Despite their lengthy history at Eurovision, Cyprus is yet to triumph at Eurovision. The nation came awfully close in 2018 with the iconic entrant Eleni Foureira, showing that Cyprus is hungry for a win! This year they selected Sandro, who would have been performing the song Running at the contest this year – could this have been their year for success?
Anita (Eurovision Union)
Song and Vocals
After the success of Eleni Foureira, Cyprus backed it up with Tamta who performed what was a very similar style of song to Fuego. In a way, Cyprus has now put themselves in a box, because Eurovision fans simultaneously want something to replicate Fuego, but also they critique anything that does sound like Fuego. Although Cyprus is delivering another radio-friendly pop number, it’s far from Fuego in style, but not in quality.
Running is contemporary and incredibly catchy, but admittedly it has taken a few listens to really appreciate this song. This has been one of the songs that I keep coming back to, and I credit that to the mix of beat and Sandro’s tone of voice. When I first heard this song, my first thoughts were, ‘are we sure this isn’t Alfie Arcuri?’ which all made sense when I saw that Alfie was indeed a songwriter. They have very similar voices, and as such it feels like a strong move to bring Alfie in as a songwriter to really create something that works well with Sandro.
Performance and Act
This is the aspect that I had the biggest question mark over. How would a song like this be presented? Would it be dependent on props, or dancers, or both? Perhaps just a strong light show, or some pyro, but I can’t quite imagine it all coming together. Despite that, I think Cyprus would have had a plan, especially coming off the performances of Fuego and Replay. In a way, I think the stage performance would have been the deciding factor for Cyprus.
Next Up: 2021
Considering Sandro was internally selected, it feels like a natural choice to continue with him for 2021. I would like to see the collaboration with Alfie Arcuri again, as it feels like a very natural choice. No matter their choice, I would like to see Cyprus continue with the momentum that they have had in recent years. A strong songwriting team and performance vision will guarantee that.
This has become one of my favourite entries of the year, but took a few listens to get there. I definitely would say it flew under the radar, and may have risen in the ranks come rehearsal time, provided that there was a clear stage vision. As it stood, I think Cyprus would have come in the 7-13 region, making them in contention for borderline qualification, or just missing out depending on the live performance.
Song and Vocals
A contemporary song, which stayed a bit under the radar in the odds and fanbase. It is not super radio friendly and on first listen it might not stick with a lot of people. The build-up of the song and potential it leaves for a stage presentation is very high. It always remains a risk, because if the singer doesn’t deliver in a live televised performance, it will fail. But it could also work out well.
Performance and Act
We don’t know what the plans were for Cyprus in 2020. But listening to the song, I have the feeling that it was written with the potential of some kind of visual hook on the stage. Cyprus had their team together, including someone for that stage directing, when the song ‘Running’ was written. I can’t know for sure, but I had the feeling they were working on something good.
Next up: 2021
After saying all of this, I can’t imagine Cyprus switching to another artist in 2021. They will probably come back with another completed idea. A song that has the potential to get something extra, something uplifting, in the live act or performance. They went for club music, and they probably will do it again in 2021.
I can’t say I was convinced with the Cypriot chances at Eurovision 2020, there are so many things that could have gone wrong with this entry. But my gut feeling says they were on the right track and I considered them a borderline qualifier before the rehearsals took place. So yes, they could do better in 2021, simple as that. But they can also come up with something less than this, if my suspicions are correct that they had their entire plan well thought out and need to start from scratch again.
Additional Scores from Eurovision Union and ESCDaily editors:
Average Score: 6.1/10
What do you think of Running? Follow our Eurovision 2020 reviews here.