To the Victor go the spoils. And Victor Vernicos will be hoping for glory when he represents Greece in the semi-finals of Eurovision on Thursday (May 11).
But Victor’s path to stardom comes with a challenge none of the other contestants will have to cope with, as at the tender age of 16, he is also in the middle of preparing for his GCSEs.
For Victor, his studies are just as important as his music – and just four days after his semi-final appearance in Liverpool – and two days after the final should he make it through – he will face a different kind of challenge with his English Language exam.
Victor, who is Greek, is currently studying at Minerva’s Virtual Academy, an online international school with a global community of over 300 students from 38 countries.
The song he will be performing – What They Say – was written when he was just 14 and deals with the topic of anxiety.
Victor told the Official Eurovision Song Contest Podcast that he always uses his own experiences when he’s writing songs.
“I wrote it when I was 14, the first time I ever felt real anxiety,” he said. “And that anxiety came from realising that my dreams could actually be fulfilled. And that was quite overwhelming for a 14-year-old to take in.”
And despite the pressure of performing at Eurovision and prepping for his exams, Victor is showing remarkable resilience and determination, juggling rehearsals with his rigorous academic preparation.
Lawrence Tubb, headmaster at Minerva, said: “Victor’s story serves as a testament to the power of passion, hard work, and the pursuit of dreams, demonstrating to his peers that age is no barrier to achieving great things.
“His unique journey from the virtual classroom to the Eurovision stage is a story of dedication and balance that will resonate with many students around the world who are pursuing their passions alongside academic commitments.
“We are so proud to be able to support his dual pursuits. We encourage our students to dream big and work hard, and provide a flexible and supportive learning environment that allows students like Victor to thrive both academically and creatively.”