Eurovision First Listen: The One Thing Cyprus Should Do

Eurovision Song Contest 2015 (Logo: Eurovision)
Eurovision Song Contest 2015 (Logo: Eurovision)

Could this be the year that Cyprus cracks the top ten again?

Cyprus’ recent Eurovision history isn’t good. No, seriously … in reviewing over three decades of Cypriot entries, I cringed at more songs than I recognized. In the past ten years, Cyprus failed to make it out of the semifinals on six occasions, placed 18th, 21st, and 16th the few times it did make the finals, and sat out of the competition entirely last year. Could this be the year that Cyprus cracks the top ten again? It’s all up to Giannis Karagiannis and his ballad, “The One Thing I Should Have Done:”

Let me focus, for a moment, on the first half of this song. It’s great! The instrumentation is smartly understated, Karagiannis’ lovely voice shines through, the harmony is perfect, the lyrics are on point, and the presentation is nearly flawless. I tend not to like overly-earnest, borderline-creepy male singers at Eurovision unless they are dancing, but this song is drawing me in, and I’m feeling bad for the guy. And then? The payoff to all of this setup, that the narrator is completely heartbroken because of one thing that he didn’t do?

“I should have been there for you.” (Four times, just in case you missed it the first three.) Followed by “…But I tried so hard and that’s the truth.”

What kind of pathetic excuse for a heartbreak song is this?

This is like showing up on the day of an exam that will determine the rest of your future and being like “You know, I am devastated, I totally should have studied. But I washed my car so many times, I don’t understand what happened!” No, jerk, when you are with somebody you have ONE JOB and that is TO BE THERE FOR THEM. If you can’t do that, you don’t have the right to be all “boo hoo my heart is broken too.” This guy things the road was paved with gold … I’d be interested to hear what the person on the OTHER side of the relationship thought about how things were going.

Seriously, though, this song would be great with a few lyrical tweaks. The first half of the song talks the talk, but the second half can’t walk the walk. Make this song about some tragic and irreconcilable but ultimately understandable difference (think: Romeo and Juliet), and this song could vault Cyprus high into the finals.

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