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Loreen: I feel overwhelmed

Starters package There is the tradition of a winners press conference after the show. This started with Martin Österdahl handing over a starters package to the Swedish head of delegation: “You made history tonight. You were the first female performer to win twice.”, he added. Everythings feels surreal And after that it was time for Loreen: “Right now everything feels surreal. I am overwhelmed. I feel proud of you guys. We come with certain values, it is about love, it is about strength. You guys are the love and the strength”. Euphoria vs Tattoo She also talked about the difference between 2012, when she first won the Eurovision song contest: “In 2012 everything was new, I was so naive,  I didn’t know what to expect. Now we have an 11 year old relationship, so we know eachother right now. It feels like a motherly relationship.”. Loreen also noticed a difference in the two performances: “Euphoria was a very mysterious performance. If you look at the performance now, it was very light. It’s interesting: Euphoria was the moonlight, Tattoo was the sunlight.” She was also asked if there should be a limit, like in the USA with presidential elections; no more than two times. “It’s all about creativity and about performing. It is about us creating something new. I don’t think there should be a limit on that.” Nails Loreen revealed something about her nails: “They are (although not completely) made of stone. I just wanted movement and they move a lot. So that you can see all the movement.” Being authentic Thomas G:son, one of the composers of the song, was pretty sure it was gonna win. “We filmed this while he said this”, someone from the delegation confirmed, so we have proof of that. Loreen however says something else about winning. “I think the key ingredient to any succes is being authentic. And to be a you should listen to yourself and get to know yourself.”

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Sweden winner of the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest

photo credits: EBU/Chloe Hashemi Sweden has won the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. Loreen managed to win the contest with “Tattoo”. The jury and the televoting audience disagreed this year: both had a clear winner. Sweden won with a landslide at the jury voting, while Finland did the same at the televoting. It is the second time that Loreen wins the Eurovision Song Contest. She first won it for Sweden in 2012 in Baku. Sweden now holds the record of most Eurovision victories alongside Ireland. “Thank you for this. This is for you!”, Loreen told the audience. Host Graham Norton reminds us that the next Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Sweden in the year of the 50 years anniversary of Abba’s victory. Here are the full results: Sweden, 583 Finland, 526 Israel, 362 Italy, 350 Norway, 268 Ukraine, 243 Belgium, 182 Estonia, 168 Australia, 151 Czechia, 129 Lithuania, 127 Cyprus, 126 Croatia, 123 Armenia, 122 Austria, 120 France, 104 Spain, 100 Moldova, 96 Poland, 93 Switzerland, 92 Slovenia, 78 Albania, 76 Portugal, 59 Serbia, 30 United Kingdom, 24 Germany, 18

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Is Sweden in for the win?

Is Sweden in for the win? Your guess is as good as ours. Currently the bookmakers predict a 52% chance for Sweden to win the Eurovision Song Contest 2023. That would be their 7th victory. Currently Ireland holds the record, also with 7. But bookies are bookies, we have our own prediction. We agree with Sweden for the win, but here is our entire top-5: 1.Sweden – Loreen – Tattoo 2.Finland – Käärijä – Cha-cha-cha 3.France – La Zarra – Évidement 4.Israel – Noa Kirel – Unicorn 5.Austria – Teya and Salena – Who the hell is Edgar? But…. tonight, 01.00 CET, we know more!

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Composer Wouter Hardy: not nervous tonight

Tonight the Dutchman Wouter Hardy, as composer of the Estonian entry Bridges, will participate for the 3rd time; and for the 3rd time for another country. Kofax Wouter co-wrote “Arcade” for Duncan Laurence. He was also responsible for “Tout l’univers”, the song Gjon’s Tears brought to Switzerland. But what else do we know him from? “I’ve played in bands, I’ve always been a pianist and a keyboardist. I’ve toured all over Europe, I’ve done Glastonbury. I opened for Robbie Williams. All of this was with Kofax, where I was band leader and keyboard player. And I have always played trumpet in orchestras and big bands. That’s where the classical influences come from,” explains Hardy. Arcade Back to the Eurovision Song Contest we come to “Arcade”. The composer says about this: “To win is absurd. Participation was already such that I thought: should we do this with Arcade? It had been there for quite a while. Then we were asked by Ilse Delange and yes, then you’re going to do it anyway. I thought: how can that work with such a song there? My association with the Eurovision Song Contest was circus and lots of dancing and fireworks. I think that’s exactly why it won; because it was so special. And I am very proud of that to this day, that it is something that I fully supported. Then I participated with Switzerland, which I also fully supported, and now again with Estonia. If not, I’m not going to do it.” Intimidated We can’t ignore it: on May 5th, an interview appeared in a Dutch newspaper in which Hardy explains how things went behind the scenes with Arcade at the time. Negotiations about rights didn’t go well. Hardy felt intimidated by Ilse Delange. When the votes came in, Hardy  was not in the greenroom. “I do hope that it will result in people being more willing to speak out about such things. I hope that helped. I have lost my story and that is a relief.” Gjon’s Tears And then, two years later, cqme the adventure with Gjon’s Tears in Switzerland. “Gjon was supposed to  participate in the Eurovision song contest in 2020. That was canceled, due to COVID19. So he had to have a new song, a new entry. Then he looked at who he could still work with. He was a big fan of “Arcade”, also thought that that was his sound. His references also really appealed to me, who passed them on, like Sam Smith, Hozier, Woodkid. When I read that I thought: okay that could be an interesting one, so I went to Zurich. That’s actually how it went. We subimtted that entry with some other songs and then we won. And in Rotterdam, that was quite special for me. In our own country but with a Swiss flag, that was a bit crazy, but that was cool”. To the toilet It was a close call for Gjon’s Tears to win. “I thought: we’re just going to do it again dude. And then Gjon said: I think we will get less points in the televoting. And he was rogjt, but I did think after the jury vote: now we’re just going to do it again. It’s very funny because we were drinking quite a lot in the greenroom, it was super fun. Then we finished at the top of the jury and then I said to Gjon: don’t drink too much because you might have to start singing if you win. Then he started drinking a lot of water. He really needed to go to the toilet, but that was not allowed. And then every time that camera came, then Gjon would sit so wide and when that camera was gone again with his legs squeezed. In the end we finished third and I am very happy with that. We also won the Marcel Besançon Award for best composition that year. Duncan sang “Arcade” and “Stars”, which I also made. That evening three songs and an award, so that’s very nice.” Estonia And then Estonia came along: “It was the same as Gjon. Alika has always wanted to do the Eurovision song contest, that was her dream. Then they put together a Spotify list of songs she likes. It had “Arcade”,  and “Tout l’univers”. Then her manager texted me: “we’re going to work with you.” We worked together for two days and the second day was Bridges, there was no doubt about that after that. They didn’t go into the studio with other people after that and then we participated with Eesti Laul, the national final in Estonia. How is Wouter Hardy doing tonight, is he nervous? “No,” he says firmly. “No. I haven’t listened to any other song either. I just want to be surprised tonight. I’ve only heard Loreen, you can’t miss her. And the Netherlands of course, there is no other way. But no other songs. I’m not really nervous, I don’t have to do anything anymore. That’s great, my work is done. I can just grab a drink and listen.” Not nervous Hardy has some nice things to look forward to anyway. A new album is coming under the name HRDY. “That will be an album with instrumental songs but also featuring vocalists. I released some songs from my album. Those are songs with synthesizers, pianos, strings and so now I’m going to make songs with singers for the first time.”

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Hosts enjoy a party with heart and soul

Hosts You have seen three of the four hosts already: Ukrainian Julia Sanina and British Hannah Waddingham and Alesha Dixon. But Graham Norton, who is also the BBC commenter, will only show up in the final. Graham Norton: heart and soul Today, the four attended a press conference. For Graham, that was a special occasion, as someone from Israel had a present for him: the Hebrew version of his book. Graham also stated that Eurovision is a party, but this year it’s different. “Because of Ukraine, it’s a party with heart and soul”. Graham is also asked about the speech Ukrainian president Zelensky wanted to have, but the EBU decided not to allow politics. “That is EBU’s decision, not ours. We were not involved”, the host replied.  Hannah Waddingham: I am grateful Hannah states that she already knew Graham. “But we have never met as ladies”, she states about her colleagues Julia and Alesha. “I am grateful and have such respect for them because it’s not an easy job. I didn’t think it’s as popular as it is. I am really thrilled.” Hanna also explained that she had her first hosting job a month ago at the Olivier Awards. “I would say the winners and the losers make the efforts of their lifes, unified by music”,  she compares both events. Alesha Dixon: the hosting job is enough for me Did some of you recognize Julia Sanina? Well, she participated in the 2016 Ukrainian national final with the band The Hardkiss. They became 2nd. Logical question is whether she ever wants to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest. “We tried to participate in 2016 national selection which Jamala won. We will see wat’s in the future. I wont say no. I really love the audience. It’s more likely to do it after I saw it.” Alesha also responds on that question answering that she will not participate. The hosting job is enough for her. Julia Sanina: it’s super hard to smile Julia also speaks about British humour: “British humour quite dry. With the girls I feel so much joy, especially backstage when nobody is listening. They made me laugh a lot. Of course I am nervous, first time hosting, it is not my language. There was a joke about the word ‘queue’, I really didn’t know what that word meant.” But apart from the humour, Julia also became emotional, when someone asked her how she felt representing Ukraine. “for me it’s a huge responsibility because in ukraine we have war now. My every morning starts with bad news. It’s super hard to smile and feel joy. I feel a lot of support from Ukraine. They are proud of what we’ve done in Eurovision. I hope that in this dark times we bring some joy in the lifes of Ukrainian people.”  

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Semifinal 2: the results

The gauntlet has been thrown again. That means that all the finalists are known now. These are the 10 countries from the 2nd semifinal that will go through to the Grand Final. Albania Cyprus Estonia Belgium Austria Lithuania Poland Australia Armenia Slovenia

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A funny guide through the 2nd semifinal

Did you agree with the results of the first semi final? It’s time for the 2nd one. We look at it at this funny guide again. Don’t be shocked, Julia Sanina is wearing traditional Ukrainian clothing. We start with Denmark. It is pink all over, but the whole stage reminds us a bit of the well-known candy hearts. By the way: Reiley looks like 16, but is actually 26. We don’t see Denmark qualify. It is still pink all over. Armenia also has a lot of pink, although that changes if Brunette is not sitting on the structure again. Surpsise, she sings a part of the song in Armenian. Of course we will see Armenia back on Saturday, in the final. It is not entirely clear to us what Theodor Andrei from Romania wants to convey. He sings a love song, has his jacket opened but also wears shorts and Spongebob socks. We don’t quite get it. By the way, theodor’s legs are not the last hairy legs you will see. But you wont see Theodor in the final. If you think that Alika from Estonia will sing a fairly quiet Wouter Hardy ballad with little frills, you will be disappointed. If you look very closely, you will see that the piano on stage is playing itself. It is likely for Estonia to go to the final. It’s pink all over again, but now we’re talking about Gustaph’s pants. Gustaph’s act is the Brussels waffle of the festival: it contains a lot of sugar. The whole performance is rock solid and Gustaph’s vocals are good. Don’t forget dancer PussCee West who made a big contribution to the act. Of course Belgium will go to the final. It’s actually quite sad: it’s been raining here all week, and then Andrew Lambrou of Cyprus is also getting wet on stage. Fortunately, at the end of his performance, the EBU turns on the fireplace. We will see Andrew back in the final. Diljá flies across the stage in a silver suit. Although she sings about p..p…p..power, we mainly see f…f….f….flowers in the background. Because of all the moving, Diljá gets out of breath. The singers are clearly not all Noa Kirel this year. No final for Iceland this year. Victor Vernicos is 16 but looks 26, and yet another pair of hairy legs in shorts. Victor hops and jumps across the stage and gets so out of breath that he doesn’t sing a note in tune. We are not going to joke about this, we particularly feel sorry for the boy. Unfortunately the final will be mission impossible for Greece. And if you think you’ve had it all in terms of bad singing, Blanka comes from Poland. Anyone who thinks that she has improved her singing since the national final will unfortunately be disappointed. The summery atmosphere that we did see in the photos does not come across at all with the camera work. However, we would not be surprised if Poland qualifies. Would Joker Out! be the only band that will make it, on behalf of Slovenia. We have to say that in addition to a nice song, the group member with a mother from Assen also plays a role. In Amsterdam at Eurovision In Concert, the band did its best to speak some Dutch to our reporter Kal. That was great! We are convinced that the band will go through to the final. Iru from Georgia didn’t want a bracelet at first. In the end it turned out to be one, a little one. The song is one for the connoisseur, well sung. Her movements are especially reminiscent of Kate Bush from the time of “Wuthering heights”. Georgia will qualify, we are convinced. You do your best, write a song for the Eurovision song contest and then nobody likes it. It happened to the Italian group Piqued Jacks who participate for San Marino. With a thin voice, singer E-King shows that he is not the greatest singing talent of the evening. Sorry, but no San Marino in the final. Imagine you have very nice graphics of a typewriter, Edgar Allan Poe and the singers themselves and then the camerawork is not good. It happens to Teya and Salena from Austria. The result is that the song does not come across as the hit that was previously expected. But a qualifier it is! Singer Albina from Albania has brought her whole family on stage. Those who don’t turn on the sound or don’t speak Albanian might think it’s a funeral: not only because of the black clothing, but also because of the dramatic faces that the artists show. Qualifying is possible, but will be a tough job for Albania. And then there is another returning artist: Monika Linkytė. She wears orange as if she were a Dutch lady on King’s Day. Monika and her backing singers are standing in a circle, making us wonder what children’s game they are playing. But Monika also sings a piece of the song in her own language. Lithuania will for sure qualify for the final. Sebastien Tellier (France 2008) once had a golf cart on stage. The band Voyager makes it even more colorful with a complete car. With this typical Voyager song we rock out the 2nd semifinal. We will see this car back in the final. So in the end, we think Austria, Slovenia, Georgia, Australia, Belgium, Cyprus, Armenia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland will qualify for the final.  

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Winners press conference

Ten countries head to the final. After this there is a winners press conference. The ten winners all answered some questions, and here is a short overview of what was said. Croatia  will perform in the second half of the final. The groups wants to make this world a little bit better place for everybody. The singer said “please stop f*cking wars. In wars there is no winners, in Eurovision there is no losers. They are proud to reach the final, as several times they reached the 11th place. Moldova will perform in the second half of the final. It felt pretty similar to his 2012 performance, because even Loreen is back! He likes to feel that they were more prepared this year. His wife says that if you work together you do everything together, even taking a shower together. Switzerland will perform in the first half of the final. Remo says it was his biggest dream to go to the finals. He started believing in it. Remo also confirms that the fan bubble in Eurovision is another level: he felt the love, also in the preview parties. He is the youngest qualifier. The next goal in his life is to win Eurovision. He always had a very low voice, people never expected it. “It is what it is, I have a babyface and a low voice. It’s okay for me to be the baby”. When he heard the song for the first time he started crying. It’s about a boy with a watergun now having to fight for his country. He is very sad about the situation in Ukraine. There is hope for a better future and he keeps Ukraine in his prayers. Finland will perform in the first half of the final. He is one of the favourites, and he says he doesn’t want to take any pressure. He wanted to have his vocals good by training and practicing. All artists want to win. “I just go and do my best and let’s see what happens”. Maybe he just wants to smile when he does his performance in the final. Some people do some crazy things, they got power and energy, maybe they can do the same in the final. It feels great for him to do the song entirely in Finnish. He wants to show and do his best, showing that you can win, also with a song in Finnish. Czechia will perform in the first half of the final. They say that they wanted braids because it shows the concept of sisterhood. She said that if all people no matter in what country would feel with their heart, there wouldn’t be a war like this. In the past the husband said “it is me or the career’, but she is happy that there is not a situation like this anymore. In some countries there is still that situation, and she hopes that is gonna change. The hands in the song symbolize manipulation. At one point you see the hand that is coming up above them. It symbolize the power that you have when you use it for bad things, you have the power to use it in a good way too. Israel will perform in the second half of the final. She feels the energy, this is different from other things as you are representing her country. In the beginning she was afraid not to make it to the final. She says “You know me, I am never relaxed, I want to do it better and better and better.” Her parents were with her in the green room: “Making my parents proud is so important to me. They were always there for me, there couldn’t be something more powerful than for them to be there”. Portugal will perform in the first half of the final. She thought of giving away “Ai coração” to other people. Her husband told her not to do it. The song is a very traditional song but she wanted to do a specific Mimicat song. As soon as she was selected she changed the arrangement. She says she was not confident with herself and her body as a teenager. She started living her live when she was in college and started making music. She played in a band and the members of the band told her she was vulgar. That’s where she wanted to prove them wrong. She wanted to say: keep going on and be yourself, as a message to her younger self. About getting to the final she says: “I have no expectations for the final as my goal was to get into the final”. Sweden will perform in the first half of the final. She never thought in her wildest dreams that she would come back to Eurovision. She fell in love with the song and then the Melodifestivalen question came up. She first said no but when she said ‘maybe’, people were so happy. That is how she decided to do it again. She had to feel not like she had to improve herself but she does have a need to make us feel and for that she works her ass off. Thoughts about winning or losing she blocks, as in her opinion the performance is not authentic anymore. “My job is to make you feel”. Serbia will perform in the first half of the final. He wrote the song originally as an anthem during the pandemic. He wanted to sleep through everything by playing videogames. He wanted to wake up himself and then wake up the world for the world problems. Luke Black also talks about the mass shootings in Belgrade. It triggered people more in their mental health. Luke wants to dedicate this performance to the victims. He wants to say ‘stay strong’ to the families. Norway will perform in the second half of the final. Alessandra said it was nervewrecking to be mentioned as the last one. She said her stomach was talking while

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Semifinal 1: the results

The gauntlet had been thrown. Ten finalists will go through to Saturday’s Grand Final. The happy ten are: Croatia Moldova Switzerland Finland Czechia Israel Portugal Sweden Serbia Norway

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The 1st semifinal is there!

It is almost time. At 21.00 CET central European time, the moment we have all been waiting for has come. You can watch this show on Youtube, but in many countries also on your national TV-channel. 15 countries will compete, and within a few hours we know which 10 will go to the final. We keep you updated!

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