Renewed protests against the Cypriot Eurovision entry have been held at the offices of Cypriot broadcaster RIK.
On Wednesday, several dozen Orthodox Christians and Clergy held the protest which included holding up crucifixes and a banner declaring Cyprus’ love for Christ.
They are protesting the song “El Diablo” by Elena Tsagrinou which features the lyric “I gave my heart to El Diablo” (i.e. the devil).
The song was performed in the first semi final of Eurovision 2021 on Tuesday and qualified for the Grand Final:
Elena will now represent Cyprus in the Eurovision final on Saturday, where she will perform in the second half of the show. She is amongst the top ten favourites with bookmakers to win the contest.
The new protests against the song follow earlier protests when the song was originally released. In March, a man was arrested for threatening staff of the Cypriot broadcaster. A group called “Cypriot Christians” also started a petition to have the song withdrawn and has inundated the Cypriot broadcaster with telephone complaints. Some callers threatened to burn down the RIK offices.
The protesters called for the Cypriot government to intervene and withdraw the song from the contest. The Government responded with a statement, noting that it fully respects the intellectual and artistic freedom of creation.
RIK and the singer Elena Tsagrinou have stated that protesters misinterpret the lyrics of the song which speaks metaphorically about an abusive relationship.
Source: The Independent
Image Source: EBU / Thomas Hanses
Who is Elena Tsagrinou?
Elena Tsagrinou was born in Athens in 1994. Throughout the years, she has performed on the biggest music shows in Greece and Cyprus at a considerable number of concerts. She has collaborated with many other famous Greek artists such as Konstantinos Argyros and MELISSES.
Elena Tsagrinou was the very first act that was not planned to participate at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 being confirmed on 25 November 2020.
Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest
Cyprus debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1981. Their best result was in 2018, when Eleni Foureira’s performance of the song “Fuego” won second place with 436 points. Before then, their best results in the contest came in the form of three fifth place finishes. In 2004, Lisa Andreas performed “Stronger Every Minute” in Istanbul, Turkey. They also placed fifth in 1997 with Hara & Andreas Constantinou and their song “Mana mou”, and in 1982 with Anna Vissi’s “Mono i agapi.” Cyprus withdrew from the Eurovision Song Contest in 2014 due to financial difficulties but returned again in 2015.