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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 May, 2004, 08:18 GMT 09:18 UK
Kent Cypriot is a Eurovision hit
Lisa Andreas performing for Cyprus
Lisa Andreas will be back at school after Saturday's contest
A 16-year-old girl from Kent will represent Cyprus in this year's Eurovision Song Contest after making it through the competition's semi-final.

Lisa Andreas, who lives in Gillingham, was born in Cyprus.

She will perform at Saturday's contest in Istanbul, Turkey, after being one of 10 acts to qualify through the first ever Eurovision semi-final.

Lisa said she was delighted to have qualified and said the atmosphere at the event was great.

Lisa's song - the ballad Stronger Every Minute - won the approval of the voting public across the 36 participating countries.

The teenager told BBC Radio Kent on Thursday she had had a very late night after her success.

She said: "It was unbelievable - on the way down the stairs to the stage I felt quite confident and I just went for it.

"The audience were lovely, they were very supportive.

Lisa Andreas singing for Cyprus

"Some of the people I had made friends with were going 'Lisa, Lisa'."

Lisa said the rapport between the competing acts was one of the highlights of taking part.

"The ones who are quite close to me, near my dressing room, you get to see them quite a lot because they're always around so you get a great atmosphere."

Lisa, who arrived in Istanbul on Tuesday, will be returning to school after the contest to complete her GCSEs.

She has previously sung with the likes of Atomic Kitten and headlined a concert in London held to raise funds for the New York Disaster Fund after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Twelve acts were eliminated in Wednesday's semi-final to bring the number of finalists down to a more manageable 24.

The extra round has been introduced following the expanding number of eligible Eurovision participants.

Lisa will be the 21st of 24 performers to sing in Saturday's final - appearing on stage immediately after UK entry James Fox.

Last year's Eurovision Song Contest, in which the UK finished last with "nul points", attracted 11 million viewers on BBC1.

Despite the last-place showing in 2003 the UK was spared a semi-final appearance as one of the event's biggest contributors.



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