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Greece’s “Betrayal” of Cyprus in Eurovision Contest Sparks Outrage

Cyprus Eurovision 2023
Greece surprised Eurovision fans this year by snubbing Cyprus when the Greek jury granted Andrew Lambrou only four points. Credit: Eurovision Song Contest

As the popular saying goes, “Nothing is certain in life except death and taxes.” But for decades, there was another certainty: that Greece and Cyprus would award one another twelve points at the Eurovision.

However, one of life’s few certainties is no more. On Saturday, the Greek jury granted Cyprus a mere four points, sparking a mixture of anger and amusement from Greek and Greek Cypriot Eurovision fans.

The surprising Eurovision “betrayal” has provoked a mixed reaction including several light-hearted memes poking fun at the vote and a flurry of online comments. Even the famous Greek singer Kaiti Garbi, who represented Greece at the competition in 1993, weighed in with a lengthy comment on Twitter.

Greece gives Cyprus only four points at the Eurovision

Over the years, the tendency for Greece and Cyprus to grant each other the maximum possible scores at the Eurovision Song Contest has become so expected that any deviation from this “tradition” is a cause for shock.

Indeed, fans of Eurovision have turned this tendency for the Greeks and Cypriots to vote for each other into a running joke. When it is time for Greece and Cyprus to announce their votes, the live audience at the Eurovision venue can usually be heard shouting “Greece” or “Cyprus” in anticipation of the expected result.

Eurovision Greece Cyprus meme
Memes like these are common on online Eurovision discussion forums poking fun at Greek and Cypriot voting habits. Credit: Turtle_the_Oblivious / r/eurovision / Reddit

During this year’s competition, however, the Greek jury granted Cyprus only four points out of a possible twelve, much to the surprise of long-term fans of the song contest.

Instead, Greece’s committee, appointed by state broadcaster ERT, gave the coveted twelve points to Belgium, followed by Portugal. This left Andrew Lambrou, representing Cyprus with the song “Break a Broken Heart” out of the top ten, with just a four-point deficit.

Ultimately, Loreen, representing Sweden with the song “Tattoo”, went on to win the competition. Her position at the top of the leaderboard after the jury votes looked threatened when it was revealed that Finnish performer Käärijä had won the popular vote with a whopping 376 points after his song “Cha Cha Cha” captured the European public’s imagination. However, the jury votes were enough to propel Loreen, who also triumphed in 2012 with the song Euphoria, to her second Eurovision win.


When the Greek jury vote was announced on live television, the shock could be heard from the Eurovision audience in Liverpool, where the competition was hosted this year due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, which prevented last year’s winners from hosting in their own country.

In addition to the amused reactions of some Eurovision fans, there also appears to have been some genuine anger regarding the Greek jury’s vote. This prompted ERT to release detailed results about the Greek jury’s voting in an effort to reassure critics that the votes were valid.

Greek singer Kaiti Garbi posted on Twitter, expressing her dismay over the Greek jury’s decision. “We deprived Cyprus of the ten it really deserved because the Greek committee was not ashamed and gave 4 to Andrew Lambrou. Arrange with your nonsense there to continue like this & in the end let the Cypriots take us back from halloumi to the goddess Anna Vissi!” wrote Garbi.

This year, Greece’s entry failed to qualify for the finals. Victor Vernicos, with the song “What They Say” did not receive enough votes to secure a place. Nevertheless, Cyprus still granted Greece the customary twelve points during the Eurovision semifinals. Perhaps next year, Cyprus will defy conventions and deny Greece the expected twelve points.

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