Australian artist Andrew Lambrou has become one of the first names locked in for Eurovision 2023, however he won’t be appearing in support of his home turf – rather, he’s been elected to represent Cyprus.
The news came earlier today (October 18) via the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), who revealed in a statement that, “further to the agreement it has entered into with Panik Records of Greece, and in cooperation with City Pop Records of Australia, Cyprus will be represented at the 67th Eurovision Song Contest by the popular singer of Cypriot descent Andrew Lambrou”.
As mentioned in the CBC’s statement, Lambrou is of Cypriot (and Greek) descent. He’s currently based in Sydney, and earlier this year, competed to represent Australia at Eurovision 2022 with a campaign on the SBS’ Australia Decides program. Vying for the role with his song ‘Electrify’, Lambrou finished in seventh place.
“I’ve grown up watching Eurovision with my family,” he said prior to competing, “admiring all that goes into it and seeing artists show their craft to the world, and to be a part of this show is like a dream come true. I’m so excited to show Australia my artistry, and to potentially represent my country in this amazing song contest is the most encouraging thought for me.”
At this year’s Eurovision, Australia was represented by Sheldon Riley. He beat Voyager out by three points on Australia Decides, and made it through to the Grand Final of the global contest. There, performing his song ‘Not The Same’, Riley finished in 15th place (with Ukrainian group Kalush scoring the top prize).
“This has been the most incredible experience of my entire life,” Riley said of his involvement in the contest. “This is everything I could have dreamed of. Eurovision is more than a competition. I don’t think there are many people in the world that have been told so strongly that weren’t able to achieve something and actually went on to do it. I couldn’t be more proud of myself.”
Though the annual Eurovision Song Contest is typically held in the country that won its previous iteration, next year’s will not be hosted by Ukraine. Announcing as much in a statement back in June, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said: “The decision was guided by the EBU’s responsibility to ensure the conditions are met to guarantee the safety and security of everyone working and participating in the event, the planning of which needs to begin immediately in the host country.”
It’s not yet been confirmed where Eurovision 2023 will be held.