Kalomira Secret Combination
"Secret Combination" is a song and CD single by Greek singer Kalomira. It was Greece's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 and the first single released from Kalomira's fourth studio album titled Secret Combination the Album. It earned third place in the Eurovision final, finishing behind Russia and Ukraine, despite leading early in the final vote. Since the contest, the song has become a successful hit throughout Europe peaking at #1 in Greece and Cyprus, and reaching the top 40 singles in Turkey, Denmark, Sweden and Finland's download chart, all achieved as a result of digital sales alone. It also charted in Belgium, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
It was officially released to the media and radios by ERT on February 6, 2008. The song was Kalomira's entry in a three way race to be Greece's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008. She battled both Chrispa and Kostas Martakis for the spot. The final decision was made on February 27, 2008 - Kalomira won, and after competing in the semi-final on 20 May 2008 she represented Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest final on 24 May in Belgrade, Serbia. Her song was performed 21st out of 25. Her and Kostas Martakis's songs were leaked onto the internet on February 3, three days before the official release, although the leaked versions were uncompleted demos. The song was released as a digital download on February 12, 2008 and a CD single on March 28, 2008. Kalomira has stated that she plans to record a Greek language version of "Secret Combination" after the contest.
Kalomira appeared on stage in a short J-Lo dress, accompanied by four male back up dancers, two of which had appeared with Elena Paparizou in Kiev in the Eurovision Song Contest 2005. At the start of the show, the four dancers hold her up on top of themselves, while she is laying down. Later she comes down, and starts dancing with them. Each of the dancers has a letter painted under their undershirts and at the end of the song, they stand next to each other spelling the word "love". Kalomira won the National Final with 167,000 votes and for the first time in number of years, the media didn't doubt the result of the selection.
Kalomira was scheduled to presented "Secret Combination" 19th (last) in the first semi-final on May 20, 2008. Konstantinos Pantzis, the composer, announced that there would be a few tweaks to the song for its appearance at Eurovision. The changes included a new beat to the introduction and a few changes to the chorus. ERT announced that this new version would be presented to the European Broadcasting Union as the official version of the song.
Kalomira performed 19th, the last act of the night. The stage show included new choreography, as well as Victoria Halkiti and Nektarios Georgiadis as backing vocalists. There was also a large book on stage that Kalomira stepped out of when singing the lyrics "an open book". At the same moment, Kalomira changed her outfit converting it from a pink dress into a mini-silver skirt. She wore clothes exclusively by J-Lo and managed to finish first receiving 156 points.
Kalomira performed a repeat of her semi-final performance at the Eurovision Final held on May 24, 2008. She presented "Secret Combination" 21st on the night after Azerbaijan and before Spain. Having led initially in the voting, Kalomira finished in third place behind Russia and Ukraine, receiving 218 points. The song received 12 points from United Kingdom, Germany, Albania, San Marino, Cyprus and Romania. On the other hand, Latvia, Iceland, Portugal, Finland, Norway and Lithuania were the only countries that did not vote it in their top ten, thereby giving it no points. The British LGR radio station commented "Visually, the presentation was quite addictively enticing, with a stunningly gorgeous Kalomira, her singing/dance capabilities and her three acrobatic male dancers. The purple-heart gimmick carved out of the giant, life-sized book, proving ingenious".
The shooting lasted nearly twenty consecutive hours, and it was exhausting for Kalomira and for the team that worked under the guidance of director Kostas Kapetanidis. The director decided to focus on the face of the young performer and so chose to do the shoot in a studio and not outdoors. Sometimes alone, sometimes flanked by dancers, Kalomira danced and sang while wearing clothes selected from the collection of J.Lo by Jennifer Lopez. In some scenes of the video, impressive objects with bright colors such as a red Ducati motor bike, a huge disco ball, and big letters with the title of the song were used. The choreography was by Svitailof Ivan and the styling was George Segredaki and Constantine Koutsomichou while the hair and make-up were overseen by Dimitris Giannetos. Through the video clip, Kalomira reveals another side of: sexy, feminine, charming but always innocent and sweet in a quick clip of the montage. In the video edition, the song has changed a lot. On March 14, 2008, NET exclusively aired the official Eurovision video clip of Secret combination during their evening news at 20:00 CET. International fans were able to watch through a satellite broadcast on ERT World. Critical reaction to the song was mostly positive.