The Eurovision Song Contest returns to the UK after 25 years. A British artist has not won the festival since 1997 and Katrina and the Waves, but the ongoing war in Ukraine mandates that last year’s winners cannot host the event this May. Liverpool stepped in and thus the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will be held in Liverpool Arena. The UK is actually among the favourites, as is title holders Ukraine, but it is Sweden that dominates the odds, with a familiar face returning to the competition.
Semi-final 1 will be held on the 9th of May, at 20:00. The second semi-final is scheduled for the 11th of May, at 20:00 (UK viewers will be able to vote only on the second semi-final, as the Big-5 countries and winners Ukraine go straight to the Final, but can only vote on one of the semis). The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 Final will take place on Saturday, 13 May, at 20:00.
With the contest approaching fast, let’s see the favourites. It is reminded that half the points awarded are determined by televoting and half are awarded by national juries. From this year on, however, semi-final results are solely determined by televoting.
So the Eurovision 2023 favourites are:
Eurofans are familiar with Loreen. Her 2012 performance in Baku, where she won with her hit Euphoria is one of the most iconic in the modern history of the contest. In fact, it is the 4th most streamed Eurovision song of all time on Spotify. Her new heat, electro-pop Tattoo reminds of Euphoria in style and it is already the most-heard Eurovision 2023 song in Europe. No wonder Loreen is the favourite. If she does win, she will become only the sixth multiple-time winner. Sweden will compete in the first semi-final.
Eccentric Finnish rapper Käärijä will represent his country with his song Cha Cha Cha. Despite having the name of Cuban Latin dance, it is far from it, as the best way to describe it would be as an electro-rap rock. He will compete in the first semi-final.
Ukraine won the Eurovision Song Contest a year ago in Italy, with folk hip-hop group Kalush and their song Stefania. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine had started, televoting was seen more as an anti-war statement. This season, Ukraine’s song, Heart of Steel, is an anti-war song itself, by the electronic music duo Tvorchi. And it is a song that would probably do great even without what many think of as sympathy votes. As last season’s winner, Ukraine is already in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 Final.
An exciting dark horse for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 is Queen of Kings, by Norwegian singer Alessandra. A psytrance song with epic medieval elements (it sounds strange but it works), Norway’s song is something different in comparison to the other favourites, so it is a possible upset. Alessandra will be the first performer of the ESC 2023, as she will open the 1st semi-final.
It is the year of the electronic hybrids. Blanca Paloma’s Eaea is an electronic flamenco fusion. The song’s sound is very interesting, but it is unclear how well will Europeans’ ears, untrained in the unique flamenco style, will react. Spain, as part of EBU’s Big Five, sends its song directly to the Eurovision 2023 Final.
Israel is represented by 21-year-old Noa Kirel and dance-pop Unicorn. The song has star-power, mainly due to its composer, Doron Medalie, who co-wrote Toy, the song that won Israel and Netta the competition in 2018. Israel will compete in the favourite-heavy 1st semi-final as well.
Sung in English, Ukrainian, Czech, and Bulgarian, My Sister’s Crown is thought to be one of the strongest outsiders. Part folk, part dance-pop, it meets all requirements to be a successful Eurovision song. It too will compete in the first semi-final.
The Eurovision Song Contest is not complete if there isn’t at least one weird yet popular song. It feels like Austria’s song will fit that bill this season. Teya and Salena represent their country with the satirical electro-disco song Who the Hell is Edgar? The general story behind the story is that Edgar Alan Poe’s ghost possessed the lyricist. Austria competes in the second semi.
Mae Muller is also thought to be a strong outsider with her song, I Wrote a Song. The R&B singer from London will be the last performer of the final, as she represents the host country.
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