Page last updated at 17:52 GMT, Sunday, 16 May 2004 18:52 UK

Top five for Kent Eurovision girl

Lisa Andreas performing for Cyprus
Only three countries gave Lisa "null points"

A teenager from Gillingham in Kent has clinched fifth place in the Eurovision Song Contest representing Cyprus - the country of her mother's birth.

Lisa Andreas, 16, received 170 points for her ballad, Stronger Every Minute.

Her total saw her finish joint fifth alongside Sweden - behind winners Ukraine, Serbia and Montenegro, Greece and Turkey.

Lisa, who lived in Cyprus for two-and-a-half years as a child, was the contest's youngest competitor.

Getting to meet everyone from everywhere was great, you're not going to get that feeling anywhere else
Lisa Andreas

A pupil at Chatham Grammar School for Girls, Lisa has been performing as a solo artist since she was 13.

In Saturday's contest, which was held in the Turkish city of Istanbul, Lisa received points from all but three of the 35 countries able to vote for her.

She picked up a maximum 12 points from Greece while the UK, Ireland and Iceland each gave her the second-highest score of 10.

Lisa had promised no gimmicks in her performance, saying it would be "just me and my song" and her act was a far cry from Ukrainian winner Ruslana, whose song Wild Dance was accompanied by skimpy leather and fur costumes and whips.

Ukrainian Ruslana celebrates her victory
Eurovision winner Ruslana from Ukraine celebrated in style

After the event she told the BBC: "The experience has given me a boost in my career and a boost to my confidence.

"Getting to meet everyone from everywhere was great, you're not going to get that feeling anywhere else.

"That has been a brilliant experience, it felt amazing."

The 16-year-old's performance gained praise from BBC commentator and Eurovision legend Terry Wogan, who said he had expected her to finish higher.

Her mother Kalomera and British father Bob Large flew to Turkey to be with their daughter for the competition.

Lisa was given two weeks off school for the contest, but will now be returning to complete her GCSEs.

Her performance overshadowed that of the other entrant from the UK - former Fame Academy student James Fox, who came 16th, scoring 29 points for the UK.



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