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Music > Finnish monster rockers vs Greek diva Anna Vissi May 24, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life.
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Monster rockers dash Vissi hopes

High hopes that Greek Cypriot singer Anna Vissi would put Greece back on top in Saturday’s Eurovision were dashed when the long-time Diva came in a disappointing ninth.In top place, and one of the favourites, was Finnish rock band Lordi, a group kitted out in latex death masks with their song ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’. The group strongly denies any connection with Satanism and the black arts. “This (act) is as serious as horror movies, this is entertainment,” said group leader Mr Lordi.

Vissi had been one of the favourites with the song ‘Everything’, written by her ex-husband Nickos Karvelas, but on the night, her performance was less than perfect, with Vissi somewhat overdoing the dramatics. She also came across as unconvincing singing about a broken heart.

However, with Cyprus’ own hope, Greek-American singer Annet Artani ousted in Thursday’s qualifying round, Vissi clearly won the hearts and minds of Cypriot voters. Even if she had not, Cyprus’ 12 points would still have gone to Greece as they usually do.

Strangely enough, several Nicosia voters noticed that while they had trouble getting through on the special phone lines in order to vote for the Finnish group, or any other country, there was no problem getting through to vote for Greece.

“I tried five times to register a vote for Finland but to no avail,” said one punter. “In the end, I decided to see what would happen if I tried the number for Greece and got straight through, although I didn’t want to vote for Vissi. After that, the line seemed to work for the other choices. “Oddly enough I would have thought that it would be harder to get through to vote for Vissi given her popularity here.”

Vissi told reporters in Greece that she would have voted for Finland. “It doesn’t matter that we lost, we are also winners because Greece put on a great show,” Vissi told state-run NET TV. “Those monsters – I, for one, loved them.”

In a longer-than usual vote call-in, Cypriot singer Constantinos, who represented Cyprus last year and whose low score was responsible for the island having to compete in this year’s qualifier, kept referring to “we Greeks” during his “Nicosia calling”.

Apart from briefly breaking into song – a Vissi song – Constantinos also made sure to include in his greeting that Nicosia was the last divided capital in the world. Then he launched into a pregnant pause before dishing out the 12 points, as if anyone was going to be surprised.

For the first time in years, Greece had to award its 12 points to someone other than Cyprus. They gave them to Finland, despite the Greek Orthodox Church being in uproar over the monster rockers whose promotional video shows the band storming into a school gymnasium, striking dead a group of cheerleaders and raising them again as zombies.

It seems the blatant decades-old Cyprus-Greece back-slapping has also caught on, with other countries now openly referring to “our neighbour” as they lavish the 12 points on whoever lies on the other side of their various borders.The alliances were obvious across the board. As a Telegraph headline said on Sunday: “You need friends to win the Eurovision”, which might leave people wondering where were Israel’s and Malta’s friends on Saturday night? The two countries in last place scored four points and one point respectively.

Eurovision 2006 was hosted by Greek pin-up pop star Sakis Rouvas and American Access Hollywood correspondent Maria Menounos. Both proved popular with the male announcers from several countries, particularly Rouvas, perhaps the only man in the world who can carry off wearing a gold suit without looking ridiculous.

Indeed, the male presenter in Amsterdam asked a none too impressed Rouvas whether he could give him his phone number.
Editor’s Note > Above article by Jean Christou, Copyright © The Cyprus Mail.Reprinted under permission. http://www.cyprus-mail.com/news/main.php?id=25994&cat_id=1