ESC 2010 Reviews: Greece

Ok, dear readers, I need to come clean with you all.

I rarely, if ever, like the Greek entries for Eurovision.

I know, I’m going against the grain here, and I’m probably alienating any Greek readers that I have or will have in the future, but few, if any, have ever made much of an impact on me.  It’s nothing political, I promise (I tend to like what Cyprus serves up!), but the songs that Athens serves up either slip from my memory completely, or they strike me as derivative.  I really want to like these songs; often times, their stage shows are out of this world, and you can’t deny how much of a spectacle they can be.  But, all too often, Greek entries are built on a simple formula: pretty face + danceable melody + bouzouki/lyra or disco break = 12 points from Cyprus.

Here are a few examples, all of which have scored in the Top 10 in the past few years.

2001: Antique, “Die For You“, 3rd place.
2004: Sakis Rouvas, “Shake It“, 3rd place.
2005: Helena Paparizou (formerly the lead singer of Antique), “My Number One“, winner.
2007: Sarbel, “Yassou Maria“, 7th place.
2008: Kalomoira, “Secret Combination“, 3rd place.
2009: Sakis Rouvas (again), “This Is Our Night“, 7th place.
2010: Giorgos Alkaios and Friends, “OPA”
http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/video/xcypp9

…I was trying to come up with something witty and biting to say here, but I was distracted by the cute backup dancers.  What was I talking about again?

Greece will probably sail through to the final, as they always do (especially because they’ll be performing in the less-competitive first semifinal), but this year’s effort has been somewhat hampered by the nation’s dire economic status.  Their sponsoring network will only be paying for a bare-bones music video (the one shown in the above embed was supposedly paid for by Alkaios himself) and a limited promotional tour to neighboring nations, as opposed to a more extensive tour of the continent.  I’m not suggesting that they’re throwing the contest at all, but considering the fact that Greece is going to be receiving a 110 million Euro bailout from the rest of the EU, it might be best that Eurovision 2011 not be held in Athens.  But we’ll see what happens!

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Posted on May 8, '10, in 2010, Greece. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I can totally understand your comment that Greek music always seems derivative, and that it recedes from ones memory very easily, even if it is not necessarily true. It has a homogeneity and a certain heaviness to it, especially the older tunes. Elena Paparizou herself admitted that Greek music to her was a bit of an acquired taste.

  2. Greek ESC entries, to me, are sort of like cotton candy…sweet and fun, with an instantly recognizable flavor, but once it hits your tongue, it dissolves. In its defense, after listening to "OPA" a few times, it has grown on me, much more so than other Greek entries over the past few years…

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