Cyprus Mail

Cypriot entry putting fire into Eurovision

Eleni Foureira performing at the first Eurovision semi-final in Lisbon on Tuesday night

There is nothing wrong with being powerful and sexy, is the message Cyprus’ Eurovision entry Eleni Foureira wants to send with her song Fuego which is now the favourite to win the song contest on Saturday.

At Tuesday’s first semi-final in Lisbon, her fiery performance while dressed in a glittering body suit, joined by four dancers wearing sparkling silver outfits, insured that bookmakers placed her to win.

“Fuego means fire in Spanish, and we want to bring out the fire that women have, we are five women on that stage,” she said.

The lyrics of the song, which has a Spanish title but is English, start with “Take a dive into my eyes, yeah, the eyes of lioness”.

The flames shooting from the stage during the final chorus underlines the message.

This is not the first time Eleni has attempted to take part in a Eurovision song contest. She tried three times in Greece but was rejected and therefore jumped at the chance to represent Cyprus this year.

“I am enjoying it, it is an amazing experience,” she said of her experience in Lisbon so far. “It is surreal to be here. I wanted to be here, it is amazing to see and meet so many people from other cultures and countries and how music has the power to connect all these people.”

The 31-year-old singer, dancer and fashion designer who was born in Albania now lives in Athens. She launched her musical career in 2007 when she joined the band Mystique. After the band broke up in 2009 she went solo and has since released three albums.

In September 2017 state broadcaster CyBC signed a contract with Greek-Swedish songwriter Alexandros Papaconstantinou, better known as ‘Alex P’ to write the 2018 entry for the song contest. The multi award-winning producer based in Stockholm previously worked with singers such as Anna Vissi and Jennifer Lopez.

Fuego was what he and fellow writers and composers Geraldo Sandell, Anderz Wrethov, Viktor Svensson and Didrick came up with.

Before the CyBC approached Eleni Foureira to represent Cyprus they asked 2005 Eurovision winner Helena Paparizou but turned it down. It’s a decision she may regret if Eleni really is going to win.

Another 10 entries are still to be chosen at a second semi-final on Thursday, before the grand final on Saturday night.

Foureira insists she is not under pressure to win, saying it is purely a pleasure to perform. What is she going to do when all this is over? “Eat a huge pizza,” she laughed.

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