Greece has decided: it’s Eleftheria Eleftheriou!
The last of the competitive preselections* for Eurovision 2012 took place today in the center atrium of the Athens River West Mall, where four songs competed for the right to represent Greece in Baku. Whoever won the ticket would have to carry the heavy burden of continuing not only Greece’s streak of qualifying for every Final since the Semis were established, but also placing in the Top Ten every year since 2004.
Following a jury and public televote, it was decided that 22-year-old Cyprus native Eleftheria Eleftheriou would be taking the upbeat pop number “Aphrodisiac” to Azerbaijan this May.
Eleftheria is an alum of the Greek edition of the X-Factor series, much like her predecessor Loukas Yiorkas and fellow 2012 Eurovision participant Ivi Adamou. In fact, Eleftheria and Ivi were on the same season and even shared a mentor. To thicken the plot even further, it has been reported that this year’s Georgian representative, Anri Jokhadze, has selected fellow Season Two alum Nini Shermadini as one of his backing singers. Might make for a bit of an awkward reunion…
Considering the austerity measures that Greece is undergoing, the vast majority of Eleftheria’s participation and promotional costs are being taken care of directly by her label, Universal Music. (In fact, all four of the acts in the National Final were Universal artists, and would have gotten the same benefits had they won.)
*Technically, the Belgian National Final will be held Saturday, but as Iris will be competing against herself, it’s hard to call that “competitive”!)