ATHENS – Greece hasn’t had a winner since Helena Paparizou’s aptly-named My Number One took the crown in 2005 and now eyes and ears are on a 16-year-old Greek-Danish pop singer to do it again.
It’s hard to make out the lyrics but Victor Vernicos, 16, won the contest to represent Greece at the Eurovision kitschy song contest, this year in Liverpool, but will have to get past a semi-final qualifying on May 11.
The finals will be May 13 and watched around Europe and parts of the world because, the name aside, the event allows entries outside the bloc too, including places like Israel and Australia.
Vernicos even wrote the entry What They Say and it’s gained good notice from critics and reviewers previewing the contest, including on the Eurovision Live Blog that even gave him some raves.
“His signature dance move is an infectious bounce that will have the arena jumping … Ed Sheeran is one of his musical influences, and you can definitely feel the Sheeran vibe in What They Say. A confident and uplifting performance, and the Greek delegation should be very happy with that,” it said.
He said he’s proud of his dual heritage but when it comes to food it’s no contest: he’ll go Greek every time and told the site that at one sitting he can eat 10 souvlakis. and a pile of loukoumades for dessert. And he’s slim.
His musical bent tilts toward his Scandinavian roots too though as he said he loved a Eurovision winner, Fairytale, by Norwegian singer Alexander Rybak – who triumphed twice at the contest.
Vernicos is also a big fan of Beatles classic Yesterday and the epic track from Eurovision winner Måneskin, Coraline, liking songs that inspire him to release emotions and passion.
He told the Official Eurovision Song Contest Podcast that he always uses his own experiences when he’s writing songs and wrote What They Say two years earlier when he felt emotional.
“I wrote it when I was 14, the first time I ever felt a real anxiety. And that anxiety came from realizing that my dreams could actually be fulfilled. And that was quite overwhelming for a 14-year-old to take in,” he said.
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