Alex Panayi returns this year to the Cypriot final with a very special song to him. He will be performing his own composition, There is love on 7th February hoping to represent his homeland and celebrate the 20th anniversary of his first participation on Eurovision stage in Moscow. We met with Alex at the set of the Greek edition of the X Factor where he is currently working with the groups and he spoke to us about his song, his views on the voting system, Cyprus' chances in the Eurovision Song Contest and Sakis Rouvas among other things.
Alex Panayi has already taken part in the Eurovision Song Contest as a backing singer and performer on five occasions, has managed a respectable top ten placing for Cyprus in 1995 with Sti fotia and was a backing singer for Helena Paparizou when she won the contest ten years later.
This year, he returns to the Eurovision race in the Cypriot final with There is love, a simple, straightforward, touching ballad he wrote and penned himself. Alex's song is about love but not a lovers' song "It really speaks to the heart", he tells us, "and that, I think, is its strongest point". The song is actually a big thank you he feels he has to say before it is too late as his mother is in the final stages of Alzheimer's.
Regardless of the outcome of the Cypriot final on 7th February, There is love will be released on a CD and all incomes will go to a charity which supports Alzheimer's victims. "I want to raise awareness to the illness. Alzheimer's is a disease that is touching more and more people every day, and no one really understands what a horrible, horrible disease it is and how much support patients and caretakers need" he says.
Alex Panayi, will almost certainly be the one performing the song in the Cypriot final for two main reasons, one is that There is love is very personal to him and second as 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of his first ever participation in 1989, "I want to close the chapter this way", he smiles.
What does Alex Panayi think of the new voting system in the Eurovision final and the comeback of the juries? "I really support it" he says, "because the juries will listen to the songs a few times. With the televoting, there is only a handful of Eurovision fans that listen to the songs over and over, understand the songs and know what the lyrics are about. The average televoter just listens to the song and there's just these three minutes… I am really for it because the jury will listen!" he continues.
If Alex wins the Cypriot final, he will be running against his old friend and colleague, Sakis Rouvas in Moscow. Alex Panayi spoke to us about how the two artists feel about that in the first part of our interview together.
Alex Panayi The interview Part1
About the song, the juries and Sakis Rouvas!
Alex Panayi The interview Part 2
The release of the song and a very special message for you!