image credit: Corinne Cumming / EBU
Sweden are the winners of the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest!
It was a record-breaking night in Liverpool. Loreen joined Johnny Logan in the ranks of the two-time winners as “Tattoo” took the title, while the seventh win in the contest for Sweden means they draw level with Ireland at the top of the all-time winners’ list – as the BBC chose to point out right at the start of the evening. Foreshadowing much?
Although Sweden dominated the jury vote, the overall result was far from a foregone conclusion thanks to the entry from Finland, “Cha Cha Cha” by Käärijä, which got the highest televote score by a long way. Viewed in isolation, it was a remarkable result for a Finnish-language song, and a rather aggressive and unconventionally structured one at that. It just goes to show that anything, from Finnish hyperpop rap to Portuguese balladry, can capture the hearts of the viewing audience. However, Loreen still finished a comfortable second in the televote – something that’s worth remembering amid all the cries of “robbed!” from Finland fans – and that was enough for overall victory with a fairly healthy lead.
The podium was completed by Noa Kirel from Israel and “Unicorn”, who came out on top in a back-and-forth battle with Italy‘s Marco Mengoni throughout the jury and televoting phases.
The full result last night was as follows:
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) May 13, 2023
All of which means our escgo! winner prediction was pretty accurate. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? It’s hard to say – it’s nice to be able to pat yourself on the back, but a few surprises are always welcome too.
At the other end of the table, it’s back to the drawing board for the United Kingdom after Sam Ryder’s success last year, but a thin vocal was never going to attract many votes to Mae Muller so soon after the powerhouse performances from Norway and Israel. Meanwhile, Germany did actually move in the right direction – as former participant Jendrik humorously pointed out on Twitter, they keep multiplying their points score from year to year! – but they ended up with another last place to add to their recent poor record. (If you speak German, there’s an interesting and detailed analysis of their result here.)
And we should also note that our ChatVote winner, Austria, ended up in mid-table after failing to really connect with the televoters in the final – but Teya and Salena seemed to have a great time in Liverpool, so three cheers to them.
As the (blood and) glitter slowly settled and the afterparties began, the full results of the semi-finals were released over on eurovision.tv, and there were a few notable insights. The scores were always going to be lower because the semis were televote-only this year, but everything from 12th downwards in the first semi-final scoring ten points or less was still a remarkable outcome. As such, Latvia can feel extremely unfortunate to have received 30+ points and only narrowly missed out to Serbia for the final envelope. Meanwhile, in semi 2, there was no real drama in the qualification border area – but we did get two instances of “nul points”, as both Romania and San Marino failed to pick up a single point.
So, returning to the top of the final scoreboard, it’s to Sweden that we find ourselves heading for the 2024 contest (and, tidily enough, the 50th anniversary of ABBA’s victory). At the risk of being too Netta about it: next year in Stockholm/Gothenburg/Malmö/Umeå/Växjö/Katrineholm!
We’ll be back with a little more analysis here on escgo! before we close the door on the exciting events in Liverpool, but for now, it’s officially that moment where the Wikipedia article is edited to say: “The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 was the 67th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest.”
Here’s the winning reprise one more time. Congratulations to Sweden!