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Greek Court Declines to Rule Before Eurovision, Vernicos to Represent Greece in Liverpool

ATHENS – A Greek court has announced that it will not be able to make a ruling ahead of the May Eurovision Song Contest, effectively setting aside a suit brought by singer Melissa Mantzoukis, who had finished second in the selection process led by state broadcaster ERT. This means that the winner of the selection, Greek-Danish singer Victor Vernicos, will be representing the country in Liverpool, where the kitschy event will be hosted in place of Ukraine, which is currently dealing with an ongoing Russian invasion.

According to WiWiBloggs, while Vernicos will still perform his song, titled “What They Say”, the court declined to grant Mantzoukis a temporary injunction that could have resulted in Greece being left without an entry.

The court in Greece stated that it could not rule in time for the May Eurovision song contest, putting aside a lawsuit brought by singer Melissa Mantzoukis, who came in second in the selection led by state broadcaster ERT. As a result, Greek-Danish singer Victor Vernicos, who won the selection, will represent the country in Liverpool, where the event will take place. The competition was moved to Liverpool after Ukraine withdrew due to an ongoing Russian invasion. WiWiBloggs reported that while Vernicos will perform his song, “What They Say,” the court refused to grant Mantzoukis a temporary injunction, which could have prevented Greece from participating in the event.

The case won’t be heard until after the competition, but ERT’s delay in releasing a video of Vernicos’ entry, which was selected from six competitors in an international selection that shortlisted three of them, was attributed to a train tragedy that killed 57 people. Both a jury panel made up of media and music professionals formed by ERT and an audience committee that sampled Eurovision viewers by age range judged all three songs and picked Vernicos. Mantzoukis requested the full results of the selection and raised questions about the voting process used by the two committees to reach a score. She noted that the third finalist, Maria Maragou and Antonia Kaouri, withdrew late but were still included in the calculations.

Melissa’s lawyer spoke on the TV show Super Katerina and claimed that her score was unfairly affected by the ERT committee, but the broadcaster hasn’t commented on the case so far. Parts of the entries have been leaked online, showing that Vernicos’ song appears to be a guitar ballad, while Mantzoukis’ “Liar” is described by the site as a “sassy pop banger,” a type of song that typically appeals to Eurovision voters.

ERT received 106 submissions, but there was a notable omission among the semi-final seven who didn’t make it to the competition, according to the site. Greek-American songstress Evangelia, who has had a string of hits, was left out without explanation. In a TikTok video to her fans, she revealed that she wasn’t being considered after sharing a preview of her new song, “Pali,” which she said was one of the entries that she had submitted to ERT in January.

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