What would the world be without Eurovision? The camp celebration of all things Eurotrash, has grown to be one of the most iconic events in popular culture pretty much anywhere in the western world. Of course, with that level of notoriety, there is of course, going to come some controversy, like the calls to boycott the 2019 competition and host country Israel over the ongoing conflict with Palestine.
And while this year’s competition might be months away, that controversy has already begun, this time, with the Orthodox Church of Cyprus claiming the country’s entry El Diablo by Elena Tsagrinou is akin to devil worship and must be withdrawn.
In a statement, the Holy Synod, the Church’s highest decision-making body, said that the song “essentially praises the fatalistic submission of humans to the devil’s authority” and urged the state broadcaster to replace it with one that “expresses our history, culture, traditions and our claims.”
Coming out in defence of the song’s lyrics and misconstrued meaning, Board Chairman of the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, Andreas Frangos said the song would not be withdrawn and that it was never the intention of the broadcaster to cause offence, though did conceded it “should’ve done a better job explaining the core message of the tune, which describes an abusive relationship between two lovers.”
But the church in response made it clear they were less than impressed, saying that this “in no way reflects the lyrics’ provocative and unacceptable content which doesn’t cease to represent a terrible subculture that is completely at odds with our people’s values and goes against their Greek and Orthodox traditions.”
“From whatever angle you chose to look it and whichever explanations are given about the lyrics of the song, they don’t send the most ideal messages which must be sent from a semi-occupied homeland that struggles for freedom and to prevent its complete subjugation,” the Holy Synod’s statement continued to read.
Whatever your take on the song’s meanings- or your position on devil worship, there is no question the song itself is an absolute banger, with lyrics such as “I gave my heart to el diablo … because he tells me I’m his angel” and a gaga-esque quality that bodes well with Eurovision’s target demographic and love for all things camp.
This year, Eurovision kicks off in Rotterdam in the Netherlands on Tuesday May 18th, and honestly, we can’t wait to see what controversary is around the corner next.