Following an internal selection process, Greece previously announced that Victor Vernicos would be the country’s Eurovision 2023 act with his song “What They Say”. However, that doesn’t mean all is said and done in the Hellenic nation. Melissa Mantzoukis, the runner-up of the internal selection, has been filing a lawsuit against Greek broadcaster ERT over concerns about how the selection was handled.
Mantzoukis had hoped to gain a temporary injunction ahead of the trial, which would have prevented ERT from undertaking any activities related to the case – i.e. anything related to Eurovision. If it was granted, the temporary injunction could have forced Greece to withdraw from Eurovision 2023.
But after a court ruling on Monday, this request was denied. The court decided the time frame was unreasonable and it would not have been able to rule on the case before Eurovision 2023 took place. Instead, the case will now be seen after the contest has taken place in May.
This will no doubt be a relief for Victor Vernicos, who is now able to move forward with his participation at Eurovision this year. The release date of his entry is not currently known. Although it was originally suggested to be on 6 March, this has reportedly been postponed due to the recent train crash in Tempi that killed at least 57 people.
Melissa Mantzoukis questions Greece’s internal selection
The original seven songs shortlisted by the Greek broadcaster for their Eurovision 2023 internal selection were whittled down to three and put through a rigorous evaluation process. Both an ERT-formed jury panel (made up of media and music professionals) and an audience committee (sampling Eurovision viewers by age range) judged all three songs. Their combined votes then decided an overall winner and this resulted in Vernicos finishing victorious.
Fellow competitor Melissa Mantzoukis requested the full results of the selection and subsequently raised questions over these. Mantzoukis was ranked first by the audience committee but last by the jury panel. Meanwhile, Vernicos was second with the audience and first with the jury.
|Act||Audience Committee||Jury Panel||Combined Vote|
|Victor Vernicos||509 votes||740 votes||1249|
|Melissa Mantzoukis||693 votes||440 votes||1113|
|Maria Maragou and Antonia Kaouri||341 votes||720 votes||1061|
Mantzoukis’s questions revolve around the audience committee and jury panel potentially using different voting methods. Additionally, it was reported that Maria Maragou and Antonia Kaouri withdrew their song from the selection at the last minute; Melissa therefore questions why this song was still included in the final vote.
Speaking on TV show Super Katerina, Melissa’s lawyer discussed the supposed results of the internal selection, claiming that Melissa’s winning public score had been majorly dragged down by the ERT committee score. As a result, they were going as far as to file a lawsuit against ERT.
ERT has not commented publicly about Mantzoukis’s claims or the law suit.
Whilst the full songs have not been published, snippets have been leaked online. Victor’s winning song “What They Say” appears to be a guitar ballad, whilst Melissa’s “Liar” serves a sassy pop banger, and Maria Maragou & Antonia Kaouri’s “Shout Out” is seemingly an uplifting throwback number.
Evangelina shares snippet of proposed Eurovision 2023 entry “PÁLI”
ERT received 106 submissions for their Eurovision 2023 internal selection. However, when the shortlisted seven were revealed, there was one big name that had not made the list – no other than Greek-American songstress Evangelia. After hitting the Greek music scene in 2020, she’s gone on to release hit after hit, duetting with the likes of Eurovision alumni Eleni Foureira and Amanda Tenfjord.
In a TikTok video addressed to her fans she revealed that, unfortunately, none of her submissions made ERT’s shortlist. This comes one year after she sent her hit single “Aphrodite” to CyBC in a bid to represent Cyprus at Eurovision 2022. Regardless, she thanked her fans for their ongoing support in her Eurovision dreams, and teased that on the bright side, she’ll be able to share the songs soon.
At the end of January, Evangelina shared the first preview of her new song, titled “PÁLI”. The song is very much in the same style of her previous hits – a big bilingual pop chorus, layered with sensual harmonies and organic production touches. In a later video, she revealed that this was one of the songs she had submitted to the Eurovision 2023 selection. Evangelina captioned the video saying “PÁLI is club approved”… but unfortunately this is one song we won’t be hearing in Euroclub this year.
What do you think? Would Evangelia or Melissa made a good representative at Eurovision? Should Greece go back to a public selection? Let us know in the comments below!