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19 June, 2024
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Cyprus pin hopes on show-stopper Eleni Foureira

Greek singer is red-hot favourite to wow audiences with her show-stopping song 'Fuego'


Perennial makeweight Cyprus hopes to raise its flag over the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday with Greek singer Eleni Foureira red-hot favourite to wow audiences with her show-stopping song 'Fuego'.

Bookmakers have planted Cyprus' catchy tune as the firm favourite behind that of Israel and France.

The 31-year-old Albanian-born Foureira, a huge star in her native Greece. hopes to win wider acclaim by winning the world's biggest singing competition for Cyprus with her song Fuego (Fire in Spanish) that many are already calling a classic Euro-pop hit.

Ironically, Foureira could win Eurovision for Cyprus for the first time after never making it with Greece – which was knocked out this year.

"The state coffers will open, and that is not something I say often”

She made it to the Greek national final in 2010 but finished second and her last attempt was in 2017.

Despite early failures to reach Eurovision - surprising for someone of her popularity - there is no doubt Foureira knows how put on a show – her semi-final performance catapulted her as a front-runner.

Foureira started off in the girl band Mystique and then pursued a solo career when they split in 2009.

Her self-titled solo debut was released in 2010 in Greece, spawning a domestic Top 10 hit.

Foureira, who is dating footballer Alberto Botiahas, released four solo albums between 2010 and 2017 which did well but being a Eurovision winner could be a career-changer.

Nobody in Cyprus really expected too much from the song until the sparks started flying during Foureira's explosive performance of Fuego.

The singer and TV personality knows how to put on a show evident in why bookmakers made her favourite.

Before the semi-final Foureira was a 100/1 outsider, but her sexy dance routine and fiery performance put the wow-factor off the scales.

Hosting Eurovision

The prospect of Cyprus winning Eurovision has got Cypriots talking about whether they can afford to host such an extravagant event only a few years after exiting recession.

Cyprus Finance Minister Harris Georgiades told a TV show jokingly that after numerous pleas from his 10-year-old daughter: “I took the decision and commitment, if we win, to open state coffers”.

“To allay concerns, the financial part is not an issue, the state coffers will open, and that is not something I say often,” Georgiades said on Friday.

Fuego has all the ingredients of a Eurovision blockbuster - sassy singer, choreography-heavy routine, up-tempo anthem and a screaming audience.

With lyrics that include "I am not your toy, you stupid boy" the song has grabbed the limelight, summing up the concerns of many women who have adopted the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.

Fuego has also been described as "an upbeat track that sounds a little like the lovechild of Shakira and Beyonce".

Cyprus entered Eurovision for the first time in 1981 with Monika by Island, which came 6th, and has participated 34 times since - the highest the island has ever finished is fifth.

And Cyprus holds the record for the most times participating in Eurovision without winning - Foureira hopes to change all that in Lisbon on Saturday.

Cyprus  |  Eurovision  |  Fuego  |  contest

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