With her pop song “Tattoo,” the Swedish singer Loreen won the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday night, beating out 25 other countries. It’s the second time she’s won over the judges and the people. In 2012, she won for Sweden.
The extravagant, eclectic event, which took place at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, England, stuck to the theme of the 2023 contest, “united by music,” and was a tribute to the spirit of resilience in war-torn Ukraine.
Usually, the country that hosts the event is the one that won the event the year before. But since last year’s winner, Ukraine, is in the middle of a war, this year’s event is being held in Britain, which came in second place in 2022.
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— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) May 13, 2023
Loreen twirled on stage between two lit platforms as she belted the words to her anthem: “You’re stuck on me like a tattoo-hoo-hoo.” The show was more of a classic pop choice for a contest that in recent years has been more interested in big, crazy acts.
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Kaarija from Finland came in second place with her song “Cha Cha Cha,” which was a mix of industrial metal and hyper pop. Glen Weldon, who writes about pop culture for NPR, chose the song as his favorite.
Weldon wrote that the “catchy-as-hell bop” is meant to get you up and moving; think of a CrossFit trainer yelling at you in Finnish. At least in the eyes of the American people, Austria’s 15th-placed act was also one of the best.
“Who the Hell is Edgar?” by Teya & Salena, which is about being possessed by the ghost of gothic horror writer Edgar Allen Poe, started trending on Twitter in the U.S. right after the duo took the stage. Let 3 did “Mama!” as a way to represent Croatia. It was a hallucinogenic trip of a stage show with an anti-war message that wasn’t hidden by mustaches, drag, and rockets.