This is the first of Whoops’ reviews to be written after the announcement of the full running orders for the first and second semi-finals at this year’s Contest. So it’s the kinda twist we like that the first of those is the one that’s going to close the first semi-final in Lisbon this year.
Fuego is the sultry offering from the remarkably-lipped Eleni Foureira, the sort of woman you couldn’t imagine nipping the offy for some scratchcards and 20 Bensons in a polyester jogging suit. No, Eleni is more likely to have a very willing best friend who’d do that for her. Do anything for her, in fact.
When watching Eleni in all her sultriness and flappy-dressness, it’s worth remembering how far the Cypriot entries have come in recent years.
It was rare for TV Cyprus to deviate from either the swirling ballad or traditional tune with a touch of the panpipes. Then came the 1999 Contest and Tha’nai Erotas, the almost clubland banger which gave a significant proportion of Eurovision fans the vapours as it stormed its way to two whole points in Jerusalem.
From that point on, Cyprus seemed to have found a bit of a mojo, going from boybands (2002) to Broadway showstoppers (2004), laid back and acoustic (2010, 2015) and something a bit clubby again (2012).
For 2018, we’re not quite back in the club. We’re over the road in that posh bar with the booths where you have to order wine with a cooler.
That’s because Fuego, for all its good intentions, never gets much beyond first gear. This is not the tune they would save until the end of the night in Euroclub, more one at the beginning which reminds you the DJ has finally turned up but will be back with something proper to dance to in a bit.
It sounds cruel but as the divergence between Eurovision entries and the world’s charts narrows with each passing Contest, it’s important to find that special ingredient to make you stand out in a field of 43.
And while Eleni finds being fabulous an effortless task, Fuego itself is the clubland equivalent of beige. Not so much a roaring inferno, no fuego – rather a squib húmedo.
It’s still qualifying though. Nobody would be stupid enough to bet against that pout.