In a few minutes, Ellinikos Telikos will be kicking off from the ERT studios in Athens. Six acts will be competing for the honour to represent Greece in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest.
How to watch
The show starts at 21.00 CET and will be hosted by Aroni. The winner will be chosen by televote and jury vote at a 50/50 split. The five member jury comprises: Marina Lachana (ERT official), Andreas Pylarinos (musician), Giorgos Pavrianos( lyricist), Bessy Malfa (actress), Michalis Tsaousopoulos (DJ and radio producer)
Christos Mylordou from Cyprus, Polina Genova from Bulgaria and Glen Vella from Malta will be the guests of honour and they will perform their Eurovision enties.
1. Kokkina Halia – Come With Me
2. Valando Tryfonos – The Time Is Now
3. Triimitonio – Hamogela
4. Antigoni Psychrami – It's All Greek To Me
5. Loukas Giorkas Feat. Stereo Mike – Watch My Dance
6. Nikki Ponte – I Don't Wanna Dance
The show has started with a drum show and Lena Aroni informs us that the performances will take place in a studio with only the jury present as the press and fans are in another location close by.
All the participants on stage now sitting on stools in a circle performing snippets of their songs with the others as backing vocalists accompanied by Nikos Touliatos playing a… plastic water bottle.
This strange idea kind of works in warming up the atmosphere but the absence of a live audience becomes painfully obvious.
The economic crisis in Greece has obviously taken its toll on Eurovision as the glamorous finals we were used to seem to be a thing of the past. ERT is on a tight budget, same as everyone else in the country, and that has severely affected the show itself.
After watching Lena’s winning performance in Oslo we are introduced to a song which is NOT competing, in case you were wondering, called P.I.G.S. dedicated to the four countries in crisis, Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain.
The participants from Italy, Finland, San Marino, the UK and Sakis Rouvas all wish good luck to this year’s participants and Lena informs us that the time has come for the competition to begin.
1. Kokkina Halia – Come with me
Current Esctoday poll standing: 6th with 2.4%
Alexandros, Fotis, Lefteris and Yiorgos are quite popular in Greece after they came 3rd in X-Factor one. They wrote their pop song themselves and they manage to perform quite well although the lack of a live audience can influence a rock song more than any other. Yiorgos, the lead singer, seems to be a little nervous compared to what we have seen him do during X factor.
2. Valando Tryfonos – The time is now
Current Esctoday poll standing: 3rd with 10.2%
Valanto has tried again to go to Eurovision in 2006 for Cyprus when she came 4th. In Greece, she managed to win the Idol show. Her ballad, written by two Swedes and a Finn is quite demanding vocally and she delivers a spotless performance. The only effect on stage is the long trail of Valanto’s white dress waving.
3. Trihimitonio – Hamogela
Current Esctoday poll standing: 4th with 10%
The only song entirely in Greek now. The three members of Trihimitonio accompanied by three teenage looking dancers in hot mini skirts seem to be having a blast performing their super happy song which tells the world to smile. They are youthful and energetic and they manage to deliver a fun and entertaining performance. Even if this doesn’t win, it has the makings of a summer hit in the Greek islands.
4. Antigoni Psychrami – It’s all Greek to me
Current Esctoday poll standing: 5th with 6.3%
Antigoni, dressed in a very sexy outfit, starts off on the wrong foot but manages to get back in tune for a while at least. She seems to be suffering a sore throat. She is accompanied by four female dancers similarly dressed in what looks like sexy black lingerie. The songs sounds very much like something Dimitris Kontopoulos (Greece 2009) would write. Antigoni is very actively involved in the choreography and that has affected her vocal performance.
5. Loukas Giorkas Feat. Stereo Mike – Watch my dance
Current Esctoday poll standing: 2nd with 18,9%
A clever fusion of traditional Greek zeibekiko and rap next. Lukas Yiorkas won the X-Factor in 2008 and Stereo Mike is one of the most popular rappers in the country, well known for working with Tamta and Haris Alexiou. And the most impressive moment of the song when Lukas performs a short zeibekiko dance is ruined by the camera which points to an entirely different direction. Lukas is not in his best tonight as he lost it more than once, a pity since the song’s strongest appeal to the Greeks is his part.
6. Nikki Ponte – I don’t wanna dance
Current Esctoday poll standing: 1st with 52,2%
Nikki was eliminated from the X Factor this year but she still stands a very good chance to make a name for herself by getting to Düsseldorf. She is vocally on the spot for most part but her disco pop dance song could definitely use some backing vocals. She is accompanied by four male dancers and she is actively in the choreography. Nikki is a very charismatic young lady and the lens loves her, she has also been the runaway winner of the Esctoday poll.
The lines are open now and they will close in 20 minutes. After the recap, the foreign guests will take the stage to perform their songs.
First guest on stage is Christos Mylordou from Cyprus. Christos has come along way since the Cypriot final when he sang in English, he is definitely more comfortable singing in his native language. The song is sweet and atmospheric but the female backing vocalist, despite having a strong pair of lungs is far too loud and comes across as too aggressive.
Glenn Vella from Malta is the happiest man in the world to be realising his childhood dream to represent his country in Eurovision and it shows. Glenn had tried 4 more times before he finally made it and he is especially happy to be in Greece as he says he loves all Greek Eurovision entries, something he proves on camera in a special medley for esctoday.com to be published soon.
Bulgarian Polly Genova is the last to perform her song, Na inat. Polly is an energy bomb on stage and aspires to be the first Bulgarian to win the contest.
And the lines are closed now. Lena Aroni announces the commercial break and informs us there is one more surprise awaiting us afterwards.
And here comes the surprise! David Lynch, musician from L.A. who has lived and worked in Greece for over 20 years, performs some unplugged renditions of past Greek Eurovision entries accompanying himself with a banana shaped maraca. Later the stage is filled with drummers and all together remind us of last year’s Opa.
Time for the results.
Lukas Yiorkas ft Stereo Mike to Düsseldorf with Watch my dance.