to burn down the RIK CyBC headquarters. This incident has since been reported to the police.
Elena Tsagrinou at Eurovision 2021
CyBC internally selected Elena Tsagrinou to represent Cyprus at Eurovision 2021. Her song “El Diablo” features the songwriting talents of Melodifestivalen veteran songwriters Jimmy “Joker” Thornfeldt and Laurell Barker, as well Brazilian-born songwriter Oxa and Eurovision champion Thomas Stengaard — one of the writers behind Emmelie de Forest’s “Only Teadrops”. Additionally, Marvin Dietmann — the creative visionary behind Conchita Wurst’s “Rise Like a Phoenix” stage show — will create the stage show for “El Diablo” in Rotterdam.
At Eurovision, Elena will sing “El Diablo” in the second half of the first semi-final this May.