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Eurovision 2023: One month later

Europe reunites once more to celebrate the contest with its annual song contest. For the first time in the long history of the contest, it has been organized by two countries: Ukraine, the winner of the previous year, should’ve hosted the contest, but the current war made it impossible for them to host the event. So United Kingdom became the extraordinary host — yet once again.

One month later, I’m writing this post to assess what happened, what did not happen, and why, as well as giving away my totally nonsensical, but funny random awards for the contest.

A couple of my friends have actually gotten the chance to attend the event. I also wanted to give it a try, but I wasn’t able to get the tickets for any of the shows — in hindsight, I had near zero prior planning, so the outcome is perfectly understandable.

The non-qualifiers

It’s worth mentioning that everyone seems to have forgotten the countries who got stuck in the semifinals. While the first semifinal played out exactly like the betting odds had predicted, the second one wasn’t an exact match.

Some of the biggest surprises: Estonia making it into the final, but not Georgia, the latter I assumed for sure that it would. For the most part, most songs I liked did make their way into qualification, but sadly, Denmark and Malta didn’t make it.

But the real icing of the cake weren’t the actual performances, but rather, the interval acts between them. Especially the one in the second semifinal, which was an amazing trip of emotions.

Be who you wanna be (5:49)

The interval act of the second semifinal, probably one of the most notable performances in recent Eurovision history.

The performances of the grand final

Since there are so many songs, I will at first share some impressions of the most notable ones for me in running order, and do a quick round of the rest.

Austria (running 1st, placing 15th)

Who the hell is Edgar? (3:05)

The running order really ruined the placing of this song, it was a clear crowd favorite.


Starting with my long time favorite: A song that cured me with the TUKI infection I had from Sofía Martín’s song for Befest 2023 and inoculated me with the much worse Poe disease.

The live performance was particularly very underwhelming. I was expecting a choir to sing the signature “O mio padre, there’s a ghost in my body”, but it’s clear that they’ve worked really hard on it.

An extremely catchy song with a very powerful message. And made quite the impact, considering how the juries loved the song, but the televoting didn’t. What the hell happened? If anything, the opposite should’ve happened.

Portugal (running 2nd, placing 23rd)

Ai coração (3:23)

Man, this is why I love Eurovision. You get to hear completely new genres and get hooked into them.


This is one of the few songs that I believe are true works of art. Her voice, her choreography, and her overall performance, are exceptional. I don’t see anything wrong with this song, and I easily placed her in the top 10.

People usually put the blame into her running order, but I digress; while it could’ve played a part, I think that the song didn’t really catch the attention of most people, or perhaps it was a bit “too late for its time”. Either way, Mimicat’s song has consistently skimmed my Top 5 since I first heard her.

Poland (running 4th, placing 19th)

Bejba (3:29)

It's kinda krejsa

Let’s be real: Blanka is a Lena Meyer-Landrut who has traveled from the past at superluminal speeds, which caused her hair to become cosmic blonde, so she had to put herself in orbit around the Sun for 10 years to get a nice tan, and then land with grace in Poland and assume a new identity and try to win for Poland.


It seemed like the meme factor would definitely push her song into the top 10, but as it turns out, it only spread through fans.

While I won’t talk about the huge controversy behind this entry, I will say that occasional followers definitely got the news. I can’t say much else; the song is pretty crappy, not even the dance break could’ve saved her.

France (running 6th, placing 16th)

Évidemment (3:31)

I didn’t expect her to flop this bad!


Évidemment is basically what would have happened if Voilà flopped in 2021. She was one of my biggest favorites, until I heard her live voice, and went downhill from there. Apart from that, I love every single thing from this song.

I address her failure was caused by two main factors: Her pretty bad live performance, and how it seemed like the song was botched by the disco vibes it gives — an unanimous opinion from my family and several others.

Spain (running 8th, placing 17th)

Eaea (3:25)

To many Spaniards, her flop was a big surprise. But me? I saw her placing coming from miles. (Not that low, though.)

Man, this is why I love Eurovision: Being right about things that everyone disagrees with you. (Sarcasm)


Ever since I heard her song in Benidorm Fest, I raised my concerns about whether Europe would be able to understand Eaea. Sure, as a piece of audiovisual performance, it’s a work of art. But I just saw that; to me it always felt like watching an art piece at a gallery.

Ethnic songs tend to have that outlook and end up down the ranking, and flamenco is no exception. I admit that the song is really good, and Blanca Paloma’s performance easily falls within the top 3. But I don’t think it’s a good fit for Eurovision. France’s performance last year is a good example of this.

And also, it was right before the one who would eventually win. In hindsight, Vicco and her Nochentera would have been a much better bet.

Sweden (running 9th, placing 1st)

Tattoo (3:29)

The one that won

Congratulations, Sweden. You’ve created not an Eurovision icon, but an Eurovision messiah.


Honestly, this song is really interesting. I prefer it over Euphoria, but I still fail to understand why it’s loved by everyone. Yes, it is beautiful, personal, and has a very mystical feel to it… But I don’t really see her as a winner.

I blame my neurodivergent self. I’m not even going to elaborate over the beef between Sweden and the big elephant in the room.

Estonia (running 12th, placing 8th)

Bridges (3:32)

Her secret: The phantom piano. (Sarcasm)


Total goosebumps. Alika has stayed pretty cozily within my top 10, mainly because her voice is mesmerizing. Turns out she was one of the two dark horses this year. Earning a top 5 in either jury or televoting is most likely going to give you a very decent placing. It was either her or Armenia.

Finland (running 13th, placing 2nd)

Cha Cha Cha (3:21)

Ugh… Try as I might, I can’t stand hearing this.

Man, this is why I hate Eurovision: I don’t understand why I disagree with the majority.


Here he is, the one everyone lose their head with on stage.

I will say, this song does sound incredibly entertaining, and the performance is brutal. But unfortunately for me, there’s this audio cue in this song that makes this song impossible for me to enjoy it. It’s too jarring for my already oversensitive ears.

It has a lot of things to catch your attention, and it’s got this wild monkey crazy aura which at first wasn’t very fond of, but I eventually grew on with. Nevertheless, his placing is a really decent one, despite what the common consensus seems to be.

The top favorite in the televoting, came fairly low in the jury voting. After this, I can confidently say that every eurofan is sick of the jury at this point (except for the Spaniards, who are a completely different beast and know that they would’ve gotten dead last if it wasn’t thanks to them) and wishes to go back to a only televoting system.

Belgium (running 16th, placing 7th)

Because of You (3:29)

I still don’t get how he was able to perform so well.


And here comes the second dark horse of the show. Completely unexpected from most people I know.

But after much analysis, I found a reason why this could have happened. Since the jury gave so many points to Loreen in contrast to the others, that the top 5 was within a few points of each other. Among those who placed close, Estonia and Australia flopped, while Belgium remained relatively high, allowing him to keep his 7th place.

Also, I felt there was a little demand for retro music, which he delivered — unlike another English-speaking country I could mention.

Armenia (running 17th, placing 14th)

Future Lover (3:31)

She did commendably well, but I don’t know about that dance break part…


And here comes my favorite song of the whole contest. Amazing performance, amazing voice, and an extremely powerful song along the music. I think the choreography was very sloppy, especially compared to the official music video.

She decided to be good, and she did really good. The staging also looked good, but I feel like I’m missing something.

I’m pretty disappointed with her placing, and I expected a higher scoring from the jury.

Now go to a near café and drink a smoothie.

Israel (running 23rd, placing 3rd)

Unicorn (3:24)

Musically speaking, Unicorn puts every other contestant to shame. (Well, except for one which I’ll get to after Israel.)


She managed to keep her 3rd place in both my personal ranking and in the actual contest.

While I can blame she rubbed the sex appeal card on everyone else’s face, not for me. They went so ahead with this that in the song recaps, they showed her dance break. I feel like that’s a bit of a move that could make EBU raise an eyebrow.

Musically speaking, it seemed like a mix and match of many genres, but it’s actually really well coalesced. As for the rest, it was an average performance, except for the last moments of the dance break.

Also, when I saw her ending to the song, I immediately thought: “Well, she’s going to cater to a lot of Asians with those visuals”. I guess I was a bit of a short thinker, because she won the Rest of the World vote. Enjoy those sweet douze points.

Croatia (running 25th, placing 13th)

Mama ŠČ (3:03)

Croatia, you’ve got balls sending a song like this. Man, this is why I love Eurovision: You can’t avoid these out of the ordinary works of art. They’ve become part of the essence of Eurovision.


While the reputation of Let 3 is very questionable, and the message can be quite dicey, this rhapsody is incredible, musically speaking.

And it has the best lyrics out of any song this year: Who thought about adding the entire alphabet? Next time, I want to hear Qwertyuiop, or Asdfghjkl. Or both at once, who knows.

I wish them the best and not so many trips to the jail.

The others

Here’s a quick rundown of the other participants.

The Yonic Awards

Now, onto the completely random awards of things and moments that I found worth noting.

We botching things up again Award

This award goes to RAI, for failing to join the Eurovision broadcast in time. With this, it only adds more points to my “Italians being incompetent” prejudice.

How TV stations join together for Eurovision (2:27)

Rai 1 didn't make it to the beginning of ESC broadcast.

To be fair, having to synchronize over 40 different feeds across the continent (and several others for the rest of the world) must be a titanic task.


”Fuck all” fucks given Award

Awarded to La Zarra, for catching all our attentions with this gesture after getting her televoting points, and promptly leave before Loreen is crowned winner. Bad sportswomanship or a total badass moment, I leave that to your interpretation.

The finger of honour (0:22)

And then she leaves.

To me, she was just messing around with everyone. Props to her for doing it.

Best postcards

This year has had one of the most visually impressive and emotional postcards, so I award this year the Best Postcards Award. Showing common places in UK, Ukraine, and the participating countries.

The postcards (32:03)

The True™ Winner of ESC2023

And now, for the most awaited award. The True™ Winner of Eurovision Song Contest is something I began awarding back in 2021 about things that are unexpected and are instantly hooks one’s attention.

Unlike last year, the True™ Winner of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest isn’t so obvious. It was a very fierce competition between the smol Po plushie and the big Peppa Pig costume.

Small Po plushie

Smol Po plushie

Big Peppa Pig

Big Peppa Pig

But considering that the Peppa Pig was an intentional part of the show, it’s a direct disqualification for the award.

So we have a new True™ Winner of ESC: Smol Po!

What to expect in 2024?

Lynda Woodruff (2:17)

Please, come back. We love you.