It’s no secret that I’m a very enthusiastic fan of the Eurovision Song Contest and this year in particular is giving us plenty to be excited about!
Eurovision was established in 1956 with the intention of uniting a divided Europe through music, and the 2023 edition especially has this spirit very much at heart. It sees Liverpool, UK, hosting on behalf of Ukraine following Kalush Orchestra’s record-breaking victory last year with their song Stefania, and the themes of unity, support, and inclusion are as central as ever.
The edition’s ‘slogan’ this year - United by Music - is especially poignant for us here at Musixmatch, as it’s a slogan that could equally be applied to our passionate community, who are connected from across the globe thanks to their shared passion for music and lyrics.
There are 37 songs competing this year, each with something special worth celebrating. Check out the full playlist and let me know your favourites via DM on Slack! In the meantime, keep reading for a walkthrough of the bookies' favourites!
Spain - Blanca Paloma / Eaea
Spain is coming with something unique, in equal parts modern and classic. It’s Blanca Paloma with her synthy-flamenco song Eaea and it’s tipped to do very well indeed! Songs tend to place well at Eurovision when they reflect what listeners ‘imagine’ of the country’s musical traditions. By utilising flamenco-inspired vocal techniques, for which Spain is famous and celebrated, paired with a dark, synthy instrumental, Blanca gives the listener plenty to be both comforted and surprised by.
Andreks, one of our Spanish Specialists, explained how ‘Ea ea’ is the expression a parent uses when they want to calm their baby to sleep’ but the electric stage show Blanca gave at her national final is enough to suggest nobody will be sleeping during her performance! Eaea is likely to gather enough support from both Juries and Televoters to ensure another top 10, or maybe even top 5, finish for Spain!
Finland - Käärijä / Cha Cha Cha
Just as the Eurovision audience loves ‘traditional’ presentations of musical culture, they also love a fun, crazy party, and that’s where the success of this song lies. Cha Cha Cha has it all: a charismatic performer in a striking outfit, a sudden change in vibe at the halfway point, a dance routine - you name it!
It’s almost certainly to do very well with the voting public at home, who tend to favour ‘fun’ entries with music different from what they’re likely to hear in their day-to-day lives. How well it will do with the Juries, who sometimes favour instead ‘safer’ packages, is another question - but either way Cha Cha Cha gives us an instant Eurovision classic which is bound to go viral! One of our Swedish Specialists, Amelia, thinks the winner will be either Finland’s Cha Cha Cha, or…
Sweden - Loreen / Tattoo
Loreen won Eurovision back in 2012 with the now classic Euphoria and she’s the hot favourite to win this year too! Tattoo won Sweden’s national final ‘Melodifestivalen’ with a stage show which elevated the already pop-perfect song to new heights.
One of our German Specialists, John Carlo, is a big fan of the song, and noted how ‘Loreen has good chances to win again because the song and performance match perfectly and people love the song already’. He also mentioned how Juries will likely appreciate the song as much as the public, meaning it will have broad appeal. Curator Rain agreed, stating that Sweden has a good chance to win, but equally (and correctly) mentions the unpredictability of the contest; ‘anything can still happen!’
I’ll also link you to the songs of past years mentioned by Amelia, Andreks, John Carlo, and Rain during our conversations. You may recognise a few of them!
Waterloo - Abba (Sweden - 1974 WINNER)
Nocturne - Secret Garden (Norway - 1995 WINNER)
Fairytale - Alexander Rybak (Norway - 2009 WINNER)
Heroes - Måns Zelmerlöw (Sweden - 2015 WINNER)
If I were sorry - Frans (Sweden - 2016)
Beautiful Mess - Kristian Kosov (Bulgaria 2017)
Uno - Little Big (Russia - 2020)
Arcade - Duncan Laurence (Netherlands 2021 WINNER)
Snap - Rosa Linn (Armenia - 2022)
Everyone who contributed to this article mentioned the same thing when asked why they love Eurovision - the fact that it connects all its listeners with each other and with a large variety of musical cultures across many different languages. If you too want to connect in this way, check out the linked songs and let us know what you think!
You can catch the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Content streamed on Youtube on the 13th of May at 21:00 CEST.