Greece are getting into Eurovision spirits! For the first time since 2013, Greek broadcaster ERT is planning to air two preview shows for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. The hosts of “Prin To Kokkino Chali” will be Maria Kozakou and Giorgos Kapoutzidis.
Weekend before the show
ERT will be dedicating the weekend before the actual contest in Tel Aviv to their preview shows. The first show has been scheduled for Saturday, 11th May. The second show will then take place a day later, on Sunday 12th May.
Maria Kozakou and Giorgos Kapoutzidis will host the show – in theory. In the announcement video ERT released, they say that the shows are likely to feature guests that may just present the show whenever they can. Three of these guests represented Greece at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1977: Paschalis, Robert and Bessy Argyraki. They finished in fifth place that year with “Mathima Solfege”, a song they performed together with Marianna Toli, who passed away in late 2018.
Other guests on the show include Fotis Sergoulopoulos, the Greek commentator at Eurovision 2007 and singer Jerome Kaluta. ERT also introduced 2018 karate World Champion Eleni Chatiziliadou as one of the guests.
According to the ERT TV guide, the show has the title “Prin To Kokkino Chali”, which translates as “Before The Red Carpet” in English. ERT use the show title more often to preview big events, such as the Oscars.
Previews all over Europe
Greece are certainly not the only country to do a preview show for the Eurovision Song Contest. Other examples include Alla Leið in Iceland and the Songcheck in Germany. The latter finished a little over a week ago, with Mahmood from Italy winning overall. Other countries, such as Greece, do their preview shows rather close to the actual contest. The Netherlands usually broadcast Op Weg Naar Het Songfestival half an hour before the actual shows of Eurovision start.
The phenomenon of preview shows dates back to the 1970s and 1980s, when people did not have the chance to look at the entries online. Popular previews, such as the ones in the United Kingdom and Sweden, no longer exist, with others doing better than ever.
Prin To Kokkino Chali will be broadcast on ERT 2 on 11th and 12th May 2019 at 22:00 local time.