Cyprus’s Eurovision 2021 Entry

Poor TIX, a fallen angel longing for someone so far above where angels belong, when Elena Tsagrinou is right there, ready to give herself to El Diablo.

It’s hard for me to listen to “El Diablo” without thinking that Cyprus is trying once again to recapture that “Fuego” magic that propelled them to the upper stratosphere of Eurovision. But it’s like a photocopy of a photocopy, and it doesn’t work for me at all.

My disdain starts with the lyrics, which are peppered with gratuitous Spanish. Little Big satirized the use of Spanish as a generic language of seduction in “Uno” just last year. There’s also a random reference to sriracha, which I suppose you could put on your ta-taco tamale, but it’s not the hot sauce that immediately comes to mind in a ta-taco tamale situation.

Then Elena asks mamacita to tell her what to do. Who is this mamacita? Is she calling her mom mamacita? Don’t call your mom mamacita.

And you’re breaking the rules by giving it up to El Diablo because he told you’re his angel? That’s not a good rule to break. If someone called El Diablo says, “Let’s swap tacos and tamales because you’re my angel,” DO NOT GIVE UP YOUR TACO TO HIM.

It’s a catchy song, though. Elena sings the chorus four times, which helps. It also sounds like a lost Lady Gaga track, which also helps. But it never really goes anywhere. We get it, you gave it up to El Diablo. You keep saying that. Is it a cry for help? Do you and your army of children chanting “I love El Diablo” need help?

I have hope that the staging of “El Diablo” will be spectacular. Leaning into camp will at least accentuate the song’s nonsensical excesses. As it stands right now, though, I think it’s a shambles.