CULTURE

Sakis Rouvas: Shaking it for Greece

Foreigners are right when they say that we Greeks moan all the time about what goes on in Greece, but when it comes to Greece itself we are ready to lay down our lives. We showed it in the 1821 War of Independence, when we united to overthrow the Turks and again when our heroes were thrown in prison while struggling to create a free state. History repeats itself, even if we don’t learn anything from it. This simplistic prologue is for Sakis Rouvas, Greece’s entrant in the Eurovision song contest tonight, who has been giving interviews draped in the Greek flag like an Olympic champion. Everyone, Greeks everywhere, have declared overnight that «he is doing what he is doing for Greece, and he is doing it well.» We are all with him, and we were glued to our TV sets Wednesday night for the first round and let the kids stay up even though it was a school night «because Sakis is singing for Greece» to music by Nikos Terzis and lyrics by Nektarios Tyrakis. We have not yet won the 49th Eurovision Song Contest, even if music and singing is in our blood. But the contest being broadcast throughout Europe calls for easy rhythms, a catchy melody and, above all, a show, movement, dancing and a singer who can seize the public’s attention. We have finally found that person in Sakis Rouvas, a youth pop idol for over a decade. He can dance, sing, do somersaults and smile, all at the same time, not to mention the fact that he has the head and body of an ancient statue in motion. Tonight, at the Eurovision final in Istanbul’s Ipekci Arena, he is singing to win, and if he does, he will be bringing Eurovision to Athens in 2005, not too many months after the Olympic Games. Competition, distinction and a pop star, even with a song that is not at all Greek: That is what we want and what we are counting on. This evening we will know. Que sera sera!