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Monday, October 2, 2023

Eurovision 2023: Sweden’s Loreen Triumphs for the Second Time

The top three acts this year were: Sweden's Loreen--Tattoo (583 points), Finland's Käärijä--Cha Cha Cha (526 points), and Israel's Noa Kirel--Unicorn (362 points)

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

UNITED KINGDOM. England: Sweden’s Loreen won Eurovision 2023 with her soaring pop anthem “Tattoo” in Liverpool, northern England, on Saturday, becoming the first female to win twice. The celebrity, who last won the contest in 2012, defeated Käärijä of Finland in a close vote.

Mae Muller of the UK fell short of Sam Ryder’s accomplishments from the previous year, finishing in 25th position, one place above the bottom.

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The Princess of Wales also unexpectedly appeared, playing the piano with the Kalush Orchestra, last year’s victors.

Following Ireland’s Johnny Logan, Loreen is only the second person—and the first female—to win Eurovision twice.

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“This is so overwhelming. I’m so grateful. I’m so thankful,” she stated as she accepted the trophy. “In my wildest dreams, I didn’t think this would happen.”

Sweden’s triumph means the competition will be held next year on the 50th anniversary of Abba’s famous victory at Waterloo in 1974.

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However, Ireland lost this year’s competition at the semi-final stage for the fifth time in a row, a result its head of delegation called “devastating”.

The top three acts this year were: Sweden’s Loreen–Tattoo (583 points), Finland’s Käärijä–Cha Cha Cha (526 points), and Israel’s Noa Kirel–Unicorn (362 points).

Liverpool hosted the event this year on behalf of a war-torn Ukraine. 2022 saw Ukraine triumph. The show’s opening segment featured the Kalush Orchestra, the winners from the previous year, singing an expanded version of Stefania in part recorded in Kyiv.

Stars including Sam Ryder, Joss Stone, and Andrew Lloyd Webber added a British flair to the song when the band boarded a train from Kyiv’s renowned Maidan Nezalezhnosti metro station and arrived on the stage of the Liverpool Arena.

The Princess of Wales played the piano in a small video that was captured earlier this month in the crimson drawing chamber of Windsor Castle.

Back in the arena, Kalush performed their brand-new tune Changes, sending Russia a message of defiance with the lyrics “Give my all down to the wire / Set me free.”

It was the first of several allusions to the conflict in a programme that adopted a more political tenor than other Eurovision competitions.

The Croatian band Let 3! performed a song that called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “crocodile psychopath,” and the Czech band Vesna sang “We’re with you in our hearts” in Ukrainian.

The Ukrainian entry, Tvorchi, performed a stirring song that was motivated by the Mariupol siege. Officials reported that Russian missiles struck the duo’s hometown of Ternopil just before the band performed in Liverpool.

With a final score of 243, they ultimately finished in sixth place.

Due to the invasion, Russia was disqualified from the competition, yet the show’s managers forbade Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky from speaking during the show.

Wherever else, Eurovision was Eurovision. There were Miami Vice homages in the style of the 1980s, a ghost story about Edgar Allen Poe, and, of course, a tear-away dress. 

However, the competition’s musical component keeps getting better. 

The lively, forceful EAEA by Spain’s Blanca Paloma fused traditional flamenco rhythms with a pulsating electro pulse, and the Piaf-meets-Daft-Punk Évidemment by France’s La Zarra brought together decades of Gallic music history.

Israeli performers, particularly those from Israel, included sleek dance breaks in their performances, while two gymnasts on trampolines joined Italy’s Marco Mengoni.

There was also the customary overabundance of tortured ballads, both good (Lithuania) and dull (Albania), and a never-ending procession of lyrics about banding together and being friendly to your neighbours (Belgium, Switzerland, Australia).

Käärijä, a Finnish rapper, received more votes over the phone than Loreen did, making him the clear winner in public opinion. However, his jumbled fusion of hardcore techno, K-pop melodies, and thrash metal failed to astonish the jury of music professionals.

With a post-modern twist, two songs from the songwriting process served as the competition’s bookends. Teya & Salena, an Austrian duo, opened the performance with their eccentric pop anthem, Who the Hell is Edgar, in which they are forced to write a song by the ghost of American author Edgar Allen Poe.

Mae Muller wrapped up the competition an hour and a half later with I Wrote A Song, in which she gets back at her ex-boyfriend by cataloguing all of his transgressions in a song.

In other words, Muller sang, “Instead, I wrote a song,” towards the end of the competition, which had started with the line, “Oh my God, you’re such a good writer.”

Alesha Dixon, Hannah Waddingham, and Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina served as the contest’s hosts. Graham Norton joined them for the voting round.

The “Liverpool songbook” was featured during the interval, with performances by previous Eurovision contestants of songs by John Lennon, Melanie C, and Gerry and the Pacemakers.

And Sam Ryder, who placed second for the UK last year, gave an emotive rendition of his new song, Mountains, while Roger Taylor from Queen played the drums.

Ryder was accompanied on stage by dancers who had lost limbs. Ryder’s song is about overcoming adversity. In the jury vote, Loreen easily prevailed, receiving the maximum of 12 points from countries including Ireland, Estonia, Spain, Albania, Cyprus, and Ukraine.

With a score of 340, she completed the jury round ahead of Marco Mengoni of Italy by a comfortable 163 points. Käärijä temporarily held the lead thanks to the public’s preference for him, which resulted in 526 points for him.

After a tense pause, Loreen unexpectedly regained the crown with a final public score of 243, putting her back on top.

Also Read: Liverpool Anticipated to Receive £40 million Eurovision Boost in Visitor Spending


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