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25 June, 2024
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Cyprus in, Zelensky out at Eurovision final

Island competes in final marred by controversy as officials try to keep Ukraine politics to a minimum


Cyprus is progressing to the Eurovision final on Saturday with Break a Broken Heart, along with Heart of Steal by Ukraine whose president’s request to address the audience during the event has been rejected.

Cypriot-Australian Andrew Lambrou secured a spot in the final of the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, which will be held in Liverpool on Saturday.

His song Break a Broken Heart is a break-up ballad with a marching drumbeat about survival, with fans already talking up his vocal performance in the semi-final.

Another heart-related song will also feature in the final when Ukraine’s electronic music duo Tvorchi will take the stage with Heart of Steel, a song about defiance inspired by events at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol last year.

But Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky won’t be joining the event after his request to address the audience was rejected by the European Broadcasting Union, fearing the move would have been too political.

Politics is often kept away from the Eurovision song contest, both as related to messages within song entries but also throughout the event, which was supposed to be held in Ukraine after the country’s folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra won the 2022 competition with another patriotic song.

In 2016 Ukraine also won the Eurovision contest with a song about Crimea, viewed by many as overtly political.

Cyprus  |  Eurovision  |  Ukraine  |  Zelensky  |  politics  |  Lambrou

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