Constantinos Christoforou returned to the stage for Cyprus� second rehearsal today. After yesterday�s delay to allow time for their stage props to pass through customs, the performance makes use of six foot tall mirrors, dancing sticks and large drums. In the press conference, the head of delegation announced that CyBC is ready to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006.
The Cyprus performance at this year�s Eurovision Song Contest combines movement, special on-stage effects with divider mirrors and becomes the latest act to make use of large drums. The performance is good with plenty of movement around the stage. Elina Konstantopoulou opens the performance with haunting tones and yet more arm flapping, one of the key things to look out for from several countries at this year�s event. Constantinos then breaks through again to launch into the main part of the song and performance.
The press conference was opened by Constantinos, who said �It�s so nice to be here for the third time at Eurovision�. He then introduced Elina Konstantopoulou, who sang for Cyprus in 1995, calling her their little princess.
Head of delegation, Tasos Trifonos, then took the microphone. �Here we go again. This year we wanted to have a real Eurovision entry, CYBC is ready to win. We have toured 16 countries now to promote the song. The Eurovision Song Contest is very trendy now, it�s the 50th Contest, and if everything goes well, CyBC wants to organise the contest next year in Cyprus.�
Asked about his expectations at the Contest and his performance, Constantinos said �When it�s your third time, you expect to be first, and you expect to be luckiest. It depends on the public, we have to present a great song and there are some surprises for Saturday�It�s wonderful here, so much fun but everything is different to before although the magic is not lost. A good thing for my performance this time is that I wrote the song, so I know how to perform it. It comes from me�.
He went on to talk about the political situation in Cyprus, saying �I�ve had a lot of support from Turkish Cypriots. I would love to see a united Cyprus host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006. Two years ago, 8 points from Cyprus gave victory to Turkey!�.
Talking about his solo albums, he said �I have two solo albums, released in 2003 and 2004, that one has been re-released with �Ela, Ela!� on it. They went Gold and Platinum in Cyprus and Greece. The most impressive thing for me is that the songs are radio hits. I am number 1 in Cyprus, and number 2 in Greece behind Helena Paparizou, who is number 2 in Cyprus�.
Tasos explained how Elina Konstantopoulou became involved. �I received an SMS message when we were in Vienna saying that she might be interested in helping on the song. I called her at 4am and said �this may come as a surprise to you but would you like to come to the Eurovision Song Contest?�. We thank her very much for working with us�.
Asked about the tour, and whether it was fair that some countries do not have the money to tour, he said �Yes it�s fair. Televoting gives the people the chance to vote. It helps to make the contest bigger in the countries we go to. Last year Ruslana did a big tour and won, Serbia & Montenegro did no tour but came second. We want to help the Eurovision Song Contest gain more coverage in more countries�.
Constantinos was asked about televoting, and if it was a good thing. �I�m a great supporter of televoting. It has changed the Eurovision Song Contest and improved it across Europe. If a song wins, it�s because of the people and we must respect their decision�.
Finally there was an announcement that Ela, Ela! will be released in Greek after the contest, and Constantinos and the backing singers performed the song in their native language.