Yiannis Savvidakis competed against other Eurovision artists such as Eleftheria Eleftheriou and Sophia Vossou (Greece 2012 and 1991 respectively) to win the second series of popular celebrity talent show Your Face Sounds Familiar. In 1989, the artist had represented Cyprus in Eurovision with Apopse As Vrethoume, a duet with Fani Polymeri.
Your Face Sounds Familiar is a reality TV show format in which celebrities impersonate famous singers. Developed by Netherlands based production company Endemol and Spanish TV channel Antena 3, the franchise has been successful in many countries around the world. In Greece and Cyprus, the show is broadcast by Antenna TV. Following a successful first run in 2013, the final of the Greek version’s second series was won by Yiannis Savvidakis last Sunday.
Athens born Savvidakis is a singer/songwriter, but it was through his television acting that he became widely known in Greece and Cyprus in the 1990’s. His participation in YFSF included impersonations of, amongst others, Elton John, Boy George, Amy Winehouse and Joe Cocker and has raised the artist’s popularity status: ‘As far as the publicity I have received is concerned, (…) it went up high and very quickly; I will do whatever is in my hands not to let it start waning as quickly (…) I am preparing an album with old and three or four new songs’, he remarked during a TV interview shortly after his win.
The first two Greek series of YFSF had strong links and references to the Eurovision Song Contest. Eurovision artists to enter the talent show in the past included Mando (Greece 2003), Kostas Martakis (Greek N.F. 2008 and 2014), Thomai Apergi (Greek N.F. 2013) and Crystallia (Greek N.F. 2014), whereas this year saw Eleftheria Eleftheriou (Greece 2012) finishing as the highest ranking female contestant in fifth place, narrowly missing out on a place in the show’s final. Well respected singer Sophia Vossou (Greece 1991) ended up a place lower: sixth out of the ten YFSF competing artists. Reflecting the popularity of the contest in the country, both series of Your Face Sounds Familiar in Greece have also included special Eurovision Week editions where all contestants had to impersonate past Eurovision entrants.
In the following videos, you can see Yiannis Savvidakis – performing at Eurovision in 1989 and as the lead singer of Athena (Turkey 2004) for YFSF – as well as Eleftheria Eleftheriou’s impersonation of Loreen (2012 Eurovision winner).
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