In 2012 Greece decides to hold a televised national final to be organised by ERT, the country’s Public Broadcasting Service, for the selection of the song that would represent us at the Eurovision Song Contest.
Due to the then financial crisis, the full costs of recording and producing the candidate songs would be undertaken entirely by one Record Company. Universal Music Greece undertook this concept, and thus emerged the four nominated songs to compete in the Greek Final, being:
“Baby I’m Yours” performed by Dora; “Killer Bee” by Cassiopeia; “No Parking” by Velvet Fire; “Aphrodisiac” by Eleftheria Eleftheriou.
The 4 songs are given to the radio stations on the 28th February without naming the performers, thus creating a myth as to who was hiding behind which song!
On the 5th of March, the performers’ names are released by ERT, and OGAE Greece organises an event at “Atheneon Politia”. The candidates make an appearance and their individual video clips are shown for the first time that evening (in fact this was also the first time they saw their individual clips in their entirety).
Truth be told, I had singled out “Aphrodisiac” from the moment I heard all four songs and considered it ideal for Eurovision. A song with a beginning, a middle and an ending, a musical bridge with Greek elements which can excite the public, with an inventive title and mainly with a musical phrase (the one with the “oh-oh o-o-oh”) that lingers in the listener’s/viewer’s ear, something significantly important during an evening spent listening to song after song, forgetting most of them as soon as we hear the next one.
We first met and loved Eleftheria Eleftheriou through her participation in X Factor Greece in 2009, and although initially she was also a candidate for the 2010 Eurovision with “Tables are Turning”, the song was disqualified because it was leaked onto the Internet a few days prior to the official announcement of that year’s candidates.
The “Tables are Turning” which was disqualified from the 2010 selections.
Following the official announcement of the candidate songs, frenzied preparations are undertaken for the Greek Final to take place on the 12th March at River West Shopping Mall, Athens.
A day before the Greek Final, OGAE Greece hosted an evening party which was presented by our beloved Bessy Argyraki at “Messiah Club”.
In the following video, which is published for the first time, we can see Bessy introducing Eleftheria Eleftheriou and the songwriter Dimitri Stassos, who had just flown in from Sweden to participate in this competition (as well as all the other contestants).
After the presentation, the party continued into the early hours of the morning with Eleftheria having fun, enjoying herself and basking in the warmth and admiration of those present!
On the following day, the Greek Final took place at River West, with the participation of the public, and it was televised live by ERT1 and ERT World.
I was in the crowd that evening supporting Eleftheria and awaited anxiously for her to appear!
Because dressing rooms as such were not available at the Mall, the finalists found themselves mingling with the public in the last moments before their appearance on stage. Eleftheria was dressed by the Fashion Stylist & Designer, Alexandra Katsaiti.
When at last Eleftheria arrives next to the stage together with her dancing group, and while her promo video clip is being aired on TV and ERT’s cameras are closed, I am standing next to her, observing how she isolates herself and prepares for her performance while waiting for the television network to open their cameras; the introductory promo video ends, the cameras click on, she’s on the stage, and ERT is broadcasting live from River West. As the first characteristic notes of the song are heard, the public responds with enthusiastic and thunderous applause. Unfortunately, this cannot be heard on the video of the live performance as all you can hear is the playback sound of the song.
Within the space of three minutes, Eleftheria is transformed into a superb performer leaving no doubt that she deserves the ticket to the Eurovision finals.
She dances in perfect harmony together with the dancing group that accompanies her, and she shines brightly. You do not want to stop watching her!
At the bridge of the song, the crowd rises in excitement, I am trying to video tape the event with a steady hand while dancing simultaneously, the song ends, and the crowd responds with tremendous enthusiasm.
I am pleased to now share the following video with all of you, friends and fans of Eurovision and Eleftheria. We can see Eleftheria from the time of her arrival next to the stage to the end of her performance, and as the sound from the public can now be heard, the viewer is transported into the pulsating wave of the crowd’s enthusiasm and appreciation of her performance.
Without undue anxiety, as Eleftheria’s performance roused the audience indicating that “Aphrodisiac” was the ultimate Eurovision song, the results were announced and of course she easily won the ticket to Baku as Greece’s entry.
In the following video, the results have been announced and Eleftheria Eleftheriou with her dancing group rerurn to the stage for their winning appearance! This video is also published for the first time and we can hear the sound of the audience’s enthusiasm.
The photo gallery below contains some photos, also published for the first time, of Eleftheria and her dancing group posing for the press in front of the stage after the results were announced.
The crowd refused to let Eleftheria leave and at the exit of River West she continues to be photographed with her fans.
Next day, Eleftheria embarked on a European promo tour leading up to the finals, when something rather special happened. When Eleftheria visited Turkey, she appeared on stage together with Sevval Sam and they performed “Mia Pista apo Fosforo” (music by Thanos Mikroutsikos, lyrics by Lina Nikolakopoulou), both in the Greek and Turkish language, in perfect coexistence.
“Aphrodisiac” appeared in high places in the public’s predictions for the winner of the Contest, and on the day before the first rehearsal, it figured first in the predictions of the ranking of the 1st semi-final.
See Ogae Greece and wiwiblogs relevant articles here:
To promote the Greek entry, as usual, the song was released in promo kit for distribution to the journalists, and it was extremely smart and in good taste.
Eleftheria was flawless on the night of the semi-final, she filled the stage with her impressive performance, and the whole team was so well synchronised that when they finished, I was sure that Greece would finish very high.
The song passed to the Final comfortably, but unfortunately as it so often happens in the history of Eurovision, on the night of the Contest, the song was not voted as much as it deserved by the public and (mainly) by the Committee, finishing in 17th place.
However, this did not prevent it from becoming very successful in Sweden managing to enter their official chart, (and so did Cyprus entry Ivi Adamou, who reached the top of the Swedish chart and made “La La Love” twice platinum).
“Aphrodisiac” also climbed the charts of several other countries, reaching No. 4 in Greece, No. 24 in Belgium, No. 77 in Germany, No. 56 in Austria, No. 89 in Ireland, and others.
In the following gallery, you will find some of the countries showing “Aphrodisiac’s” entry into their charts.
At the moment, Eleftheria is participating in Survivor Greece and she appears on our screens almost daily and following Twitter one can see that she is very often referred to as Aphrodisiac instead of Eleftheria, and this is due to her taking part in the competition of 2012.
The undersigned with the promo kit of Greece’s participation in the 2012 Eurovision.
More articles relating to Greece and Cyprus participation in the Eurovision Song Contest will follow. Stay tuned!
This article is the English version of the Greek article
translated in English by TINA REFENES
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