2023 - Liverpool


Evri have delivered Finland's parcel.


Loreen's been trapped in cinemascope.

Teya & Salena

Teya & Salena learn
their place in the draw.

Luke Black

Luke Black eyes up the Golden Joystick.

Let 3

All hail the Great Architect, all hail.

Ukraine have a problem. Well, they have quite a few problems, mostly Russian in origin. And one of the smaller problems they have, thanks to winning last year, is hosting the Eurovision Song Contest. Enter hosts-of-default (and last year's second placers) the United Kingdom (they even look a bit similar written down) to rid Ukraine of this nagging worry. So it is that this year we find ourselves in Beatlesville, Blighty.

"Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe..." The draw started strongly with Austria's Teya & Salena: like if you went to a fancy dress Karaoke night as Dollie de Luxe, Pas de Deux, and Baccara all at once. The pair have been possessed by both the spirit of Edgar Allen Poe and the frustration of having just received their first royalty cheque from Spotify ("O, mia padre!"). It's funky, fun, and frankly fantastic. It also sets something of a template for some of this year's better entries. The same rhythm, for instance, works its way right through the set, via Czechia's "We're not your dolls! We're not your dolls!" chanting and haunted warbly noises, through to the UK's surprisingly decent entry at the other end of the draw where it's given more of a latin treatment and a slightly awkward rap.

Serbia are still being pleasingly batshit: Luke Black is a Romantic poet played by Tamsin Greig who wakes from his giant Lilly to play some 1990s beat-em-up on an episode of GamesMaster. It's all fey breathy vocals, grinding power-chords, detuned noodles, and pulling power cables full of dry ice out of the backs of Hatari rejects. Across the border, Croatia's Let 3 have just returned from an audience with the Great Architect and come back with a tractor. Resplendent in military drag they have something very important to say about warmongering authoritarianism in all its entirely non-specific forms, and they're doing it with a chanting over-blown campy power-rock stomp like the soldiers of love that they are.

"Cha cha cha cha cha cha cha!" chant the audience in the hall at any given opportunity, echoing the refrain of televote-storming Finland. There's Käärijä with his Electric Callboy basincut, winning grin, and brussels sprout bollero, breaking free of his packing crate like the wild-dancing animal that he is. He may be at large, but his luminous pink ballroom dancers remain tethered until the song itself finally breaks free of its punchy treadmill, unfurling into a completely different song: a happy-go-lucky playground dance ditty. As a wise man once said: "It's crazy. It's party." Too crazy for the juries, it seems. They were much more entranced by Sweden's Loreen, doing the usual well-polished Swedish entry while dressed as one of the Alien/Ripley hybrids from Alien IV if said Alien/Ripley hybrid from Alien IV had been trapped in a Breville toaster. In the battle of televote vs juries, the juries won, which means we're back in Sweden for the 50th anniversary of Waterloo.

For each year's songs we apply our points in the 12-10-8 style of the modern contest, irrespective of how the voting functioned at the time. In brackets is the position the song came on the night:


Teya and Salena
"Who the Hell Is Edgar?"

"Cha Cha Cha"

Luke Black
"Samo mi se spava"

Let 3
"Mama ŠČ!"

"My Sister's Crown"


"Ai coração"

"Queen of Kings"

"Future Lover"

Bianca Paloma

Albina and Familja Kelmendi

Europe had Sweden first, Israel third, Italy fourth, Ukraine sixth, Belgium seventh, Estonia eighth, Australia ninth, Lithuania eleventh, Cyprus twelfth, France 16th, Moldova 18th, Poland 19th, Switzerland 20th, Slovenia 21st, United Kingdom 25th and Germany last.

Finland won the televote but came fourth in the jury vote. Of the rest of our top five, the juries benefitted Austria and Czechia but hated Serbia and Croatia. Spain's delightful Flamenco caterwaul came last in the televote.

This year's field was the thinnest since 2014, with entry fees being a barrier for several countries and war-mongering being a barrier for a couple of others. But that needn't mean a hit to the televote, because now there's a new "Rest of the World" bank of points to be awarded!

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